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CLAFI leads multi-year reforestation and watershed protection project

The Watershed Protection Project will focus reforesting within the Siguil Watershed to help restore and ensure the flow of water to the three (3) major tributaries of the Watershed from the southern side.

Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), with funding from Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC), implements a multi-year reforestation and watershed protection project that will reforest 4,200 hectares within the Maasim Watershed. In January 2018, SEC tapped CLAFI, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Alcantara Group, to facilitate the implementation of the project in 10 years.

The project’s approach is forest restoration using indigenous species for biodiversity and ecosystem resiliency focusing in Siguil Watershed. On choosing indigenous species, Mr. Richlie Lyndon Magtulis, Executive Director of CLAFI explained, “Native species can survive against various local pests and diseases. They also have different shapes, structures, and capacities to cope with harsh environmental and human disturbances.”

Planting indigenous species is also an additional source of income for the local farmers. Native species can provide non-timber forest products like resin or essential oils. They can also thrive well in tropical rainforest ecosystems thus producing optimum environmental goods such as water, including services such as carbon storage and soil nutrients that are important to local businesses,” added Mr. Magtulis. CLAFI will also plant agro-forestry species such as Falcata, Calliandra, Arabica and Robusta coffee as an additionl income- generating avenue for the local farmers.

The 10-year project would require 640,000 seedlings annually. “The project has an existing nursery of 120,000 seedlings of Arabica coffee ready to be planted in 75 hectares in the next months. We have also propagated around 180,000 seedlings of various seeds such as other varieties of Arabica Coffee, Falcatta, Caliandra, Mosizi tree, and Tuliptree. “We will continue to source for seedlings in partnership with various non-government organizations to ensure continuous planting in the next 10 years,” said Mr. Magtulis. All these efforts will help restore and ensure the flow of water from three (3) major creeks: Gumehe/Mehe, Alkilan and Salvoyan. These are the major tributaries of the Siguil River from the southern (lower) side.

Cebuana Lhuillier launches 7 new ALS centers in Makati; expanding its reach to more than 70 centers nationwide

New alternative learning centers. Cebuana Lhuillier, through its social responsibility arm, Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI) has launched seven new Alternative Learning System (ALS) centers in Makati City, growing its nationwide network of ALS centers to 73. Since 2014, the company’s ALS centers have helped more than 8,000 young and adult learners get access to free and quality basic education. In the 2016 Accreditation and Equivalency exam, graduates achieved a 71% average passing rate, higher than the 55% passing rate in public schools. Cebuana Lhuillier ALS centers offer specialized lesson modules that include learning sessions on livelihood, financial literacy, disaster resiliency, sports development, and ICT competitiveness. Photo shows (from left to right): CLFI Executive Director Jonathan Batangan, Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, Makati Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo (center), and Department of Education School Governance Operations Divisions Chief, Claudio Rojo together with some ALS student representatives.

In line with its goal of further expanding the reach of its education advocacy, Cebuana Lhuillier, through its social responsibility arm Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI), has launched seven new Alternative Learning System (ALS) centers in the city of Makati, increasing the current number of its ALS centers to 73 nationwide, nine of which are all located in various barangays in Makati City.

CLFI started its campaign in support of ALS three years ago, as a way to provide alternative means to basic education to many Filipinos. The foundation has partnered with many local government units (LGUs) and various government and non-government organizations to provide free and better education to as many students as possible, regardless of their stature in life.

“The year 2017 is a milestone year for us since we are celebrating the 30th year of Cebuana Lhuillier, so we wanted it to be more meaningful in terms of the advocacies we promote and campaign for, especially our main thrust on education. As a company who pushes for financial inclusion, we believe in the value and importance of education in achieving such goal and as a means to escape poverty. We believe that by providing access to basic education, we are providing our KaCebuanas longer a chance to change and uplift their lives, achieve their dreams, and contribute more to the society. We also hope that by doing this, we could also inspire other private companies to join our campaign for ALS or launch their own similar program,” Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier said.

The launch of the 7 new ALS classrooms in Makati brings CLFI’s network to a total of 73 nationwide; a big jump from the first 14 pilot classrooms in 2014. Currently, the foundation has helped more than 8,000 learners nationwide get access to free and quality basic education. The dedication and commitment of its network of ALS teachers has also worked wonders – in fact, ALS graduates achieved an average passing rate of 71% in the 2016 Accreditation and Equivalency exam, higher than 55% passing rate in public schools.

“For the longest time, we have been doing various CSR initiatives in Makati and we are always grateful for the support given by city government of Makati. They have been instrumental in the continued success of our ALS program even since the beginning. We hope that through this, we would be able to help the youth of Makati get the education they deserve and eventually contribute in making Makati City more progressive than it already is,” CLFI Executive Director Jonathan Batangan said.

For the city of Makati, CLFI has already opened ALS centers in Gen. Pio del Pilar High School and in Tibagan Elementary School, the Foundation is adding new ALS centers in Maximo Estrella Elementary School, Poblacion Community Center, Fort Bonifacio Elementary School, Comembo Community Center, Pembo Elementary School, Bangkal Main Elementary School, and Rizal Elementary School.

Since 2001 CLFI has been helping hundreds of its residents through various CSR projects such as scholarship grants and annual seminar on Information and Communications Technology for students in University of Makati, daycare feeding program, Christmas feeding activity and gift giving, and outreach program during CLFI’s anniversary.

All these achievements are credited to the enhancements found only in Cebuana Lhuillier ALS centers such as the complete teaching equipment and materials and the specialized lesson modules that include learning sessions on livelihood, financial literacy, disaster resiliency, sports development, and ICT competitiveness.

