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Aboitiz builds new classrooms in Bohol quake-hit schools

A student leaves his makeshift classroom at Canmaya Centro ES in Sagbayan – one of the hardest hit schools during the Bohol earthquake.


The Aboitiz Group, through its social development arm Aboitiz Foundation, is continuously assisting in post-rehabilitation efforts in Bohol as it constructs classrooms in schools badly damaged by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the province nearly a year ago.

The construction of classrooms is being done in parallel with the ongoing schools rehabilitation initiatives in North Cebu – one of the hardest hit areas of super typhoon Yolanda. The Foundation said target completion of classrooms in these disaster-stricken areas is by December this year.

In Bohol, recipients of nine new classrooms include Canmaya Centro Elementary School and Ubujan Elementary School in Sagbayan, and Tubigon West Central Elementary School in Tubigon. These are expected to benefit more than 2,000 students.

Aboitiz believes that focusing on the construction of educational facilities can help speed up the province’s recovery. The availability of classrooms is instrumental in encouraging students to go [back] to school.

“The classrooms will be designed to ensure safety and be conducive to learning. We hope that the students who will use these classrooms will be inspired to do well not only in academics but also in helping people help themselves,” Aboitiz Foundation Chief Operating Officer Sonny Carpio.

As part of the Bohol initiative, the Foundation also took on the construction of new ‘Silid Pangarap’ classrooms in partnership with the Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (AGAPP) and some minor repairs in Mantalongon Elementary School in Sagbayan and Guadalupe Elementary School in Carmen through the assistance of CitySavings Bank.

Aboitiz was among the early responders to organize disaster relief operations in the affected areas in Bohol last year. The Group was able to reach out to about 18,000 families.

Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group. Established in 1988, it addresses the social and economic development needs of marginalized members of society. It implements corporate social responsibility interventions especially in areas where Aboitiz companies are located. The foundation focuses on three program components, namely education, enterprise development, and environment. #

Goodbye to Sorrow, Hello to Joy! Mondelez Philippines Begins 3-Year Program in Tacloban

Looking at Marian with her bright and expressive eyes, you would never have thought that she has lived through a tragedy in her young years. “My mother and I almost drowned inside our school. After, I tried drying my notebooks but they were stolen from me.” This was during Typhoon Yolanda, a time that many still look back on with fear and sadness. But Marian, perhaps thanks to her youth, maintains a hopeful attitude. “I still dream of finishing my studies,” she says.

After heartache and the tears that come with it, there comes a moment when you shake of your shoulders and think to yourself, “Enough.” It’s then that you become open to the possibilities of tomorrow, to hoping for a better life again. That time has come for one school in Tacloban, Leyte. In fact, they’re beyond happy; they’re opening themselves to feel and create joy again.

There is no magic potion for forgetfulness that can ever wipe away the nightmares that Typhoon Yolanda brought. Even now, nearing its first anniversary people still speak of it in hushed tones, remembering all too well that horrible things happened during that period of time. And they can never be forgotten nor erased. The best anyone can do is to move forward. That’s exactly what Mondelez Philippines is helping one school do in Tacloban.


The reality behind the headlines. Panalaron Central Elementary School in Tacloban City lived the horror behind the headlines last year. Perilous floodwaters, school property damaged beyond repair, decades of records and memento swept away, and lives merely seeking shelter were lost to the waters.


These were things that happened just on that fateful day. The uncertainty and helplessness which pervaded weeks after, were equally difficult to overcome. “When we first came to Panalaron in January of 2014, it was clear that the Typhoon left more than physical scars,” shares Maria Cindy C. Lim, Head of Corporate and Government Affairs of Mondelez Philippines.


The Company formerly named Kraft Foods came to the City together with partner the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) with the express intent of looking for another school for its Joy Schools program. More than just a donation initiative, the Joy Schools program is an adoption platform of three years. During which Mondelez Philippines would provide for the nutrition, teacher training and facilities improvement needs of the school. The program has already been in effect for five other schools in Metro Manila since June 2013 and two years earlier for one of these schools.


