30 October 2010

Empowering through Education

Building and unveiling the Meralco Sibol School is one of the utility company’s major CSR projects. It is Meralco's way of nurturing the dreams of children and families and building communities through the power of education. The Sibol School was launched as early as 2005 as a response to the need of bringing community-based pre-school education at the heart of Gawad Kalinga (GK) communities.

"Meralco fulfills its social responsibility by distributing electricity to homes and establishments. By ensuring that there is power to light a lamp when a child is studying in a remote barangay, Meralco is making sure that there is a brighter future for that child. More than that, Meralco's CSR grows further since we believe that education has the capacity to change lives and uplift communities. Through our partnership with Gawad Kalinga, we now have 33 Meralco Sibol Schools including 2 which we have launched recently outside Metro Manila," said Meralco chairman Manuel M. Lopez.

The two new Meralco Sibol Schools, which were personally unveiled by Lopez himself, are located in GK Landco-Dangal Village in Barangay Magsaysay, San Pedro, Laguna and in GK Dreamland Ville in Barangay Kaypian, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Both were unveiled to their respective communities in July.

The Meralco Sibol School in San Pedro was the first one launched this year and the 5th in Laguna. Aside from Lopez, witnessing the unveiling of the school were GK founder and chairman of the Board Tony Meloto, Landco vice chairman Alfredo Burgos, Jr. (who is also president of the Muntinlupa Development Foundation, the organization responsible for the rise of that GK community), Muntinlupa Development Foundation Executive Director Isabel Roces, and Barangay Magsaysay Captain Constantino Manaysay.

"We underwent a lot of challenges when we built this community five years ago. But inspite of it, our dream to give deserving people a chance to have their own homes was fulfilled. We were able to put up a beautiful village – and a Meralco Sibol School completes it. That’s one of the best things that happened to us since the kids can now learn in a good environment. Education is vital and very important as one of the pillars of growth of this village," said Burgos as he expressed appreciation to Meralco for choosing the site for a Meralco Sibol School.

Lopez, in return, was very impressed with the GK community and how its residents have kept the entire village clean and orderly. Meralco executives from the South led by South Distribution Services head Ferdie Geluz, South Business Area Head Ferdie Alejandro, Sta. Rosa sector head Gary Festin and San Pedro Business Center head Jess Candeleria, were also present to witness the joyous occasion.

Manaysay was very grateful to Meralco since he cited that "our barangay's population is very big and there are a lot of underprivileged families who want to give their pre-school kids a good start – and with the Meralco Sibol School, the dreams of their parents will now become a reality for their kids."