MWF SUPPORTS NUTRITION MONTH THROUGH
PROPER HANDWASHING

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n line with this year’s Nutrition Month's theme of “Healthy Diet, Gawing Habit for Life”, Manila Water Foundation reached out to public schools and institutions through its Health in Our Hands (HiOH) program, a year-round campaign that teaches the value of proper handwashing in preventing the spread of communicable diseases. Read more...

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MANILA WATER FOUNDATION KICKS OFF THE SCHOOL YEAR BY TEACHING PROPER HANDWASHING

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Manila Water Foundation (MWF) welcomed the new school year by teaching close to a thousand pupils from Metro Manila  the seven steps of proper handwashing. Read more...

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Preparing for disasters:

MANILA WATER FOUNDATION SPEARHEADS MTP TRAINING

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As part of its commitment to immediately respond to disasters, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) recently conducted a training aimed at equipping the technical teams of the Manila Water group to provide potable water for calamity-stricken communities in the Philippines.

Under its Agapay Para Sa Barangay (APSB) program, MWF taught the participants how to operate a Mobile Treatment Plant (MTP), a transportable water filtration system that converts all types of water to its potable state. The training was conducted in Bataan and was participated by employees from Manila Water Business Continuity Team, Clark Water, Laguna Water, Boracay Island Water, and Cebu Water.

The MTP operation is a critical procedure to ensure that clean drinking water will be delivered to the affected communities and evacuation areas where waterborne diseases due to unsafe water sources are common.

The training will allow MWF to secure the need for clean drinking water during disasters and when prolonged support is necessary. Through the Php10 million donation of Ayala Corporation, MWF was able to acquire one MTP unit which will be stationed in Aklan under the care of Boracay Water. The unit will be ready for deployment should disaster strike in Visayas or Mindanao.

Aside from the deployment of the MTP, the APSB program also provides water relief by sending 5-gallon bottled water and solar bags, a mobile filtration system that uses sunlight to make water potable. As of 2016, Manila Water Foundation, through the APSB program, has provided clean water to over 40,000 families in various areas in the Philippines.

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MWF and IFC Complete Study for Improved

Sanitation Conditions in the Philippines

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Manila Water Foundation (MWF) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently took a step towards improving sanitation among low-income Filipino communities.

MWF partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to conduct a study to develop pro-poor sanitation solutions and healthy sanitation practices in the country. The study aimed to further improve MWF’s local sanitation program, which has been one of the Foundation’s main thrusts since 2015.

This initiative is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 which is to “achieve access to proper sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation”. Locally, it was also in response to the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan, which stated that 5.9% of the country’s total population are still in need of improved sanitation despite interventions from the government.

The joint study was conducted in select urban and peri-urban communities in Metro Manila and other cities in the Philippines. Among the respondents who did not have private toilets, 9% still practice open defecation and 3% use chamber pots as an alternative solution, both of which pose negative health and environmental risks.

Aside from these, respondents shared the psycho-social consequences of not having private toilets such as being the subject of gossip, having to get in line just to have access, and facing issues on safety.

These were echoed by IFC Director for Inclusive Business Toshiya Masuoka who stated the different barriers to improved sanitation conditions. “The study revealed that almost every household that lacked proper sanitation wanted to improve their conditions. However, these households face a number of obstacles in improving their sanitation conditions such as costs, land ownership issues, and lack of space,” he shared.

Masuoka also said that forming strategic partnerships among various stakeholders is a viable solution to combat local sanitation woes. “Although improving sanitation is a complex goal, multiple stakeholders working together to create solutions tailored to the circumstances of low-income households in the Philippines is important for developing an approach that balances the aspects of sanitation that households most value with the barriers they face in financing and constructing improved facilities.”

MWF Chairman Ferdinand Dela Cruz also emphasized the study’s expected impact on the lives of grassroots-level communities in the Philippines.

“Our partnership with IFC in research and development is vital in realizing this pro-poor sanitation agenda. Having them on our side has helped us in developing our own brand of a sanitation program that uses a people-centric and context-based approach, recognizing that no single technology or solution can address the Base of the Pyramid communities’ sanitation needs,” Dela Cruz said.

Aside from the joint study, MWF piloted the construction of a community toilet in Cainta, Rizal. The result was an eight-cubicle communal toilet facility in San Buena Compound built in 2015 that has since benefited more than 1,300 individuals.

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MWF partners with OVP for strategic disaster response

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Manila Water Foundation (MWF) strengthened its relationship with the Office of the Vice President (OVP) as they formalized their partnership for a more strategic disaster response aimed at bringing immediate help for displaced Filipino families throughout the country.

With this joint commitment, MWF will be able to reach out to more Filipino families who are afflicted by natural disasters more promptly. To formally start the partnership, the said organizations recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which signifies their commitment to answer the needs of calamity-stricken families.

Having the same vision, the disaster response programs of both organizations are believed to complement each other. Via the Agapay Para Sa Barangay (APSB) program, MWF is equipped to supply potable water and mobile water treatment facilities should the need arise. On the other hand, OVP’s Angat Buhay program is capacitated to fulfill the logistical requirements of the APSB program through its other partners, specifically the timely delivery and distribution of the said relief for affected families in times of disaster.

During the MOU signing, Manila Water Foundation Chairman Ferdinand Dela Cruz reiterated the importance of having OVP on board as an ally for the APSB program.

“OVP answers our problem, which is the logistics side (of the APSB program). They would pick up the water bottles from our plants and deliver these timely to the affected communities. That’s really a big solution to the issues we have faced before,” said Dela Cruz.

On the other hand, OVP shared the gravity of the need for potable water during displacement since this is the resource which is always adversely affected by calamities. With this, Vice President Leni Robredo expressed her thanks to Manila Water Foundation for being quick in responding to the call for potable water in disaster areas.

Even before the partnership has been formalized, the OVP has acknowledged MWF’s positive contributions to the Angat Buhay program which was actualized during the OVP’s Partners’ Night. This recognition was positively received by MWF who also accepted the challenge to continuously be the face of hope and inspiration to Filipinos in need.

Thus, aside from deploying immediate relief, the formalization of the two organizations’ partnership is a good start to explore other possibilities to collaborate. This is especially true for enabling sustainable and holistic development to the communities being supported by both organizations which was voiced out by MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim during the event.

“There is a lot of work that needs to be done but I am very happy that the OVP is willingly working with us to help BoP communities. Hopefully, we can also identify other areas of synergy where we can work on together towards holistic development,” Beriña-Kim said.

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MWF, CWC, and partners fulfill promise to IP community

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Manila Water Foundation (MWF), Clark Water Corporation (CWC), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) have recently fulfilled the promise that they have formalized last year as the water facility, which they have committed to an Aeta community in Mabalacat City, Pampanga, has been officially turned over.

Inspired by the vision of the late Atty. Angelo “Sonny” Lopez II, the former Head of External Affairs Department of CDC who was known to have built strong ties among Aeta communities in the Clark Freeport area, the four organizations concretized this water project even after his untimely passing in 2015.

Through the MWF-initiated Ahon Pinoy program, which aims to provide alternative access to water in areas where pipe laying is geographically impossible, a water tank that is directly connected to Clark Water’s existing water network was designed and constructed for the benefit of more than 200 Aeta residents of the community.

