DATU ODIN SIN-SUAT, Maguindanao — The Aboitiz owned power firm serving Cotabato City and parts of Maguindanao continued its social corporate responsibility, helping communities through education.
The latest recipient of its CSR is a far-flung village here where the residents have been covered by the Cotabato Light and Power Company (Cota-bato Light) service area.
Barangay Badak is a coastal town inhabited mainly by Maguindanao and Tiduray indigenous peoples whose children are studying at Don Antonio Martinez Sr Elementary School (DAMSES).
The village is populated by about 1,300 residents and about 700 are pupils of DAMSES but the school have only few classrooms and needs chairs and desks.
School children walked for several kilometers to classes daily and have difficulty due to lack of arm chairs and desks.
The Cotabato Light saw it as an opportunity to have impact on the education of poor students by providing them with 235 pre-fabricated new chairs and desks in compliance of its corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
The outreach program was dubbed “Writing from the floor no more,” said Anna Lea Lee L. Nataño, Cotabato Light Human Resource and Reputation Enhancement Department head.
“We found the pupils writing from the floor due to lack of arm chairs, we were touched, thus this project,” she told reporters.
The school is located in a far-flung rural area of Cotabato Light franchise about 20 kilometers from the city proper.
“Indeed, it was a good sight to behold and to endure by the youth of today whom we consider as our next generation and the hope of our nation,” said Nataño who led the Aboitiz firm’s CSR team in handing over the assistance to education officials and parents.
“It was an inspiring environment and to have descent school facility that makes learning conducive for our pupils,” Nataño.
School Teacher-In-Charge (TIC) Bai Norhaya S. Cagalawan, earlier requested Cotabato Light for any assistance for the students who walked daily for kilometers to reach the institution and attend classes standing or sitting on the floor.
The firm handed over 100 armchairs, 45 desks with 90 chairs and two of sets teachers’ tables and chairs amounting to P187,000.
“We are happy seeing the smiles of our pupils with these chair donations. We are equally glad to be an instrument of your happiness and we hope that we inspire you to study and achieve your dreams and aspirations,” Nataño told the pupils.
Cagalawan was even more elated and vowed school officials and parents will ensure the assistance will be taken cared off.
“To Aboitiz Foundation, we thank you for responding to our requests. We consider these chairs and tables as blessings from you. Rest assured we will take care of these and we hope you won’t get tired of helping us,” Cagalawan said.
As the turn over program ended, school children joyfully sit on the chairs and desks – waving and shouting thank you Cotabato Light “which for us a scenario that made our hearts full of gratefulness,” Nataño said.
The Cotabato Light, oldest among power utilities by the Aboitiz family in Mindanao, has so far extended more than P2 million.
Earlier, the Aboitiz foundation and the Department of Education in Cotabato City and Maguindanao had entered into Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for its P1.5 million budget for CSR in 2017..
The MOA was for the P1,583,000 CSR projects for the year that included the assistance to two public elementary schools – the annual Brigada Eskwela in Mandanas, refurbishment of reading and peace hub and concreting of classroom flooring of Pagalamatan Elementary School worth P240,000. EOF/PNA
Another project (188,500.00) was for Datu Ungan Mastura National High School a public high school in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and the first P185,000 worth “BEST CAP” (Barangay Electrician Skills Training and Capability Anti-Pilferage Project) for Poblacion 7, Tukananes, Cotabato City.
This project is in partnership with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA 12).
Nataño said the biggest chunk of the budget, amounting to almost PHP750,000 goes to Notre Dame Village National High School for the Project E-Lab.
“This Electrical Laboratory is in support to Technical Vocational School which will enable students to learn the basics in Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM),” Nataño said.
“Through this, we are confident that we would be able to produce competent accredited electricians after gaining TESDA’s NC2,” she added. EOF/PNA