Coop team visits three Bicol provinces to undertake CSR activities
and conduct townhall meetings with Ayala-affiliated companies
Almost 200 students in Ligao, Albay and the Divine Healer Academy, a mission school supported by the Healing Servants Foundation in Sorsogon, were the beneficiaries of a Brigada Eskwela project and other CSR undertakings spearheaded by the Ayala Coop in Bicol from May 17-19.
The Coop contingent was composed of Coop personnel, HR coordinators Clarie Marquez and Ning Avendano of Bank of the Philippine Islands and Julie Dacumos and Venus Salonga of Manila Water as well as Joann Astilla, who represented Coop partner Ayala Foundation.
Benefitting first from the Coop was the Sta. Cruz Elementary School in Ligao, Albay, which received 193 school kits from the Coop for its pupils under the Brigade Eskwela Program undertaken in coordination with Ayala Foundation. Besides repainting and fixing the school’s classrooms, the Coop also donated to it a new Philippine flag and a compact disc of the national anthem as well as a laminating machine and bookshelves for its classrooms.
Toy library donated
In addition, the Coop partnered with the Corazon Atayde Memorial Foundation and the Philippine Toy Library Institute to donate a toy library complete with toys and other learning tools. The toy library was completed in collaboration with the school and teacher volunteers and is the first of its kind in Ligao City.
A short program was held with representatives from the barangay and Department of Education, parents, teachers and students in attendance. Cash tokens were given later to the teachers and students who participated in the program.
On top of all the activities undertaken for the school and its pupils, the Coop was also set to launch the L.E.T.S. (Learning English Through Stories) Read Program in partnership with the Corazon Atayde Memorial Foundation headed by Margaux Atayde once classes started this June. The program is designed to improve the pupils’ English reading and comprehension skills.
Farm implements plus a carabao
From Legazpi, the Coop contingent motored to Sorsogon to present its donation of P100,000 to the Divine Healer Academy, a mission school, through the Healing Servants Foundation for the purchase of farm implements and even a carabao. This is to jumpstart the school’s initiative to teach farming to the older students affected by the K-12 program. Medical kits and supplies were donated to the school by the Coop as well.
The turnover of the Coop’s donation was made to the school/foundation’s representatives led by Fr. Gerald Deveza and Sister Edel Gallosa.
While in Bicol, the Coop team took advantage of the opportunity to also conduct several townhall meetings with Coop members employed by Ayala Group subsidiaries. Attendance was encouraging as some 107 employees of the University of Nueva Caceres attended one such meeting, another 35 employees of BPI Naga Caceres went to another, and 34 employees of BPI Legazpi Rotonda attended one more. The meetings covered discussions on the 2016 performance of the Coop as done during the annual chapter meetings.
“We always maximize our visits to the provincial areas,” Ms. Orosa explained. “These would include townhall meetings which allow us to update our members about the goings-on in the Coop and provide an open forum and other opportunities for our members, like pre-membership education seminars and orientation sessions especially in Ayala companies where we still need to recruit new members.”
Orosa stressed that the Coop makes it a point to visit BPI branches as well as Ayala Malls and Globe Telecom hubs for this purpose. “This way, aside from membership recruitment, we are able to become more personalized and show our members that there are people behind the e-mails and other invitations and communications we make,” she said.
After several days of official activities, the Coop volunteers were later treated to a sightseeing tour of some scenic spots like the Cagsawa Church, Bulusan and Sumlang Lakes as well as the Sorsogon Bee Farm. Most memorable for them, however, was seeing the famed Mayon Volcano in all its splendor upon arrival in Legazpi. Townfolks say that Mt. Mayon only makes itself fully visible to people with good intentions.
Indeed, the Coop brought to Bicol its good intentions of sharing its blessings through its volunteerism and donations in kind. In the Coop’s own way, it has been able to reach out to Bicol’s less fortunate communities. In return, the Coop volunteers returned home feeling fulfilled because of the very rewarding experience.