Ormoc City, Philippines, May 12th, 2015 – A joint effort by the MERCY Malaysia and the Maybank Foundation brought much relief to the community in Barangay Nasunugan, following the successful reconstruction of the Nasunugan Elementary School that was severely devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. The new school was designed to withstand typhoons which are a common phenomenon in Philippines. Both MERCY Malaysia and Maybank Foundation accomplished their mission to reduce the vulnerability of the community by providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for the students in the barangay.
“By constructing the school to withstand typhoons and earthquakes, it will also function as an evacuation centre during a disaster with the capacity to accommodate the people of the barangay” said President of MERCY Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Ahmad Faizal Mohd Perdaus.
Nasunugan Elementary School is located in Barangay Nasunugan, Ormoc City. The barangay has a population of 1,643 and the school is the only elementary school that serves the area. The school, which has 246 students ranging from kindergarten to grade 6 was originally donated by an individual to the barangay. It had been managed and financed by the Department of Education as well as parents of the students. The majority of the students come from low income families who depend on farming as their main source of income.
Maybank Foundation CEO Shahril Azuar Jimin stated that the rehabilitation efforts were in line with Maybank’s mission to humanise financial services as well as the Foundation’s commitment to support communities affected by natural disasters.
“When we heard of the devastation wrought by the typhoon, we were concerned that education of the students would be affected, and hence we got together with MERCY Malaysia to remedy this,” he said. “This effort to rebuild the school which is a significant part in the lives of some 400 families there displays Maybank's commitment to be in the heart of the communities it serves. Our hope is that it will ensure the sustainable provision of education to the community within the barangay and help the children look forward to a brighter future.”
The school consists of a 4-block wooden structure comprising seven classrooms where each classroom is complemented with a toilet, blackboard and a notice board as well as electric fans and lighting fixtures. There are also common facilities within the school compound such as a common toilet, a canteen and a nursery for vegetable seedlings.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013 and brought great destruction in
its path. More than 8,000 people died or are still missing due to this typhoon. Ninety three out of 97 schools in Ormoc City were damaged and Nasunugan Elementary School was one of the schools most severely affected in all four of its blocks. Two blocks lost their roofs while the other two blocks sustained even greater damage with the roof and its structures including the frames and beams, damaged. Five classrooms sustained total damage while the other two experienced partial damage. The school also lost most of its instructional materials such as books, school files, and test papers.
The school was unable to recover on its own after the typhoon as it lacked financial resources. However with the assistance of workers from the barangay as well as support from MERCY Malaysia and the Maybank Foundation, the school was rehabilitated in early December 2014 and was fully operational by the third week of December 2014. The swift rehabilitation efforts by MERCY Malaysia and Maybank Foundation were instrumental in ensuring that the school could function as soon as possible.