Aboitiz Foundation Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of the Aboitiz Group, partnered with Wilfred and Bonnie Uytengsu Foundation Inc. in reconstructing 41 classrooms in five public schools located in Lapu-Lapu City and Liloan, Cebu. Dubbed as "Project Rebuild Cebu," the project targeted to rebuild public schools that were devastated by Typhoon Odette last December 2021.

As the typhoon ravaged the communities in various areas in the Visayas region, several structures, schools buildings, and homes were shattered. In Cebu alone, over 2,000 classrooms were reported to be totally damaged.

"The primary goal of the Aboitiz Foundation in this project is to invite all stakeholders to join hands in helping #RebuildCebu. We received a lot of requests for school repairs in Cebu but due to the magnitude and extent of the damages, we cannot do this alone. We were very happy when Wilfred and Bonnie Foundation, Inc., heeded our call. The repair of the 41 classrooms, stage, library and covered court of the identified schools is not possible without their generous support," said Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth.

BEFORE AND AFTER Marigondon Elementary School Grade 5 building after Typhoon Odette ravaged Cebu last January. Days before August 22, 2022 school opening, reconstruction was finished by Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and Wilfred and Bonnie Uytengsu Foundation, Inc.
BEFORE AND AFTER Marigondon Elementary School Grade 5 building after Typhoon Odette ravaged Cebu last January. Days before August 22, 2022 school opening, reconstruction was finished by Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and Wilfred and Bonnie Uytengsu Foundation, Inc.

(4th from left) Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth Marasigan and Fred Uytengsu of Wilfred and Bonnie Uytengsu Foundation (5th from left) during the unveiling of commemorative plaque, witnessed by the Marigondon Elementary School teachers and school officials.
(4th from left) Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth Marasigan and Fred Uytengsu of Wilfred and Bonnie Uytengsu Foundation (5th from left) during the unveiling of commemorative plaque, witnessed by the Marigondon Elementary School teachers and school officials.

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The beneficiary schools that are included in this initiative are Marigondon Elementary School and Bankal Elementary School, Punta Engano Elementary School in Lapu-lapu City, Yati Elementary School, and Suba Elementary School in Liloan, Cebu.

To make each room fully functional and conducive to learning, the reconstruction project covered the roofing, trussels, ceiling, electrical system, paint, windows, chalkboards and doors of all the repaired school buildings. Although these repairs are being done in a short span of time for the incoming face-to-face classes, safety and structural integrity are still being ensured by Aboitiz through its contractors.

"The school was severely affected by Typhoon Odette which resulted in the devastation of 18 classrooms, our library, and our covered court. We were really glad for the help that Aboitiz Foundation and Wilfred and Bonnie Foundation extended to our school through the repair of our damaged classrooms. We are very happy that our students and teachers will be able to fully use these classrooms as we start our classes on August 22," Marigondon Elementary School Principal Leonardo Mar said. Marigondon is the biggest elementary school in Lapu-lapu City with over 6,000 enrolled students.

The reconstruction of classrooms began in June of this year and managed to completely finish the repairs and refurbishments right before the start of face-to-face classes.

The Aboitiz Foundation supports the United Nations Sustainable Goal Number 4 namely quality education, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The Foundation's largest investment in education is infrastructure, which includes everything from school buildings to laboratories to rewiring and classroom repairs benefitting over 500 schools nationwide. Aboitiz builds classrooms in its host communities so more students can enjoy learning in a more conducive and healthy environment.