The initial plan was only to rehabilitate the hand pump of the community. However, after several attempts, no water can be sourced out from the grounds of the mountainous area. So instead of pushing through with the original plan, CWC decided to upgrade the project into a full blown water facility which includes a pumping station, pipe bridge, overhead tank, and communal faucet.

Although the project had a rough start, CWC General Manager Maidy Lynne Quinto shared that the challenges they have encountered were channeled into something more favorable for the community.

Inabot po tayo ng isang taon dahil medyo nahirapan din po tayong makakuha ng magsu-supply ng tubig na magiging sustainable, ‘yun pong tuluy-tuloy kahit anong panahon. Kami ay talagang natutuwa na after one year, nandito na po yung patubig at ‘di na po kailangan pang bumaba [sa bundok] ng mga kasama natin sa Sitio Haduan para po mag-igib ng tubig. Ang kagandahan din po ng patubig na ito ay pwede itong inumin para masiguro natin na atin ring mapangalagaan ang kanilang kalusugan,” she said. (The project took a year to be completed because we had difficulties looking for a sustainable water source to withstand varying weather conditions. We are truly very grateful that the water facility is now here. Our brothers and sisters from Sitio Haduan no longer need to go down from their homes to fetch water. On top of that, we can ensure that we will also be able to look after their health because the water produced by the facility is potable.)

Before the engagement, the community only relied on the water hand pump that they used to have. However, after it has been non-operational for years, the community was left with no option but to fetch water from the nearest creek to fulfill their water needs. This practice posed both physical and health risks, as the water quality from the said source is questionable.

Upon receiving the facility, Sitio Haduan Tribe Chieftain Roy Tanglao can only utter words of appreciation and commitment to take care of it.

Nagpapasalamat po ako. Ito pong patubig na ito ay napakalaking responsibilidad pero babantayan po namin ito. Asahan po ninyo na ito pong ibinigay n’yo pong proyekto sa amin sa Sitio Haduan ay aming aalagaan,” he said with conviction. (We are truly thankful. The water facility entails a huge amount of responsibility but we promise that we will take care of it.)

To close the event, MWF President Ferdinand Dela Cruz paid tribute to the group’s motivation and inspiration to continue the project despite the unfavorable start.

 “Si Atty. Sonny Lopez II talaga ang dahilan kung bakit tayo narito ngayon. Siya po ang nagbigay ng inspirasyon sa atin na hindi pumayag na hindi matuloy ang proyektong ito kaya po wala talagang sumuko. It took Clark Water PhP6.7 million to build the project. Ngunit, ‘yan pong mga numero ay balewala, ang importante po ay natupad po ang pangarap para sa Sitio Haduan ni Ka Sonny. Kaya sana po ito ay maging patuloy na simbolo ng pagakakaisa,” he shared. (Atty. Sonny Lopez II is the reason why we are gathered here today. He served as our inspiration to continue this project and to never give up. It took Clark Water PhP6.7 million to build the project but all of those numbers don’t really matter. What’s important is that we were able to make his dreams for Sitio Haduan materialize. We hope that this project will continue to be a symbol of unity to everyone.)

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LAGUNA AND BATAAN COMMUNITY-BASED COOPERATIVES EMPOWERED TO VENTURE INTO NEW BUSINESSES

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To further engage and encourage its Kabuhayan Para sa Barangay (KPSB) partner cooperatives from Laguna and Bataan to take concrete actions towards community-based development, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) recently took part in several capacity-building trainings, which were initiated by Laguna Water and Manila Water Philippine Ventures.

With the support of Laguna Provincial Cooperative Development Office (PCDO) and the Bataan Provincial Cooperative and Enterprise Development Office (PCEDO), over 60 KPSB partner cooperatives composed of close to 200 members were enjoined to attend the Entrepreneurship and Business Management and Resiliency seminars in the mentioned provinces. Led by a Cooperative Development Authority accredited trainer, these seminars were conducted to improve the participants’ marketing and management skills to enable them to develop business resiliency abilities that will help them combat and rise above the challenges they face as an organization.

These objectives were supported by Bataan PCEDO Head Azucena Sugatain, who further encouraged the cooperatives to venture into new businesses.

“The very purpose or reason kung bakit tayo nasa seminar na ito ay para kilitiin kayo, gisingin kayo [at] pukawin ang mga isip ninyo para makita ninyo na maraming naglipana at nagkalat na business opportunities. When you diversify your business, mas nagiging stable ang inyong cooperative. Kung maraming pingakakakitaan, maraming income ang pumapasok sa kooperatiba,” she said. (The reason why we are in this seminar is to let the cooperatives know that there are a lot of business opportunities around and to encourage them to explore these available opportunities. With diversity comes more income sources, as well as stability.)


On the other hand, Laguna Provincial Administrator Atty. Dulce Rebanal expressed her appreciation towards the Foundation for its unending support for the cooperatives, which started with the KPSB program’s zero-interest loans.

“I would like to commend Manila Water Foundation for being our partner sa atin pong mga programa [sa] Cooperative Development Office. They are always there to support us, lalo na [sa ating] mga kooperatiba. Ang dami pong binigay sa atin in terms of loans, PhP 100,000 without interest. And we are really very thankful for their support and commitment para po maisulong ang ating mga kooperatiba dito sa lalawigan ng Laguna,” remarked. (I would like to commend Manila Water Foundation for being a constant partner in several programs of the Cooperative Development Office. They are always there to support us, especially our cooperatives. They have been of great help to us in terms of the non-interest-bearing loans amounting to Php 100,000 for every cooperative. We are really very thankful for their support and commitment to help the development of cooperatives in the province of Laguna.)

The KPSB program comprises the community assistance and livelihood focus area of MWF. To date, it has opened its doors of opportunities to 464 cooperatives all over the country.

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MWF LAUNCHES YEAR-ROUND PROGRAM FOR BETTER HEALTH

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To further its commitment to promote handwashing and hygiene to Filipino children and those involved in shaping their lifestyle, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) has recently piloted a program called “Health in Our Hands” at the Quirino Elementary School in Anonas, Quezon City.

This new program under MWF’s water education focus area seeks to reinforce the importance of proper hygiene in keeping one’s health via year-round campaigns in schools and communities. The inaugural event, which was attended by more than 300 pupils and teachers, discussed how proper hygiene should start from the human hands. Through an interactive lecture, participants learned about the seven steps of proper handwashing and the key moments when these should be practiced.

Aside from the lecture, a hand painting and handwashing ceremony was also conducted to express everyone’s pledge to take on a more active role in achieving proper hygiene. After the handwashing session, students also pledged their commitment by sticking hand stickers in the event’s pledge wall.

The campaign’s importance was highlighted by MWF’s President Ferdinand Dela Cruz who committed to further this initiative. “Last year we celebrated the Global Handwashing Day for the whole month of October. At ngayong taon nga ay napagasyahan namin na dapat ang kaalaman sa tamang paghuhugas ng kamay ay hindi lamang sa buwan ng Oktubre. Kaya minarapat namin na palawigin ang programang ito sa pamamagitan ng Health in Our Hands program. We are going to teach proper handwashing all year-round. That is our commitment in Manila Water Foundation,” he quipped. (Last year we celebrated the Global Handwashing Day for the whole month of October. This year, we have decided that this learning shouldn’t be shared only in the month of October. Thus, we made sure that this advocacy will be furthered via the Health in Our Hands program. We are going to teach proper handwashing all year round. That is our commitment at Manila Water Foundation.)

