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MWF and Scholastic Partner to Give 20,000 Vis-Min Pupils a Balanced Education

In full support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) remarkable efforts to provide quality education for future nation builders, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) and Scholastic made it possible for more than 20,000 pupils in the Visayas and Mindanao regions to have access to a better and more balanced learning by donating books to several public schools in Cebu and Davao.

Each school year, public schools make sure that they are well prepared and equipped to welcome pupils for another 10 months of learning as they open their doors to more than 90% of the country’s student population. Remarkable improvements have been manifested over the years. However, there are matters that they cannot solve overnight. One of which is the insufficient amount of reference books and textbooks in schools. According to a 2015 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report, the government continuously increases the budget for education each year since 2010, to address this problem. DepEd also engages in private-public-partnerships (PPP) to further improve the situation.

Before these efforts were pursued, Principal Erlinda De Silva Quinto of Rizal Elementary School in Tagum City discussed how their pupils needed to share books to cope with their studies. To aid the situation, teachers search and download lessons from the Internet which they reproduce so that all pupils will have their own set of learning materials.

May grade level na hindi pa kumpleto [ang mga aklat kaya] nagre-research ang mga teacher. We reproduce kung ano yung nakukuha nila sa Internet para lahat ng bata magkaroon,” (“Some grade levels are lacking in books. Thus, the teachers download lessons from the Internet which they then reproduce so all pupils will have something to use for their studies.”) she explained.

With DepEd’s guidance, neighboring schools in the city are also dedicated in overpowering the same dilemma. OIC Principal Josephine Palaca of Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School and Principal Siony German of Magugpo Pilot Imelda Elementary School explained why the deficient supply of textbooks and reference books is crucial in molding young minds and the steps they do so that the pupils are not shortchanged.

Malaki talaga ang epekto ng kakulangan ng books. Kung kunwari magturo lang kami tapos walang follow up at walang materials na nababasa ang mga bata mahirap kasi hindi naman tayo pareho ng learning style,” (“The deficiency in books has a tremendous effect on the pupils’ learning. If we only give lectures and leave the kids with nothing to read, then some might have a hard time understanding the lessons due to differences in learning style.”) OIC Principal Palaca stressed.

Principal German also quipped that, “Sobrang nakakaapekto ito sa pag-aaral ng mga bata. Halimbawa may assignment, ang nangyayari ‘yung teacher kailangan talaga isulat lahat para kahit di na magdala ng book masasagot ng mga bata,” (“This situation really affects their learning.  When teachers give assignments, they need to write it down so each pupil can comply even without the books.”)

In the nearby islands of Visayas, schools and pupils also share the same experience. According to Principal Jesus Conde of the Ramon M. Durano Sr. Foundation – Science and Technology Education Center in Danao City, Cebu Province, “kulang talaga [ang mga libro]. ‘Yung isang libro maraming mag-aaral ang gumagamit. Insufficient talaga kaya kelangan talaga namin [ng karagdagang libro].” (“One book is being shared by a number of pupils. Thus, we really need additional books.”)

Fortunately, these schools were chosen to be some of the recipients of the books from MWF and Scholastic. A turnover of donation was held on June 24, 2016 at the DepEd office in Tagum City. Back in March, the books allotted for the province of Cebu were also turned over at the DepEd headquarters in the cities of Cebu and Danao. Said books are part of the pledge of Scholastic during the Foundation’s celebration of Global Handwashing Day in 2015 wherein the pupils of the recipient schools also participated in, as well as a reiteration of the MWF’s steadfast commitment to further DepEd’s laudable initiatives to continuously improve the country’s educational landscape. Various information, education, and communication (IEC) materials were also given in line with the Foundation’s advocacy to make proper handwashing a lifestyle, especially for children.

“Walang kupas ang aming pasasalamat. Grabe talaga ang biyaya na natanggap namin dahil ang mga aklat ay instrumento [para matuto ang mga kabataan sa aming paaralan],” (“We are very thankful. This is a huge blessing because these books are instruments for our pupils to learn.”) OIC Principal Palaca remarked with gratitude.

“Maraming salamat po talaga for choosing us as one of the recipients. Sobrang natuwa kami, kasi meron pa palang mga taong ganito [na handang tumulong] kahit na ang layo namin,” (“Thank you for choosing us to be the recipient of the books. We are glad to know that there are organizations who are ready to help us even if we’re far from the city.”) Principal German gleefully stated.

