Chilean Ambassador Roberto R. Mayorga visited the Leyte Schools for Excellence (SFE) in Tongonan, Ormoc City and Kananga Municipality to donate 4000 books to be distributed to the 18 partner schools of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in the province. The Chilean delegation also included dentists who conducted a 3-day dental mission for the SFE pupils, and the Ambassador’s son, Roberto Mayorga, Jr., who came to form youth soccer teams in the area. Mrs. Paulina Mayorga, wife of Amb. Mayorga, also helped in distributing the books.
The SFE is one of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects of EDC in Leyte. It was established to improve the access of children to basic educational facilities and supplies; to increase the number of students finishing elementary education with improved educational standards; to enhance the capability of public school teachers to effectively deliver educational programs; and to strengthen parents/community involvement. Aside from the SFE, EDC is supporting 18 other schools in Tongonan, Ormoc City and Kananga.
In his message, Amb. Mayorga spoke of how grateful he was to have an opportunity to give back to the Philippines by reaching out to the youth in EDC’s host communities in Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines last year. EDC and the Chilean government, through its Embassy in Manila, have previously worked together to promote Chilean culture and art in the Philippines. EDC has also been granted geothermal exploration concessions in Chile.
Amb. Mayorga said the government of Chile chose programs that would benefit the youth because based on their experience with disasters in their home country, the needs of children tend to be neglected as people focus on infrastructure reconstruction and providing basic needs such as food and water. While those were important, he said that we must not neglect the need of a child to feel secure – which can be achieved in part by strengthening their school environment, meeting their physical needs, and by allowing them to play and have healthy interactions with their peers.
By partnering with EDC, Chile is able to reach communities in Leyte that have received less attention from international aid agencies than Tacloban City and its surrounding areas, which suffered the greatest casualties. Information provided by EDC’s Community Partnerships Department in Leyte enabled them to identify the needs of their target beneficiaries and match them with the Embassy’s capabilities.
The 4000 donated schoolbooks cover a variety of subjects for elementary school students and follow global education standards. They will be distributed to 18 EDC partner schools in Kananga and Ormoc.
Meanwhile, the two dentists, Dr. Ignacio Rippes Silva and Dr. Natalia Vodopic, conducted a 3-day dental mission, treating cavities of 150 students and educating them on dental health care. Teachers at the two Schools for Excellence expressed their gratitude to the dentists, explaining that most of the students would not have had access to a dentist without the dental mission.
Roberto Mayorga, Jr. met with school principals in the area to discuss the formation of youth soccer teams. He also met with members of the Ormoc soccer club to recruit volunteers who could train the children. Mayorga hopes that they can find children who can be developed into future soccer stars of the country.
Amb. Mayorga said, “Sports bring intangible benefits to children. It teaches them discipline and teamwork, promotes healthy competition, and being able to play allows them to just enjoy and be happy.”
EDC assisted the Chilean mission to Leyte by providing logistical and networking support. Manny Paete, Vice President of EDC’s Leyte Geothermal Production Field, said, “When typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines and devastated much of Leyte, including our EDC host communities, many countries jumped to our aid, among them Chile, led by His Excellency, Ambassador Roberto L. Mayorga.”
After typhoon Yolanda damaged large areas in Eastern Visayas, including EDC’s host communities in Leyte, the company has been engaged in extensive relief and reconstruction efforts for both employees and community residents.
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.