PROGRAM LAUNCHED TO HELP ADDRESS BARRIERS TO CONTINUING EDUCATION IN COMMUNITIES
TO HELP improve learning outcomes, San Miguel Corporation rolled out a youth development program focusing on children of disadvantaged families near its planned development sites nationwide as part of its advocacy.
SMC President Ramon S. Ang said the company’s Educational Assistance Program will benefit some 292 elementary, junior high, senior high and college students in the provinces of Bulacan, Quezon and Batangas and General Santos City.
“Sustainability is a big part of not just our new projects, but all of San Miguel’s operations. For our communities, it is even more critical, that is why in the last couple of years, we have been very proactive in instituting social and environmental initiatives in our future project sites, long before any construction is done,” Ang said in a statement.
“These programs are part of our holistic approach to improving the lives of those who will be our future host communities and partners,” he added.
He said the program was piloted in Sariaya, Quezon, where SMC built a model sustainable housing relocation village complete with disaster-resilient homes, recreation and learning facilities, a complementary fishermen’s dock and multi-purpose center and a public market managed and operated by fisherfolk and farmer-beneficiaries of the village.
In Sariaya, the program benefited 43 students whose parents have also been provided by SMC with training on entrepreneurship and various skills, through a partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Ang said.
Buoyed by the success of the pilot program, the firm launched the SMC Education Assistance Program for 81 beneficiaries in Bulakan, Bulacan, where it is set to build the New Manila International Airport.
Meanwhile, 129 students also benefited from the program in Calatagan, Batangas.
In General Santos, 39 junior, senior high and college students were included in the program.
“We are well aware of how difficult it is to pursue online learning during the pandemic. Experts point out to learning challenges like the lack of reliable internet connection, inadequate computer knowledge or equipment, loss of interest or motivation, stress, depression, distractions at home, and the lack of support system that is usually present in traditional school environment,” Ang said.
“Hopefully, we can prepare them for a better future, and to take advantage of future opportunities at our developments,” he added.