Aboitiz-backed bakery empowers wounded Marines

MEMBERS of the elite Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) will be exploring new ways to earn for themselves and their families, while simultaneously supporting their wounded brethren, through the newly-opened “Panaderong Marino.”

This is a new livelihood opportunity provided by the Aboitiz Group through its corporate social responsibility arm Aboitiz Foundation and food business unit Pilmico.

One of the beneficiaries is 42-year old Marine Technical Sergeant Jeser de la Cruz, a Bulacan native and a veteran of many battles. He was surprised to discover that baking is a different kind of “battle” in itself.

“May mga challenges rin pala ang baking. Hindi namin inexpect na may mathematics at computation rin dito, parang sa labanan,” de la Cruz said in jest.

However, it was a battle he found himself enjoying: “Nakakadagdag ng enjoyment pa nga ito, at nagkaroon kami ng libangan dito. Hindi na nakaka-bore, hindi puro duty. Atsaka dagdag pa na knowledge,” de la Cruz said.

Located in Katungkulan Beach, Marine Base Gregorio Lim in Ternate, Cavite, Panaderong Marino was inaugurated last May 22, 2019 by Marine Commandant Major General Alvin A. Parreño, PMC Colonel Jonathan C. Gabor, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. chief corporate external affairs officer DJ Sta. Ana, and Aboitiz Foundation chief operating officer Maribeth L. Marasigan.

“As we open the Panaderong Marino bakery, we express our gratitude for your sacrifices and dedication. We in the Aboitiz Foundation, with our partners in Pilmico and the Aboitiz Equity Ventures, have been working hard to continuously make this a project that will help make our partner-soldiers productive despite their injuries. May more opportunities for growth and collaboration come out of this bakery,” Marasigan said.

Panaderong Marino received modern baking equipment and financial assistance for the construction of a complete on-site bakery from the Aboitiz Group. Seventeen Philippine Marines, some of them previously injured, also received comprehensive baking training from Pilmico as well as additional training through the University of the Philippines Institute of Small Scale Industries’ Start Your Own Business course.

“Sa aming training, ang una naming hinahanap ay tubig; sunod ay pagkain (During our trainings, we look for water first, and then food) ” said Colonel Gabor, describing Panaderong Marino’s significance and viability. “Bihira ang makakilala ng kaibigan na hindi ka lang papakainin ng isang araw, kundi pang-habang buhay (It’s very rare to find a friend who can provide you with livelihood for life, and not just feed you for a day)” Gabor added, referring to the Aboitiz Group.

This is not the first time the Aboitiz Group has extended baking livelihood programs to the country’s soldiers.

Recently, the Aboitiz Group inaugurated the “Panthers Bakery” and “The Bread Camp Bakery” which are manned by the Philippine Army Special Operations Command’s First Scout Ranger Regiment and Presidential Security Group Enlisted Personnel Ladies Club, respectively.

Early last year, the Noble Bakers Bakery in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija became operational and is now manned by the Philippine Army Special Operations Command (SOCOM) soldiers who were injured in battle.

Aboitiz has also extended bakery livelihood programs to residents displaced during the Marawi City siege. (PR)


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