Two Years after Haiyan: Our Tacloban Story
Making a Difference in Communities with Mondelēz International
Reborn in 2012, Mondelēz International continues to put smiles on people’s faces through its delicious, globally-loved, and locally-made products. Even with a new name, the Company carries the same blueprint – creating delicious moments of joy not only through its products like Oreo cookies, Toblerone and Tang. But also through the impact it is making in communities where it operates.
Recent studies show that more people are now interested in well-being in the broadest sense. People’s concerns include physical health as well as ethical and social responsibility.
For families, it is now important not only for their food to be safe, but even for the community which they live in to remain a place where well-being is given priority. Similarly Mondelēz International believes that well-being is holistic and so it continues to implement programs that benefit individuals, communities, and the planet.
Zooming in Locally. It’s been two remarkable years since Mondelez Philippines started its flagship social responsibility program called Joy Schools with the hope of bringing nutrition education to underprivileged schools in Metro Manila. The program gave birth to heartwarming stories of children who started to improve their nutritional and educational status with the program’s help. Two years after the first implementation of the program, much help is still needed in most elementary schools in Manila, more so in the provinces.
Joy Schools goes to Tacloban. With this in mind, Mondelez Philippines extended the arms of its Joy Schools program right after the horrendous Typhoon Haiyan struck Tacloban City in Leyte. This is in response to the call of the government to help schools rebuild and bring back their operations to normalcy. Mondelez Philippines, after seeing the devastated facilities of Panalaron Central Elementary School and hearing of the traumatic experiences of the community and the students in particular, created a more responsive way in providing their assistance.
Thus, the ongoing 3-year project involves not only rebuilding the school facilities to enable the school to maintain its classes, which is important in the early recovery of the children, but also to bring back joy to their lives by providing a joyful learning environment.
In 2014 the project was able to rebuild the educational infrastructure that helped provide a good learning environment to the students and teachers as well – well before other schools in the area were able to do so, as attested by the teachers.
“If not for Mondelez Philippines, the school would not have improved. Because of Joy Schools, children were motivated to come to school regularly. The program helped enhance their reading skills, improve their nutritional status, and achieve better results in their academic performance”, said one of the teachers, Mrs. Concepcion Loren.
The 9-month feeding, which began July 2014 resulted in the reduction of the number of severely undernourished students from 175 to 73. Furthermore, the library and reading corners installed in each classroom encouraged students to read.
After a year under the Joy Schools program, Panalaron Central Elementary School Tacloban was able to recover from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan and now sustainably operates as a center for learning and joy.
Two Years Later. Volunteers of Mondelez Philippines returned to Tacloban City to personally witness the continuous improvements in the school. This year, 88 students graduated from Grade 6 and 87 more are set to march early next year. The students begin to show excellence not only in academics, but also in extra-curricular activities. The Company’s employee volunteers can still recall the pride in teachers’ voices each time they talked about the students who were placers and champions at the recent District Level Quiz Bee and District Level Taekwondo meet. It was indeed a day of sharing joy for the employees and the students.
“I’m blessed to be part of this experience. Thank you, Mondelez Philippines. These kids will always be my reminder that the most important things in life are love, family and friends.” Shares Jessamine Manalo from the Company’s Sales Function
The program also continues to promote the well-being of the students, their teachers, and their families by conducting teacher training and urban gardening training.
Where to Next? Mondelez Philippines has also started searching new schools to adopt for 2016. The Company might have a long road ahead of it, but it remains optimistic as it continues to see delicious moments of joy being created, one community at a time.
STI ALS Celebrates Christmas
The learners and volunteers of the STI Alternative Learning System (ALS) program took a break last December 12, 2015 to give way for their Christmas Party.
STI Head Office and STI College Ortigas-Cainta faculty and staff volunteers were able to share the feeling of excitement and happiness with the ALS learners during the simple event. The usual games, raffle prizes, special presentations, foods, and giveaways made their day.
“Sobrang ang saya-saya ko po, ngayon ko lang po ulit naranasan ito. Salamat po ng marami sa mga facilitators po naming mababait at sa STI po dahil binigyan po nila kami ng pagkakataon na maging bahagi dito. Sana po, wag po silang magsasawang tulungan kami.” said Jason Buiza, one of the ALS learners.