Principal Nida Jordan of Severo Duterte Memorial Elementary School in Danao City highlighted the importance of the book donation while expressing her gratitude. “We feel so blessed that we are one of the recipients of the books from Manila Water Foundation and Scholastic. The kids really enjoy reading and doing the activities in the books. Books are very important especially nowadays when there is a real need to keep the real love for reading because it will help the children improve their comprehensive skills,” she shared.

The book donation has a good combination of reference, textbooks and storybooks. With this, Principal Quinto shared that their school can now start putting up a library where their pupils can read and learn. She also mentioned her intentions of promoting the value of reading books even now that the Internet and gadgets are almost available to all.

“The books are still [relevant]. Kasi kapag walang kuryente paano? Di ka maka-access [lalo na at] palagi kaming may power interruption. (The books are still relevant especially since we always experience power interruptions.)  [Thus], the school, the pupils, and the community in general are very thankful that the Manila Water Foundation and Scholastic chose our school to be the recipient of the books for the use of the children. These books can help the children enrich their vocabulary and travel [through] reading,” she stated.

The Department of Education Tagum City Division along with Tagum Water, a subsidiary of the Manila Water Company, were in charge of selecting the school recipients based on their need and number of enrollees. Present during the book and IEC turnover are (from L-R) Tagum Water Board of Directors Representative Alma Uy,RN, MBA, Department of Education Division of Tagum City Chief Education Supervisor and OIC Principal of Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School Josefina Palaca, Ed.D, Magugpo Pilot Imelda Elementary School Principal Siony German, Manila Water Foundation Program Manager for Water Education Xavier Cruz, Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School Master Teacher Esterlina Batingal, and Rizal Elementary School Principal Erlinda De Silva Quinto.



MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim (4thfrom left) spearheaded the book and IEC donation turnover in Danao City. Officials from DepEd and the local government unit of Danao City together with principals and pupils of the school beneficiaries were also present during the turnover.
With her are (from L-R): Secretary of Danao City Mayor Adano Roble, DepEd Division of Danao City Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Leah B. Apao, DepEd Division of Danao City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rosalie M. Pasaol, Ceso V, Cebu Province 5th District Board Members Hon. Miguel Antonio A. Magpoale, and Hon. Jude Dorano Sybico, together with some principals and pupils from beneficiary schools)



Xavier Cruz, MWF Water Education Program Manager, talked about the different advocacies of the Foundation during the book and IEC turnover in Tagum City.

Rizal Elementary School Principal Erlinda De Silva Quinto shard her plan to use the donated books in putting up a library in their school during an interview.

Villar SIPAG, BeamAndGo, CBCP Fired Up on Empowering Anak OFWs

Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) in partnership with BeamAndGo and the Episcopal Commission for the pastoral care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, has launched its new project entitled “Learn and Go: My Ticket to an Empowered Life.” The project is a seminar-workshop that addresses the needs and challenges faced by the children of OFWs. Villar SIPAG, which is known to be very dynamic in providing assistance to distressed OFWs, has extended its programs to the families left behind especially the children who are most affected by separations in the family.

A group photo of the Anak OFW with Sen. Cynthia Villar, Fr. Resty Ogsimer, Mr. Albert Christian Go and facilitators.

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar explained the irony of the OFW situation wherein a person leaves the country to be able to provide the finances of the family but such move tears them apart due to the distance between members. “The main problem is that the OFWs leave their children and the family has a hard time coping. It’s so ironic that they earn money for their children yet their families can end up broken. May pera pero wala yung guidance ng magulang.”

Sen. Cynthia Villar delivered an inspirational message to the Anak OFW, encouraged them to become good children because it will make their OFW parents happy and satisfied with their sacrifices and hard work abroad.

Realizing the complexity and immensity of the problem, Villar SIPAG has chosen to work with partners like BeamAndGo and CBCP with the belief that such partnerships are necessary since these partners have their own lines of expertise. Villar SIPAG is fortunate enough to meet companies and organizations that possess the same advocacies for the welfare and progress of OFWs and their families. “The foundation does not know everything and that’s why we’re happy with this partnership with BeamAndGo and CBCP. This is a worthy effort so that all the hard work of the OFWs will amount to something because their children were given a good life,” Senator Villar concluded.

