Member News
Holcim pushes sustainable construction amid healthy industry growth

With the construction sector seen to sustain its upward thrust, cement maker Holcim Philippines, Inc. is pushing for the country’s aspiring builders to have a sustainability mindset to help the industry have a more positive impact on development.

To advocate this perspective, the company launched in December The Young Builders Challenge, a design competition for engineering and architecture students wherein projects are assessed not just on their aesthetic elements and financial feasibility but also on their positive environmental and social impact.

The YBC is inspired by the awards of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, the leading global competition in this field. Since its launch in 2008, this competition has led to numerous ideas from building industry professionals worldwide for addressing some of society’s most pressing sustainability challenges.

"The building industry has always been a partner for progress since its produces essential structures for society, but it can have a more positive impact if it balances economic considerations with environmental and social aspects. The YBC aims to  steer the minds of the next generation of builders to this viewpoint  so they can make a bigger difference. This is very relevant and timely for our country especially with the sustained building boom,” said Holcim Philippines Vice President for Communications Cara Ramirez.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the construction industry was among the drivers of the economy in 2018 as it surged by 21% powered by the healthy rise of public and private  sectors. The industry’s strong growth is expected to continue in the medium term amid the current administration’s infrastructure upgrade program valued at Php7 trillion ($137 billion) until 2022. Fitch Solutions, a research unit of the New York-based Fitch Group, also forecasted in December that the Philippine construction sector will have an average growth rate of 9% until 2027 as regional partners invest in the country.

Holcim Philippines is currently visiting colleges and universities to promote YBC. It will also hold a symposium on February 28 at the UP David M. Consunji Theater featuring experts on sustainability to help guide interested students in the competition, which will close in April.

“We at Holcim Philippines are very serious about our sustainability commitments as seen by our community development programs and investments to improve operational efficiency and development of new products with lower environmental footprint. The YBC is and extension of this Holcim Helps mindset as we seek to influence other stakeholders to join in the efforts for the construction industry to have a stronger impact on the country’s development,” Ramirez said.

BDO Foundation, OWWA and BSP set to unveil program for OFWs

As part of efforts to promote financial inclusion and contribute to the country's economic growth, BDO Foundation, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) have joined forces to develop a financial literacy program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families. 

The tripartite initiative will be launched on February 18 in ceremonies spearheaded by BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., OWWA administrator Hans Cacdac and the BDO Foundation board of trustees. The partners will sign a memorandum of agreement affirming their commitment to the implementation and deployment of the program. 

The financial literacy program for OFWs is in line with the financial inclusion advocacy of BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank. The partnership project aims to help strengthen OWWA's financial education initiatives for overseas workers, recipients of remittances and their families. It also contributes to the implementation of BSP's National Strategy for Financial Inclusion, particularly the pillar on Financial Education and Consumer Protection. 

The program gains significance as the Philippines remains one of the top recipients of remittances next only to India and China. 

"We are staunch advocates of financial inclusion, and as such, we are honored to partner with OWWA and BSP in pursuit of a shared objective," BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito remarked. "The foundation hopes to contribute to the resources and expertise of OWWA and BSP in providing financial education for OFWs. Ultimately, we would like to help OFWs and their families make sound financial decisions that improve their welfare and well-being." 

"Together with our partners, we are finding ways to help overseas workers achieve financial independence. Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the development of a financially literate citizenry and support nation-building," Deriquito added. 

Included in the program are educational materials and training modules--especially developed for OFWs and their families--which will be used in the pre-departure and post-arrival orientation seminars facilitated by OWWA. There are also educational materials for OFW families. Through these tools carefully developed by BSP, OWWA and BDO Foundation, the partners hope to share lessons on saving, financial management, investing, entrepreneurship and avoiding scams to the target audience.

TESDA-Aboitiz Scholarship program boasts 74% employment success rate in 2018

TAGUIG CITY ー Around 74% of technical-vocational students who were granted certification after availing of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Aboitiz Scholarship Program have successfully gained employment this year.

