Two barangays of the City of Tacurong are the latest recipients of school buildings from the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) in fulfillment of the group’s pledge of addressing classroom shortage in many parts of the country.

Tina Elementary School in Barangay Tina received one storey two-classroom building while San Emmanuel National High School-Annex in Barangay San Pablo availed of similar donation.

FFCCCII Vice Presidents Alex Yap Cho Ty and Ong Eng Chan along with other officers from Manila arrived in Tacurong on February 15, 2013 to lead the turnover ceremony. They were joined by the officers of Tacurong City Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, FFCCCII’s counterpart in this part of the region.

The businessmen paid a courtesy call to the office of City Mayor Lina Montilla before proceeding to the school sites. Mayor Montilla, acting as the donee, also signed the Deeds of Donation for the two school buildings.

The donation of school buildings to Tacurong is under the “Operation: Barrio Schools” project of FFCCCII. Started in 1960, “Operation: Barrio Schools” is the longest running private sector-led school building construction in the Philippines. Recognized by the government as consistent partner in nation-building, FFCCCII’s project of donating school buildings in the communities where these are needed is part of their corporate social responsibility and thrust of improving Filipino lives.

The classrooms are built through donations from FFCCCII members and from benevolent organizations, families and individuals within the Filipino-Chinese community.

For Tacurong, the donor of the school building in Barangay Tina is Mr. Ong Eng Chan, while the structure in Barangay San Pablo is a donation from Mr. Tai Lian. From both donors, only Chan was able to arrive in Tacurong for the turnover. Other officers who arrived from Manila were Edwin Fabro, Robert Kho Tian Ang and Antonio Cosing.

Moreover, the Tacurong Filipino-Chinese group had been instrumental in realizing the construction of school buildings in the two barangays of the city. Regional Council Director Martin Te and Chamber President Manuel Ang made the frequent follow up last year until the time the donation for Tacurong was approved.

For teachers and students in San Emmanuel High School-Annex, the need for school buildings has been more urgent since the school started operating only last year. Before the classrooms’ construction, the teachers conducted classes in the barangay gymnasium of San Pablo. Students finally experienced the comfort of true classrooms when the construction of school building donated by FFCCCII was finally completed in October.

Ramelyn Usman, Ph.D., the Teacher In Charge of the High School Annex, was very thankful to the benevolence of the Filipino-Chinese businessmen. She said that the school building’s construction brought a renewed inspiration to the teachers as well as to the pioneering 63 Grade 7 students under their care.  (Allan Freno)