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Aboitiz Foundation supports 20 tech-voc scholars

A total of 20 technical-vocational (tech-voc) scholars are guaranteed full support for their education through a partnership between the Aboitiz Foundation and Dualtech Training Center in Calamba City in Laguna.

Selected based on academic excellence, skills, and attitude toward completing a six-month training, the Aboitiz Foundation recently turned over scholarships to 20 Dualtech Electromechanics Technology students from various provinces in the country such as Aklan, Bohol, Camarines Sur, and Catanduanes.

The grant covers the tuition fee and training costs of the scholars.

“Isa akong laborer bago ko nalaman ang Dualtech. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Aboitiz Foundation sa malaking tulong na ito sa akin para makapagtapos ako sa aking pag-aaral. Dahil dito, alam kong magbabago ang aking buhay (I was a labor worker before I found out about Dualtech and its program. I would like to thank the Aboitiz Foundation because this [scholarship] will be a great help for me to finish my studies. With this assistance, I am about to change the course of my life),” shared Zaldy Gavica, a Dualtech Electromechanics Technology major from Camarines Sur.

Zaldy dreams of finishing his studies to help achieve a better life for his family. Because his parents do not earn enough to support his schooling, Zaldy works as a laborer and moonlights as a pedicab driver.

Currently on his second month as a Dualtech scholar, Zaldy sees his studies as a stepping stone to lift himself from poverty. He urges his fellow scholars to work hard to finish the program with him.

Lolito Baldones, Jr., an assistant welder and painter of Cebu, also aims to finish an education despite not being able to go to college. The third among seven siblings, Lolito was raised by relatives due to his family’s poverty.

Currently on his third month as a Dualtech scholar and working as a part-time ramen house cook, Lolito said the Aboitiz Foundation’s scholarship will now make it easier for him to make ends meet and achieve his goal.

According to Lolito, he wants to inspire his fellow scholars so that to finish the educational program.

“Marami ang nagsasabi na hindi ako makakapagtapos at magiging adik lang daw ako. Ito ang dahilan kaya nag-pursige ako. Para din sa kapatid kong namatay na nagsabing sana makapagtapos kami kahit wala ang mga magulang namin (A lot of people said that I will not be able to finish studying and that I will most likely become a drug addict. This is why I persevered. This is also for my sister who died; she hoped for us to graduate even if we didn’t have our parents with us),” said Lolito during the partnership turnover ceremony.

Zaldy and Lolito are just two of the many inspiring scholars benefiting from this partnership.

“Today, through the Aboitiz Foundation’s partnership with Dualtech, the scholars are given an opportunity to discover a new skill and hone their abilities, but with that opportunity is also a responsibility to take part in our advocacy and brand promise of advancing business and communities,” said Aboitiz Foundation’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth L. Marasigan.

“As we turn over these scholarship grants, each scholar is now a part of a united effort to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities,” Marasigan said.

As part of the group’s effort to bridge education and employment, the Aboitiz Foundation supports Dualtech students through scholarship grants. Dualtech is a pioneer of the Dual-Training System in the Philippines, wherein schools and industries train students in real life-work experience in the technical and vocational fields.

In the training program, Dualtech’s mode of training delivery involves a combined learning experience for the students -- they learn in Dualtech’s classrooms through lectures and school-related activities, and outside of school through actual industry work.












(From L-R) Mr. Jose B. Jacob, Head for Scholarship - Dualtech; Mr. Herry Webb E. Muhi, Executive Director - Dualtech; Mr. Arnolfo S. Morfe, President - Dualtech; Ms. Maribeth L. Marasigan, FVP and COO - Aboitiz Foundation; Ms. Jowelle Ann Cruz, Education Program Manager - Aboitiz Foundation; and Jennifer Anne Pascua - Supervising Project Officer - Aboitiz Foundation.

The Aboitiz Foundation and Dualtech teams together with the 20 selected scholars from the Dualtech Training Center.

Zaldy Gavica, one of the beneficiaries, shared his experience, aspirations, and inspirational message to his fellow scholars during the ceremonial turnover of the Aboitiz Foundation scholarship for its Dualtech Training Center scholars.

Lolito Baldones, Jr., a scholar from Cebu, shared the hardships he had to go through before he became a scholar of the Aboitiz Foundation. According to him, finishing the program would be one of the biggest feats he will achieve and a stepping stone towards the realization of his dreams.

Megawide Foundation, GMCAC, and World Surgical Foundation Philippines Hold 3-day Surgical Mission in Lapu-Lapu City


Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu – Megawide Corporate Foundation, Inc. (Megawide Foundation) and GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) held a surgical mission last March 6-8, 2019 at the Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. The mission was done in partnership with the World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP). Close to 200 underprivileged children and adult recipients selected by the City Health Office and WSFP were given free elective surgical treatments.


