OVER 1,700 pupils of Gat. Andres Bonifacio Elementary School (GABES) in Barangay Fort Bonifacio in Taguig benefited from the Adopt a School project of Fort Bonifacio Development Foundation Inc. (FBDFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), as they welcomed school year 2017-2018 in their new school building.
With the steadfast support of the BGC community, the local government of Taguig and Barangay Fort Bonifacio, the departments of Education (DepEd), Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Health (DOH), FBDFI was able to outfit 20 new classrooms, a faculty room, a guidance and clinic area, as well as a library with facilities and provisions that make learning more conducive for students.
“We are passionate about education. The children in our surrounding areas should feel that their community cares enough to give them a good education. We’re grateful to the BGC community for taking up our challenge and delivering on their pledges,” said Jun San Juan, FBDFI community relations officer.
The upgraded facilities are in the newly completed 24-classroom facility of GABES in Zone 3 Santo Niño, near the National Nutrition Council. Apart from the basic provisions of tables, chairs, shelves, filing cabinets, sofas and a bed for the clinic, the BGC community went above and beyond to equip the classrooms with projectors and projector screens for a multimedia approach to learning. The new classrooms are slated to be at par with BGC and one of the world-class public facilities, in sync with Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano’s plans for the school.
Barangay Fort Bonifacio is a newly created barangay (small administrative division) after being separated from Barangay Western Bicutan in 2008. As of 2016 it had a population of 27,000 and is projected to grow to over 30,000 this year. Since it is a new barangay, the creation of a new school was necessary.
Prior to the creation of GABES, students had to travel or walk 5 kilometers a day to attend school in Makati or Pasay. The Adopt a School project is FBDFI’s biggest developmental endeavor as of yet. The idea came up after the foundation saw how difficult it was for the children to concentrate on their studies due to the dire conditions of their makeshift classrooms.
Rodgie Articona, Science VI teacher at GABES, shared what he experienced prior to the creation of the new school buildings.
“Prior to the buildings, we had our classes in factory buildings converted into temporary classrooms. We only had 13 classrooms to cater to 1,700 pupils. Lack of facilities, like electric fans, comfort rooms chairs and other learning resources, made it very hard to teach and was not conducive for the children to learn,” he said.
The BGC community did not hesitate to step in to solve the problem. Among the generous sponsors who made the vision happen were the Aboitiz Group, Ayala Land Premier, Thomson Reuters, Coca-Cola FEMSA, HSBC, Burgos Circle Car Club, Daiichi Properties, The NET Group, Avida, NYK-TDG Friendship Foundation Inc., AC Technical Services Inc., OMG Advertising and the Fort Bonifacio Development Corp.
A multistakeholder undertaking, the project wouldn’t have been completed without the assistance of the DepEd, the DPWH, the DOH and the local government of Taguig and Barangay Fort Bonifacio.