Manila Water Foundation (MWF), Philusa Corporation, and Laguna Water joined forces to provide water access and hygiene education to Biñan Integrated National High School (BINHS) through the turnover of handwashing and drinking facilities, and demonstration of proper handwashing earlier this month.
Four thousand three hundred students now have access to clean and potable water through the construction of a drinking fountain and provision of additional handwashing facility. BINHS Supreme Student Government President Alyssa Briones, representing the student community, expressed her gratitude for the partners’ donated facilities. “Thank you for giving us this wonderful opportunity to take part in promoting healthy living through proper handwashing.”
BINHS was personally chosen by Philusa Corporation President and CEO, Neogin Evangelista, who grew up in Barangay Santo Domingo in Biñan, Laguna, where the school is located. In his speech, he emphasized the value of looking back to one’s roots and paying it forward. “This activity is a way of giving back to our kababayans and our way of saying ‘Thank you!’ for [their] continued patronage to our brands,” he said.
Emphasizing the importance of proper water management, Laguna Water General Manager and COO Shoebe Hazel Caong also reminded the schoolchildren to be “WAIS”–an acronym for ‘Wag sayangin, Alagaan, Ingatan at Siguruhing malinis ang tubig.’
After the turnover of the facilities, 42 employee-volunteers from Philusa Corporation taught the seven steps to proper handwashing to 150 BINHS schoolchildren during the Health in our Hands program. The employee-volunteers also encouraged the students from Grades 7 to 12 to pledge in making handwashing a habit to prevent diseases and reduce school absenteeism.
The collaboration was under MWF’s flagship program, Lingap Eskwela. Through this program, public institutions such as schools are provided with water access through the construction of handwashing and/or drinking facilities. This initiative was coupled with Health in Our Hands, a program for educating communities about proper handwashing and the importance of hygiene.
MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal highlighted the significance of collaboration with different organizations in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “With organizations working towards Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), we will continue to reach out to more and more communities,” he shared.