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Meralco employee divers suit up for Shore It Up

Taking a break from their usual work schedules, Meralco employee divers volunteered to clean up the shores and waters of Anilao, Batangas in Shore It Up 2013, the fifth annual environmental conservation campaign headed by Metro Pacific Investments Foundation, the social development arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation. Drawing hundreds of employee-participants from the MVP group of companies, this year’s eco-campaign included coastal and underwater clean up and environmental protection lectures.

“This is our second time to participate in this campaign and we’re always pleased with the outcome of this activity,” shared One Meralco Foundation president Jeffrey Tarayao. “Not only were we able to contribute to the conservation of Anilao but also build a strong partnership with our fellow corporate environmentalists in the MVP group,” he added.


Photo shows some of the Meralco employee volunteers led by One Meralco Foundation program officer Mike del Rosario (extreme left) and Meralco Safety and Environment head Marco Carlos (second from left) together with Manila North Tollways Corporation Contract Administration and Compliance Department assistant manager Kenneth San Pedro (second from right) and Shore It Up underwater safety officer Bill McGilton (extreme right) striking a pose with the Meralco team’s 95-kilo haul which won the electric distribution company the “Biggest Haul” award.

Globe turns over P1M to Cordillera Conservation Trust for establishment of 30 seedling nurseries

Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom has turned over P1 million in check donation to the Cordillera Conservation Trust (CCT) even as P300,000 more in pledges are set to follow soon.  The amount will be used to put up 30 seedling nurseries to ensure the supply of tree saplings for the reforestation efforts in the Cordilleras.

With over 500 registered bikers, Globe was able to raise P450,000 in registration fees.  In addition, Globe employees and the Globe Balik Baterya project donated P200,000 and P400,000, respectively to the cause.  Sponsors such as Choose Philippines and Huawei also gave P150,000 each.

“We are overwhelmed with the number of bikers who joined this year’s Globe Cordillera Challenge as it was more than double the number of participants we had last year.   On top of that, there was also an outpour of support from our own employees and other concerned individuals and corporations.  This shows that our efforts in the Cordilleras have finally gained traction.  Globe Cordillera Challenge is not just a biking activity but an advocacy to save the environment and help the communities in the Cordilleras,” said Rob I. Nazal, Head of Globe Corporate Social Responsibility.

PHOTO CAPTION: Globe Corporate Social Responsibility Head Rob I. Nazal  (standing, 5th from left) turns over P1M in check donation to the Cordillera Conservation Trust represented by its Executive Director JP Alipio (standing, 4th from left).  Together with them are some of the bikers who joined the Globe Cordillera Challenge 4.

JP Alipio, Executive Director of CCT said:   “We are thankful to Globe, to the bikers and sponsors, as well as to non-bikers who donated to our cause and made this event a success.  When we started our work with the forests in 2008, we wanted the idea to be simple -- to plant a tree, to build forests.  Over a year ago, we decided to go back to the basics, starting with the seed, and grow the forests from there.  And so with the help of Globe, we are again creating nurseries this year so we can have seedlings production centers for the community’s forest building needs situated right where they are needed most.”

The seedling nurseries will be established through the CCT Roots and Shoots Nursery Seedling Program to support the enhancement of community watershed and prevent landslides in critical areas in the Cordillera mountain range.  The seedling nurseries will, likewise, provide a possible livelihood source for the public elementary schools and the communities where they will be housed.

The Cordillera mountain range is currently in a critical state as rampant deforestation massively reduced the forest cover to about 42 percent.  This increased the local communities’ vulnerability to disasters and also reduced their capacity to sustain livelihood. The situation prompted Globe to come up with the Globe Cordillera Challenge four years ago to raise the much-needed funds for reforestation activities.

Major sponsors for Globe Cordillera Challenge 4 are Choose Philippines, Huawei, Ayala Foundation, Inc. and Non-Pareil International Freight and Cargo Services, Inc. with Baguio Chronicle as media partner.  Other sponsors are Cordillera Coffee, Hill Station, and Messy Bessy.  Official Bike Shop partners are Grantrail Cycles Makati and Beyond Outdoor Adventure.

More of Laguna’s poor communities now enjoy affordable potable water


Residents of the marginalized communities in Biñan, Laguna, have gained greater access to 24/7 piped water that is affordable and potable, through Laguna Water’s Water for the Community or Tubig Para Sa Barangay Program.

The water operator serving the cities of Biñan, Cabuyao, and Sta. Rosa in the province of Laguna, and Manila Water Foundation, together with the local government of Laguna, recently awarded certificates as proof of the service connections granted to over 130 households in the barangays of Soro-Soro and Malaban in Biñan City.

Biñan City Mayor Len Alonte was thankful to Laguna Water and the Manila Water Foundation for choosing the two barangays under her jurisdiction, to be the first recipients of the foundation’s subsidized water connections.


Photo shows the residents of Barangays Soro-Soro and Malaban showing their certificates of subsidized water connections  from Laguna Water and Manila Water Foundation. Also in photo are Laguna Water’s General Manager Melvin Tan, Manila Water Foundation’s Vice President Ferdz Dela Cru and Executive Director Carla Beriña-Kim, Biñan City Mayor Len Alonte and other local government officials of Biñan.

“This is very important to the residents of Soro-Soro and Malaban. Water connection is at P5,690 each and for most of the families here, that is already their monthly income,” said Mayor Alonte.

The mayor also urged the residents to take responsibility over this privilege given to them to improve their quality of life, by paying diligently and by being vigilant on water pilferage.

“We need to work together to ensure that the blessings given to us will not go to waste,” Alonte added.

