QUICK READ: Philippine renewable energy company’s mission to be regenerative include preparing and supporting the future generation.
The mobility and physical activity restrictions brought by the coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) pandemic and the impact of supertyphoon Rolly did not stop Lopez-led Philippine renewable energy company Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) SIKAT program from igniting the fire among its scholars in its first ever virtual solidarity building and enrichment workshop.
Nancy Ibuna, EDC Corporate Social Responsibility Head for its Manila-based office, said the event, attended by majority of its scholars from batch 2018 to 2020, aims to gather SIKAT scholars from different partner communities across its sites in Bicol, Ilocos Sur, Leyte, Negros Island, and North Cotabato to develop camaraderie and leadership skills among its scholars and to create a plan on how they will contribute to a regenerative future.
“We may be facing a hard time today because of the pandemic but we can’t let it deter us from helping our stakeholders, especially our SIKAT scholars. It may be challenging for us to conduct this activity virtually but we just have to look at the silver lining. We have access to technology and other resources to help them keep their focus on fulfilling their dreams of a better life for their family amidst distance learning,” Ibuna said during the virtual event held via Zoom.
SIKAT program is EDC’s banner education program that provides quality education to underprivileged yet deserving students from partner communities in all sites across the country to allow them to become successful individuals, help their family break the cycle of poverty, and contribute to nation-building.
Under the SIKAT program, formerly called CAREERS, student-beneficiaries are gathered annually in a solidarity and enrichment program that will build the relationship between the scholars and help them learn from each other’s knowledge and experiences. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, the usual two-day training camp held in its geothermal sites was converted into a virtual event that is equally knowledgeable and exciting through the set of activities and learning sessions prepared by the EDC-CSR team.
During the virtual training, five key Lopez values namely excellence, integrity, social justice, nationalism, and unity were discussed and explained by no less than the CSR-PR Head Atty. Allan Barcena, EDC Leyte CSR Site Head Erwin Magallanes, EDC Negros CSR Site Head Norreen Bautista, EDC Bacon-Manito Site OIC Eduardo Jimenez, and EDC Mount Apo CSR Site OIC Myrissa Tabao.
The virtual camp was also made possible in partnership with ASUS, who also shared their expertise on how to keep safe from attacks of hackers and computer viruses during this time of online learning.
Aside from learning EDC’s operations and its key CSR programs, BINHI and SIKAT, the scholars were taught ways on how to digitally save the planet and share stories that matter as part of their advocacy through World Wide Fund (WWF) – Philippines’ Kent Adrian Rebultan and Best Alternatives’ Gregg Yan, respectively. Also part of the program is building the ideas of the scholars for their individual or batch projects that they have to accomplish as part of their commitment of being an EDC SIKAT scholar.
Mae Ann Alejado, EDC Batch 2019 scholar from Valencia, Negros Oriental, said that she enjoyed the virtual solidarity workshop. “Today’s activity was very fun and full of learning. It’s like I am still attending a face to face solidarity building. I was very amazed at how the speakers imparted their knowledge on environmental awareness and our role as youth in nation building,” Alejado said.
“Being part of the EDC’s SIKAT program is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It opened a lot of doors that helped me grow as a person. To the Energy Development Corporation and its partners, thank you. Thank you for helping me reach my dreams. Thank you for changing my life. I am forever grateful to be among the thousands of students who became part of your banner education program,” she added.
Likewise, Christine Cogay, Batch 2018 scholar from Leyte, said she was beyond happy and thankful that despite the on-going crisis, she and her co-scholars were still able to gather for this significant event.
“Although I’m still saddened by the fact that the setting is very unusual and that the time we have for this workshop was shortened, what matters most is that we were able to make this happen. So I thank EDC so much, as well as its partners for all the efforts you exerted in making this event possible. On behalf of the SIKAT Scholars, thank you so much for your continued provision of resources and assistance that’s definitely helping us adapt to this “new normal”. Thank you also for reminding us of the values and learnings that a SIKAT scholar needs to embody in order for us to not only succeed, but to excel as well. Salamat, EDC,” Cogay said.
EDC generates over 40% of the Philippines’ renewable energy output and serves about 10% of the country’s overall electricity demand with its installed capacity of 1,499MW. Its over 1,200MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, putting the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal power producer.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.