His statement was bolstered by the Soroptimist International (SI) of the Philippines Governor Maria Tumaneng Rosario who reiterated their organization’s mission and imparted, on the other hand, the importance of supporting such programs that can empower children.

“Our theme for this millennium is to educate and train women and girls to access and conserve clean and safe water. This is supported by our tagline which is ‘Water is wealth for women.’ Thus, we are thankful to be partners with Manila Water Foundation because we share the same advocacy of providing water. Aside from that, we are also [committed to] take care of children and this facility is really a gift for them. This is the first school where we built a handwashing facility because we believe that the best way to touch lives is through water,” she shared.


SI, through its Congressional Club, donated a handwashing facility to the school after deciding to tap MWF’s water education program to help ensure that the donation will also be instrumental in the effort to achieve better health for the students. The inauguration of the facility, which will benefit nearly 3,000 pupils, teachers, and staff, served as the culmination of the day’s event.

To ensure that the engagement will continue even after the event, information, education, and communication materials were also given away to all participants along with the book donation from Scholastic. With this, Quirino Elementary School Principal Maricris Santos expressed a heartfelt thanks to the proponents of the activity.

Isa kami sa pinakamapalad na nilalang sa mundong dito. Kahit papatapos na ang taong ito ng pagaaral ay mayroon pa ring napakalaking regalo na ibinigay ang Manila Water Foundation at Soroptimist International para sa aming paaralan. Ang handwashing facility, mga kaalaman at aklat na ibinigay sa amin ay narito upang kami ay laging maging malinis at malayo sa sakit,” she thanked. (We are blessed to receive these gifts from Manila Water Foundation and Soroptimist International even though the school year is about to end. This handwashing facility, the learnings, and the books that were given to us will help us to be always clean and safe from sickness.)

Also in the event was Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, a member of Soroptimist International and one of MWF’s long-term partners, who encouraged all attendees, especially the pupils, to take action towards good health. “Ayon sa mga pag-aaral, ang mga kabataan ay madaling dapuan ng germs at ‘yan ang dahilan ng kanilang pagkakasakit tulad ng sipon, ubo at pagsakit ng tiyan. At ang kalutasan sa mga sakit na ito ay ang tamang paghuhugas ng kamay. Kaya naman ang mensahe ko sa mga kabataan ay palagi silang maghugas ng kamay [upang mapanatili ang kalusugan],” she said. (Studies suggest that children are more prone to acquire germs which causes sickness such as colds, cough and diarrhea. All of these can be solved through proper handwashing. I encourage all of the schoolchildren to practice frequent and proper handwashing to keep themselves healthy.)

MWF’s year-round campaign will be brought to several more schools in key locations in Metro Manila in the coming months. To create an even bigger impact, MWF is also looking into the possibility of conducting the same engagement in other schools adopted by Soroptimist International of Congressional.

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Premier Search for Engineers and Scientists Returns…

2017 MANILA WATER FOUNDATION PRIZE FOR ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE OPENS NOMINATIONS 

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Nominations are now officially open for the 2017 run of the first-ever nationwide search for exemplary engineers and scientists who have developed and implemented projects that champion water, sanitation, environment and sustainability for marginalized communities.

The biennial Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence, which was first launched in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2015, previously honored five distinguished Filipinos who have paved the way for reinvention, creativity, and discovery that provided solutions to problems and difficulties that plague our nation.

Joining Manila Water Foundation (MWF) and DOST this 2017 is the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), the umbrella organization of all accredited professional engineering organizations recognized by the Professional Regulation Commission and self-certifying engineering professional organizations in the country. The triumvirate will join forces to find five new individuals who will be given PhP500,000 each for their inspiring engineering and scientific solutions that have resulted in positive social impacts.

MWF President Ferdinand Dela Cruz intimated his gratitude for the support that the Prize has been receiving from DOST, as well as his delight for having PTC starting this year. “We are truly grateful to the new DOST administration, led by Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña and Undersecretary Brenda Nazareth-Manzano, for agreeing to extend the partnership we have forged during the maiden edition of the Prize in 2015. Accolades are also in order for Former Secretary Mario Montejo, Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, and their team for contributing to the success of the first run. Now with PTC on board, we are optimistic that we will be able to reach out to more ingenious engineers and scientists like the first batch of awardees who are still soaring to greater heights up to this day,” he said.

The 2015 awardees are, indeed, continuing to dedicate their genius for the benefit of society. Dr. Rex Demafelis has successfully scaled up his community-based biofuel program, which gives benefiting farmers from several provinces more crops and higher-yielding sources of income. Dr. Merlinda Palencia and her team have made their organo-mineral project more accessible and open for use in more communities in the Philippines with the construction and launch of a manufacturing plant that ensures better waste management and treatment for the benefit of our water systems. Dr. Enrico Paringit continues to lead the Phil-LIDAR 1, which is more commonly known as Project NOAH for disaster-risk reduction. He and his team's mapping resources have been providing the knowledge and tools for gathering details necessary for assessing risks and exposure of communities to floods and storm surges, which are now becoming more frequent and destructive due to climate change. Dr. Evelyn Taboada, who is also a recipient of the ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, incessantly finds ways to make her brainchild of converting mango wastes to high-value products helpful to marginalized communities in Cebu. Lastly, Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano, who heads the group of scholars and engineers working on Diwata 2 that is set to launch in 2018, is one of just three practicing engineers and educators in our country to be conferred the title of "Ambassador" from Hokkaido University.

Eligible to be nominated are bona fide Filipinos who have a degree in any engineering course or related sciences and have been actively performing engineering functions in the Philippines for a cumulative total of at least ten years.

More details, as well as downloadable forms, can be seen at http://manilawaterfoundation.org/engineering-excellence. Nominations will close on June 30, 2017.

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Addressing the still pressing need for potable water a month on..

MWF CONTINUES WATER RELIEF FOR TYPHOON NINA AFFECTED COMMUNITIES

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Manila Water Foundation (MWF) recently deployed a total of 20,000 gallons of clean drinking water to thousands of families affected by Typhoon Nina that made landfall on Christmas Day of 2016.

The first half of this initiative, which was carried out through the Foundation’s Agapay Para Sa Barangay (APSB) program, benefited 2,000 hard-hit families from Camarines Sur and Quezon, two of the most severely affected by the typhoon that displaced over 300,000 families.

More than a month after the calamity, clean and potable water is still a concern and a pressing need among some municipalities in the province of Camarines Sur. To address this, MWF provided another 2,000 units of 5-gallon bottled water to the municipalities of Buhi and Camaligan which were among the most affected in the province.

According to Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Camarines Sur Chapter Administrator Maria Theresa Bongiad, while all of the 35 municipalities and two cities of the province were affected by the typhoon, the chosen municipality beneficiaries were glaringly left with compromised water supply conditions due to the damages and flooding caused by the typhoon.

