Member News
BDO Foundation Builds Classrooms in Butuan

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, has completed the construction of a two-storey, four-classroom school building in Ampayon Central Elementary School in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. 

The new structure was turned over to local government and school administrators by BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, BDO Butuan-J.C. Aquino Avenue branch head Janice Arapan, BDO Butuan-Montilla branch head Robert Martin Llorente, One Network Bank Butuan-J.C. Aquino branch head Cecille Bustamante and One Network Bank salary loans-regional sales head Robert Calvo. 

Accepting on behalf of the school were Ampayon Central Elementary School principal Ruby Glenn Samson, Department of Education schools division superintendent Arsenio Cornites and Ampayon Central Elementary School parent-teacher association officer Rey Maglangit. 

The initiative aims to address the shortage of classrooms in the country and help the youth in Mindanao gain better access to education. The school building is completely furnished with electric fans, armchairs and teacher's desks. 

The project is in keeping with the disaster response advocacy and reconstruction program of the foundation in areas affected by natural or man-made disasters. 

Nine of the 40 classrooms of Ampayon Central Elementary School have been damaged in a devastating fire incident in 2015. The situation forced school administrators to hold classes inside a covered court and a canteen area. 

Established in 1946, Ampayon Central Elementary School has more than 2,000 enrollees. As many as 50 pupils occupy each classroom.

Executives of BDO Unibank, BDO Foundation and One Network Bank have turned over a new school building in disaster-stricken Ampayon Central Elementary School.

Read more from BDO Foundation:

Over 160,000 Filipinos Pledge to Make Proper Handwashing a Habit

More than 160,000 Filipinos have pledged to make proper handwashing with soap and water a habit after the successful run of the month-long and country-wide celebration of the 2016 Global Handwashing Day (GHD) spearheaded by Manila Water Foundation (MWF), the social responsibility arm of the Manila Water group of companies in the Philippines.

MWF has been one of the most active and visible proponents of the GHD, which is an international campaign celebrated every October 15 that promotes proper handwashing to eradicate the spread of communicable and easily preventable diseases, as part of its commitment to educate the nation about proper water use in relation to hygiene, sanitation, and health.

The month-long celebration that MWF has brought to various schools, malls, and communities in Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao united several local government units, institutions, communities, and individuals in making lasting pledges for a healthier future through proper handwashing, which is a cost-effective and simple, yet often overlooked, way of maintaining one’s well-being.

Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte was one of the noted leaders who has shown support for this advocacy as she expressed its importance for her constituents during the special GHD leg held at the Quezon City Hall. “Sa araw po na ito nakikiisa ang ating pong mahal na lungsod sa pagdiriwang ng Global Handwashing Day dahil ang isa sa mga adbokasiya po natin ay mabawasan ang child mortality. Ito po ay bahagi ng millennium development goals at ngayon ay patuloy pa rin nating ipinaglalaban,” (On this day, our beloved city joins the celebration of Global Handwashing Day because one of our mandates is to decrease child mortality, which is part of our millennium development goals.) she said.

Belmonte’s staunch backing of the advocacy was equaled by other leaders of the other areas where MWF has brought the GHD celebration. Sta. Rosa City, Laguna Mayor Dan Fernandez also indicated his support for proper handwashing by highlighting its crucial role in taking care of every Filipino’s health. “Mahal na po ‘yung pagpapa-ospital, mahal na po ‘yung pagkakasakit and one of the basic things we can do [to prevent these] is to wash our hands and educate our people. So rest assured that the city government [of Sta. Rosa, Laguna] is with you in this endeavor. We are very thankful to Manila Water Foundation for coming up with this kind of project.” (Getting sick and hospitalization can be costly and one of the basic things we can do to prevent these is to wash our hands and educate our people. Rest assured that the city government of Sta. Rosa, Laguna is with you in this endeavor. We are very thankful to Manila Water Foundation for coming up with this kind of project.), he stated.

The warm reception to this year’s GHD celebration has reinforced MWF’s steadfast commitment to further spread the advocacy of proper handwashing to more places in the country. During the main event held at Circuit Makati on October 15, MWF President Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz reiterated that commitment as a reaffirmation of the organization’s vision to become an enabler of change that will help uplift the lives of Base of the Pyramid (BOP) communities resulting in a better future for all. “We at Manila Water Foundation believe that more Filipinos are sure to live healthier by practicing proper handwashing and making it a lifestyle.  Healthy Filipinos are productive and empowered citizens who are driven to uplift themselves and effectively contribute to nation building,” he said.

