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Apart from a booming artisan chocolate industry that has caught worldwide attention, the province of Davao is fast gaining popularity as a growing agro-enterprise, industrial and service sector businesses, and tourism hub. Its success over the years, while made possible by its rich natural resources, can be attributed to one of its greatest resources – its people.

Meet Geraldine and Ate Nora -- two of the thousands of people who contribute to uplifting lives in Davao.

Geraldine was three years old when she caught the deadly polio disease. But with her strong will, she thought of her condition as a challenge that she should overcome. She grew up with a goal to finish school and land a job so that she would not need to depend on her parents forever.

Geraldine has been living in a community where all are willing to help one another live productive, happy lives. She has been in the ADAP (Association of Differently Abled Persons) Village in Brgy. Indangan, Davao City for 13 years now. ADAP is now a multi-purpose cooperative (MPC) chaired by Geraldine. With the ADAP, Geraldine learned a new skill on baking that helped her gain additional income aside from her seven-year work with a Davao medical center as a data encoder. With this training on baking and bread production provided by the Aboitiz Group, Geraldine and other members of ADAP MPC passed the TESDA National Certification II became certified bakers who are managing their cooperative’s bakery.

Like Geraldine, Ate Nora has a sunny disposition in life. She proudly calls herself a “Sunshine Baker”. Despite the heavy load and challenges of the work day, the smile of this mother of five never falters when she shared how their cooperative, Sunshine Farmers and Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC), manages its bakery in order to provide additional income to its members. Today, Sunshine MPC earns an additional P3,000 to P5,000 a day from the bakeshop. It will also begin supplying school and office canteens.

The Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group, has been assisting cooperatives like ADAP MPC and Sunshine Co-op through its enterprise development program. It teamed up with the Aboitiz business units in Mindanao such as Therma South, Inc. (TSI), Davao Light and Power Company, and Pilmico to help train cooperatives members and provided bakery starter kits and equipment, opening opportunities for them to earn NC II Certifications.

The Foundation also engaged its microfinance partner, Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc. to help these cooperatives grow their bakeries and other businesses. With the co-ops’ good performance, the Aboitiz Group provided them with free capacity building training modules from the Cooperative Development Authority.

“In the past, ADAP was focused on wood production and fabrication. The baking class allowed us to go into a new venture, which is especially applicable to many of us who are fond of cooking. Baking is physical work and being on crutches was a challenge but this did not hinder our determination to finish the course and pass the accreditation. I am also grateful for the organizational skills training, which is helpful for me in my responsibility with the co-op,” Geraldine shares.

In 2018, the Aboitiz Foundation has reached around 160 officers and members of 20 cooperatives through coop strengthening training programs and trained 75 individuals on livelihood skills nationwide. The Foundation continues to extend assistance and provide sustainable livelihood to more cooperatives in Davao as part of its promise of advancing business and communities by co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities.



Aboitiz, EJAP train Manila journ students & advisers vs. 'fake news'



A total of 73 Manila campus journalists and their teachers from 58 schools gained valuable knowledge in spotting and stopping “fake news” during a seminar workshop conducted by the Aboitiz Foundation in partnership with the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP), Inc. and Department of Education – Division of Manila (DepEd Manila).

Held last August 11 at Legarda Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila, the event featured resource speakers Prinz Magtulis (Financial Times), Jerome Morales (Reuters), and Ruelle Castro (Malaya Business Insight).

“I would like to thank Aboitiz and EJAP for giving us this seminar. We all know the proliferation of fake news in social media is very rampant--it will really help our journalism students and teachers if they are well-equipped on how to spot and stop fake news,” said Ayla B. Urrea, DepEd Manila Supervisor-in-Charge, Elementary & Secondary Journalism.

Magtulis defined “fake news,” discussed the importance of press freedom, and revisited journalism ethics, while Morales elaborated on the news process and where “fake news” can occur. Castro, meanwhile, talked about critical thinking as a tool against disinformation, sharing practical tips on how to spot and stop fake news.

“We are proud to support the best journalism students and teachers of the city of Manila, our country’s future journalists, through this seminar and workshop. With the learnings imparted by the speakers from EJAP, we hope to co-create a community that is safe and empowered through responsible and accurate reporting,” said Maribeth L. Marasigan, Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.


Typhoon Luis victims receive aid from BDO volunteers

As tropical storms continued to hit the country, BDO volunteers also continued to provide much needed aid in calamity-stricken communities. In the province of Ilocos Sur, BDO employees conducted relief operations for thousands of people affected by monsoon rains enhanced by Tropical Depression Luis.

BDO officers and staff, led by BDO Ilocos Sur-Narvacan branch head Malou Pineda, BDO Ilocos Sur-Candon branch head Cris Andrion and BDO Ilocos Sur-Cabugao branch head Mich Acena, distributed more than 7,000 relief packs containing food, rice and water to residents affected by inclement weather. Beneficiaries in Cabugao, Candon, Narvacan and Sta. Maria included senior citizens, children and persons with disabilities.