Article by BusinessMirror

BDO employees help Agaton victims


Officers and staff of BDO branches in Iligan City extended a helping hand to people affected by Tropical Depression Agaton, which caused flooding in the province of Lanao del Norte. The BDO volunteers visited evacuation centers in Iligan City and Lala in Lanao del Norte to distribute relief packs containing food and water to more than 1,700 families affected by the calamity. 

The employees were led by BDO Iligan-Quezon Avenue branch head Helen Gurrea and BDO Iligan-Del Pilar branch head Roger Veña. Local government officials and non-BDO volunteers also participated in the relief operations organized by BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank. 

The corporate citizenship initiative is in line with the foundation's disaster response advocacy and commitment to serve people marginalized by disasters. As a follow-up to its relief operations, BDO Foundation also pursues long-term rehabilitation and reconstruction programs in underserved communities hit by calamities.

Volunteers from BDO branches in Iligan handed out relief packs to victims of Tropical Depression Agaton.

Aboitiz helps Lumad youth reach their dreams

SUPPORT FOR THE LUMAD SCHOLARS. Engr. Rodger S. Velasco of Davao Light hands over the check donation to Mindanawon Initiative for Cultural Dialogue's Lumad Scholarship Director, Perpevinia C. Tio. Together with them are two lumad scholars from Manobo and Matigsalug Tribes.

AboitizPower subsidiary Davao Light and Aboitiz Group social development arm Aboitiz Foundation are extending financial assistance to Lumad students to support their college education.

Since 2002, the Indigenous People (Lumad) scholarship program – a project initiated by Ateneo de Davao University - Mindanawon Initiative for Cultural Dialogue in partnership with various organizations including the Aboitiz Group – have been sending Lumad youth to various colleges and universities in Davao City.

“This is a great opportunity for us to reach our dreams. I, together with all of the scholars, will forever be grateful for the help,” Nolimel Abregana, a graduating student and scholar from the Matigsalug tribe said.

The Group through the Aboitiz Foundation commits to support more scholars nationwide as it moves forward with its approach of implementing education projects that will empower lifelong learners in the country, thus contributing to the Aboitiz Group’s promise of advancing business and communities.

“In the Aboitiz Group, we do our best to co-create a world where every person is given an opportunity to reach one’s full potential; a world where communities are safer, more empowered, and sustainable. Moving forward, we will continue to find ways to maximize our resources and be able to witness how our support to local communities such as the Indigenous Peoples helps them grow, ” Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan said.




Why adopting a community is key to sustainability

Corporate social responsibility as we know it is quickly evolving, and for the better. Companies are intentionally going beyond philanthropy and are moving into sustainable community development. As we enter into what social entrepreneur Wayne Visser calls the Age of Responsibility or CSR 2.0, people are becoming more aware of social issues and are now looking up to organizations with economic capacity to make a real and lasting impact to underprivileged communities. This is the vision of My Dream in a Shoebox.

An educational movement spearheaded by the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and integrated marketing communications firm TeamAsia, My Dream in a Shoebox aims to equip children from impoverished communities with the school supplies needed to pursue their studies. Committed to making a substantive impact, My Dream in a Shoebox believes in the importance of growing with a community and leading them to attainable progress, especially when it comes to equipping the next generation leaders and professionals through education.

In 2013, My Dream in a Shoebox adopted the Payatas Orione Foundation, Inc. (PAOFI) as one of its primary communities. The establishment of PAOFI in the country was inspired by the ideals of St. Luigi Orione who served for the education of the children of the working class throughout his life. Currently, PAOFI selects hardworking indigent students from Quezon City and Lucena City and supports all their educational needs.

Last year, My Dream in a Shoebox gave out school supplies and donated cash for the development of PAOFI’s training facilities. To date, it has provided more than 10,000 shoeboxes and around 500,000 pesos for the education of the children in PAOFI.

“Every year we witness our scholars become inspired to study harder because of the stimulating environment kindled by the school supplies and facilities provided by My Dream in a Shoebox. It is evident that they show their thankfulness by becoming more responsible in all areas of life, especially in regards to their studies,” said Father Martin Mroz, PAOFI Executive Director.

Through the help of My Dream in a Shoebox, PAOFI was able to purchase computers, tables, chairs, fans, and sinks; and repaint and fortify rooms to become safer and more conducive for learning.

“Long-term partnerships allow our scholars to grow firmly. It enables sustainable growth and it allows us to plan the development of our organization ahead of time,” he concluded.

After supporting PAOFI for the past five years, My Dream in a Shoebox remains steadfast in their commitment to partner with the organization in empowering children to pursue their lives’

fullest potential. In the coming years, PAOFI aims to extend their reach by increasing their number of scholars from 590 to 1,000 by 2020. They are also planning to build a three-story tutorial center in Payatas City and a gym in Lucena City.

On the other hand, My Dream in a Shoebox is looking forward to adding to its adopted communities this 2018, especially through its partnership with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation. Aside from PAOFI, My Dream in a Shoebox has also been consistently supporting the Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Parañaque, San Pedro Calungsod Parish in Muntinlupa, and the S.O.S Children's Village. It has also reached out to multiple remote communities including the villages of the Mangyan in Occidental Mindoro, Aetas in Pampanga, and Dumagat in Bulacan.

“It is a joy to witness our adopted communities growing with us. This has been our vision since the onset of the campaign, and we are thrilled to equip more next generation leaders in the years to come,” Monette Iturralde-Hamlin, TeamAsia President said.

Visit today to know how you can support the education of underprivileged Filipino kids.

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