BAMBAN, Tarlac – Some 2,000 Aetas from tribal barangays in Bamban and Mabalacat City were given gift packs by the Philippine Investors and Retirement Council (PIRC).
Albert Dela Cruz, chairman of PIRC told SunStar Pampanga that the gift giving activity is a part of their corporate social responsibility that aims to uplift the lives of the tribal community and provide skills training and marketing of their handicrafts.
"We at PIRC spearheaded this gift giving with the generous assistance of our fellow officers and members to show that the Christmas spirit of giving is very much alive and should be shared specially to our tribal brothers," Dela Cruz said.
He said that aside from gift packs, Aeta tribesmen and children were given clothing, food and toys.
Dela Cruz said that they have lined up livelihood programs which include training on bamboo chairs and tables manufacturing.
"We will also assist them in marketing their products. Like now, we have already a display area in Greenhills and Makati," he said.
A licensed real estate broker, Dela Cruz added that currently 500 Aeta kids have benefitted from a seven-day feeding program.
He is also the chairman of the Philippine Global Ventures Realty Construction Corporation which is the Philippine partner of Sino GreatWall Construction Co., a multi-billion company in China.
Tribal barangays visited by PIRC were sitio Gayaman, Mataba, San Martin and San Vicente in Bamban and Sitio Haduan , sitio Bilad , Marcos Village and sitio Monicayo, Barangay Calumpang in Mabalacat City.
For his part, PIRC President Richard Co Gonzalo who was with his wife, daughter and son said that it was a humbling experience to share small things that mean a lot to our tribal brothers and sisters.
Gonzalo said that they will make the gift-giving an annual activity in order to bring cheers and smiles to the faces of the Aeta community in the hope that PIRC will make a different in improving the lives of all tribal communities here. (Chris Navarro)