Continues Lim, "But apart from the obvious damage, there was one thing that made it imperative that we do our part as many other organizations were doing. There was hope; in the shy smiles of the students and the eyes of the teachers. It was that hope that propelled us to adopt Panalaron as our 6th Joy School."


Joy and a Little Something More. If you visit Panalaron, the transformation becomes evident. Apart from 18 classrooms that were rebuilt and facilities made whole again, new additions were made so that the school would not only be functional, but able to stand on its own moving forward.


Water and energy, and the funds for both are problems not only of schools in Tacloban but in many other schools nationwide. Using technology that is present inside its own factory in Parañaque City, Mondelez Philippines installed solar panels and solatubes (or structures that filter down natural light) so that the school need not consume electricity in the morning, and use solar power at night.


Rain, which is a constant presence in the Region was also transformed from a problem into a solution through rainwater harvesting tanks, which are now used to provide water for bathrooms, and washing. Making the most of children’s energy for play, a deep well seesaw and carousel were installed so that while children learn to have fun again, the water pumped by mechanisms is collected in tanks and stored for future use.


“This is the most memorable event in Panalaron Central School. The Joy Schools program will give us inspiration that will bring joy to our children, our teachers, our parents,” says Principal Asela P. Refuerzo of the school. “The program has made us very much happy. With Mondelez Philippines’ care and perseverance for our school, I think it’s not enough to say Thank You. We are very lucky to have with us this Company who really shared their blessings with us, their talents and their gifts.”

Where there were once sad memories, joy has entered. But much like scars, memories and other things that fade only in time, those left behind by Typhoon Yolanda cannot soon be forgotten. Which is why for the next three years, The Company pledges to stand by Panalaron Central Elementary School’s side. To guide, to support and to create delicious moments of joy.

For more information on Mondelez Philippines and how it creates joy, visit

135 OSYs in Northern Luzon received support from CLFI

At least 135 out-of-school youth students received uniform t-shirts, laptop and projectors with screens from Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. (CLFI) during the DepEd-Cebuana Lhuillier Alternative Learning System (ALS) Community Learning Center (CLC) launching in two venues of Northern Luzon.

Students, DepEd representatives, ALS teachers in 13 districts of Kalinga and LGU’s headed by Mayor Johnny Dickpus of Lubuagan himself appeared full force to support the program last August 4 at Lubuagan Central School.

In a statement, Mr. Romulo Galnawan, Education Program Supervisor, thanked CLFI for “helping literacy workers in fighting the least, last and lost” while the students sang their unending thanks with their local dialect- “So be it.”

Meanwhile, the launching last July 22 at La Trinidad Learning Center in Puguis Elementary School, Benguet became an avenue for Benguet Division to send their heartfelt gratitude.

Ms. Agripina Bartolome, their mobile teacher, said that ALS is doing well in La Trinidad and Cebuana Lhuillier is a good partner in achieving their goal.

DepEd-Cebuana Lhuillier ALS CLC is a unique partnership. In the normal ALS setting, the goal is merely to pass the Alternative and Equivalency (A&E) test given annually by DepEd to qualify the passer as an elementary or secondary graduate.

In partnership with Cebuana, aside from passing the said exam, the parties aim to give students lessons in livelihood and spirituality. This will make them CLPs or Characters with Livelihood and Personality.


The Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc. is the corporate social responsibility arm of the PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, which manages the country’s leading pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier. The Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation was founded in 2000 by Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier.

AES Philippines concludes inaugural APEX competition for partner cooperatives

At AES, we believe in promoting operational excellence and quality service among our customers.

The pioneering 2014 AES Philippines Performance Excellence (APEX) competition was successfully concluded last July 31 in Baguio City, ending a year-long endeavor which sought to promote operational excellence and quality service among the company’s electric cooperative (EC) customers in Luzon that participated in the contest.

To prepare for the APEX competition, AES Philippines – through the AES Academy -- conducted sessions to train its EC customers in APEX methodologies and project management tools.  The AES Academy is a pioneering program that provides professional development and capability building to EC employees on a wide variety of topics, including safety, corporate governance, financial management, and more.

