Empowering communities: Trans-Asia’s HELP Earth gains recognition
As validation to its enduring commitment to nation-building, Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. (Trans-Asia) will receive the Social Empowerment Award of Enterprise Asia’s Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) today.
The prestigious awards ceremony recognizes businesses in Asia for elevating sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship while the Social Empowerment Award particularly honors institutions that promote and empower socially- or economically-disadvantaged communities and individuals. Winning an award entails esteem and recognition to any organization and, at the same time, establishes societal confidence and trust on the business.
“Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tagline, ‘Empowering Communities,’ has been the main thrust of our programs and winning this award is a confirmation that the company is living its tagline, and that we are on the right track towards helping communities and making their lives better,” said Dr. Francisco L. Viray, president and chief executive officer of Trans-Asia.
Since the company was established 45 years ago, it has been in the corporate DNA of Trans-Asia to engage its communities and make them part of its day-to-day goals and operations. The corporation believes that CSR is not just a one-time charity activity but a platform where it could push its advocacies to educate and empower its host communities in order to raise their socio-economic status.
“With this mindset, we are able to sustain our business because we have established a symbiotic relationship with our host communities. They, too, put the effort to take care of our business and the environment that surrounds it,” Dr. Viray said.
Indeed, Trans-Asia’s humble societal efforts have made an impression to many people. The outcomes of its CSR activities are dramatic as the company has gained supporters who have continuously shown and developed earnest concern for the company and its facilities.
Apart from that, Trans-Asia takes pride in its strong culture of volunteerism in the workplace. Through demonstrating the task and responsibility of corporate citizenship among its employees, Trans-Asia has cultivated a CSR mindset within the four walls of its organization. Its programs are made more sustainable due to the hundreds of employees who are willingly involved in its CSR programs — from planning, down to execution.
One of Trans-Asia’s most valuable CSR programs is Harnessing Energy Literacy for Planet Earth (HELP Earth), a platform where the company could provide educational support by building partnerships with schools, donating student materials, and organizing environmental activities and exhibits through the Juan Matipid project. The HELP Earth Multimedia Corners and Energy in Focus Guidebook also aid the company’s CSR efforts in accomplishing its goals of providing educational support to the underprivileged.
According to Dr. Viray, the objective of the HELP Earth education program is for schools “to become more self-reliant, to develop their own initiatives for energy and environment, and to sustain their own advocacies with the help of the foundation built by [the company].”
Besides that, HELP Earth is also committed to support initiatives for the environment especially in areas where it operates. Its framework for environmental initiatives is specifically targeted towards reforestation, water conservation, and waste management.
Values are fundamental to any company that wants to attain corporate success. Integrity, patriotism,and professionalism are the top core values which Trans-Asia firmly holds onto over the decades. Having already the subconscious of aligning its strategies to the aforementioned three, the company inescapably deals with its customers, stakeholders, and business partners in a professional and honest manner. This feat contributes to Trans-Asia’s long-standing sustainability and growth.
“These core values will be useless if not imbibed in our employees. The company ensures that each and every employee knows the values by heart and lives by these values. As such, the people working for our company know what we stand for and believe in what we stand for,” Dr. Viray added.
The very three values have also played an important role in setting the company apart from its industry competitors. Despite the fact that Trans-Asia is among the smaller players in the country’s energy industry, it tries to distinguish itself by building strong and lasting relationships with its stakeholders.
“Particularly, in our host communities, we implement programs that will benefit them for a long time. We also have tangible monitoring schemes to ensure that the programs will continue to run and can be improved in the future,” said Dr. Viray. “By imbibing these values, we set Trans-Asia apart as a company that you would like to do business with.”
DepEd, CLFI add ALS Centers in Visayas
DepEd and Cebuana Lhuillier expand second chance opportunities for Out-of-School Youths (OSYs) and adults.
Through the Alternative Learning Program (ALP) of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm, Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI), the partners added three new venues of DepEd – Cebuana Lhuillier Alternative Learning System (ALS) Community Learning Centers (CLCs) in Eastern Samar, Northern Cebu and Bohol last June 15-17.
Being devastated by typhoons and earthquakes, CLFI hopes that the program can help the areas rise again – second chance not just for the learners, but for the community as well.
Always Love Schooling
The ALP, or the DepEd – Cebuana Lhuillier ALS CLC, is a partnership between DepEd and CLFI aiming to provide Academic, Livelihood and Spiritual and Social education to former OSYs and adults in the elementary and secondary levels.
In their agreement signed through a memorandum last November 15, 2013, DepEd commits to provide ‘engines’ by providing the teachers while CLFI agreed to provide the ‘fuels’ or a budget of 125,000 pesos to be used for purchase of teaching equipment and reproduction of learning modules.
Said partnership is one of the steps to strengthen the advocacy of PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies’ (PJLGC) President & CEO Dr. Jean Henri D. Lhuillier of “Always Love Schooling.” This is along with CLFI’s Nationwide Scholarship Program and Spiritual and Social Enhancement Program and Special Projects on Education.
19 DepEd – Cebuana Lhuillier ALS CLCs Nationwide
To make the agreement in effect, the partners formally inaugurated 16 centers nationwide last year, allocating a total of 2 million peso budget. Said CLCs were strategically located in Quezon City, Antipolo, Pasig, Palawan, Kalinga, Benguet, Tarlac, Pampanga, Laguna, Cavite, Tacloban, Ormoc, Negros Oriental, Aklan, General Santos City and Davao del Norte.
With around 1,700 enrolled ALS learners, the selected CLCs receive technological enhancements and will be taught livelihood, financial literacy, disaster resiliency, sports development and ICT competitiveness.
The Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. is the CSR arm of the PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, which manages the country’s leading pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier. The Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. was founded in 2000 by Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier.
Mondelez Philippines Supports Play among Adopted Students
If you asked kids these days, “Sikyo or Searching the Web?” what do you think they would choose? It may not even be a surprise that they don’t know what “Sikyo” means for this long-forgotten game of Teams trying to capture each other’s “bases” does not seem to be played on streets anymore. What does this mean for the health of children?
Not good, says the World Health Organization (WHO). In their discussion on the causes of overweight and obesity, one key reason emerges. The imbalance between calories taken in and more importantly, calories burned through physical activity. In short for many children and adults, the calories they take in no longer equals the amount they should be burning by being active.
Locally the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) has recommendations for a balanced intake of foods among children aged 7-12 years old. The WHO on the other hand has recommendations on the levels of physical activity that children aged 5-17 years old must achieve.
It says, “For children and young people, physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, chores, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities (www.who.int. 2010).”
Active Play for Well-being. While a concerted effort among families and communities is needed to get children to be more active, Mondelez Philippines is working to do its share to promote active play inside its adopted Joy Schools. Mondelez Philippines is the new name of the Company formerly known as Kraft Foods, maker of Tang, Eden Cheese, Cheez Whiz, Toblerone, Oreo, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Tiger Energy Biscuits, and Halls.
In Mondelez Philippines’ Joy School in Tacloban, a playground has been installed to promote active play and to serve as a water pump to provide water for use in bathrooms.
Started in 2013, the Joy Schools program is Mondelez Philippines’ initiative to create joyful centers of learning among its six adopted public elementary schools; 5 of which are in Metro Manila and 1 in Typhoon-Yolanda devastated Tacloban, Leyte. The program aims to accomplish this by providing interventions for teacher training, nutrition and facilities improvement.
To fulfill these last two areas of intervention, in 2014 Mondelez Philippines provided its adopted schools with sports equipment to facilitate their Physical Education classes and sports training.
“These may seem like simple things to give; rackets, balls, and ping-pong tables,” explains Maria Cindy C. Lim, Head of Corporate and Government Affairs of Mondelez Philippines. “But it may surprise most people to know that a lot of schools don’t have enough of these materials. What could have been good materials to help promote physical activity and improve their sports skills are not available to a lot of students.”
Lim continues, “As a food company, one of our missions is to promote the well-being of consumers by advocating balanced diets and physical activity. We have efforts globally to help people make better choices in their diets like fortifying our food with vitamins and minerals and providing single-serve packs of our brands. Calories in must equal calories out. That’s why we’re also supporting being physically active through play among our adopted students and our people too.”
Play to Win, Play as a Way of Life. “It’s something that we appreciate very much,” shares Principal Antonio Gagala of Bayanan Main Elementary School in Muntinlupa. One of Mondelez Philippines’ adopted schools, they received rackets for badminton and table tennis, volleyballs and basketballs, and a ping-pong table.
Bayanan Main Elementary School in Muntinlupa represented by its Principal Antonio Gagala (center) receive the active play materials from Mondelez Philippines. The school has since won 11 gold/1st place awards in various sports competitions.
“These have helped sharpen our students’ skills in sports, because they are able to practice better. In fact we have since won nine gold medals in Badminton and two 1st place wins in Table Tennis in various school meets since we received these materials,” adds Principal Gagala.
“More than our wins in sports, it’s the habit of being active that’s being instilled in our students,” agrees Principal Eden Dioquino of Padre Zamora Elementary School in Pasay, another of Mondelez Philippines’ adopted schools. “We must work to encourage our students to be more active for their health and well-being and this equipment surely help us a lot in doing so.”
In 2014, 20 gold medals and 1st place wins have been won among the five adopted Joy Schools in Metro Manila. “Being active through play and other types of physical activity is an important lesson for our students to learn,” ends Lim. “Right now we’re also working on providing more active play materials so the schools can continue the good work they have done in instilling these values among students. We aim to bring them joy through the fun of play, for them to create joy for themselves in the future as well.”
In Tacloban at the Company’s 6th adopted school, a playground has been installed which has a dual purpose. Not only to promote active play but also to provide water for the school. The playground’s carousel and seesaw have deep well pumps attached to them. So that while students play, water is pumped in reservoirs and are stored for use in bathrooms. This is joy created through play for the students and the school. Currently Play Therapy sessions are also being held at this school, to help Teachers use play to alleviate trauma students experienced during the Typhoon and to help them in their development too.
For more information on how Mondelez Philippines creates delicious moments of joy, visit http://ph.mondelezinternational.com.
PGFI scholar graduates with honors
Mr. Austin presents a certificate to Ms. Mantos in recognition of her academic achievement. Joining them is Kgwd Bautista.
Sarah Mantos, a scholar of the Philex Group Foundation, Inc. (PGFI), has graduated with a degree in BS Business Administration, cum laude, from the Rizal Technological University (RTU), in Mandaluyong City.
“We are very proud of her,” said Eulalio Austin, Jr., president of PGFI, who awarded her with a certificate in recognition of her academic achievement.
Ms. Mantos, together with Cesar Bautista, a kagawad (councilor) of Barangay Kapitolyo, in Pasig City, visited the offices of Philex Mining Corp. and its CSR arm, PGFI, which are headquartered in the same barangay.
“She has been an excellent student and scholar,” Mr. Austin said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help her in her education.”
It was Kgwd Bautista who spearheaded a scholarship project that had made possible PGFI’s sponsorship of Ms. Mantos’ college studies.
The project aims to support the college education of poor but deserving students belonging to the Gawad Kalinga community in the barangay.