Lopez Group builds typhoon resilient classrooms for Bicol schools

The Lopez Group led by Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and Rockwell Land Corporation (RLC) completed the construction of four typhoon-resilient classrooms in the Bicol region.  About 180 students will benefit from the new classrooms in Nagutgot Elementary School in Manito, Albay and Rizal Integrated National School in Rizal, Sorsogon.

EDC President and COO Richard Tantoco and RLC Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Vicky Riosa led the turnover of the new classrooms.  Vice President Leni Robredo who was the guest of honor at the turn over ceremony in Rizal Integrated National School delivered the keynote message.

Costing about P1.3 million each, the classrooms can withstand wind velocity of up to 250 kilometers per hour. To ensure the architectural and structural integrity of the classrooms, EDC, which also serves as overall project manager for the school rebuilding program, tapped Casas Architects and Sy^2 and Associates, respectively.

The classrooms are also bigger and wider than a typical classroom, and feature cathedral-type ceilings, wider windows and insulated roofing for better ventilation.  Other amenities include the concave-design blackboards, wall-mounted electric fans, LED lights, “genderized” comfort rooms and access for persons with disabilities.

“With the ever-changing climate and frequency of extreme weather events, the more we need to typhoon-proof structures such as school buildings to ensure that the education of the youth will not be interrupted. The Lopez Group is committed to help them gain access to quality education and a conducive learning environment,” EDC President and COO Richard Tantoco said.

Vice President Leni Robredo commended EDC for its CSR programs particularly those focused on education.  Likewise, Sorsogon Governor Robert Rodrigueza thanked EDC for implementing programs that benefit many Sorsoganons.

Students and faculty of the two schools are more than grateful for the new and modern classrooms and amenities that they will experience for the first time.  They also appreciate that the classrooms are more conducive for learning.

The Lopez Group companies started the school rebuilding project in February 2014, initially in support of the reconstruction efforts of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) which was created after Yolanda devastated Leyte.  Eventually, the project was expanded to benefit other provinces that were hit by calamities.

Under the project, the Lopez Group constructed 150 typhoon-resilient classrooms housed in 66 school buildings located in 30 cities and municipalities in 11 provinces –Leyte, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Sorsogon, Albay, Bohol, Bukidnon, Laguna, Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan.

The reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts were implemented in three phases. The first two phases involved the construction of 75 classrooms and the repair of 10 classrooms using funds donated to ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc.  For Phase 3, companies under the Lopez Group and two external partners shouldered the cost of constructing 65 new classrooms as well as the chairs and teacher’s table for each classroom. Aside from EDC and RLC, the other Lopez companies which donated funds are First Gen, First Balfour, Inc., First Philec Corporation, ThermaPrime Well Services, Inc., First Philippine Industrial Park, Sagip Kapamilya, Lockton Philippines and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.

EDC is the country’s leading producer of geothermal energy.  Aside from the Bacman geothermal plants in Sorsogon, EDC also owns and operates geothermal plants in Leyte, Negros island and Cotabato.  The company has diversified into other renewable energy projects and now includes in its portfolio of assets the largest wind farm in the Philippines, the 150-MW Burgos Wind Project in Ilocos Norte, a solar farm also in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, and the Pantabangan-Masiway hydroelectric plants.

Rockwell Land is acknowledged as the country’s foremost developer of luxurious real estate projects.

(L-R): EDC President Ricky Tantoco, Sorsogon Gov. Robert Rodrigueza, Vice President Leni Robredo, Rockwell Land CSR manager Vicky Riosa & DepEd officials

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.