Laguna Water pioneered the Tubig Para Sa Barangay program in the province of Laguna to replicate the success of its parent company, Manila Water in the East Zone, in addressing the water problems of marginalized communities in the province and ensuring potable water in the barangay beneficiaries.

Today, at least 78,000 people from poor communities or 30 per cent of the water company’s customer base of 254,000, have benefitted from the program.

Laguna Water was formed in 2009 through a public private partnership together with the Provincial Government of Laguna to ensure that there is enough safe, clean and affordable water in Cabuyao, Sta. Rosa, and Biñan, as these cities continue to grow both in terms of population and development.


Laguna Water integrates local coop in supply chain


Aside from ensuring that there is potable and affordable water for the poor communities in the province of Laguna, Laguna Water also provides livelihood to its beneficiaries by integrating the businesses of local coops in its supply chain.

Just recently, Laguna Water, in collaboration with the Manila Water Foundation, inaugurated its business partnership with Sikap Builders Workers Cooperative, a two-year old enterprise based in Mabuhay Homes, Cabuyao, which was tapped by the water company to provide for its water service re-connection and disconnection needs, starting this April.

The Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay program is a project of Laguna Water and Manila Water Foundation which aims to provide a source of income for local coops by integrating their business to the needs of Laguna Water. Photo shows (third from left) Manila Water Foundation Vice President Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz together with (second from left and extreme left) Manila Water Foundation Executive Director and Laguna Water COO and General Manager Melvin Tan handing over a check worth P100,000 to the members and officers of Sikap Builders Workers Cooperative, to serve as seed capital to run their business and cover the expenses of their daily operations.

Prior to the inauguration, members of the cooperative underwent a series of training facilitated by the foundation to prepare them for the demands of the trade and familiarize them with the quality specifications required by the water company.

“Through the program Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay (KPSB) and together with the Manila Water Foundation, we were able to design a livelihood program which will not only provide financial support, but will also give them a sustainable source of income,” said Melvin Tan, Laguna Water’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager.

The organizations also provided a hundred thousand peso grant (P100,000) to Sikap Builders as seed capital to run their business and to cover the expenses of their daily operations.

The coop is also one of the company payment outlets in its area, operating through G-cash facility.

“We are thankful to Laguna Water and Manila Water Foundation for the trust and commitment that they have bestowed upon us, despite us being a very young cooperative. Through our new business venture, we hope we can extend their assistance by providing livelihood to other members who could not find work because of the lack of education,” said Carlito Bariring, Sikap Builders Cooperative Chairperson.

Sikap Builders Workers Cooperative is just one of the many local businesses that Laguna Water has been supporting since it started operations in 2009. The water company is one of three subsidiaries of East Zone concessionaire Manila Water, which was formed through a partnership with the Provincial Government  of Laguna to improve the water conditions in the said province.


Aboitiz Foundation extends P27.6M in microfinance loans to coops


Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of the Aboitiz Group, extended microfinance loans worth Php28 million in 2012 to various cooperatives in Cebu, Benguet and Davao, allowing more than 1,200 individuals to benefit from sustainable livelihood projects that were implemented in these areas.

A total of 73 microfinance loans were granted to selected organizations under Aboitiz Foundation’s ABAG (Aboitiz Business Assistance and Guidance), a project under its enterprise development component.

For more than 20 years now, Aboitiz Foundation has been assisting different organizations nationwide to earn additional income, providing access to various income-generating livelihood activities and job opportunities and empowering them to become entrepreneurs in their respective businesses.  During this 20-year period, a total of 381 loan packages worth Php102 million were approved for 16,240 beneficiaries.

Supplementing these loan packages were capability-building and livelihood skills training programs that the foundation conducted to ensure that these livelihood projects become self-sustaining.

"Our 20 years of existence was able to empower the less privileged individual, who eventually became the catalyst in transforming the lives in their communities. We believe that we have added worth and significance in what we do," said Aboitiz Foundation Executive Vice President Sonny Carpio. "Our initiatives in microfinance, capability-building and livelihood skills training help mold, empower and transform these individuals to become better citizens.”

Aboitiz Foundation's microfinance program offers the best rate compared to others, with no collateral required.

"Trust, integrity, and commitment are our core values that we uphold and want to instill to our partner-organizations.  One significant proof to this is our average collection efficiency of 96% for the past 20 years," Carpio added.

As an incentive to top-performing loan beneficiaries, Aboitiz Foundation recently lauded four Cebu-based cooperatives for their hard work and cooperation, which led to the success of their livelihood programs.

The organizations—Kapunungan sa mga Banikanhong Mag-uuma Alang sa Ekonomikanhong Kalambuan (KABAMEKA), Cambinocot Multipurpose Cooperative, St. Vincent Neighborhood Multipurpose Cooperative and South Cebu Hog Raisers Multipurpose Cooperative—were cited for being outstanding partners and for serving as an inspiration to similar organizations.  They were given plaques and P10,000 for their group.

From the time they first sought the help of Aboitiz Foundation, these cooperatives have since grown both in size and in the number of projects they have implemented.  Today, these organizations continue to show outstanding and exemplary performance in their businesses and communities.

Aboitiz Foundation’s programs target social development needs in the areas of education, enterprise development, primary health & child care, and environment & sustainability. Founded in 1988, the foundation, the Aboitiz Group’s social development arm, is celebrating 25 years of helping people help themselves in areas where its businesses operate.



Caption: Kapunungan sa mga Banikanhong Mag-uuma Alang sa Ekonomikanhong Kalambuan (KABAMEKA) with (from left) Cooperative Development Authority-7 Regional Director Philip Deri, Davao Light and Power Company Community Relations Manager Vic Sumalinog and (from the right) Aboitiz Foundation EVP and Managing Trustee Sonny Carpio

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