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Parents buck Ayala’s JASMS renewal bid

The plan of STI Educational Systems Holdings Inc. to redevelop the Jose Abad Santos Memorial School campus along northern Edsa into a mixed-use property is not sitting well with the school community.

The parents’ association of the school led by president Tito Pijano III, in a letter to Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista on Sept. 29, 2014, said it it was opposing the request of STI for a certificate of exemption to build two 33-story residential towers and other structures inside the campus.

“There was no official or unofficial consultation with the Parents Association, student government or the other stakeholders regarding the project. As part of standard practice in education, parents and students are consulted if there are major decisions to be made related to their welfare, e.g. the DepEd and CHED would require all schools to consult with multi-sectorial representation before they can increase their tuition and fees. What more of a decision to build a new building, which will reduce educational space to less than 15 percent of their current space,” the group said.

And how about the safety of the children? The parents said the safety of the children while construction is ongoing would be put at risk.

“The massive construction efforts which will be launched will put the safety of our children, the faculty and staff at risk. As you know, it will be very difficult to ensure safety in a construction site where there are more than 500 students of varying ages and special needs. Ongoing construction will put the children in harm’s way,” the group said.

 The parents association said it consulted well-known architects and structural engineers, who said the two 33-story towers would require a deep and huge digging that would certainly create hazards to the over 900 basic education students and college students.

Ayala Land Inc., one of the major property developers in the Philippines, is participating in the redevelopment of  the JASMS QC campus into a mixed-use development. The whole redevelopment project will  cost around P2 billion to P3 billion.

JASMS is owned by Unlad Resources Development Corp. of Philippine Women’s University and BPI Capital Corp. Eusebio “Yosi” Tanco, who owns i-Academy and the flagship STI Colleges, earlier purchased a 40-percent interest in PWU from the family of former senator Helena Benitez. The Benitez family still owns 60 percent of the school.

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