First Gen, 4 Lopez companies adopt schools affected by Typhoon Yolanda

by Business Mirror (posted 7 July 2015 in

Five Lopez Group companies have adopted 24 schools in the Visayas that were devastated by Supertyphoon Yolanda.

The Lopez Group companies, led by First Gen Corp., added the schools to their list of recipients under the Adopt-a-School Program (ASP) of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Officials from the Lopez companies and the DepEd, led by Secretary Bro. Armin A. Luistro, FSC signed on Tuesday a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to formalize their partnership in helping the Yolanda-affected schools.

The MOA reaffirms the Lopez Group’s long-term commitment to help rehabilitate the Yolanda-affected communities through the Lopez Group’s Leyte School Rebuilding Project.

Aside from First Gen, other Lopez Group companies that joined the MOA signing were Energy Development Corp. (EDC); First Balfour Inc.; First Philippine Electric Corp. (First Philec); and Rockwell Land Corp.

The MOA signing followed the launch of the third and latest phase of the Lopez Group’s Leyte School Rebuilding Project for areas devastated by Yolanda. The Lopez Group’s Leyte School Rebuilding Project also includes livelihood and skills training modules with support from the Kananga EDC Institute of Technology (KEITech), EDC’s technical-vocational school.

Under all three phases of the school-rebuilding project, all new classrooms meet the requirement for Yolanda- or typhoon-resilient classrooms; they can withstand winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.

For Phase 3 of the school-rebuilding project, the Lopez Group companies have set aside their own funds for the construction of 56 classrooms in 24 school sites in seven towns—Carigara, Capoocan, Barugo, Jaro, Pastrana, Burauen, Babatngon, Kananga and Ormoc City in Leyte; Sulat town in Eastern Samar; Dumarao town in Capiz, Aklan and in other parts of the Visayas.

EDC, which acts as project manager for the program, expects to complete the classrooms five to six months from start of construction.

In the first two phases of the Lopez Group’s school-rebuilding program, funds pooled from various donors by ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc.–Sagip Kapamilya were tapped to construct new school buildings or to repair damaged schools in Yolanda-hit areas.

First Gen, First Balfour, First Philec and Rockwell are funding Phase 3 of the school-rebuilding program.

Under Phase 1, EDC constructed 14 new classrooms and repaired 10 other classrooms in four pilot schools in Ormoc City, Palo and Isabel in Leyte. Under Phase 2, EDC constructed 48 new classrooms in 18 school sites in Leyte.

So far, the three phases of the school rebuilding project cost P245.3 million, inclusive of expenses for the training and livelihood modules. Of this total, roughly P86 million represented donor funds pooled by Sagip Kapamilya; another P159.3 million came from First Gen, First Balfour and other Lopez Group companies.