First Gen LogoOfficials of First Gen Corporation and First Balfour, along with other Lopez Group company officials, held simple ceremonies in Ormoc City on Wednesday, 03 June 2015, to launch the third and latest phase of the Lopez Group’s school rebuilding program for areas devastated by super-typhoon Yolanda.
During the launch, Lopez Group officials presented to concerned local and national government officials the blueprint and design of the classrooms for construction.
Under all three phases of the Lopez Group’s school rebuilding program, all new or repaired classrooms meet the requirement for Yolanda- or typhoon-resilient classrooms; they can withstand winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
For Phase 3 of the Lopez Group’s school rebuilding program, First Gen, First Balfour and First Philippine Electric Corporation (First Philec) have set aside their own funds for the construction of 43 classrooms in 20 school sites in seven towns – Carigara, Capoocan, Barugo, Jaro, Pastrana, Burauen and Kananga -- and Ormoc City in Leyte; Sulat town; in Eastern Samar; and Dumarao town in Capiz. Energy Development Corporation, another Lopez Group company that acts as project manager for the program, expects to complete the classrooms five to six months from start of construction.
In the first two phases of the Lopez Group’s school rebuilding program, funds pooled from various donors by ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. – Sagip Kapamilya were tapped to construct new school buildings or to repair damaged schools in Yolanda-hit areas.
So far, the three phases of the school rebuilding program cost Php230.57 million. Of this total, Php83.5 million represented funds pooled by Sagip Kapamilya from various donors; another Php147.07 came from First Gen, First Balfour and other Lopez Group companies.
Under Phase 1, EDC constructed 14 new classrooms and repaired 10 other classrooms in four pilot schools in Ormoc City. Under Phase 2, EDC constructed 48 new classrooms in 18 school sites in Leyte.
First Gen, First Balfour and First Philec are funding Phase 3 of the school rebuilding program as part of the Lopez Group’s continuing commitment to help rehabilitate areas devastated by Yolanda.
”The Lopez Group has volunteered to act as a development sponsor in Leyte for government’s overall rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas devastated by the super-typhoon” said Renato Castillo, First Gen senior vice president and head of Risk Management. “The school rebuilding program forms part of the Lopez Group’s own efforts as a development sponsor. These efforts include skills and livelihood training program for indigent victims of the typhoons, as well as climate change studies,” Mr. Castillo added.
As an immediate livelihood support to dislocated communities and as a way of addressing manpower needs for the school rebuilding, the Kananga EDC Institute of Technology (KEITech) has redesigned its courses to include a three-month training program that included carpentry, plumbing, electrical installation and maintenance, basic welding and masonry. KEITech, EDC’s technical-vocational school, expects 1,080 graduates to earn certifications from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority by June 2016.
First Gen is one of the biggest independent power producers in the Philippines with an installed capacity of 2,957 megawatts. It is the primary holding company for the power generation and energy-related businesses of the Lopez Group through First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH). EDC, a First Gen subsidiary, is the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company. First Balfour is the Lopez Group company engaged in construction and engineering services, while First Philec is the intermediate holding company of FPH for manufacturing and technology-related investments. (Story/Photos by: Joel D. Gaborni)
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