Made from nearly 400 ecobricks collected from HES students and First Balfour employees over a two-month period, the WASH Facility now serves more than 500 grade school students in HES. “Project WASH had been an awesome experience for the whole Halayhayin community. We were able to educate our students, their parents, and even our alumni about protecting the environment through something as simple as collecting plastic wastes and stuffing them into empty plastic bottles. Today, we take pride in being the first and only school in Rizal that has a WASH facility made of ecobricks,” shares HES Assistant Principal Olive Casquete.
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Along with construction materials donated by various First Balfour project management teams, the facility was built using proceeds from a number of HR-Employee Relations fundraising activities. The prize won by the First Balfour SustainabiliTREE in a conglomerate-wide competition spearheaded by the First Philippine Holdings Corporate Sustainability Group was also used to construct the facility.
“What started as one simple act of being mindful of one’s own trash has enabled us, First Balfour, to provide reliable hygiene facilities for public schools in our communities,” shares HR Supervisor Anchel Cruz who has been on top of employee volunteerism programs since 2013. Next in the lineup of projects the Project WASH Team is working on are sustainable coastal structures for the SEA Institute in San Teodoro in Mabini, Batangas.
(L-R) Project WASH Team Gio Losloso, Hanna Aguilar, Tine Velez, and Anchel Cruz (not in photo are Jaide Pagador and Andre Cruz), First Balfour HR Head Caloy Salonga, Finance Sr. Manager and HES Alumni Association President Clarisa Timog, Brgy. Kagawad Ruth Licudan, HES Teacher Joel Zamora, HES Student Government President Lucia Marie Gimena, and HES PTA Vice President Marilyn Rocero.
Project WASH is the winning entry during last year’s Project Handog, an internal sustainability competition that seeks to challenge First Balfour engineers to use their engineering genius for a noble cause. Addressing the need for more sanitation facilities in Philippine public schools, Project WASH came up with an innovative solution using ecobricks to help improve the condition of public schools or communities where the company has its presence.