TESDA-NCR Regional Director Conrado Bares reported that out of the 100 trainees who enrolled in the program in 2018, 93 have graduated and secured NC-II certification. Of the 93, 74% gained immediate employment.

Of the offered courses, TESDA reported a 100% employment rate for bartending, food and beverage services, and plumbing while 50% and 40% respectively for housekeeping, and food processing.

“I wish that we will be able to sustain the partnership so that we will be able to reach more trainees, especially the least, the less, and the lost,” he said during the turnover of PHP1 million-worth of check from the Aboitiz Foundation in Taguig City last December 18 for the sustained implementation of the scholarship program.

The program commenced in 2016 where a memorandum of agreement was signed for a grant of PHP1 million to help the marginalized trainees who were enrolled in various courses at the TESDA Women’s Center.

The grant is used to cover costs of trainees’ medical examination, assessment fees accident insurance, ID, uniform, personal protective equipment, and training supplies and materials.

Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan said the gift of education is probably the best gift that Aboitiz can give this Christmas. “Sa tulong po ng TESDA, sa pagtitiwala na binibigay ninyo sa amin (With the help of TESDA and the trust that you have been giving us), these scholars are given the chance to shine their brightest and help drive change for a better world,” she stressed.

Marasigan also reminded the scholars to stay focused and strong, yet humble and generous: “There will be tough times… sometimes you would want to give up. But just remember the line ‘Kayang-kaya ko ito!,’ remember [that] many people are cheering for you and would really work their hardest to help you.”

The Groupwide Aboitiz Technical-Vocational program offers an alternative solution to help high school students who do not have the means to pursue a college education. Since 2005, Aboitiz Foundation has assisted 2,787 trainees under this program with 2,697 graduates.

TESDA-ABOITIZ SCHOLARSHIP GAINS. The TESDA-Aboitiz Scholarship program has achieved significant success, with TESDA-NCR Regional Director Conrado Bares reporting that out of the 100 trainees who enrolled in the program in 2018, 93 have graduated and secured NC-II certification. Of the 93, 74% gained immediate employment.


Smile Train and Medicard Continue to Give More Smiles


LCF Members, Smile Train Philippines and Medicard Foundation have been partners in giving children born with clefts new smiles and second chances at life.  Last year, children who received surgery at Medicard’s clinic in Makati gathered for an early Christmas celebration along with other Smile Train patients.  AOF’s Russel Barrizo also joined the celebration.  Through the partnership with Smile Train, Medicard has provided 500+ forever smiles over the past 10 years.

Philam Foundation Kicks Off 2019 with Philam Paaralan Classrooms Turnover Ceremonies


At the start of the a new year , Philam Foundation, Inc. (PFI) turned over eight (8) classrooms in Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro and Tanay, Rizal.

The two (2) one-storey two-classroom buildings were inaugurated respectively in Occidental Mindoro National High School – Talabaan Ext., Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro and Wawa Elementary School, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro last January 8 and 9, 2019. There are five (5) classrooms to turnover this 1st Quarter, which are located in Aurora Sevilla Sotto Libtangin Elem. School, Gasan, Marinduque and Butig National High School, Butig, Lanao del Sur, . These Philam Paaralan classroom construction projects are in partnership with AY Foundation  under the Yuchengco  Group of Companies, which share the same belief that education is one of the foundations for a  nation building.

Meanwhile, last January 10, 2019, Philam Foundation, Inc. (PFI) turned over two (2) one-storey two-classroom buildings in Madilay-dilay Elementary School and Sampaloc National High School-Madilay-dilay Annex, Tanay Rizal last January 10, 2019.

The classroom construction in elementary school is in partnership with Rotary Club of San Juan headed by its President, Mr. Reyson Lucido, who is also a Philam Life Agency Manager.

After the turnover ceremony, financial advisors from Lucido Associates conducted Philam Savings and Values Education Sessions  (Philam SAVES) Jr. & Sr. to children, parents and teachers of the school.

Philam Foundation continues to provide quality and fully-furbished classrooms to our public schools nationwide with the help and support of our partner organizations and individuals.

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


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