The surgical mission was made possible through the support of the Lapu-Lapu City Office of City Health; partner hospital, Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital; official partner carrier, Cebu Pacific Air; and trucking sponsor PS Baltazar Building and Architecture.


“Megawide Foundation is proud to partner with GMCAC and the WSFP in bringing this surgical mission to the people of Lapu-Lapu City,” said Sheila Lynn Nawata, Megawide Foundation Chief Operating Officer. “There is a need for more missions such as this that have the capacity to change people’s lives. We are proud to work with GMCAC and the WSFP in bringing first-world surgical care to the people of Lapu-Lapu City,” she said.


“We are privileged to work with Megawide Foundation and WSFP on its first surgical mission in Lapu-Lapu City,” said Andrew Harrison, GMCAC Chief Executive Advisor. “While we continue to make the best journeys for our passengers at the airport, we also aim to extend the warmth of our care through relevant social programs in the community where we belong,” said Harrison.


For this project, Megawide Foundation and GMCAC partnered with the World Surgical Foundation Philippines, the Philippine contingent of US-based non-profit organization World Surgical Foundation.


WSFP President, pediatric surgeon Dr. Mark Lester Suntay, headed the WSFP contingent. “We saw that we could really make a big difference in Lapu-Lapu City. There are a lot of people who cannot afford surgical treatments, or who find it hard to have to go to Cebu City for these kinds of procedures so we are bringing this service to them,” said Suntay.


He emphasized the importance of surgical care for all. “Surgical missions have a significant impact because they change the lives of patients right away. After surgery, people become more productive – they can go back to work or school, they can provide for their family. Surgical care would be the highest level of care that you can give, and we are providing it through this mission without cost,” he said.



About the Project Partners:

Megawide Corporate Foundation, Inc. (Megawide Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding the public through its various programs and initiatives providing high-quality technical education and eco-friendly community building. Among its flagship projects are the Megawide Engineering Excellence Scholarship Program and the Megawide-SKILLS Builder Program. Megawide Foundation is part of the Megawide group. It was incorporated in 2012.

GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is the private partner of the Philippine Government in the 25-year PPP contract for the development of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. In November 2018, MCIA was named Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year during the CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Singapore. According to the official release by the aviation think tank, MCIA was selected among airports with over 10 million annual passengers for “having been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.”

World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP) is the Philippine contingent of US-based World Surgical Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to providing charitable surgical health care to the world’s poor and underserved in developing nations regardless of race, color, religion, or creed. WSF has performed over 7,500 free surgeries since October 1997. We have improved health care in many third-world countries, including Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Toyota’s adopted public school goes digital

SANTA ROSA CITY, LAGUNA – Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation (TMPF), the social and humanitarian arm of the leading automotive company in the country, transforms its adopted school, Pulong Sta. Cruz Elementary School (PSCES) to a “digital school” with the completion of its Computerization Project.

This three-phase, the school-wide project is part of TMPF’s initiatives under the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Adopt-a-School Program. PSCES was transformed into a digital school by integrating Information Technology (IT) into the classroom set-up and the school’s teaching methodology. Through Toyota’s extensive support, PSCES students will have the opportunity to experience the benefits of digital technology that would help them acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.

Phase 1 : Digital Equipment Provision

Toyota initiated the Computerization Project in August 2016, providing each of the 53 classrooms with a 55-inch Smart TV and a laptop computer to assist teachers in everyday teaching. Eleven (11) colored printers were also provided to support the production of more enticing and interactive teaching materials.

Phase 2 : Establishing School-wide Internet Connection

The second phase focused on internet connectivity. IT infrastructure was set up in 2017 to connect the classrooms and offices to the internet. Through Wi-Fi connection, each classroom gained access to useful and appropriate educational resources available online, such as step-by-step exercises and student engagement activities. Teachers were given exclusive internet access so they can download multimedia content to enhance their teaching methodology.

Phase 3 : Content-Oriented Teaching-Learning Environment

For the third phase of the project, Toyota provided a content-oriented teaching and learning environment. This means that teachers can access a ready source of appropriate E-learning modules for practice exercises and interactive tutorials in one online portal. Likewise, the school’s library was refurbished and has been equipped with six (6) all-in-one computers. As a result of consultation with teachers, Toyota also provided educational manipulatives, Lego robotic kits, as well as mastery kits, to enhance the students’ aptitude in Reading & Comprehension, Mathematics and Science. As PSCES students maximize learning with the enhanced environment, their analytical capabilities and problem-solving skills will be sharpened by these tools. IT integration in class also helps generate greater interest and appreciation of academic subjects among students.

