Thousands of students, faculty and staff from five public schools in Metro Manila can now look forward to new handwashing facilities installed in strategic locations in their schools that will help them fight COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) member and project sponsor, Metrobank Foundation (MBFI) formally turned over five new 10-faucet hygiene facilities to Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales and Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City, Kapitolyo High School in Pasig City, and Quezon City Science High School and Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School in Quezon City on December 17, and on a virtual ceremony on December 29.
This is under LCF’s initiative, LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya, implemented by Manila Water Foundation, which aims to support the Department of Education (DepEd)’s WASH in Schools (WinS) program.
In a message, Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña shared that MBFI has been working hard to support the fight against COVID-19 and is delighted to support DepEd’s WASH in Schools program. “We at the Metrobank Foundation, together with our sister foundation GT Foundation, have recognized the need to contribute to the Philippine nation's fight against COVID-19, by creating a multi-million-peso COVID fund to support our partners in their respective sectors,” he said. “The LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya program is one of the significant partnerships that we in the MBFI have for this year as we continuously support the WASH in Schools program of DepEd,” he further added.
Gigi Bullanday, Principal III of Addition Hills Integrated School, recalled the school’s transformation since the facility was constructed. “’Yung area na ito ay tambakan ng mga sirang upuan. Dito rin po nilalagay ang mga basura noon (This area used to be a dump site of broken chairs and trash,” she said. “This is the best place to build the WASH facility—something beautiful and useful,” she added.
With the new facility, Bullanday said that this prompted their school to improve on their health and safety protocols. “Babaguhin po natin ang aming protocol. Hindi lang po magse-spray ng alcohol ang aming visitors, parents and stakeholders—lahat po ng aming guests, ire-require po naming maghugas ng mga kamay bago pumasok sa school. Para naman po safe tayong lahat (We will change our protocol. We will not only require our visitors, parents, and stakeholders to sanitize with alcohol, but to also wash their hands before entering the school. This is so we can all be safe.),” she said.
“Thank you so much, League of Corporate Foundations, Metrobank Foundation, and Manila Water Foundation for giving us this facility. Iingatan po namin ito dahil malaking tulong po ito sa aming paaralan (We will take care of this as this is a huge help for our school),” Principal Bullanday said in a closing message.
Upholding health and safety above all, the handwashing facilities under the LCFWinS program can be operated by a pedal. There is a one-meter distance between faucets, to observe physical distancing. It also has a lowered sink which can be easily used by children. Each facility is built with ten faucets with soap containers and installed with signages about COVID-19 precautionary measures, proper handwashing, and the responsible use of water.
The turnover last December 29 is the first of many projects with MBFI under LCFWinS. Under the program, MBFI will be donating a total of 10 hygiene facilities and 2,000 pieces of hygiene kits to another 10 schools.
To date, the LCFWinS program has benefitted more than 96,000 individuals.