Thursday, October 6, 2016

#SULOngSULU: Seats for Malassa Elementary School in Bongao, Tawi Tawi

Earlier this opening of the school year, we have excess school supplies from donations for the schools in Sulu; Some of the excess were sent to Tawi Tawi and received by Malassa Elementary School.

It was brought to our attention that the students don't have seats, and attend classes sitting on their slippers or sacks of rice (although really this is not uncommon in the Sulu Archipelago). I also remember visiting this school a few years ago, and yes, other than they were provided a brand new building, there was nothing else. There were no seats indeed.  (And looking at the previous school, i don't get why they had to build a new one, when repairing the old one would have been cheaper, and that the savings could have been used for seats. And, how this project be approved when they knew for a fact it will be, at a standard, non operational anyway since there are no seats. Either way, it is not the time to find faults and blame. There are kids on the compromise.)


We have some cash available allocated supposedly for building an alternative learning structure for the badjao kids in Tandu Dagmay, Patikul, Sulu, but because of the recent military operations, we have to postpone the setup until security and logistics is feasible. Meanwhile, we thought, rather than the cash sitting in the bank, we might as well have the kids seat with them for now.

We have asked the principal, through 51st PNP SAF in Tawi Tawi, to request a quote, and were told a bench would cost P2,000 each and can accomodate 5 students. There are 165 enrolled students at the moment and with 5 per bench, this would mean, 33 benches, and P66,000 at least. Looking at the remaining cash though, cheap cost of timber, and if we could use volunteer labor, it would be easier and quicker to furnish the chairs.

Our friend Ken from Tawi Tawi found us a solution through 51st PNP-SAF who agreed to do the chairs bringing down the cost to P1,000 a bench. And with standard 30 students a class, we would like to build 36 benches, in case enrollment rise up later, up to 180 students in 6 classrooms.

 As of 06 October, we have sent our cash on hand to Tawi Tawi to start the construction, and looking forward to having our first batch of seats as soon as possible.

Special thanks to 51st PNP SAF who have always and always been supportive in bringing what we can to this side of the country.

Available Cash from SULOngSULU donations: Php20,799.00
Additional Donations:
Pamela Manabat Php1,000.00 received
Genalyn Apol Viluan Php5,000.00 received
Lyd Jamae Nadonza Php1,000.00 received
Team Reachout c/o Jaylyn Sarmiento Php3,401.00 received
April Sampang Php1,500.00 received
Le Helene Limguangco Php2,000.00 received
Total Donations Php34,700.00

For Donations:

Bank Code: 021000021
Account Number: 5686 3371 99
Name on Account: Joseph Ian Macalino

Via Paypal 
Email Address:
Suggested in PHP currency to minimize devaluations. In third world, every cent counts J. Otherwise, USD will be fine. 

as of October 18, 2016:

PNP SAF has started construction of the chairs and the following pictures were received.

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