Yung tubig [mula sa Manila Water Foundation] ibibigay natin sa mga municipality na nagkaroon ng water contamination kasi nagkaroon ng leak yung kanilang pipes. Malaking tulong talaga ito sa kanila kaya maraming salamat,” (The water assistance from Manila Water Foundation will be distributed to municipalities where cases of water contamination were reported due to damages in water pipes caused by the typhoon. This assistance will surely be of great help and we are very grateful.) Bongiad thankfully quipped.

This response, which was made possible through the endorsement of Ayala Education to the PRC CamSur Chapter and the University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), will help 1,800 families in Buhi and 200 more in Brgy. Sua-Tampac, UNC’s adopted barangay in Camaligan that is still in dire need of continuous assistance.

Aside from MWF’s continuous support in the provinces hit by Typhoon Nina, the APSB program is ironing out its plans to help areas in Mindanao where thousands of families, including their livelihood, were placed in peril by the recent flooding.

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MWF AND PARTNER CEBU LGUs CAPACITATE OVER 3,500 COOP MEMBERS FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


More than 3,500 community-based cooperative members from three Cebu cities were recently empowered to contribute to nation-building through sustainable economic development at a community level via non-interest-bearing loans and skills improvement trainings.

In coordination with the Cooperative Development Authority Region VII and the local government units of the cities of Cebu, Naga and Talisay, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) mobilized and capacitated 16 cooperatives and gave them the opportunity to either expand their existing businesses or venture into new ones through its Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay (KPSB) program.

KPSB, which is MWF’s flagship community assistance and livelihood program, provides PhP100,000 worth of non-interest-bearing loans to community-based cooperatives all over the Philippines. Aside from the financial assistance, KPSB partner cooperatives also enjoy relevant trainings to help them manage and operate their businesses better. This package ensures holistic and sustainable progress for cooperative members and their respective families.

This kind of progress, together with the promise of a fresh start, is what members of Naga School Teachers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NSTMPC) look forward to. According to its Chairman, John Roy Ravina, the soft loan they received from MWF will help them explore new businesses. “Yung binigay ng Manila Water Foundation na tulong sa amin, yun ay mapupunta sa aming planong mag-tayo ng swine raising business. (The loan we received from Manila Water Foundation will be used to put up a swine raising business.) Also, we want to move towards the direction where we can put up other kinds of business like a consumer store where our members can go and purchase their needs [at a more affordable price],” he said.

Aside from new business ventures that will enable positive changes among the members of NSTMPC, Chairman Ravina assured that they will also extend the opportunity that they have received to those at the community level. “One way to help is to give assistance to our members who are public servants and that is possible through the additional funding we just received from Manila Water Foundation,” he remarked.

City of Naga Councilor and City Cooperative and Development Council (CCDC) Head Rodrigo Navarro also highlighted the importance of the financial assistance given by MWF and the benefits that the cooperative members will reap in the long run. “Kailangan po talaga namin ng tulong pinansyal para sa karagdagang kapital para makatulong sa pag-unlad ng mga kooperatiba lalo na at nagsisimula pa lang sila. Kapag may ginansya ang mga kooperatiba, may makukuha ang mga miyembro. Malaking tulong po ang binigay na financial assistance ng Manila Water Foundation at malaking karangalan po ito[ng partnership na ito] para sa amin,” (Our cooperatives really need additional capital, especially since they are just starting. If the cooperatives earn profit, the members get shares. The financial assistance we received from Manila Water Foundation is indeed a great help. It is an honor to become Manila Water Foundation’s partner) he quipped.


The remarkable turnout of KPSB applicants in Cebu served as a validation of MWF’s unwavering faith in the importance of sustainable livelihood opportunities to organized groups such as community cooperatives in boosting the local and national economic growth of our country. Thus, it was very fitting that MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim reiterated what the organization envisions during the check turnover held in Naga City.

“The bigger objective of Manila Water Foundation is to help in nation-building. Of course, we won’t be able to do that unless we can strengthen and boost local economic development and the perfect partners for this are the cooperatives because of your objectives and aspirations to become very strong in terms of your business enterprise and to generate employment for the community members as well,” she stressed.

To date, 427 community-based cooperatives in the country, or more than 120,000 families, have been assisted by the KPSB program.

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MWF, LGUs champion proper handwashing

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Schoolchildren of Balara Elementary School actively participated in the fun and interactive learning session which was followed by a ceremonial washing of hands during the GHD kickoff on October 3. 

To help promote a healthier future, various local government units supported the country-wide and month-long celebration of the 2016 Global Handwashing Day (GHD) spearheaded by Manila Water Foundation (MWF) where over 130,000 individuals have been engaged to create lasting pledges to make proper handwashing a lifestyle in order to help eradicate the spread of communicable and easily preventable diseases.

During a special leg conducted at the Quezon City Hall, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed the importance of spreading this advocacy for the constituents of the city. “Sa araw po na ito nakikiisa ang ating pong mahal na lungsod sa pagdiriwang ng Global Handwashing Day dahil ang isa sa mga adbokasiya po natin ay mabawasan ang child mortality. Ito po ay bahagi ng millennium development goals at ngayon ay patuloy pa rin nating ipinaglalaban,” (On this day, our beloved city joins the celebration of Global Handwashing Day because one of our mandates is to decrease child mortality, which is part of our millennium development goals.) she expressed.



In a separate event for the Laguna leg held at Solenad, Sta. Rosa City Mayor Dan Fernandez also indicated his support towards proper handwashing by reiterating its importance in keeping one’s health. “Mahal na po ‘yung pagpapa-ospital, mahal na po ‘yung pagkakasakit and one of the basic things we can do [to prevent these] is to wash our hands and educate our people. So rest assured that the city government is with you in this endeavor. We are very thankful to Manila Water Foundation for coming up with this kind of project.” (Getting sick and hospitalization can be costly and one of the basic things we can do to prevent these is to wash our hands and educate our people. Rest assured that the city government of Sta. Rosa is with you in this endeavor. We are very thankful to Manila Water Foundation for coming up with this kind of project.), he stated.

GHD, which is an annual international campaign held every 15th of October, was started in 2008 by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. In the Philippines, MWF has been one of the most active proponents in promoting this advocacy that aims to prevent diseases in a cost-effective manner through a series of events promoting the advocacy on proper handwashing with soap and clean water. During the main GHD celebration attended by over 2,000 students, parents, and teachers at Circuit Makati, MWF President Ferdinand Dela Cruz reinforced the Foundation’s support for this annual international campaign by looking back on how it all started.

“Ang Manila Water Foundation ay matagal na ring sumusuporta sa Global Handwashing Day celebration. Kami po ay nagsimula sa Metro Manila at last year, kami po ay naging nationwide sa pag-promote ng Global Handwashing Day at hindi lang po isang araw kundi buong buwan ng Oktubre na idineklara namin [bilang] Global Handwashing month,” (For years, Manila Water Foundation has been supporting the Global Handwashing Day celebration which we started in Metro Manila. Last year, our nationwide campaign started where we declared the whole month of October to be the Global Handwashing month.) he shared.

