The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo turned over another dormitory for Siayan National High School (SNHS) in Zamboanga Del Norte—this time, for the school’s 30 female students who used to endure hours of walking and trekking mountains just to go to school.  

VP Leni returned to Siayan on Friday, July 26, to lead the turnover of the girls’ dormitory called “Balay Pasilungan ni VP Leni”, built by the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (YBHF) through the Office of the Vice President’s flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay. 

The turnover of the P1.2 million-worth dormitory was witnessed by the local officials of Siayan, including Mayor Josecor Gepolongca and Vice Mayor Primitivo Castillo.

This is the second dormitory the OVP and YBHF built for the school, after constructing a dormitory for its 30 male students in February 2018.

During the turnover, VP Leni had the opportunity to listen to the stories of the student dormers, who came from the poorest and farthest communities in Siayan. 

“Siguro narinig niyo iyong conversation namin kanina. Marami sa kanila gigising 3 o’clock in the morning. Kapag 4 o’clock—ang ibang malalayo talaga, maglalakad na tapos makakarating dito halos alas-siyete na ng umaga. Tapos pagka-hapon, ganoon ulit. Grabe iyong epekto nito sa dropout rate lalo ng high schools,” VP Leni told reporters after her school visit. 

She also thanked the partners, the local government of Siayan, as well as the SNHS for tirelessly working together in helping alleviate the plight of the students. 

One of the female dormers, 16-year-old Krisemae Cagoco, will no longer have to cross streams and climb mountains for four hours each way every day just to go to school.

Now that the students have a halfway home inside the campus, Krisemae said she and her fellow dormers can focus more on their studies. 

“Ngayon na mayroon nang dorm, malaki ang pagbabago sa aming pag-aaral dahil noong hindi pa ako nagdo-dorm, maglalakad kami. Hinang hina na kami. Hindi na kami makapag-aral ng assignment. Ngayon, may oras nang mag-aral kami,” Krisemae said. 

The YBHF also provided a desktop computer set worth P20,000 and an oven with stove worth P12,000 for the female dormers. 

Aside from the YBHF, Bosch Philippines donated carpentry and power tools worth P175,000 for grades 11 and 12 technical vocational students of SNHS while Ramesh Trading Corporation gave kitchen tools and equipment worth P75,500 to the school.

BeAGiver Ventures Inc. also donated bags with basic school supplies worth P40,500 and committed to provide scholarships for all the 54 students housed in both male and female dormitories in SNHS. 

Since VP Leni’s office launched its Angat Buhay program in 2016, it has initiated the construction of several dormitories for public schools in far-flung areas, such as in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Sumilao, Bukidnon; Salcedo and Balangkayan in Eastern Samar, to address the high dropout rate of schools in its partner communities. 

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