Toyota has, so far, invested a total of P10.88 Million for the Computerization Project. It will continue to assist the teachers through IT skills training in the future. Furthermore, Toyota’s advocacy in providing quality education will be sustained at PSCES through other existing academic and non-academic programs under the Adopt-a-School Project. These include the “Brigada Eskwela,” annual educational tour and quiz bee, feeding activity, academic recognition, as well as sponsored medical examinations for faculty and staff.

PSCES is located in Toyota’s immediate community in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, and has been Toyota’s adopted school for almost two decades. As the city progresses, Toyota sees the student population to continuously grow. Currently, PSCES has over 3,000 students from Kinder to Grade 6.

The use of laptop and Smart TV is integrated in PSCES’ teaching-learning process in every classroom

PSCES’ refurbished multimedia library

A Grade 4 student learns robotics programming at the PSCES multimedia library

Marker Unveiling Ceremony. (From left) TMPF operations manager Ronald Gaspar, TMPF treasurer Blesilda Rodriguez, TMPF president David Go, Laguna First District representative Arlene Arcillas, TMP President Satoru Suzuki, PSCES principal Nelia Tabuyo, DepEd Schools Division of Santa Rosa City superintendent Helen Ramos, Santa Rosa City mayor Danilo Fernandez, Santa Rosa City vice mayor Arnold Arcillas and former DepEd secretary Fe Hidalgo

Philam Foundation Turns Over Classrooms to Public School Beneficiaries

Philam Foundation ended January on a high note with the turnover of six completed classrooms for three schools in Marinduque, Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya. This is part of the Foundation’s Philam Paaralan program, its seven-year-old program that aims to empower the Filipino youth by building classrooms in calamity-stricken and under-served areas around the country.

The series of turnovers was kicked off in January 22 with the one-storey two-classroom building in Aurora Sevilla Sotto Libtangin Elementary School (ASSLES) in Gasan, Marinduque, as the result of the partnership with AY Foundation, Inc. The event was graced by RCBC Savings Bank Boac Branch Manager, Mr.  Rodney Pelaez, representing the AY Foundation. Guests were warmly welcomed by the teachers, parents and students with a traditional ceremony called “Putong” (literally means “Crown”), performed locally as a way of honoring, welcoming and praying for the long blessed life of their guests.

A week later, two more turnover ceremonies for two single storey two-classroom buildings were held in Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya respectively.

Kiangan, Ifugao was the site of the first turnover, where the classroom building in Duit Elementary School  was built in partnership with LBC Hari ng Padala Foundation, Inc. and in coordination with the Office of the Vice President’s Angat-Buhay program. Hon. Leni Robredo, the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, together with Kiangan’s mayor, Hon. Josel Guyguyon, led the ceremonies.

In Nueva Vizcaya, the school building was turned over to Bintawan South Elementary School, an awardee of “The Most Eco-friendly and Child-friendly School in 2018” for the region. The school was built through the partnership between the Foundation and Mr Tito Yuchengco, who made the donation in honor of his father, the late former Amb Alfonso Yuchengco.

The turnover in both areas was concluded with a Philam Saving Awareness and Values Education Session (Philam SAVES) conducted by Philam Life Financial Advisors from Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao. Philam SAVES is the Foundation’s financial literacy program for students and their teachers and parents.

To know more about Philam Foundation and its programs, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (02) 526-9449 / (02) 526-9309.

May 1% Ka Ba? Meet Lauro Purcil of DepEd!

The fight for inclusion and fair treatment of Persons with Disability is an ongoing challenge, one that needs not just advocates, but champions willing to push the envelope. Lauro Purcil is one such champion, a familiar face in the advocacy landscape for his lifetime of passionate action on behalf of Persons with Disability.

Leading the movement for inclusion and equality

Lauro is a senior education program specialist with the Bureau of Learning Resources of the Department of Education. His areas of responsibility at DepEd include the production of Braille textbooks and audio textbooks alongside the other blind and visually impaired staff of the Braille Production Unit, but his work goes beyond the walls of his office.

Over decades of advocacy work, Lauro’s credentials include an appointment to the National Anti-Poverty Commission as a member of the sectoral council of Persons with Disability, as well as consulting for World Bank projects and the international Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). He also represents Asia Pacific government employees with disability in the International Labour Organization (ILO), and in the Public Services International (PSI) world assembly. All his work, he explains, is in the service of human rights advocacy for Persons with Disability, and that goes back to the fundamentals, which include accessible education.