Dela Cruz also highlighted MWF’s fun and interactive activities for pupils, which include a lecture demonstration and actual application of the seven steps of handwashing, to ensure that the advocacy’s importance is inculcated upon them. He then encouraged all pupils in attendance to pass on everything that they have learned to their families, schoolmates, and friends true to this year’s theme “Make Handwashing A Habit.”

Prior to the October 15 main event, MWF has taken the advocacy of proper handwashing to various school events, malls and communities. The festivities will continue up to the final day of the month wherein an estimated 5,000 on-site attendees are expected to participate and learn about the value of proper handwashing with soap and water.

MWF’s month-long and nationwide celebration of the 2016 Global Handwashing Day is co-presented by Scholastic and sponsored by Pilot, Ayala Mall Cinemas, Generika Drugstore, and Globe. Institutional partners include the Department of Education, The Mind Museum, Quezon City Health Department, Manila Water, Clark Water, Laguna Water, Boracay Water, and Cebu Water while the venue partners are UP Town Center, Market! Market!, Ayala Center Cebu, Solenad, D’Mall Boracay, Abreeza Mall Davao, Marquee Mall Pampanga, Glorietta, Local Government of Quezon City, Circuit Makati, and Hennan Regency Resort and Spa, Boracay. Helping promote the month-long activities and events are official radio partners Play FM 99.5 and Wish 107.5, as well as regional media partners Yes FM 91.1, Easy Rock 93.5, GMA 7 Boracay, and Paradise Cable Television Network, Inc.

 Visit www.facebook.com/ManilaWaterFoundation for more details and photos.

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MANILA WATER FOUNDATION KICKS OFF MONTH-LONG, NATIONWIDE GLOBAL HANDWASHING DAY CELEBRATION

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Manila Water Foundation (MWF) successfully wrapped up the first week of its month-long and nationwide celebration of the 2016 Global Handwashing Day (GHD) with over 3,000 Filipinos from Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao enjoined to support the international campaign that aims to minimize the spread of communicable and easily preventable diseases through proper handwashing with soap.

The series of events started at Balara Elemetary School where over 1,000 pupils and teachers enjoyed the fun and interactive activities, which included a lecture demonstration and actual application of the seven steps of handwashing. At the end of the program, all of the attendees pledged their commitment to proper handwashing true to this year’s GHD theme “Make Handwashing A Habit” by sticking hand stickers with their names on pledge walls.

Balara Elementary School Principal Natividad Nacino urged everyone in attendance to pass on everything that MWF has taught them. “Napakarami ng eskwelahan dito sa Quezon City, subalit kayo ang pinakamaswerte dahil dinala ng Manila Water Foundation dito ang kahalagahan ng tamang paghuhugas ng kamay. At buhat sa Balara Elementary School, kayong mga maliliit na bata ay magmimistulang mga mumunting anghel na ipapadala para ituro lahat ng matutunan ninyo ngayon sa inyong mga pamilya. Ganoon din, inaanyayahan ko din ang aking masisipag at mababait na guro para palagiang ipaalala sa mga bata ang paghuhugas ng kamay,” (We should consider ourselves lucky because from the pool of schools here in Quezon City, we were chosen by Manila Water Foundation to be a partner and recipient of this activity which promotes proper handwashing. In return, I encourage every pupil to share this advocacy to their families. Likewise, I encourage our teachers to always remind the pupils to make handwashing a habit.) she said.

After the school event in Quezon City, MWF opened the advocacy to the general public at Abreeza Mall in Davao City and D’Mall in Boracay. A collective total of almost 1,500 individuals have also joined in the cause of proper handwashing.

Luciana Sousa of Brazil is one of those who committed to live and pass on the advocacy that the GHD promotes especially since she’s a health worker back home. She said that she’s very happy that she was able to chance upon MWF’s booth in Boracay. “Not everyone knows how important proper handwashing is and I am very happy that your organization helps health workers around the world like me teach [people] how washing hands properly can actually save lives,” she said.


Capping off the first week of events is the gathering of about 800 students from different schools of Boracay at the Sitio Malabunot-Tambisaan Covered Court. Like the pupils of Balara Elementary School, they attentively listened and participated in the lecture demonstration and enthusiastically expressed their vow to make handwashing a habit.


The recently concluded events are just a prelude to the more legs to be done all over the Philippines. Aside from other key locations in Metro Manila, MWF is set to bring the GHD celebration to Pampanga, Laguna, and Cebu until the last day of October. The main event, which will coincide with actual GHD on October 15, will be at Circuit Makati. Several students from different schools will be treated to an afternoon of fun, learning, and declaration of support and commitment to live and pass on the advocacy.

MWF’s month-long and nationwide celebration of the 2016 Global Handwashing Day is co-presented by Scholastic and sponsored by Pilot, Ayala Mall Cinemas, Generika Drugstore, and Globe. Institutional partners include the Department of Education, The Mind Museum, Quezon City Health Department, Manila Water, Clark Water, Laguna Water, Boracay Water, and Cebu Water while the venue partners are UP Town Center, Market! Market!, Ayala Center Cebu, Solenad, D’Mall Boracay, Abreeza Mall Davao, Marquee Mall Pampanga, Glorietta, Local Government of Quezon City, Circuit Makati, and Hennan Regency Resort and Spa, Boracay. Helping promote the month-long activities and events are official radio partners Play FM 99.5 and Wish 107.5, as well as regional media partners Yes FM 91.1, Easy Rock 93.5, GMA 7 Boracay, and Paradise Cable Television Network, Inc.

 For more details on the line-up of events, visit www.facebook.com/ManilaWaterFoundation.

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MWF AND PARTNERS TURN OVER PHP1.8M SOFT LOAN TO 12,000 COOP MEMBERS IN CAVITE

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A total of 18 community-based Cavite cooperatives received their Php 100,000 non-interest bearing loans, which can help them expand their current enterprises or venture into new businesses, from MWF.

Through its Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay (KPSB) program, Manila Water Foundation (MWF) formally turned over a total of Php 1.8 Million soft loan, which was generously donated by Fundacion Altadis, a Spain-based non-profit organization who shares the same vision of providing sustainable livelihood for marginalized communities as a means to end poverty.

The said amount was recently awarded to 18 community based cooperatives in Cavite at the Provincial Capitol of Cavite in Trece Martires City following the cooperatives’ Memorandum of Agreement signing done a week before. Each of the cooperatives received a non-interest bearing loan amounting to Php 100,000 which they can use to help them fund their small to medium enterprises.

With the non-interest bearing loan, it will be possible for cooperatives like Golden Heart Multi-Purpose Cooperative to venture to new businesses and provide better services to its members. According to its Founder and General Manager, Leonardo Collamat, this partnership can help the cooperative open a rice trading business which can address the basic needs of its members.

“Very timely ang pagdating ng loan mula sa Manila Water Foundation. Makakatulong ito dahil ‘yan (bigas) nga ang pinaka primary need ng mga members,” (The loan from Manila Water Foundation is very timely. This will help us open a rice trading business which can address the primary need of our members, which is food.) he shared.

