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Safer schools through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), together with the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and Manila Water Foundation, Inc. (MWF), turnover a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facility to Subay Elementary School at Talim Island, Cardona, Rizal on Feb. 17. This is part of MBFI’s PhP2.7 million donation to the “#LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya” program that aims to construct 10 WASH facilities and distribute 2,000 hygiene kits to 20 schools nationwide.

To protect the health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, and personnel in this time of pandemic, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) has partnered with the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) for its #LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya Program. Through, a PhP2.7 million donation, 10 WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities were constructed in select public schools made possible through the efforts of Manila Water Foundation.

From December 2020 to February 2021, 10-faucet hygiene facilities were turned over to Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales and Addition Hills Integrated School in Mandaluyong City; Fortune Elementary School and Fortune High School in Marikina City; Kapitolyo High School in Pasig City; Quezon City Science High School and Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School in Quezon City; Dita Elementary School in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; and Subay Elementary School and Sampad Elementary School in Cardona, Rizal. An estimated 31,000 learners shall benefit from these facilities including teachers and school personnel.

For ease of access for small children and PWDs, each hand hygiene facility comes with 10 faucets distanced at one meter and can be operated with a foot pedal. Signages about COVID-19 precautionary measures, proper handwashing, and proper toothbrushing are also posted in the facility.

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Representatives from MBFI, LCF, and MWF wash their hands in the newly installed 10-faucet facility at Mataas na Paaralang Neptali A. Gonzales in Mandaluyong City.

“Investing in proper hand hygiene facilities that is modified in compliance with the government health and safety protocols is a valuable intervention for increasing pandemic preparedness for the safe return of the students as well as the school personnel and the parents,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

"Proper handwashing and hygiene habits will indeed be a key in ensuring the health and safety of our children, not just in schools but even in our homes.  We hope to make that valuable contribution in promoting a sustainable proper hand hygiene culture in the Philippines even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.

With the new facility, Addition Hills Integrated School Principal Gigi 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.

Apart from sponsoring the constructions of the hygiene facilities, 2,000 hygiene kits were also distributed to another 10 schools namely Manggahan Elementary School in Pasig City; Bulihan Elementary School in Malolos, Bulacan; Tawiran Elementary School in Obando, Bulacan; San Nicolas Elementary School in Agoo, La Union; Caingin Elementary School in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna; Ayala Central School and Catalina Vda. de Jalon Memorial School in Zamboanga City; and Bayanihan Elementary School, Luyan Elementary School, and Sixto Babao Elementary School all in Davao City.

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Luyan Elementary School pupil receives her hygiene kit.

 

The kits contain items such as soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, washable face mask, vitamin C pads, and disinfecting alcohol. These will be distributed to school children from low-income families.

"Despite the fact that there are no face-to-face classes today and probably until the end of the school year, we chose to forge ahead with a future in mind. Hand washing needs to be the new norm. And if you want to encourage and drive this behavior, we need to provide the means to make this happen," said LCF Chairperson and Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth Marasigan.

“LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya is a demonstration of our collective effort and impact – working together to create the enabling environment and the right conditions for good hand hygiene in schools. Let us continue advancing WASH for all communities for a healthier and safer Philippines.," MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal added.

To date, the LCFWinS program has benefitted more than 111,000 individuals. Visit the Manila Water Foundation Facebook and Youtube pages for the virtual turnover ceremony with Metrobank Foundation and League of Corporate Foundations. For collaborations for WASH, send a message to [email protected].

Watch the virtual turnover here: