Formal schooling is often too expensive and priced well beyond the reach of the poor, including tobacco farmers. Thus, the Wong Chu King Foundation (WCKF) is offering 100 college scholarship grants to poor but deserving children of tobacco farmers in Northern Luzon.
The program is one of three components of a P10-million joint project of Mighty Corp. (MC) and the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers and Cooperatives Inc. (NAFTAC) that aims to benefit 65,000 farmers in Pangasinan, La Union, Abra, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.
The WCKF is the corporate social responsibility arm of MC, which the Wong Chu King family owns. “This is our way of thanking the farmers for helping to make our company what it is today,” said retired general Edilberto Adan, MC president and chief executive officer, at the formal signing rites for the project at a hotel in Bauang, La Union on February 8.
“We are happy that Mighty Corp., through its Wong Chu King Foundation, has stood firm on its commitment to help 65,000 tobacco farmers in the Philippines,” said Mario Cabasal, NAFTAC national president, at the signing, attended by top MC executives and 200 farmer leaders.
Retired Judge Oscar Barrientos, MC executive vice president and spokesman, said the WCKF initially offered scholarships to the dependents of active MC employees but later expanded this to include dependents of retired MC employees and poor but deserving students with excellent academic records.
Other components of the project include agricultural production assistance, consisting of 16 hand tractors worth P2.5 million and 90 irrigation pumps worth P1.1 million; and institutional support for the annual search for outstanding tobacco farmers and cooperatives by the National Tobacco Administration.
The foundation has six high school and 14 college students on scholarship in various schools nationwide. Two of its college scholars graduated last year.
WCKF also donated P300,000 for textbooks and other library materials of Lyceum de Amulung in Cagayan North, Tuguegarao City last year. In 2012, it provided textbooks, laboratory and home economics equipment to Lyceum de Amulung and teaching devices to Lyceum de Amulung’s teachers.