“Ang kapansanan ay hindi hadlang para makapag-aral,” Lauro points out. “At ako naman, kita niyo, maliban sa pagiging bulag, may kapansanan pa ako sa pagsalita. And yet, because I have parents who supported me, at tinuruan ako ng parents ko na lumaban, and nung pumasok ako sa UP, lalo akong natutong lumaban, ginawa ko talaga ang lahat para makapag-aral.”

(“Disability is no barrier to education. Look at me: besides being blind, I have a speech disability too. And yet, because I have parents who supported me, who taught me to persevere, when I went to UP, I really learned to fight for my rights. I did everything possible, so I could study.”)

Lauro believes that there is always more that can be done: “To do more for Persons with Disability, the solution really is the education of both the family and the children with disability. Gawan natin ng paraan para maniwala sila sa sarili nila. (Let’s help them believe in themselves.) It has to start in the family.” In a similar spirit of support and camaraderie, he takes it upon himself to look after the interests of his colleagues, doing his best to make sure they are respected and treated fairly.

Recognizing capabilities, breaking stereotypes

One goal that Lauro feels very strongly about is recognizing the capabilities of people with visual impairment, and breaking stereotypes about what they can do for a living.

To illustrate his point, he contextualizes it with the massage profession: “Ang common impression sa bulag, hanggang masahe lang. In fact, ang nagpaaral sa akin, masahe. Nung nag-aaral ako sa UP, ako’y masahista din. Yung kinikita ko sa masahe, yun ang pambayad ko sa reader ko, pambili ko ng mga tape recorder, cassette. Okay yung massage. In fact, may kilala akong masseur na yung income nila is higher than the salary here: mga PhP15,000 to PhP25,000 [a month]. Eto yung problema: [sa Braille Production Unit] ang mga salary grade level, PhP12,000, PhP14,000 [a month] at the highest. And may ibabawas pa. That’s how miserable the salary grades are here for us.”

(“The common impression is that the blind can only work as massage therapists. But it was massage that put me through school. When I was studying in UP, I was a massage therapist too. What I earned, I used to pay a reader, to buy a tape recorder, cassettes. So massage is pretty okay. In fact, I know some massage therapists who earn more than what we make here: around PhP15,000 to PhP25,000 [a month]. The problem is that in the Braille Production Unit, the salary grade levels are PhP12,000, PhP14,000 [a month] at the highest. And then there are deductions. That’s how miserable the salary grades are here for us.”)

Purcil shares that his colleagues at the Braille Production Unit are exceptionally well-trained in their unique field, complete with master’s degrees and decades of experience, but are compensated poorly, with no meaningful change to their salary grades over time.

Paving a brighter future

Lauro minces no words about how the government needs to do so much better for its blind and visually impaired employees, and how he will fight for that fact for as long as he still can. “Maliban sa salary grade level, sana magkaroon ng standard of training na talagang thorough training, not yung incremental training na wala namang kuwenta. (“Aside from the salary grade level, there should be a standard of training that’s really thorough training, not incremental training that doesn’t do anything.”) These are the things I’m working on. I’m about to retire in three years. Hopefully that’s something I can leave behind, that before I retire, DepEd can be convinced that the salary grade level of the people here is increased, and [there will be] a real sense of career development training.”

The government needs to do more for Persons with Disability in the realm of development and education, and there should be no more compromises or excuses, Lauro demands. “In 1907, education for the visually impaired was introduced. It has been 111 years since, and we are still only able to provide access to education to only 3 to 5% of school-age children with disability. And 95% of those children with disability, until they age, they have no access to education. That’s because our education system is segregated. It is the duty of government to provide education, including accessible learning materials, to all children. That should be budgeted. Hindi pwedeng ikatuwiran na walang pera. We have to improve our educational system. Itigil na natin yung segregated system. Gawin na nating inclusive.” (We can’t say, there’s no funding. We have to improve our educational system. Let’s do away with the segregated system. Let’s make it inclusive.)

Thanks to the fearless efforts of advocates like Lauro, more and more agencies, institutions, and employers are heeding the call to do right by PWDs, and recognize not just what they can do, but also how rare those proficiencies are. With agencies such as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) fully capacitating and building the ranks of their PWD employees, along with entire municipalities such as Carmona, Cavite putting PWD engagement at the forefront of their governance, the future of inclusion grows ever brighter.

This is a part of the May 1% Ka Ba? series of special features on Persons with Disability thriving in a variety of workplaces, both in the private and the public sectors. If your organization dedicates one per cent of your workforce for Persons with Disability, or wants to know to make your workplace disability inclusive, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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