Anak OFW participants coming from the Dioceses of Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Novaliches, Caloocan and Antipolo.

Fr. Resty Ogsimer, CS, of CBCP-ECMI, agreed on the high probability that the Anak OFWs can be led astray when a parent is not around. The situation becomes even worse when both parents work away from home and there is nobody else left to take care of the children except the aging grandparents who may not have the strength and patience to discipline a new batch of young people. Subsequently, Fr. Ogsimer emphasized the fact that the OFW sector is now considered vulnerable, thus needs guidance and assistance from the other sectors of the Christian community.

Fr. Resty Ogsimer, gave a glimpse at the situation of Filipino families with members working overseas, the challenges of separation and the vulnerability of the OFW sector.

The seminar laid discussions on the different issues concerning the Anak OFWs. Ms. Vanessa Cartera, whose father was an OFW, touched and shared on the Perks and Challenges of Being an Anak OFW. Mr. Albert Christian Go, former OFW and presently SVP of BeamAndGo, gave practical tips on saving, budgeting and wise spending. Agent Francis Senora of the NBI, presented the prevalence of cyber crime in the Philippines and gave tips on how the youth can be protected. Dr. Raymond Joseph Escalona talked about health and wellness, proving that Anak OFWs can take care of themselves in terms of proper nutrition even without their parents. Lastly, Ms. Marianne Madelaine Mencias, author of “What’s Your Life’s Masterpiece,” has inspired and motivated the children to continue to reach for their dreams and ambitions and lead an empowered life not only for their selves but also for their hardworking parents who sacrifice abroad for their bright future.

Learn & Go will be a series of seminar-workshops for the Anak OFWs that is intended to be implemented in every community of the country because there is no town in the Philippines that OFWs don’t exist. The program aims to equip the Anak OFW with a good sense of individuality, independence and maturity so that they may lead an empowered life and so that they can influence kids like them to live the same way. At the end of the activity, children shall be inspired to become better individuals, to give importance to the hard work of their parents and to fulfil their aspirations despite the challenges of being an Anak OFW.

Mr. Jonathan Chua, President of BeamAndGo, puts it, “What we’re trying to do in this event is we want to impart the skills and tools to the youth to understand how hard their parents abroad are working and it’s important to be wise with money. The hard work, the ability to overcome obstacles, their sacrifice and love for their families – those are the basic values, the basic ingredients to make a better person, a better family and a better society.”

The empowered looks of Anak OFW after the successful and fruitful seminar.

Eat, Learn & Play Summer with UFI

Summer class is more fun with Uygongco Foundation Inc.’s (UFI) Eat, Learn & Play activity that kicked off last April 11 and ran until May 6, 2016 in all of the foundation’s seven adopted elementary schools in Capiz, Iloilo and Guimaras.

Classes in Science, Math and English with supplementary activities on Sports and Art were conducted for the 411 elementary beneficiaries of UFI in Aranguel Elementary School, Andres Bonifacio Elementary School, Don Pedro Vasquez Memorial School, Hibao-an Elementary School, Jordan Central School, President Roxas East Elementary School and Rizal Elementary School.

The two-hour summer classes recognize the need to continuously boost the over-all health of a child throughout the year, despite the summer break, by primarily maintaining the child’s good nutritional status as it runs under the Feeding Program of UFI. To this, UFI Coordinator from Aranguel Elementary School Vivian Detaro explained, “Usually kalabanan sa mga public school [students], pigado nga ginatawag. Wala sila pagkaon. While sa Uygongco ya may lunch gid sila nga gina-serve. Pag-abot sa klase, maluya sila tapos pagtunga sang klase daw ga amat-amat mayo ila nutritional index unlike sa iban, dirediretso lang gid ya. Daw wala improvement sa ila nutrition,” (Most public school students are poor. They don’t have much food but, Uygongco beneficiaries are served with lunch so when they [beneficiaries] arrive in school, they’re weak but in the middle of the day, they gradually improve in terms of nutritional index. For others, the lack of nutrition continues and they don’t seem to improve.)

Eat, Learn & Play provides lunch to the beneficiaries every after the 2-hour classes.

