Long after the siege of Marawi City ended, residents continue to cope with the crisis caused by the armed conflict. Those who used to live in ground zero have not been able to return and rebuild. Many have moved indefinitely to neighboring towns, other provinces and even Metro Manila.
Some students displaced by the siege have stopped going to school. Others have started to attend classes regularly albeit in dilapidated classrooms damaged further by the fighting.
As part of concerted efforts to help rehabilitate war-stricken Marawi, BDO Foundation constructed three school buildings just outside the area where the fighting occurred.
The corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank built two-story, four-classroom school buildings in Nanapun Elementary School, Lake Lanao National High School, and most recently, Harat Medina Central Elementary School.
The corporate citizenship initiative forms part of BDO Foundation’s contribution to the efforts of the Department of Education, a member agency of Task Force Bangon Marawi, to rehabilitate public schools in the wake of the fighting that ensued between government forces and a militant group in Marawi City.
The project is in line with the foundation’s rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in areas affected by natural or man-made disasters.
The new building in Harat Medina was recently turned over to the community in an inaugural ceremony led by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa and BDO Network Bank Northern Mindanao area head Joanne Montezo.
The completion of the project was welcomed by school principal Rasmia Maguindanao, Marawi City Councilor Nasif Marangit, DepEd Marawi schools division superintendent Pharida Sansarona, and DepEd Marawi assistant schools division superintendent Anna Zenaida Unte-Alonto.
“We would to thank DepEd and the local government leaders for welcoming BDO Foundation in Marawi and giving us this unique opportunity to serve the people as they continue to recover from the siege,” Deriquito said.
“With the construction of 12 classrooms completed, we hope that the schools in Nanapun, Lake Lanao and Harat Medina could accommodate more students especially those displaced by the fighting. Moreover, we hope that the new classrooms will encourage the children of Marawi, especially those who used to live in ground zero, to go back to school.”
BDO Foundation identified the three schools as recipients of its donations after conducting site inspections in Marawi City with the support of the BDO Iligan-Del Pilar branch. The schools were also recommended by DepEd Marawi as their classrooms were old and dilapidated. Some rooms were also damaged during the siege.
After evaluating the condition of the schools, the foundation decided to build new classrooms complete with blackboards, fans, desks for teachers and chairs for students.
The construction of school buildings in Nanapun, Lake Lanao and Harat Medina is the latest initiative of BDO Foundation for the people of Marawi.
In response to the crisis caused by the Marawi siege, the foundation has mounted relief operations and has made donations for the benefit of thousands of evacuees, military operatives, police personnel, and school children.
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