When fighting ensued between government forces and terrorists in what would be known as the siege of Marawi, BDO Foundation immediately mounted relief operations, facilitated donations and funded medical missions for the benefit of thousands of evacuees, schoolchildren, soldiers and police personnel affected by the armed conflict.
As the fighting ended, the foundation sustained its corporate citizenship initiatives in Marawi, pursuing programs to support the people and the rebuilding of their war-stricken city.
The corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank recently constructed a new two-storey, four-classroom school building in Lake Lanao National High School in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur near ground zero of the siege.
The initiative was welcomed by Marawi City Councilor Nasif Marangit, representing Mayor Majul Gandamra, Department of Education (DepEd) Marawi assistant schools division superintendent Anna Zenaida Unte-Alonto and Lake Lanao National High School principal Rohanida Mutin.
The structure was turned over to school administrators in an inaugural ceremony led by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito and BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa.
“This is a gift from BDO Foundation to the people of Marawi especially the schoolchildren and teachers,” Deriquito remarked. “This is our way of expressing our solidarity with all of you as you continue to cope with and recover from the crisis that affected your community more than two years ago.”
“We hope this humble gift will help improve the capability of Lake Lanao National High School to accommodate more learners, especially those coming from schools that have not yet reopened. Moreover, we hope that the teachers who will use these classrooms will be more inspired to teach and that the children of Lake Lanao will be more inspired to learn,” he added.
BDO Foundation identified Lake Lanao National High School as a recipient of its donation after conducting thorough site inspections in Marawi City with the support of the BDO Iligan-Del Pilar branch.
Established in 2005, Lake Lanao National High School was also recommended by DepEd Marawi as the school needed more classrooms for its growing student population.
Responding to the need for an environment conducive to learning, the foundation funded and built new classrooms complete with blackboards, fans, desks for teachers and chairs for students.
The construction of new classrooms, which will initially benefit 480 students, gains more significance as the high school currently accommodates students displaced by the fighting in Marawi.
The structure in Lake Lanao is the second of three school buildings BDO Foundation has committed to construct in the city as part of its contribution to the government’s rehabilitation efforts.
Last year, the foundation turned over a new school building in Nanapun Elementary School. Another school building in Harat Medina Central Elementary School is set for completion in a few weeks.
Through these projects, BDO Foundation supports the efforts of DepEd, a member agency of Task Force Bangon Marawi, to rehabilitate public schools in the wake of the fighting that devastated Marawi.
The initiative is in line with the foundation’s disaster response advocacy as well as its rehabilitation and reconstruction program in underserved communities affected by natural or man-made disasters.