Secondary school in Pototan, Iloilo receives P5.5-million disaster-resilient school buildings

Story and photos by Emme Rose Santiagudo

The Alberto Sorongon Memorial National High School in Pototan, Iloilo received a P5.5-million school building that can withstand disasters and calamities on Tuesday.

The building was donated by Insular Foundation Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of Insurance Life Assurance Co. Ltd. (InLife) through the Adopt-A-School program of the Department of Education Division of Iloilo.

Insular Foundation Inc. Chairman and InLife Executive Chairman Nina Aguas who led the turn-over ceremonies on Tuesday said they chose the school to help address its 45 students to a classroom ratio.

Aguas said education has been one of the advocacies of the insurance company.

“Insular Foundation believes that investing in the development of the human capital through education is a big step towards making life better for our people and our country,” she said.

The school building which is equipped with three classrooms is compliant with DepEd’s performance standards and specifications.

The building is fire resistant as marked with three-hour fire resistive rating against one-hour rating of conventional buildings.

It is also flood resistant with a 1-meter elevation from the ground in case of floods.

Moreover, the building was designed to withstand a 250 kilometer per hour typhoon with a roof deck that can be used for evacuation.

In cases of earthquakes, the building has a seismic load resistance of more than Intensity 7.

According to the Assistant School Principal and Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the school Assistant School Ma. Grace Coronado, the building will be utilized by junior and senior high school students.

Coronado said the donation is a big help to the 449 students currently enrolled in the school.

“Our school serves as the catchment area of the five barangays here namely, Brgy. Iwa Ilawod, Brgy. Iwa-Ilaya, Brgy. Ubang, Brgy. Macatol, Brgy. Fundacion, and Brgy. Zarrague. We are really happy that his project is realized,” she said.

Meanwhile, Schools Division Superintendent of DepEd Iloilo Dr. Roel Bermejo said the school building as timely as they are also pushing for the improvement of learning environment among schools.

“One of the major interventions is the improvement of learning environment. This is a timely response to the need of the time. May this classroom manifest our immeasurable love for all the learners who come and enters the classroom and this will be the home of our school children,” he said.

Aguas said the school building is already the fourth building donated by Insular Life Foundation.

Two buildings were built in Samar and one in Tacloban to help those affected by the typhoon Yolanda.

“We would like to the students to be housed in these classrooms to dream big. It is in dreaming that everyone gets to level up,” she said.

The lot where the school building stands was donated by the family of Marietta Sorongon.