the region

Warding kids’ smiles

December 10, 2018

CONSIDERED as one of the “toughest” tasks of FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis) aside from producing reliable and sustainable power needed for Mindanao region’s economic development, is to “ward” smiles on children’s faces, especially those from within its host communities.    “Thus, in everything we earn, we see-to-it to give back to the community and, part of it, must go to the kids aimed at making them happy with our existence,” FDC Misamis Community Relations Specialist Analiza Miso said.     Hence, over the weekend, with the help of police personnel from the Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (MOPPO), FDC Misamis treated a total of 250 “poorest” of the poor kids in San Martin, Villanueva town  and Sitio Masayon , Opol with Christmas gifts and food packs.     The activity is a collaboration between the Gotianun-led power firm and MOPPO in observance of the 26th National Children’s Month themed “Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga Para sa Lahat ng Bata.”    “Very simple and ordinary activity but the innocent smiles of the kid-beneficiaries ‘melted’ our hearts with joy,” Miso said.     “Truly beyond quantification of human feelings.”    Miso said it was also part of the firm’s Sustainable Development Programs (SDPs) that spelled a lot of tangible and meaningful impacts to the communities, to kids, in particular.     FDC Utilities, Inc. (FDCUI) and FDC Misamis President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Juan Eugenio L. Roxas, meanwhile, commended both the men and women behind FDC Misamis and MOPPO for a job well done.    “As long as we continue to exist in doing business in Mindanao, we’ll never cease in helping the people in our host communities. That’s a promise!” Roxas said.   FDC Misamis, a subsidiary of FDCUI, the utilities and power arm of Filinvest Development Corporation’s (FDC) conglomerate, operates a 3x135-MW circulating fluidized bed coal thermal plant in Villanueva town.      Just recently, FDC Misamis was hailed as the number one real property tax payer in the entire Misamis Oriental remitting a total of P25, 732,084 in taxes to PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate as of the end of third quarter of the current year.     Of the total remittance, P60,698,039.72 went directly to the Provincial Government’s coffers.*

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Teachers march on HR day, demand rights for all

December 10, 2018

Teachers from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) joined today’s protest as the world commemorates the 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The group called for the recognition and protection of teachers’ right to decent living wages, the youth’s right to education, and the right against political persecution, among others.     “As teachers, we are legally mandated to teach our students absolute respect for human rights. We must live by our teachings and advocate for those rights in order to be effective educators. Even more so, we have a moral obligation to uphold human rights. That is why we are here today,” explained Joselyn Martinez, ACT National Chairperson.     The group depicted the situation of teachers' human rights through a teacher who wore multiple hands to show the overworked and underpaid situation of mentors as she is subjected to 'Duterte's Wheel of Misfortune', which contained the various ludicrous criminal offenses charged against teachers and activists for being critical of the current regime, namely, kidnapping, child abuse, human trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, murder, and rebellion. The teacher wore a headdress which bore the call 'Stop the Attacks on Teachers.'     Martinez lamented the current state of human rights in the country, stating that “it’s been disregarded and disrespected for so long by the very institution required to ensure its full exercise. The government has been the number one human rights violator in the country.”     “The education sector alone has suffered greatly due to government neglect,” added Martinez.    She criticized the Duterte administration for failing to protect teachers and education workers’ right to a decent and dignified life as their demands for the implementation of measures to mitigate the severe impacts of the economic crisis remain unheeded. ACT has been clamoring for a pay hike not only for teachers but for all government employees as well, as shown in their call for a P30K minimum pay for teachers and P16K for government workers belonging to salary grade 1. Additionally, the group is pushing for a P3,000 increase in the Personnel Economic Relief Allowance (PERA).     Martinez added that the youth’s right to quality education has also been compromised due to the impending budget cuts to education. Moreover, the more disadvantaged children of the Indigenous People, such as the Lumad, are denied of their very right to education “as evidenced by the forcible closure of their schools which is being carried out by state forces with the help of paramilitary groups like the Alamara.”     “Instead of addressing these major gaps, the government opted to harass and persecute those who dare to take action in the spirit of upholding human rights,” stated Martinez, referring to the recent charges filed against ACT Teachers Representatives Tinio and Castro.     “We will not allow this to continue. The Duterte administration must be held accountable for its negligence as well as its direct attacks against the people’s rights. As for us, we fully intend to exercise our right to organize and give power to our collective resolve to fight for our rights and for social justice,” concluded Martinez.

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Globe Telecom provides P2M scholarship fund for 120 CENTEX pupils

December 3, 2018

Globe Telecom has turned over to Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) P2 million in scholarship grants for 120 economically-disadvantaged Grade 1 pupils from the Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX) schools in Manila and Batangas.      The funds represent savings derived from toned down Christmas gift giving and parties by Globe last year.  The donation will enable Globe to adopt four Grade 1 classes in two CENTEX schools.  The students will be provided with books, meals, uniforms and enrichment classes while teachers will be given free training.     This is part of  a campaign initiated by AFI called “A Class of Your Own” which was designed to encourage companies and private institutions to support CENTEX, particularly on teacher training and student development.     “For the second year, we have chosen the Gift of Donation to our valued partners.  We wanted to give them something that goes beyond material things which has a long-term impact on the lives of the beneficiaries and will live long after many Christmases has passed,” said Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO.     “We are grateful to Globe Telecom for its commitment to support CENTEX by making it the beneficiary of the project.  Together, we hope to bridge the gap between privileged and underserved students, especially in terms of access to quality education. By building partnerships like this and taking a multi-stakeholder approach, we hope to continuously provide a nurturing learning environment for our children,” said Ruel Maranan, AFI President.     Last year, CENTEX Manila and Batangas also received storybooks and textbooks from Globe aside from scholarships for students and teacher training programs.     “In behalf of CENTEX Batangas Community, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your unwavering support to our kids and their families.  A lot of kids not only from our school but from neighbor schools benefited from your book drive donation.  Also through Globe, we are now enjoying the fun of learning through the Global Filipino School facility.  Through your generosity, I know our hopes and dreams for CENTEX kids will turn into reality,”  said Movita Cruzat, Principal of CENTEX Batangas.    AFI started CENTEX in Tondo, Manila and Bauan, Batangas in 1998 and 2000, respectively, as AFI’s flagship education project to provide holistic, quality education for student achievers from economically-disadvantaged families.  This is to hone their confidence and competencies not just inside the classroom but also through after-hours learning in the performing arts and other skill-building activities.

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