Detaro added that children often go to school without their complete school supplies which affects the quality and efficiency of teaching. She shared, “Aga pa lang ma-writing activity ka, ipa-take out mo lapis nila, tapos dugay-dugay may mahambal, ‘Ma’am, wala ko lapis’ ukon ‘wala ko papel’. Kis-a gina pahulam ko lang sa ila lapis ko,” (Early on, you hold a writing activity and you’d ask them to take out their pencils, then later one would raise, ‘Ma’am, I don’t have a pencil’ or ‘I don’t have paper’. Sometimes I just lend my own pencil.)

UFI’s Eat, Learn & Play aims to develop the child’s learning capabilities by conducting classes with the necessary materials provided so that instruction becomes easier and the lessons become more interactive between the teacher and the student.

Detaro added that children often go to school without their complete school supplies which affects the quality and efficiency of teaching. She shared, “Aga pa lang ma-writing activity ka, ipa-take out mo lapis nila, tapos dugay-dugay may mahambal, ‘Ma’am, wala ko lapis’ ukon ‘wala ko papel’. Kis-a gina pahulam ko lang sa ila lapis ko,” (Early on, you hold a writing activity and you’d ask them to take out their pencils, then later one would raise, ‘Ma’am, I don’t have a pencil’ or ‘I don’t have paper’. Sometimes I just lend my own pencil.)

UFI’s Eat, Learn & Play aims to develop the child’s learning capabilities by conducting classes with the necessary materials provided so that instruction becomes easier and the lessons become more interactive between the teacher and the student.

Jordan Central School kids creating their own pinwheels during the art activity.

Some parents have also noticed the positive impact of the activity to their kids. “La-in gid ya sang waay siya ga-summer sang una kay ti hampang lang bal-an ya sa balay. Damo siya may nabal-an subong maski tunga lang na [sa adlaw ang klase]. Kung mag-abot siya sa balay, ginapakita ya gid na iya naubrahan,” shares Ruchyl Gabasa, mother of Jordan Central School 5thgrader Jocel who has been experiencing Eat, Learn & Play for the second year now. (It’s really different because before, without the summer classes, he just plays at home. Now, he knows a lot even though it’s just a half-day class. When he arrives at home, he shows me his works.)

Meanwhile, Andres Bonifacio Elementary School Coordinator Olivia Tabat observed an improvement on the personality of the beneficiaries. “Sang una gahuya-huya pa sila, mostly sa girls.Sang grade 3 sila, indi pa na sila close. Subong makita mo na gid ila closeness. Pero siyempre sa boys may ara gid ya nga mga masabad pero may dako gid ya nga improvement sa ilapersonality, kag sa pag keep-up sang cleanliness sang lawas nila. Parehos na abi, every time magkaon sila gapanghugas sila anay,” Tabat elaborated. (Before, they often hesitated, especially the girls. When they were in 3rd grade, they weren’t close. Now, you would see their closeness. Of course, there would be mischief from the boys every now and then but there’s still a big difference in their own personalities and in the way they maintain their cleanliness like before they eat, they would wash their hands first.)

Tabat further remarked how the relationship among parents also improved since they have been working together in preparing the meals of the children. She observed that they have turned into a family united in improving their children’s growth.

Eat, Learn & Play culminated on May 6 with the children viewing an educational, animated film and sharing their sentiments about the entire summer activity

Cementing Dreams: 250 Scholars Renew Hope to Improve their Lives

The opportunity to learn can take people further in life, despite the possible lack of financial means to finish education.

This is what CEMEX Philippines and its partners from the Province of Rizal and City of Antipolo had in mind when they joined hands to establish the CEMEX Information Technology (IT) Training Center at Barangay San Jose in Antipolo City, Rizal. Since its inauguration in 2015, out-of-school youth and unemployed community members of the country’s largest barangay have had a new source of hope to improve their lives.

In fact, 250 scholars just recently graduated from the CEMEX IT Center. They are now ready to realize their dreams and even aspire for higher ones.

During his speech, John Kenneth Padilla, the 26-year-old valedictorian of the batch, described the common aspiration that he shared with his classmates.

“Simple lang ang hinahangad na pangarap ng aming puso. Ito’y makapagdulot ng ligaya sa pamilya at magdala ng maliliit na pagbabago sa aming mundong ginagalawan (The desires of our heart are quite simple. It is to bring joy to our families and small changes in the world where we move in),” he said.

“Kasama rin kami sa mga batang nais iahon sa hirap ang pamilya. Di namin bibiguin ang mga taong nagtitiwala sa aming tagumpay (We are part of the youth who hope to raise our families from poverty. We promise not to fail the people who have faith in our success),” he added.

