COMMUNITY volunteerism was alive and well when company officials and employees of Philippine Seven Corp. (PSC) united to help address the need for quality early learning in Antipolo City via its “Operation Bayanihan: Adopt a Day Care Center Program.”
Pursuing its long-standing tradition and commitment to corporate social responsibility, the project was aimed at giving back and creating positive impacts in the communities it serves as the exclusive local licensor of convenience store chain 7-Eleven.
PSC’s corporate social arm, PhilSeven Foundation Inc. (PFI), in cooperation with the city government of Antipolo, adopted 10 community day care centers and duly provided the necessary funding and development assistance to address immediate needs for chairs, books, as well as safe and improved classroom facilities.
These day care centers are located in Puting Bato (Barangay Inarawan), Kaysakat (Barangay San Jose), Buntong Palay (Barangay San Juan), Mayamot (Barangay Mayamot), Sumulong (Barangay Dela Paz), City Hall (Barangay San Roque), Zontaville (San Isidro), Dalig School (Barangay Dalig), Upper Siruna (Barangay Mambugan) and Steel Homes (Barangay San Luis).
According to PFI agency head Israelita Ferrer-Lequin, the company’s Operation Bayanihan Daycare Adoption program began as far back as 2010 with the inauguration of its first day care center at the Capt. Hipolito Francisco Elementary School Annex in Pateros.
In 2011, PFI refurnished the Mobile Daycare Center of Manila with learning and audiovisual materials, and also renovated the school library of Malvar Elementary School, also in Manila.
The Antipolo project marks the fifth year of PFI CSR projects in local government units, as it continues its pledge to furnish, renovate and fund day care centers.
Under a memorandum of agreement, the Bayanihan Day Care project in Antipolo City will be implemented for a year, after which other vital projects, like medical missions, feeding programs and livelihood training and seminars will commence.
“The Adopt a Day Care Center program supports PFI’s project in the day care centers of Antipolo, which is the first beneficiary of the program outside Manila. PFI adopts the support of pre-school and day care education for children of poor families as one of its primary mission,” Lequin said.
The choice of sites to support resulted from information the foundation gathered that close to 100 day care centers in Antipolo lack basic learning equipment and classroom facilities to fully cater to a growing number of preschoolers. With this, Lequin and her staff identified 10 priority sites, which they found to be in the worst state.
Part of the foundation’s commitment is the clean-up, paintwork and furnishing of its adopted classrooms. To coordinate all efforts, a frontline of 80 employees was divided into composite teams, each with a project leader to handle an assigned day care center.
“During the course of coordination and inspection, some of the day care center buildings, particularly Kaysakat and Puting Bato, were found to be in need of major renovation. PSC contractors, namely Richmay Construction [for Kaysakat]and PMSONS Construction [for Puting Bato]were among the major donors. Our employees and PFI also mobilized funds for the renovation,” Lequin noted.
Using the convenience store’s colors, the volunteers, in coordination with PSC MarComm Division and Doodle Artist Enthusiasts immortalized the initiative among private and government partners through a mural.
The newly refurbished classrooms were awarded via a turnover ceremony as part of the company’s yearly celebration of “7-Eleven Day.” Present at the event were Monette Martin (Province of Rizal DSWD head), PFI officials headed by Lequin, and Antipolo City Mayor Jun Ynares 3rd, among others.
With the success of the Bayanihan project, PSC president Jose Victor Paterno said he is proud of his people and commended them for their dedication in making all their company initiatives meaningful and life-changing for their beneficiaries.
“Providing quality service is intrinsic to our organization. As such we strive to devote resources and time for these outreach activities so we could take our corporate values beyond the business borders and into real-life settings. We want the company and its people to take part in the process of creating actual changes in the grass-roots community level,” he noted.