Building a brighter future through education: South Cotabato to receive 80 classrooms
The Provincial Government of South Cotabato, the Municipality of Tupi, Department of Education (DepEd) South Cotabato and private sector partners Melco Resorts (Philippines) Foundation Corporation, the Premium Leisure Corp., and Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) held on Wednesday, February 7, a groundbreaking ceremony for the planned construction of 40 units of one-storey, two-classroom school buildings in the province of South Cotabato.
The project to improve the public classrooms in the province was coordinated by SMI and funded by Melco Resorts (Philippines) Foundation Corporation and the Premium Leisure Corp. with PhP100 million in financial assistance.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Tupi Central Elementary School in Tupi, South Cotabato with Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Noel Escobillo, Tupi Mayor Romeo Tamayo, Provincial Engr. Lloyd Esparagosa, DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Leonardo Balala, School Principal Marilil Ortiz and SMI External Affairs Manager Roy Antonio – representing Melco Resorts (Philippines) Foundation and Premium Leisure Corp. – in attendance.
Mr. Antonio said that the project came about as the three companies' corporate social responsibility pillars and social development commitments aligned towards helping the Philippine Government achieve its goals of reducing poverty through quality education.
"Nagtugma po iyong pananaw ng Melco Foundation, ng Premium Leisure at ng SMI, as a responsible mining company, na tumulong sa provincial government and the DepEd in South Cotabato to provide more educational opportunities and build the infrastructure para mas madami po ang maipasok na mga estudyante. Strategically, gusto po naming mag-provide ng intervention para makatulong po tayo sa goals ng National Government, iyong Philippine Development Plan 2023-2027, that calls for job generation and poverty reduction," Mr. Antonio said.
"Isa rin pong strategic direction ay makatulong din ang SMI at mga private companies nakatulad ng Melco Foundation at Premium Leisure na ma-attain iyong United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4, which is again providing quality education and promoting learning opportunities for all," he added.
For his part, Schools Superintendent Balala expressed his gratitude to the Melco Resorts (Philippines) Foundation Corporation, the Premium Leisure Corp., and Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) for choosing South Cotabato as their beneficiary in their school building program.
"To all our benefactors and donors, thank you sa inyong donations for the South Cotabato learners na 40 units na two-classrooms, that makes 80 classrooms: seven of which will go to Koronadal Division and 33 units to the South Cotabato Division. For and on behalf of the 2,225 plus learners and 8,488 teaching and non-teaching personnel of South Cotabato Division, maraming salamat sa inyo for helping us prepare our leaners. God bless you!," Balala said.
SMI is the Government’s partner in the exploration, development and utilization of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, which is one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world.
Even though the Tampakan Project has yet to begin, SMI has already invested more than PhP1.2 billion in various social development projects and activities aimed at promoting the general welfare and improving the socioeconomic, health, and educational conditions of its ten hosts and eleven neighboring communities. (30)