Dr. Lloyd C. Bautista, Vice President for Academics, concluded the event by sharing his final message, “Ang hiling lang namin pagbutihan ninyo upang makapasa kayo sa exam na ibibigay ng DepEd, dahil para rin iyan sa kinabukasan ninyo….”
ALS learners went home very thankful while STI volunteers indeed, felt much fulfilled.
On behalf of the ALS learners, STI Foundation extends its appreciation to all the ALS volunteers and STI staff who have contributed their time, talent, and resources to make the event possible.
STI ALS is a partnership project with the Department of Education which aims to help out-of-school youth ages 15 and above who were not able to finish their secondary education. For its pilot run at STI College Ortigas-Cainta, ALS learners are being prepared before they take the Accreditation & Equivalency (A&E) Exam given by DepEd. STI volunteers take turns to facilitate the review, coaching, and counselling of these learners. Forty-three (43) STI ALS learners are registered to take the test on January 31, 2016.
Young Leaders, Leading the Young: Employee Volunteers Share Joy at Mondelez Philippines
In Sampaloc Site II Elementary School in Paranaque, Mondelez Philippines employees guided students in a cooking contest to prepare nutritious snacks and learn about proper nutrition in the process.
Today’s young adults get a lot of criticism for being the “Me” generation. They are tagged as a generation with a blind focus on their personal wants. There are a lot of arguments on this issue but one thing looks clear. This laser beam focus on doing only what defines them is not such a bad thing. Especially when the one thing that does define them is helping other people.
Over at Mondelez Philippines – the Company formerly named Kraft Foods, Millennials as they are called are also making a name for themselves. Not only as employees but as Leaders involved in the business of helping others.
Millennials in Motion. Effervescent Crystal Balili is a Millennial and serves as an Assistant Manager under the Sales department. In an age when other people are just beginning to find out what they want to do in life, Crystal is not only doing well at work. She’s also created a great reputation as a leader of the Company’s volunteer activities. This, Crystal does because it’s what defines her. She says, “Being a leader makes me feel in-charge of my life, allowing me to push my limits and challenge myself more, also not allowing anyone to dictate who I have to be.”
In Paulina Manalo Elementary School in Pateros, employees played “patintero” with the students, creating joy for both kids and adults alike.
Last October 21, Crystal and two hundred other Mondelez Philippines employees trooped to the Company’s five adopted Joy Schools in Manila for an annual activity tagged Global Volunteer Month. Part of a global Company initiative, the event encouraged employees to support its common commitment to promote healthy lifestyles and overall well-being. The volunteer activities this year focused on nutrition education, access to fresh food and promotion of active play.
Bringing Joy, Creating the Future. The Joy Schools program is Mondelez Philippines’ community partnership with six public elementary schools – 5 in Manila and 1 in Tacloban. The schools benefit from nutrition, teacher training and facilities improvement intervention programs to help create joyful learning environments and transform the schools into the Top 10 in their cities. The interventions are aimed at being sustainable, to help the students fight present hunger through a feeding program, and future hunger through the quality education they receive today.
At P. Manalo Elementary School in Pateros, Crystal and her team mates from Sales helped students re-learn traditional Filipino games to get kids moving and become more active. Elsewhere, fellow Millennial and Mondelez Philippines employee Ralph Geronimo served as a volunteer leader for the activity at General Vicente Lim Elementary School in Tondo. There, employees helped students learn nutrition facts through a quiz and prepare snacks through a fun cooking competition.
For Ralph, who works for the Company’s Logistics department, this is the 3rd time he’s served as a volunteer leader. He shares though, that the experience just keeps getting better. “More than my professional development as a leader, I think being part of our Company volunteering activities helps a lot in helping me promote our great place to work. Where there is a sense of work-life blend. We see work as a genuine part of life shared with colleagues we consider as close friends.”
Two hundred Mondelez Philippines employees held five simultaneous volunteer events for its annual Global Volunteer Month. These were held in its five adopted public elementary schools in Manila, collectively called the Joy Schools.
Sharing Joy all Year Round. Ralph, Crystal and other employees of Mondelez Philippines receive great opportunities to be leaders of the Company’s volunteer events. Every year for Global Volunteer Month, employee leaders are called upon to ideate, plan and implement initiatives for the schools.
Crystal admits that while serving as a volunteer leader benefits other people, her Millennial self also benefits from the experience. “Mondelez Philippines allows me to work with people from all walks of life. I believe understanding more people and personalities and knowing how to handle them, can help one to be a more effective leader.”
