‘Bayanihan’ lives on through ‘Brigada Eskwela’

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Monday, May 26, 2014


FOR FDC Misamis Power Corporation, joining the “Brigada Eskwela” for the first time in Villanueva town proved a worthy endeavor.

“It was a classic example of the Bayanihan spirit that we Filipinos are known for,” says FDC Misamis Vice President for Project Construction, Engr. Albert De Sagun.

FDC Misamis, a subsidiary of FDC Utilities Inc., is building the biggest power project in Mindanao – a 405-MW Circulating Fluidized Bed coal thermal plant at the Phividec Industrial Estate in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

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The FDC Misamis power plant will utilize state-of-the-art clean fuel technology and is expected to start commercial operations by 2016.

FDC Misamis is focused not only on providing Mindanao with much needed power but also realizing its social responsibility to its host community, says De Sagun.

In the recently conducted nationwide “Brigada Eskwela” program of the Department of Education, FDC Misamis financed the re-wiring of the electrical connections of the 7 buildings in San Martin Elementary School (SMES) in Villanueva last week.

The conventional fluorescent lamps in its 17 classrooms were also upgraded to an energy-saving lighting system. Steel gates and concrete benches were also repainted bright blue, upon request of the school.

Genuine volunteerism

Launched in 2003, “Brigada Eskwela” or the National Schools Maintenance Week is aimed at preparing all public elementary and secondary schools in the country for the formal opening of classes every June.

Usually done in the last two weeks of May, “Brigada Eskwela” continues to attract volunteers not just from the community where the school is located but also from the private sector.

Various business entities and even the media find the program to be a laudable way of living out the value of volunteerism. As the saying goes, “Indeed, it takes a village to educate a child.”

“With today’s technology, the Bayanihan spirit is no longer as popular or as vibrant. But through “Brigada Eskwela,” I can see that our younger generations have the chance to experience true community service,” De Sagun says.

Employees of FDC Misamis used their expertise in inspecting the facilities of SMES and found that there is a dire need to address the hazardous state of the school’s electrical connections.

This also tied in with FDC Misamis’ core business so it was with much eagerness that employees volunteered their expertise in ensuring that SMES would be a safer place for schoolchildren.

An answered prayer

The electrical connections in all the school’s 7 buildings are sub-standard and the safety of over a thousand pupils is a perpetual concern.

“Since I was assigned principal here at SMES three years ago, it has been my fervent prayer that someday God will give us a donor who could fix our electrical connections,” said SMES Principal Ma. Theresa Delegencia. “It was an answered prayer indeed – thank you God for not failing us!”

Delegencia also said it was a “great privilege” for pupils, teachers and parents that SMES was this year’s “Brigada Eskwela” recipient school.

Heart for education

Villanueva Mayor Julio Uy also expressed his thanks to FDC Misamis for participating in this year’s “Brigada Eskwela.”

“I am grateful for FDC Misamis for their participation in this year’s 'Brigada Eskwela.' Perhaps, everybody thinks that this annual activity is just cleaning and gardening of our school campuses. With FDC Misamis going beyond the usual expectations, I am truly grateful for their help in making our schools safer and having a heart for education. I am sure that the newly-rewired electrical connections of the 7 buildings in San Martin Elementary School, and upgrading of the conventional fluorescent lamps to energy-saving lighting system, will give our teachers, parents and pupils peace of mind,” Mayor Uy said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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