This was echoed by MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim as she enjoins everyone to live by and pass on the advocacy of proper handwashing. “Let us encourage our family, our friends, and our children to make handwashing a habit. Let us all be life-savers; let us all be protectors of public health by promoting Global Handwashing Day,” she remarked.

MWF’s month-long and nationwide celebration of the 2016 Global Handwashing Day is co-presented by Scholastic and sponsored by Pilot, Ayala Mall Cinemas, Generika Drugstore, and Globe. Institutional partners include the Department of Education, The Mind Museum, Quezon City Health Department, Manila Water, Clark Water, Laguna Water, Boracay Water, and Cebu Water while the venue partners are UP Town Center, Market! Market!, Ayala Center Cebu, Solenad, D’Mall Boracay, Abreeza Mall Davao, Marquee Mall Pampanga, Glorietta, Local Government of Quezon City, Circuit Makati, and Hennan Regency Resort and Spa, Boracay. Helping promote the month-long activities and events are official radio partners Play FM 99.5 and Wish 107.5, as well as regional media partners Yes FM 91.1, Easy Rock 93.5, GMA 7 Boracay, and Paradise Cable Television Network, Inc.


MWF President Ferdinand Dela Cruz headed the washing of hands during the Global Handwashing Day celebration held at the Circuit Makati on October 15. Also in the photo are DepEd Makati School Governance Operations Division Chief Claudio Rojo, Makati Health Department Head Dr. Bernard Sese, Makati 2nd District Councilor Evelyn “Bing” Villamor, and MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim.

Schoolchildren of Balara Elementary School actively participated in the fun and interactive learning session, which was followed by a ceremonial washing of hands during the GHD kickoff on October 3.

Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte shared how the advocacy of proper handwashing can help address the problem on child mortality which is also one of the commitment of the local government.

Sta. Rosa City, Laguna Mayor Dan Fernandez expressed his support towards proper handwashing by highlighting its importance in maintaining one’s health.

More than 2,000 schoolchildren, teachers and parents attended the 2016 Global Handwashing Day main celebration led by MWF at Circuit Makati and pledged to make handwashing a habit.

The Journey of a Shoebox Filled with Dreams

This is a story about shoeboxes and the Mangyans, an indigenous community from Mindoro whose rich and storied culture is weaved into the Philippines’ history. The Mangyans make a living by cultivating land and making handicrafts. At present, they live in a complex reality, somewhere in between preserving tradition and adapting to the needs of the modern world. They who first walked the islands of Mindoro are now marginalized, having to make hard choices to feed, clothe, and shelter their people. Education takes a backseat when the choice is between eating today instead of buying school supplies for tomorrow.

A shoebox, on the other hand, begins its journey in a store, cradling a pair of shoes. The average middle class Filipino buys about four pairs of shoes a year. After those shoes are purchased, what happens to the shoeboxes? No one throws these boxes because they know it can be useful for something, but for what –many people don’t ever figure it out. It‘s used to store various odds and ends, maybe it gets cut up and is used for an art school project, but for the most part, it’s just gathering dust in a storage room, never to be seen again until the next pair of boxes are piled on top of it. There are those who know exactly what to do with it, and know what potential it holds to be part of a story, to make dreams come true.

For seven years, My Dream in a Shoebox, a gift giving campaign jointly spearheaded by integratedmarketing communications firm TeamAsia and IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), have reached thousands of children in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to spread messages of hope by giving out shoeboxes filled with school supplies.

Krista Ann Taclan, a social worker and consultant for the A Teacher partylist, was present for the gift giving activity for 497 Mangyan kids from Karyandangan and Barayaw Minority Schools. She was so moved by the simple gesture of kindness that she wrote a letter addressed to people who have donated to the program, saying:

“We may not know what you have given up to come up with those shoebox full of supplies, and you may not personally meet the children to whom your shoeboxes were given to, but this I know, and because I have seen it: those weren’t just shoeboxes full of supplies for the kids, those are boxes full of dreams waiting to be unwrapped and opened by our young dreamers who found a shoebox full of hope, a shoebox full of happiness, and a shoebox full of reminders --that they too are remembered, included, and loved. For most of them, it was their first time to receive a gift, and if I could only wrap their smiles back to you, I would. Thank you, for taking part in this cause, and know that with this, you are teaching our Mangyan brethren not just how to survive, but also teaching them how to live. “