Ralph agrees, ending. “Being a volunteer leader definitely made me better at influencing other people. It also reminds me that every time I do something, I do it with a positive and impactful purpose.”
Millennials, the “Me” generation. They may have different ways of doing things but the intent remains the same. A focus on being the best they can be, and a drive to do something for others. Not only to be of help, but to be a better person for themselves.
For more information on Mondelez Philippines’ Joy Schools program, visit http://ph.mondelezinternational.com/well-being.
Pandacan residents train for safe firefighting self-sufficiency thanks to Chevron, BFP
EMPOWERED: Overcoming dependence with capacity building efforts in disaster response.
Pandacan, Manila – Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of Caltex brand of fuels and lubricants, leaves as legacy a culture of safety to Barangay 834 in Pandacan, Manila by providing a firefighting training program in partnership with the Bureau of Fire Protection and donating various firefighting equipment to its former host community.
Barangay 834 chairperson Remedios Uy used to worry about the residents’ readiness to respond to disasters and emergencies, especially in the event of fire. “Since Chevron Pandacan Terminal was built in the 1920s, our barangay had been dependent on the oil depots in the district to keep us safe from disasters and emergencies. Chevron always prioritized safety and disaster risk management programs. And because of our proximity to the terminal, they are always among the first provided us with firefighting assistance,” noted Uy. She shared that when the dismantling of the oil terminal began, there was an apprehension about their competence to face the unexpected. “When we related this problem to Chevron, we are gratified to know that our corporate neighbors share the same concern. Better yet, they helped us build our capacity to become more effective in disaster response.”
Together with project partners NGO Venture for Fund Raising and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Manila, Chevron held a firefighting workshop for Barangay 834 volunteers which included drills in addressing firefighting incidents. In addition, the village was given 15 sets of fire extinguishers including cabinets to be installed in strategic locations within the barangay. The volunteers who completed the training also received Caltex jackets as graduation tokens. Chevron also donated several sets of firefighting equipment to the BFP trainers.
“Even if the depot no longer exists in Pandacan, Chevron continues to make us feel safe. With this project, we now have the necessary equipment to fight fires and the crucial skills to act decisively during emergency situations. We also established a strong connection with BFP-Manila which will facilitate the continuing search for more proactive solutions for disaster preparedness. We are very grateful to Chevron for teaching us to be confident in dealing with emergency situations. This legacy of self-dependence will remain with us for a long time” Uy added.
“With the practical training and the much-needed firefighting equipment and suits provided to both the barangay and the BFP, the community has gained an enhanced capacity to respond to fire incidents,” confirms fire inspector JL Aaron Caro, substation commander of BFP-Pandacan. “BFP-Pandacan thanks Chevron for providing all these, and more importantly, for ensuring that the culture of safety remains here even after the company has left the neighborhood,” he added.
About Chevron Philippines Inc.
Chevron Philippines Inc. has been operating in the country for more than 90 years. Caltex™, its retail brand, offers high quality products and services. There are close to 700 service stations strategically scattered throughout the Philippine archipelago and employees working in several areas of business such as Marketing, Lubricants and Terminal operations. The Chevron products that are available in the Philippines include Caltex with Techron® fuel and Caltex Diesel with Techron®D, Havoline® and Delo® oils. More information on Chevron Philippines Inc. is available at www.caltex.com/ph.
Awardees Of The First Manila Water Foundation Prize For Engineering Excellence Named
The awardees of the premier run of the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence (from left to right): Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano. Jr., Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Dr. Evelyn B. Taboada, Dr. Merlinda A. Palencia, and Engr. Rex B. Demafelis after the awarding ceremony held at the Grand Ballroom of InterContinental Manila on November 24, 2015.
Manila Water Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) formally introduced and honored the very first awardees of the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence to recognize their innovative solutions to some of society’s problems and to inspire more home-grown engineers to use their talents in nation-building via projects that champion water, sanitation, environment, and sustainability.
After a thorough screening process that followed the opening of nominations in June, five (5) exemplary engineers proved to be the crème de la crème of the Prize’s maiden year.
Engr. Rex B. Demafelis, the current Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, was recognized for his work on the production and processing of sweet sorghum into bioethanol that enforces local accountability and positive social change. He says that his venture of using sweet sorghum will not only address the issue of biofuel, but will also greatly contribute to the poverty alleviation of the country especially the farmers in ethanol producing provinces.
