By Wilnard Bacelonia

MARAWI CITY (PIA-ICCC) – Two school buildings for Mapandi Elementary School will soon rise in Barangay Gadongan as the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and Coca Cola Foundation Philippines held its groundbreaking on Nov. 26.

PBSP Executive Director Reynaldo Laguda said the 3.5 million pesos worth project, sponsored by Coca Cola Foundation in partnership with the Marawi Schools Division and Marawi City Local Government, is a part of their contribution to Marawi rehabilitation.

“In this stage of early recovery, we want to help the education sector. This project also includes school seats and toilet facilities which are vital in students’ learning keeping them engaged in total human development,” Laguda said.

Meanwhile, Coca Cola Foundation Philippines President Cecilia Alcantara said they have a commitment of helping Marawi rise again by focusing on education and water supply.

“We have two ongoing projects here which are very important aspects in a community that need to be present. We are providing potable water for a barangay here and serves 20 other barangays. Aside from that, we’re going to be soon setting up water systems for community farms,” Alcantara added.

Aside from two new school buildings, Coca Cola Foundation Philippines also committed to provide musical instruments for the school.

“We are very honored to have this opportunity to help rebuild Marawi. We just hope that the culture of peace will prevail here so that progress can come back to Marawi,” she said.

Mapandi Elementary School, whose student population doubled after the Marawi siege, expects more student enrollees as the nearby Boganga Transitory site is slated to open soon.

According to Mapandi Elementary School Principal Majarlica Baragona, they currently have seven standard classrooms for eight teachers, each assigned to one grade-level.

“Our kindergarten students are temporarily attending school at our Madrasa and this is why these two new school buildings are very big help to us catering our kindergarten and incoming students from Boganga Transitory site,” Baragona said.

PBSP has been helping Marawi since the siege and recently launched storybooks for Marawi highlighting culture, identity, values and resilience of the Maranaos. (WLBacelonia/PIA-ICCC)