The campaign also has other beneficiaries including the S.O.S. Children's Village, Ascension of Our Lord Parish, San Pedro Calungsod Parish and Payatas Orione Foundation Inc (PAOFI). Through a small fundraising activity last year, My Dream in a Shoebox was able to help PAOFI in filling a classroom in their newly-built facility with furniture and equipment. “We are very thankful for programs like My Dream in a Shoebox which has been an invaluable partner in our goal to help more Filipino children. Through the help of our beneficiaries, we were able to provide our children with desktop computers, chairs and tables needed for their convenient learning experience,” Father Martin, PAOFI executive director, said.

Help us make #BiggerDreams come true. Connect with TeamAsia by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or call Clarisse Salindato at 0917-5079379. For cash donations, contact Abby Madarang of IBPAP through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 0917-8695941. For more information, visit website


Launching of 1st Villar SIPAG Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge

For the past years, Villar SIPAG continues to find means in alleviating poverty in our country. We have launched different programs to help our poor countrymen break free from the clutches of poverty through the following advocacies that we uphold: livelihood and agriculture, environmental protection and OFW assistance.

On September 29, 2016, we have launched the 1st Villar SIPAG Youth Poverty Reduction Challenge at Villar SIPAG Center, C5 Extension Road, Pulanglupa Uno, Las Piñas City. This is a friendly competition among the Filipino Youth whose social enterprises can contribute in alleviating the poverty situation in their respective communities.

The participating groups who submit/nominate the most thought-provoking and well-reasoned social enterprise will take the cash prize. Ten (10) Most Outstanding Social Enterprises shall be selected as winners. Each entry shall go through thorough evaluation, comprehensive screenings and rational project defense. Entries will be judged and selected by a panel of social entrepreneurs and socio-civic specialists.

Aboitiz Group donates 14,000 ‘Care Packages’ to typhoon-stricken Batanes

A total of 14,000 Ivatans are expected to benefit from adequate nutrition and a sustainable food supply following Typhoon Ferdie, thanks to the 14,000 nutritious “Care Packages” recently donated by the Aboitiz Group.


The Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group, turned over to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) 200 boxes containing 14,000 Care Packages for immediate distribution in Batanes. NDRRMC Executive Director, Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, was present at the NDRRMC Office in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City to receive the donations.


The Care Package, developed by Aboitiz food business unit Pilmico Foods Corporation, contains packs of 100-gram high-energy biscuits loaded with 450 kilocalories (equivalent to one full meal) each, designed as an efficient disaster relief solution that not only addresses hunger but provides adequate nutrition via a sustainable food supply.


During disasters when viable food sources are scarce and time is of the essence, The Care Package serves as an effective emergency provision, with each 100-gram pack containing essential proteins, vitamins B1 to B12, carbohydrates, added sugar, fat, vitamins A, C, D3, and E, iodine, iron, magnesium, and calcium necessary for one person’s nourishment and energy needs without sacrificing taste.


“The lack of proper nourishment is a serious problem following any disaster, and can hamper meaningful recovery efforts. We hope that our Care Packages would be able to nurture our affected Ivatan brothers and sisters, and also feed them with the strength to rebuild and get back on their feet,” Sonny Carpio, Aboitiz Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.


Sabin M. Aboitiz, Pilmico President and Chief Executive Officer, for his part, said, “We believe in making a real change in the journey of recovery and aid for Filipinos. Today, we are giving you an answer to hunger, malnutrition and hopelessness in one package. The Care Package is in your hands.”


ABOITIZ CARE PACKAGES FOR BATANES. (From left) Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Deputy for Administration Atty. Kristoffer James E. Purisima, OCD Deputy for Operations Rodolfo Demosthenes Santillan, Aboitiz Foundation EVP & COO Sonny Carpio, Department of National Defense Usec. Ricardo B. Jalad, DSWD Director Felino Castro, and Aboitiz Equity Ventures VP-Government Relations DJ Sta. Ana at a ceremony turning over 14,000 Care Packages to the NDRRMC for donation to typhoon-stricken Batanes. The Care Package, developed by Pilmico Foods Corporation, contains high-energy biscuits loaded with 450 kcal designed as an efficient disaster relief solution that addresses hunger and provides adequate nutrition.

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