After the T’bolis of South Cotabato in 2014, One Meralco Foundation’s School Electrification Program brought much needed electricity to another indigenous peoples’ community in Southern Mindanao: the B’laans in Sarangani province.
Through solar photovoltaic technology, OMF energized four mountain schools attended mostly by B’laan students namely, Danao Integrated School, Nian Integrated School, Tangali Integrated School and Lamlabong Integrated School. These are among the 100 remote public schools across the country energized by the foundation since the establishment of the school electrification program in 2011.
A community launch was held to celebrate success of the project which was made possible by the collaboration of various stakeholder groups — school officials, parents, community members, local government units and the foundation.
During the launch, OMF also turned over a multimedia equipment to each school donated by Meralco employees through an internal giving organization called the Meralco Employees’ Fund for Charity (MEFCI). Employees who are members of MEFCI set aside a portion of their salary each month to support social development programs such as OMF’s school electrification program. MEFCI donates to every school energized by OMF.
In May 2015, a B’laan student from Sarangani and a T’boli student from South Cotabato who were benefited by the program were invited to lead the prayer during Meralco’s Annual General Meeting of Stockholders held at the Meralco Theater in Ortigas, Pasig City. – Neil Rara/Rainier Manguiat