The Training Center offered its scholars the opportunity to learn from a one-year computer course taught by qualified Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) trainers and instructors. Through the management of the City of Antipolo and San Jose Barangay Council, the learning facility has been equipped with computers and other devices that helped the students learn essential skills that are in demand in the IT industry.

The participants of the program also received a TESDA certification after completing the course and passing the evaluation. This certificate will come in useful for the graduates especially when they apply for work.

Additionally, scholars were equipped with other technical skills like maintenance of IT network systems, computer repair, setting up of servers, and troubleshooting. Aside from IT courses, the Training Center also provided English classes that helped students enhance their communication skills.

Padilla expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all those who gave himself and his classmates the opportunity to open a new chapter in their lives. “Ang aming graduation ay isa sa pinakamakabuluhang saglit ng aming buhay. Ang araw na ito ang magbibigay daan sa katuparan ng aming iba’t-ibang pangarap (Our graduation is one of the most meaningful moments in our lives. This day will lead towards the fulfilment of our many dreams).”

The graduation ceremony was graced by Antipolo City Mayor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III, together with San Jose Barangay Captain Felicito “Ito” Garcia, who is also the founding chairman of the IT program. Also with them are Dr. Jun Rey San Juan, representing Governor Rebecca “Nini” Ynares, and the other officials from the Antipolo City local government and barangay council.

“We put high importance to education because we believe that our future lies in the next generation who are composed of people possessing the right skills and attitude to help build the nation together,” said Normandy Chan, director of Solid Cement Plant, as he welcomed the graduates and visitors to the Solid Cement Plant Gymnasium where the graduation ceremony was held.

Pedro Palomino, country president of CEMEX Philippines, joined Mayor Ynares in congratulating and distributing the certificates to the graduates.

The CEMEX Training Center also houses the Rizal Quarry Academy where courses on mining engineering, responsible quarrying, and sustainability management are offered. Also nearby is the Solid Cement Corporation, a subsidiary of CEMEX Holdings Philippines.

CEMEX Philippines offers a broad product mix of building solutions to the Philippine market. Its subsidiaries, Apo Cement Corporation and Solid Cement Corporation, produce and market cement and other building materials in the country. These cement manufacturing subsidiaries carry the well established cement brands APO and Rizal. Visit for news and updates or like and follow CEMEX Philippines on Facebook and Instagram. For partnerships, contact the Public Affairs Unit at (632) 849 3600.

Caltex Fuely School Bags 3rd Award for the Year, Adds IABC’s Quill to Rare Grand Slam Feat

Receiving the Philippine Quill merit award trophy are from left; Joel Gaviola assistant manager  Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) of Chevron Philippines, Inc. (CPI), Cherry Ramos coordinator PGPA CPI, and Jun Salipsip executive director American Chamber Foundation, Inc.

Makati City, Philippines -  For the third time in a row, Caltex Fuel Your School (Caltex FYS), the fuel-to-donate program of Caltex brand marketer Chevron Philippines, Inc. (CPI),is honored as among the country’s best corporate responsibility programs. The members of the prestigious International Association of Business Communications Philippine chapter bestowed the trophy to representatives of Caltex FYS project partners CPI and the American Chamber Foundation at the Philippine Quill Awards formal ceremony held recently at the Grand Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

Caltex FYS received the Merit award in the communication management division of the prestigious Philippine Quill, which comes right on the heels of winning the grand prize in education category at the 5th Amcham CSR Excellence Award, and the Silver Award in Anvil for 2015.

Caltex Fuel Your School aims to promote learning  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in public schools. Its pioneering efforts last year helped 103,000 students and fulfilled the wish for STEM learning materials and equipment of at least  600 educators from the most disadvantaged senior-ready public high schools in Metro Manila. Caltex FYS also exceeded expectations, generating during its one month campaign 6.1 million digital impressions, with Caltex Facebook page raking in an additional 18,198 page likes, while Caltex FYS project reaped an impressive 36,149 likes.

Encouraged by the results, CPI has committed to launch Caltex FYS cycle 2 in 2016, this time to help Davao City’s highest need senior high schools, particularly the Philippines’ first Grade 11 public school students.

Caltex FYS is in line with Chevron’s Energy for learning initiative which supports educational programs that help disadvantaged individuals acquire knowledge and gain new skills.


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