This corporate citizenship initiative is in line with the disaster response advocacy of BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank. The foundation mobilizes volunteers from BDO branches and satellite offices across the country for relief operations and humanitarian work in communities hit by natural or man-made disasters.

Tropical Depression Luis enhanced the southwest monsoon and brought heavy rainfall in the Ilocos Region, prompting government officials to raise storm signals.

The relief operations in Ilocos Sur were some of the latest mounted by BDO volunteers. In the previous weeks, employees of BDO branches in Bataan, Cavite, Cotabato, Marikina, Pangasinan, Rizal and Tarlac conducted relief operations in their respective provinces for victims of tropical storms.

BDO volunteers in Ilocos Sur handed out relief goods to families affected by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Luis.


Jollibee Group Foundation builds biggest School Feeding Kitchen for Busog Lusog Talino Program

In a bid to help children stay in school so they can reach their full potential, Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) built its biggest Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Kitchen to date in Juan Sumulong Elementary School (JSES) in Antipolo City. The first BLT Kitchen in the CALABARZON region, this facility is designed to feed 1,800 students daily – the highest number of pupils served in any of the 22 BLT kitchens nationwide. This BLT Kitchen is also the first to have two floors, with the kitchen at the ground floor and the feeding area above it.

“According to the United Nations World Food Programme, hunger is a key hindrance to learning especially among children. CALABARZON has the highest number of undernourished learners in the country. That is why at DepEd CALABARZON, one of our main goals is to ensure proper and optimum nutrition among all learners,” said Neil Evangelista, DepEd Region IV-A SBFP Coordinator.

BLT Kitchens across the country support DepEd’s School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP), which provides undernourished pupils with lunch for 120 days to help prevent drop outs due to hunger and improve their school performance. The BLT Kitchens centralize the preparation of meals that are distributed to elementary pupils in the same or surrounding schools. This enables feeding of hundreds of pupils per kitchen with less time and effort.

While DepEd takes charge of school selection and covers the cost of meals, JGF builds the commissary-type kitchen, provide equipment, and facilitate trainings on food preparation, distribution and management for the parent volunteers who operate the kitchen everyday. For the BLT Kitchen at JSES, the city government shouldered the medical screening and allowance of volunteers while the Zonta Club of Greater Rizal II provided additional funds to build the kitchen.

“Each of us can contribute to nation-building in meaningful ways, big or small. We pledge our continued commitment, passion and support to address hunger and malnutrition among public school pupils. We believe this is an important first step to help create a brighter future for our children and in so doing, a brighter future for our nation,” said Grace Tan Caktiong, President of Jollibee Group Foundation. JGF is the social responsibility arm of Jollibee Foods Corporation, which is composed of Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, and Burger King Philippines.

Currently, the 22 BLT Kitchens across the country serve over 16,000 pupils from 144 schools daily. An additional 11 kitchens are set to be built this year.

JGF President Grace Tan Caktiong and Zonta Club of Greater Rizal II Treasurer Alice Yap engage with third grade pupils at the feeding area of the BLT School Feeding Kitchen.


Parent volunteers prepare meals for 1,800 undernourished students at the BLT School Feeding Kitchen in Juan Sumulong Elementary School, Antipolo City.


The BLT School Feeding Kitchen in Juan Sumulong Elementary School, Antipolo City, is the first in the country with two floors.


Episodes 2 and 3 of Financial Literacy Video “Estudyantipid” launched by Insular Foundation and Knowledge Channel

“Estudyantipid” episodes and plaques of appreciation were turned over to DepEd School Governance and Operational Division Chief Claudio Rojo, Jairus Aquino, Sharlene San Pedro, and Insular Foundation Administrator Ana Maria R. Soriano (extreme left, 4th and 5th from left, and extreme right, respectively). With them are DepEd School Division Supervisor for Araling Panlipunan Michael Mercado, and Knowledge Channel Director of Operations Edric Calma.

Insular Foundation and Knowledge Channel recently launched the second and third episodes of “Estudyantipid,” financial literacy videos for high school students at Makati High School.

The two episodes, are continuation of the first “Estudyantipid” episode launched in 2016 and which teaches the macroeconomics of earning, savings, and consumption. These new espisodes tackle how to be a wise consumer, as well as the importance of savings and investment to help the economy. “Estudyantipid’s” first episode gained positive feedback from students because they found the characters in the video relatable as it depicts real-life situations suited to the age of the viewers. All videos come with e-learning modules and session guides to assist teachers in discussing the subject. The two new episodes star Sharlene San Pedro and Jairus Aquino.

The “Estudyantipid” series is aligned with the Grade 9 Araling Panlipunan curriculum, and is part of Insular Foundation’s advocacy to teach students financial literacy.

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