PLDT, PBSP build
schools with used batteries
By Philippine Business for
December 12, 2012
CEBU CITY – Used
batteries can build classrooms, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone
Company (PLDT) proves this to be true when it recently turned over
classrooms in the far-off schools of Northern Samar, which were built
through the donation of its used lead acid batteries (ULABs).
By donating their ULABs to
Motolite, which buys them at a higher price, PLDT was able to generate
P3.4 million for the construction of four classrooms, benefiting 513
pupils in Bangkerohan Elementary School and Nenita Central School.
This is the winning formula
of the Balik-Baterya Program by Motolite and Philippine Business for
Social Progress (PBSP), an initiative that has helped companies
properly recycle their ULABs so they could be converted to useful
materials. The funds raised from the donated ULABs are then used for
various projects that help improve the state of education in the
“We in the private sector
recognize the role of our children and youth in shaping the future of
our country and our planet, hence we help our government reach its
goal of providing better education by building classrooms and helping
improve our public schools and communities,” PLDT Community Relations
Senior Manager Evelyn del Rosario shared during the turnover events
with PBSP, Department of Education and the provincial government of
Northern Samar Governor Paul
Daza, on the other hand, urged the pupils and teachers to show their
appreciation of PLDT’s donation by making good use of the classrooms.
“You are lucky that out of
24 towns and 569 barangays, you were chosen to receive these
classrooms because the barangay officials, teachers, principals and
parents are active, which will assure our donors that the classrooms
will be used properly,” he said.
Early Christmas present
For sixth grader Steven Elad
Francisco, PLDT's visit to their school is the best early Christmas
present he has ever received.
His classroom, located to
the farthest corner of Bangkerohan Elementary School, is the most
affected when storms upset their regular classes. When flooding is
really strong, he reveals, the water level reaches up to their upper
knees, preventing them from even sitting on their desks.
“With the new classrooms, I
know the pupils before me will not experience what we have to endure
almost every month,” Francisco shared, who is expected graduate this
In Nenita Central School,
teachers had to handle 21 classes in 17 classrooms, which them to
conduct classes in makeshift rooms that are not conducive to learning.
“We are so grateful to have
these classrooms that will help us reach our vision, which is to cater
basic quality education to our pupils who will become productive
citizens of our nation,” Nenita Central School Principal Brenda
The four classrooms donated
to Northern Samar will be used by 383 first and second graders of
Bangkerohan Elementary School and 139 grade three pupils of Nenita
Central School. Each classroom is provided with arm chairs, teacher’s
tables and a comfort room. Aside from the classroom, the project also
includes a training component to help build the capacities of the
parents and teachers’ associations so they could easily perform their
roles and function.
“May your new classrooms
encourage you to study harder so that someday you would become good
citizens of Northern Samar and our country,” del Rosario told the
“If we really wanted to help
our people, especially those in the impoverished areas, the best way
is through education. By giving them education, we help them easily
uplift their lives,” Governor Daza added.
Always on top
Launched in 2006, the
Balik-Baterya Program aims to protect the environment through proper
disposal and recycling of ULABs as well as improve the learning of
PLDT joined the program in
2008 and has then become its top donor with the company’s donations
comprising 77% of the program’s total ULAB contributions. Through its
donations, the company has already provided 22 mini-libraries and two
computer laboratories to various schools in the Visayas.
PLDT is also the first
company under the Balik-Baterya program that chose to use its funds to
“We in PLDT contribute to
national development by strengthening our country’s telecommunications
as an important foundation for a progressive country. In line with our
business of bridging people and communities here and abroad, we chose
education as a major corporate social responsibility program because
we acknowledge that more opportunities can be accessed by children and
youth who have completed their basic education,” del Rosario said.
She also hopes that the
classrooms donated will help address the country’s need for 66,800 new
“With PBSP, we are able to
build classrooms in far flung communities where help is most needed,”
del Rosario added.
“The classrooms that we are
turning over today may be quite few if we look at the thousands of
classrooms that need to be constructed for our public schools.
However, this is already a big step here in your community and we in
PBSP express our gratitude to PLDT, most especially to its chairman,
Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan and its community relations head, Ms. Evelyn
del Rosario, for your continuing partnership with PBSP in your
corporate social responsibility initiatives,” PBSP Visayas Regional
Center Director Jessie Cubijano stated.