Providing for the needs of the members was also the highlight of the testimonial speech given by one of the previous beneficiaries of the program. Ronaldo Sales, Kingsland Pala-Pala Multipurpose Cooperative and Transport Service General Manager, proudly shared how the soft loan which they used to venture into three businesses including rice trading helped their members achieve their dreams.

Yung mga kasapi namin na may negosyo na kainan, napalakas nila yung kanilang negosyo dahil sa supply ng bigas. Mayroon din kaming kasapi na nagkaroon ng negosyo dahil sa bigasang pangkabuhayan [ng kooperatiba],” (Some of our members who have eatery businesses were able to make it grow via the affordable and steady supply of rice. Some were also able to put up their own businesses because of the rice trading business of the cooperative.) he proudly stated.

Sharing the same vision, partner cooperative Parishioners Multipurpose Cooperative Chairman Severo Garcia thanked MWF for its efforts to bring a holistic development for the communities it helps. “Natutuwa ako dahil yung Manila Water Foundation ay may social concern na ang development ay hindi personal [lamang] kundi dapat ay sama-sama nang maramdaman ng lahat,” (I am glad with Manila Water Foundation for its social concern of achieving not only personal development but also development for all.) he gratefully quipped.


MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim reaffirmed this vision and reiterated the rationale behind the soft-loan program of the Foundation. “Palagi po akong tinatanong, bakit daw po walang interes yung pautang namin. Yung KPSB program po kasi hindi siya [ginawa] para tumubo yung Manila Water Foundation. Ang layunin po nito ay para makatulong sa mga cooperatives na nagkaroon ng kaunting problema o financially struggling pero established and composed of competent and honest people. Kaya kami [sa MWF] tutulong kami ang hanggang kaya,” (I am often asked why we don’t charge interest in the loans we give. The rationale behind this is the fact that the KPSB program was not created so Manila Water Foundation can gain income. This program was created to help established cooperatives overcome the financial challenges they encounter. Thus, we will continue to help until we can.) she stressed.

She also took the opportunity to formally thank all the partners especially Fundacion Altadis for trusting MWF to become the custodian of the funds which will help facilitate poverty alleviating and capacity-building programs like KPSB. Words of gratitude were also given to the Provincial Cooperative, Livelihood and Enterprise Development Office and the rest of the Provincial Government of Cavite for helping MWF mobilize community-based cooperatives to take action for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Please click the link for more photos --- Facebook album


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MWF SENDS 43,000 GALLONS OF DRINKING WATER TO FAMILIES AFFECTED BY HABAGAT

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MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim (leftmost) led the turnover of 5,000 gallons of drinking water for the affected residents of Pulilan, Bulacan. Joining her in the turnover (from left to right) are  Pulilan, Bulacan members of the local government unit headed by Mayor Maritz Ochoa-Montejo along with Vice Mayor Ricardo Candido, Councilor Reynaldo Clemente, Jr., MWF Program Manager for Water Supply Xavier Cruz, Municipal Administrator Vicenta Santos and Operation and Maintenance Office Head Maria Concepcion Imbing.

During the onslaught of the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat) rains, Manila Water Foundation (MWF), through its Agapay Para Sa Barangay (APSB) program, deployed 43,000 gallons of water to different provinces in North and Central Luzon to aid in providing safe and potable drinking water to more than 8,600 affected families.

Beneficiaries of the water bottles are residents of areas heavily hit by the monsoon rains in Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Pangasinan. Among them is Ben Paule who lives in an Aeta community in Brgy. Tubo-Tubo, Dinalupihan, Bataan. He shared that he feared for his three grandchildren who were left under his care when their mother passed away due to a blood infection.


Magmula nung bumagsak ang ulan na ito, kami po ay di na masyadong malaya. Kasi sa lakas ng ulan, iniisip po namin baka matibagan kami. Kaya po kami nagpipirmi sa bahay namin o sa barangay [hall], naghihintay, nakikiramdam sa TV at sa radyo. Kami dito sa Brgy. Tubo-Tubo ay nagpapasalamat at kami po ay nabigyan ng tubig na galing sa Manila Water Foundation. Malaking tulong po sa amin lalong-lalo na sa amin na minsan nakakainom ng malabong tubig,” (Since the rain started pouring in our barangay, we cannot move around or go outside. We fear that a landslide might happen anytime, thus we just stayed inside our houses for safety and often went to the barangay hall to hear news about the current situation. The residents of Brgy. Tubo-Tubo are very thankful because we were given clean drinking water by Manila Water Foundation. This is a big help for us especially that the quality of water we drink is often questionable) Ben shared. 



Other beneficiaries from nearby municipalities also expressed their gratitude for the help that they have received from MWF. Merlita Arga, an evacuee in Dagupan City, Pangasinan shared her experience and how having safe drinking water will help her family get through their days in the evacuation center. “Limang araw na kami dito [sa evacuation center]. Umabot na yung baha sa bahay [namin]. Lagpas tao [na]. Pinakamalalim doon sa amin sa [Sitio] Fisheries. Wala na rin po kaming maiinom na tubig. Maraming maraming salamat po dahil tinulungan po ninyo kami. [Ngayon,] makakainom na po kami,” (We’ve been in the evacuation center for five days now. The flood already reached our houses in Sitio Fisheries. We also have no water to drink. Thank you very much for your help. Now, we have safe water to drink) she quipped.


Aside from residents who directly benefited from the donation, local leaders of different municipalities also expressed their appreciation on behalf of their constituents. Dinalupihan, Bataan Mayor Gila Garcia said that they are very grateful for the good gesture that MWF has extendedShe also reiterated the importance of having a clean water source in her jurisdiction especially since a large portion of their population still doesn’t have direct access to piped water. “Talagang we saw na you were here right away. You called even before we asked. We really need to address the issue on safe and potable water for all our households. So we are hoping that somehow, considering all the situations that are already given, that we will have an opportunity to work together with Manila Water Foundation and Manila Water Company,” she said.

Pulilan, Bulacan Mayor Maritz Ochoa-Montejo lauded the APSB program and encouraged MWF to continue its mission of providing safe and potable water to disaster-affected communities. “Napakarami na po nang nabaha dito sa amin kaya ang tulong ninyo na clean, safe, and potable water ay napakagandang proyekto. Sana ay di kayo magsawa sa pagtulong,” (Many residents here in Pulilan were affected by the floods brought about by the rains. Your initiative to bring safe and potable water to communities like ours is very helpful. I wish that you would continue with such projects) she expressed with glee.

Aside from the water bottles, 100 solar bags were also given to serve as portable water treatment apparatuses in Calasiao, Pangasinan. Part of the funding for the distributed items was taken from a special block screening organized by MWF back in June.

To view more photos, please visit facebook.com/manilawaterfoundation

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MWF AND PARTNERS HELP MORE THAN 12,000 COOP MEMBERS IN CAVITE GET A FRESH CHANCE TO A BETTER LIFE

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60 attendees from 19 cooperatives were present during the MOA signing. Out of the 19 cooperatives, 10 are engaged in rice trading while the remaining nine cooperatives are into other businesses like bakery business, metal fabrication, transportation, and express pay services.

Manila Water Foundation (MWF), in partnership with Fundacion Altadis and the Provincial Cooperative, Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Office (PCLEDO) of Cavite, assisted 12,318 community-based cooperative members get a fresh chance to a better life through a project collaboration that aims to help achieve sustainable development via provision of non-interest bearing loans and capacity building mechanisms.