Poverty alleviation was also one of the inspirations of chemical engineer and University of San Carlos College of Engineering Dean Evelyn B. Taboada. A native of Cebu, Taboada patented the bio-technology and chemical process of turning fruit waste such as mango peels and mango seeds into high value products. This initiative was not only successful in achieving 100% zero waste, it has also generated employment for numerous scavengers in her hometown.
Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, a professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, used his expertise in surveying and hydrology to create maps that provide early warning systems and give vital information of possible flooding occurrences. Adapting to the modern technology, Paringit and his team also offers mobile phone map apps, as he firmly believes that such products and services should be accessible to everyone, anywhere and at any time.
Bringing technologies from the lab to communities is a passion of Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr., a professor of electrical and electronics engineering at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Recognizing the need for more cost-effective monitoring of landslide-prone slopes, he and his team developed instrumentations that provide scientists with better insights into slope stability towards more accurate prediction. He also led efforts in developing engineering interventions for rapid restoration of communications capability in the aftermath of disasters.
Dr. Merlinda A. Palencia, who serves as the Dean of the Graduate School of Adamson University, spearheaded the creation of an affordable solution to the sewage and sanitation problem of the country through low cost wastewater treatment technology. The application of locally abundant organo minerals (OM) that make wastewater treatment economical, safe, simple, odor-free and sustainable was proven effective in Palo, Leyte where it was able to address the septage problems in the temporary shelters of people affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
All five Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence awardees pose for a photo with Former President Fidel V. Ramos and the men and women of Manila Water Foundation led by its Board of Trustees.
Aside from the honor of being the premier recipients of the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence, each awardee received PhP 500,000, a medal, and a trophy that features the work of renowned art photographer, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala. Said Prize, which is part of the Manila Water Foundation’s 10th anniversary scale-up, aims not only to recognize the Filipino engineers’ dedication in finding solutions that give positive and relevant impacts, but also to inspire practitioners and aspiring engineers to come up with innovations that Filipinos will greatly benefit from.
Ferdinand M. de la Cruz, President of Manila Water Foundation, explained the rationale behind the selection of winners. “If you look at the five awardees, they have their own individual stories but a lot of them are both academicians and practitioners. They’re teaching engineering students and young engineers what they know and at the same time use their knowledge and scientific depth to solve problems or create opportunities. They are not only acting on theory, but more importantly, their applications help their own societies. That’s what sets them apart and all of them have been doing this quietly without drawing attention to themselves. All of them have hit certain challenges along the way and yet they continue to pursue what they have started,” dela Cruz said.
DOST Secretary Mario G, Montejo, meanwhile, cited how each awardee has stepped up and addressed uniquely Filipino problems that require uniquely Filipino ingenuity. “To come up with innovation, you need two things. One is to have very good engineering fundamentals and the other one, you have to be creative. As far as engineering fundamentals are concerned, there is no difference between Filipino engineer and others. Creativity serves as the clincher because Filipinos are innately creative. If you mix it (creativity) with engineering fundamentals you will come up with innovation engineering and that’s what makes Filipino engineers special,” Montejo remarked.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos (center) makes his signature hand gesture with (from left) Manila Water Foundation Board Member Abelardo P. Basilio, Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology President Filemon T. Berba, Jr., Manila Water Foundation Chairman Gerardo C. Ablaza, Jr., DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, Manila Water Foundation Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim, Manila Water Foundation Independent Trustee Cielito F. Habito, Pilar Habito, and Manila Water Foundation President Ferdinand M. dela Cruz.
The awarding ceremony of the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence was graced by notable personalities such as Former President Fidel V. Ramos, former NEDA Director-General Cielito F. Habito, and social innovator Vicky Garchitorena. Manila Water Foundation Chairman Gerardo Ablaza, Jr. and DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara helped hand out the prizes to the awardees.
Former President Ramos, who is a licensed engineer, lauded the organizers for coming up with a set of extraordinary awardees. He said that he firmly believes that Filipino engineers need to be honored more. “It is about time that the engineering profession is recognized, as engineers help build the country. We must develop a culture of excellence that comes from the people’s power that leads to global competitiveness, and a condition of enduring peace and sustainable development in the Philippines. Kaya natin ito (We can do it),” he said.
The Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence will be a biennial search and will continue in 2017.