“Philippines is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world and with high endemism. To protect our biodiversity, students like you have vital roles to play like conducting biodiversity awareness campaigns in communities because sharing of knowledge has ripple effects,” Dr. Come explained.
She added that simple initiatives like putting up signages and knowledge centers and tree planting / growing activities are also ways in enhancing biodiversity.
During the two-day enrichment bootcamp, SIKAT scholars can’t help but recall how they started their journey as a beneficiary of EDC’s scholarship program, and what they feel about being part of the first face-to-face solidarity building since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robert Ditona Jr.,a 3rd year BS Education student in Sorsogon State College, expressed his gratitude for being an EDC SIKAT scholar since Grade 7. “ I am beyond grateful to be one of EDC’s scholars in the Bicol region. My father is a tricycle driver while my mother is a plain housewife. The financial assistance that EDC has been providing is such a big help to me and my family. If ever, I will be the first in our family to have a college education when I finish my degree next school year.
Robert also described his experience in attending the SIKAT event as truly unforgettable. “We traveled almost 20 hours by land from Sorsogon City but it’s worth it. This is the first time to personally meet my fellow scholars around the country. I also enjoyed all the talks and activities because these will help me for my personal growth.
Another BS Education scholar in Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte, Reynald Ravina, revealed that he did not pass the EDC SIKAT scholarship screening in 2020, he will not be able to study college and be one of the participants of the SIKAT event.
“I have been working since I was 10 years old. I worked as a construction worker, a waiter, and a helper in a mushroom production company. I have been striving so hard to support my education and help my family in our daily basic needs. It was in 2018 when my life was shuttered with the sudden passing of my father. After that tragic event in our family, my life had no direction not until EDC gave me an opportunity to study in college,” Reynald said.
Ancient Cationg, a 2nd year BS Chemistry student from Visayas State University recalled how destiny opened an opportunity for her in EDC. “I did not pass a government scholarship and I am super disappointed to have missed that. One day before the deadline, my friend told me that the SIKAT scholarship program is open for applicants, so I tried. I did not expect that I would be qualified because of the short notice. Now, it made sense to me why I did not pass on the first scholarship opportunity that I applied for because SIKAT is the one for me,” Ancient recalled.
SIKAT is EDC’s banner education program that provides quality education to underprivileged yet deserving students from partner communities in all sites across the country. This program allows students to become successful individuals, help their family break the cycle of poverty, and contribute to nation-building.
Under the SIKAT program, student-beneficiaries are gathered annually in a solidarity and enrichment program that aims to build the relationship between the scholars and help them learn from each other’s knowledge and experiences.
EDC is First Gen Corporation’s 100 percent renewable energy subsidiary with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed renewable energy capacity. Its almost 1,200MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.