Through its Kabuhayan Para Sa Barangay (KPSB) program, MWF officially formalized its partnership with 19 Cavite-based cooperatives through a Memorandum of Agreement signing held on August 15, 2016 at the Cavite Cooperative Development Center, Trece Martires City. Each of the cooperatives will get PhP100,000 which they can use as additional capital for their small to medium enterprises. Apart from the loans, they will also be provided with trainings and other capacity-building assistance to help the cooperatives achieve holistic growth.

In total, PhP1.9 million will be awarded to said cooperatives whose businesses include rice trading, consumer goods, and transport services. Said amount was raised through a tie-up project with Fundacion Altadis, a Spain-based non-profit organization whose mandate to create sustainable livelihood for countries with great social needs through capacity building and skills improvement is very much aligned with MWF’s livelihood thrusts.

During the event, MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim expressed the organization’s promise to help attain economic prosperity through nation-building and pointed out how this is very much aligned with the cooperatives’ vision of providing help not only for members and their families but also for the rest of the community. “Kami po sa Manila Water Foundation, gusto naming tumulong sa nation-building. Gusto po namin lahat, simula sa pinaka-simple, aangat po at aangat,” (Manila Water Foundation wants to help in nation-building. We want to see that even the simplest man can one day attain prosperity.) she stressed.



This statement was positively received by the cooperative representatives in attendance like Mr. Vicente Villan, Jr., the chairperson of Greenbreeze Village 1 Multi-Purpose Cooperative, who shared that being a KPSB partner cooperative may just be the break they need to revitalize their business. “Our cooperative is almost dying. Kaya sabi ko nga very timely and very thankful [kami] dahil nung inisip namin na magkaroon ng bakery business nag-offer naman ang Manila Water Foundation ng tulong. [‘Yung PhP100,000], unang-una, makakatulong sa pag-procure ng machinery para sa bakery business at materials tulad ng flour at sugar,” (Our cooperative is almost dying. So we are very thankful for the timely help of Manila Water Foundation which can help us procure machineries and ingredients for our bakery business.) he quipped.

To date, MWF’s KPSB program has made it possible for 340 community-based cooperatives, or more than 100,000 families, in the Philippines to operate and expand financially-viable businesses through non-interest loans and related trainings.

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Greenbreeze Village 1 Multi-Purpose Cooperative representatives were eager to sign the MOA and soon start their bakery business.

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Partner cooperatives waved the agreements in excitement as they are to receive their soft loan shortly after the signing. Each cooperative will get a Php100,000 non-interest bearing loan to help sustain the capital of their cooperatives’ businesses. 

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PCLEDO Head Officer Alvin S. Mojica (first from left) expressed his gratitude towards MWF for the help they’re extending to the cooperatives in Cavite. He also challenged the cooperatives to work hard and grow the seed money they’ll get from the Foundation. 

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Partners from Bukluran sa Kaunlaran Ng Tinig Multi-Purpose Cooperative gladly shared their anticipation towards the future trainings that MWF will provide to help them in marketing their coco-matting products. 

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MWF HOLDS OFFICE BLESSING AND WARMING


After transferring to its new office at SEAMEO INNOTECH on Commonwealth Avenue earlier this month, Manila Water Foundation formally opened its doors for an office blessing and warming attended by Chairman Gerardo C. Ablaza, Jr., President Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz, Member Virgilio C. Rivera, Jr., Asst. Treasurer Karoline C. Sangalang, and Corporate Secretary Gerardo M. Lobo II.

MWF Executive Director Carla May Beriña-Kim led her team in hosting the simple event that began with a short blessing officiated by Rev. Fr. Daniel Mondol and ended with an intimate brunch. This small yet significant milestone serves as a prelude to bigger and groundbreaking ones that the men and women of the Foundation hope to achieve in their new workplace.

The Foundation now holds office at the Ground Floor, SEAMEO INNOTECH, Commonwealth Avenue, UP Campus, 1101 Diliman, Quezon City and can be reached through direct line (02) 952-1403.

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MWF key officers pose with Rev. Fr. Daniel Mondol (3rd from right) after the short office blessing. In the photo are (from left to right) MWF Member Perry Rivera, MWF Assistant Treasurer Karoline Sangalang, MWF Chairman Gerry Ablaza, MWF Executive Director Carla Beriña-Kim, and MWF President Ferdz Del Cruz.

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The men and women of MWF are all smiles after the office blessing.

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Photo shows Mr. Perry Rivera, Ms. Karoline Sangalang, Ms. Carla Beriña-Kim, Mr. Gerry Ablaza, Mr. Ferdz Dela Cruz, and Atty. Regie Lobo prior to the hearty brunch that capped off the office blessing and warming. 

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MWF AND SCHOLASTIC PARTNER TO GIVE 20,000 PUPILS A BALANCED EDUCATION

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The Department of Education Tagum City Division along with Tagum Water, a subsidiary of the Manila Water Company, were in charge of selecting the school recipients based on their need and number of enrollees.

Present during the book turnover are (from L-R) Tagum Water Board of Directors Representative Alma Uy,RN, MBA, Department of Education Division of Tagum City Chief Education Supervisor and OIC Principal of Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School Josefina Palaca, Ed.D, Magugpo Pilot Imelda Elementary School Principal Siony German, Manila Water Foundation Program Manager for Water Education Xavier Cruz, Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School Master Teacher Esterlina Batingal, and Rizal Elementary School Principal Erlinda De Silva Quinto.

More than 20,000 pupils from the Visayas and Mindanao regions now have access to a better and more balanced learning after the coming together of two organizations that share a vision of fostering an environment where children can get holistic education in full support of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) remarkable efforts to provide quality education for future nation builders.

Each school year, public schools make sure that they are well prepared and equipped to welcome pupils for another 10 months of learning as they open their doors to more than 90% of the country’s student population. Remarkable improvements have been manifested over the years. However, there are matters that they cannot solve overnight. One of which is the insufficient amount of reference books and textbooks in schools. According to a 2015 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report, the government continuously increases the budget for education each year since 2010, to address this problem. DepEd also engages in private-public-partnerships (PPP) to further improve the situation.

Before these efforts were pursued, Principal Erlinda De Silva Quinto of Rizal Elementary School in Tagum City shared how their pupils needed to share books to cope with their studies. To aid the situation, teachers search and download lessons from the Internet which they reproduce so that all pupils will have their own set of learning materials.

May grade level na hindi pa kumpleto [ang mga aklat kaya] nagre-research ang mga teacher. We reproduce kung ano yung nakukuha nila sa Internet para lahat ng bata magkaroon,” (“Some grade levels are lacking in books. Thus, the teachers download lessons from the Internet which they then reproduce so all pupils will have something to use for their studies.”) she explained. 

With DepEd’s guidance, neighboring schools in the city are also dedicated in overpowering the same dilemma. OIC Principal Josephine Palaca of Magugpo Pilot Central Elementary School and Principal Siony German of Magugpo Pilot Imelda Elementary School explained why the deficient supply of textbooks and reference books is crucial in molding young minds and the steps they do so that the pupils are not shortchanged.