After being trained in APEX methodologies, each EC spent the last year applying the APEX tools to projects in their organizations, and then presented these projects to the judges of the competition.  Of the nine participants, Pampanga I Electric Cooperative Inc. (PELCO I) emerged victorious and bagged the P100,000 cash prize for its winning entry involving the use of advanced metering infrastructure to reduce non-technical system loss, which has the potential to lead to diminished costs for the cooperative’s customers.  PELCO 1 expects the project to deliver an 80% non-technical system loss reduction from its current 2.99% as well as real-time pilferage detection, lower system loss charge, and improved system reliability.

"The insights that PELCO 1 and the other electric cooperatives have acquired on successfully identifying and tackling existing business issues through APEX have proven invaluable," said PELCO 1 General Manager Engr. Loliano Allas. "We look forward to applying the APEX methodology in our trade as we strive for efficiency and quality in delivering services to our end-users."

Meanwhile, San Jose Electric Cooperative (SAJELCO) claimed second place with its entry, “Improve system reliability by constructing additional feeder line.” Pampanga Rural Electric Service Cooperative, Inc. (PRESCO) rounded up the top three with its entry, “Improvement of collection efficiency.”

During the awarding ceremony and fellowship dinner held at the Baguio Country Club, AES Strategic Business Unit (SBU) President Scott Kicker encouraged the electric cooperatives that participated to continuously strive for excellence during the concluding ceremonies.

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Commissioner Josefina Patricia Asirit, another competition judge, lauded AES Philippines for the competition’s success. She remarked, “It’s not really a contest because all were winners. There was learning from the nine entries not just for the cooperatives but even for us, the judges.”

Other customers which participated in the competition include the Aurora Electric Cooperative Inc. (AURELCO), Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (CASURECO II), Pangasinan I Electric Cooperative (PANELCO I), Tarlac I Electric Cooperative (TARELCO I), Zambales I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ZAMECO I), Zambales II Electric and Cooperative (ZAMECO II).

Apart from Mr. kicker and Commissioner Asirit, the APEX board of judges was composed of Neeraj Bhat, AES Philippines Market Business Leader; Chrysogonus Herrera, Vice President of the AES Philippines Commercial Affairs; Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Commissioner of the ERC; and Mylene Capongol, Director of the Department of Energy.

(Top row, R to L) AES Philippine VP for Commercial Affairs Chrys Herrera, AES Philippines Market Business Leader Neeraj Bhat, ERC Commissioner Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit, Atty. Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc and AES Asia SBU President Scott Kicker joins on stage the officers of the Pampanga Electric Cooperative I (PELCO 1) led by General Manager, Engr. Loliano Alas (seated, 4th from Left), shortly after the Pampanga-based electric cooperative received the top prize for winning over-all the competition. The APEX Competition was participated in by nine electric cooperatives in Luzon served by the AES Philippines.


About AES Philippines

AES Philippines is a subsidiary of AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global power company with a diverse portfolio with generation and distribution businesses. Through AES’ diverse portfolio, the company provides affordable and sustainable energy to 20 countries in five continents. AES’ workforce of 17,800 people is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. In the Philippines, AES operates the Masinloc coal-fired thermal power plant, an acquisition that demonstrates the company’s commitment to support the sustainable development of the Philippines.

Adopted Scholars of Muntinlupa School Receive School Things

The Grade four (uppermost photo) and Grade six scholars (above) happily clutch their school materials after the turnover ceremonies for the Adopt-A-Scholar Program. With them are Insular Foundation Administrator Ana Maria R. Soriano, Insular Foundation Program Manager Teresita Melad, and Itaas Elementary School Principal Raul T. Felix.


One hundred-fifty-seven Grades four and six students from Itaas Elementary School in Muntinlupa City received their school things consisting of school supplies, uniform and shoes.

The students are all scholars under the Adopt-A-Scholar Program administered by the Insular Foundation, Inc.

The Program is being supported by Insular Life employees who have pledged to provide these school materials to their scholars until they graduate from grade school.

The Program, which started in 2003, supports selected students who are mostly children of prisoners, prison guards and the poorest of the poor at the New Bilibid Prison Compound in Muntinlupa City.

The Insular Foundation aspires to be a committed partner in building self-reliance for the communities it serves.


Article by:: Karen L. Plata (Insular Foundation, Inc.)

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