Malaki talaga ang epekto ng kakulangan ng books. Kung kunwari magturo lang kami tapos walang follow up at walang materials na nababasa ang mga bata mahirap kasi hindi naman tayo pareho ng learning style,” (“The deficiency in books has a tremendous effect on the pupils’ learning. If we only give lectures and leave the kids with nothing to read, then some might have a hard time understanding the lessons due to differences in learning style.”) OIC Principal Palaca stressed.

Principal German also quipped that, “Sobrang nakakaapekto ito sa pag-aaral ng mga bata. Halimbawa may assignment, ang nangyayari ‘yung teacher kailangan talaga isulat lahat para kahit di na magdala ng book masasagot ng mga bata,” (“This situation really affects their learning. When teachers give assignments, they need to write it down so each pupil can comply even without the books.”)

In the nearby islands of Visayas, schools and pupils also share the same experience. According to Principal Jesus Conde of the Ramon M. Durano Sr. Foundation – Science and Technology Education Center in Danao City, Cebu Province, “kulang talaga [ang mga libro]. ‘Yung isang libro maraming mag-aaral ang gumagamit. Insufficient talaga kaya kelangan talaga namin [ng karagdagang libro].” (“One book is being shared by a number of pupils. Thus, we really need additional books.”)

Fortunately, these schools were chosen to be some of the recipients of the books from MWF and Scholastic. A turnover of donation was held on June 24, 2016 at the DepEd office in Tagum City. Back in March, the books allotted for the province of Cebu were also turned over at the DepEd headquarters in the cities of Cebu and Danao. Said books are part of the pledge of Scholastic during the Foundation’s celebration of Global Handwashing Day in 2015 wherein the pupils of the recipient schools also participated in, as well as a reiteration of the MWF’s steadfast commitment to further DepEd’s laudable initiatives to continuously improve the country’s educational landscape. Various information, education, and communication (IEC) materials were also given in line with the Foundation’s advocacy to make proper handwashing a lifestyle, especially for children.

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MWF Executive Director Carla May B. Kim spearheads the book donation turnover in Danao City. Officials from DepEd and the local government unit of Danao City together with principals and pupils of the school beneficiaries were also present during the turnover. 

(From L-R: Secretary of Danao City Mayor Adano Roble, DepEd Division of Danao City Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Leah B. Apao, DepEd Division of Danao City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rosalie M. Pasaol, Ceso V, MWF Executive Director Carla May B. Kim, Cebu Province 5th District Board Members Hon. Miguel Antonio A. Magpoale and Hon. Jude Dorano Sybico, Principals and Pupils from School Beneficiaries)

Walang kupas ang aming pasasalamat. Grabe talaga ang biyaya na natanggap namin dahil ang mga aklat ay instrumento [para matuto ang mga kabataan sa aming paaralan],” (“We are very thankful. This is a huge blessing because these books are instruments for our pupils to learn.”) OIC Principal Palaca remarked with gratitude.

Maraming salamat po talaga for choosing us as one of the recipients. Sobrang natuwa kami, kasi meron pa palang mga taong ganito [na handang tumulong] kahit na ang layo namin,” (“Thank you for choosing us to be the recipient of the books. We are glad to know that there are organizations who are ready to help us even if we’re far from the city.”) Principal German gleefully stated.

Principal Nida Jordan of Severo Duterte Memorial Elementary School in Danao City highlighted the importance of the book donation while expressing her gratitude. “We feel so blessed that we are one of the recipients of the books from Manila Water Foundation. The kids really enjoy reading and doing the activities in the books. Books are very important especially nowadays when there is a real need to keep the real love for reading because it will help the children improve their comprehensive skills,” she shared.

The book donation has a good combination of reference, textbooks and storybooks. With this, Principal Quinto shared that their school can now start putting up a library where their pupils can read and learn. She also mentioned her intentions of promoting the value of reading books even now that the Internet and gadgets are almost available to all.

“The books are still [relevant]. Kasi kapag walang kuryente paano? Di ka maka-access [lalo na at] palagi kaming may power interruption. (The books are still relevant especially since we always experience power interruptions.) [Thus], the school, the pupils and the community in general are very thankful that the Manila Water Foundation chose our school to be the recipient of the books for the use of the children. These books can help the children enrich their vocabulary and travel [through] reading,” she stated.


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MWF’s special block screening of Finding Dory helps bring water to disaster-affected communities

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Manila Water Foundation’s special block screening of Finding Dory was a sure hit. All the attendees had fun with the help of the event’s generous sponsors. Platinum sponsor Freewaters gave 30% discount coupons to all attendees while products from Rebisco and Nestle filled the loot bags that were distributed after. Manila Ocean Park, EDSA Shangri-La Manila, The Picture Company, and California Pizza Kitchen provided raffle prizes.

Some 300 individuals helped raise funds for the provision of water to communities severely affected by El Niño and other natural disasters through Manila Water Foundation’s special block screening of the movie, Finding Dory, held on June 18, 2016 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza.

During the event, Manila Water Foundation President Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz gave a heartfelt message of gratitude to all the attendees and sponsors for making it a success. Tickets have been sold out days before and more people willing to support took chance to participate even up to the last minute. He also reiterated the fact that the viewers were “not only watching a movie but [also] helping communities through the Agapay Para sa Barangay (APSB) program.”

APSB is one of Manila Water Foundation’s flagship programs under its Water Supply and Sanitation focus area, which aims to bring safe and potable water to displaced and calamity-stricken communities to address the pressing need for drinking water until such time that a sense of normalcy has been restored.

The special block screening got people to contribute to the fulfillment of APSB’s mandate and have a pleasurable time watching a much-anticipated movie with their families and loved ones. One of the attendees, Margret Concepcion, expressed how she readily agreed to be a part of the event that allowed her to spend quality time with her son and help others at the same time. “My son really wanted to see the movie since it was advertised. It was really our plan to watch it so when I was invited, I immediately said yes. When we found out that the proceeds will go to calamity victims, we became more excited,” she said.

Aside from the movie, different pre-screening activities were prepared to make the event more memorable. Kids and kids at heart enjoyed the face painting, photo booth and coloring stations while waiting for the movie to start. Afterwards, loot bags containing goodies from Nestle and Rebisco were distributed. A discount coupon from Freewaters was also given to each attendee prior to the event. 

Several viewers were also able to bring home prizes also courtesy of the sponsors through a raffle draw. Some of the prizes for lucky attendees included gift certificates from EDSA Shangri-La Manila and California Pizza Kitchen. Several vouchers for free photo sessions with The Picture Company and complimentary Deep Sea Rush tickets from the Manila Ocean Park were also given away to the raffle winners.

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The men and women of Manila Water Foundation were all smiles after the successful event that helped raise funds for communities severely affected by El Niño and other natural disasters.

This gathering of people to help fellows in need is a proof that the Filipino spirit of malasakit is alive and is a moment definitely worth remembering. Hopefully, moments like this will help shape the way people do things not only for their good but also for the planet and people in need. 

Event photos and photo booth prints can be seen on our Facebook page. Please click links below to view them.

Event Photos

Photobooth Prints

Please play the video to see the highlights of the event.