Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Galing Pook Foundation Recognizes Outstanding Local Government Programs for 2022

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. recognizes the 10 winners of the Galing Pook Foundation 2022 at the Ceremonial Hall of Malacanang Palace. He commended the Galing Pook Foundation for recognizing and incentivizing top performing LGUs. With them in the photo are: Galing Pook Foundation chairman Mel Sarmiento, Local Government secretary Benjamin Abalos, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.


Ten outstanding local governance programs were recognized in the 2022 Galing Pook Awards held at the Ceremonial Hall of Malacanang Palace last Tuesday, November 22, 2022.


Galing Pook Foundation with its co-presenters SM Prime Holdings Inc., and the DILG-Local Government Academy, and sponsors Cebu Pacific and Airspeed named local government units from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that promote innovation and excellence.


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. commended the Galing Pook Foundation for recognizing and incentivizing top performing LGUs. He stressed how strong collaboration between the public and private sector can lead to more meaningful and successful programs that truly benefit the Filipino people.


“The recognition that you give to cities and municipalities inspires them to accelerate their drive towards improvement and it encourages LGUs to adopt practices that make us paragons of excellence in public service. It is necessary for us to underscore the importance of strengthening partnerships between the government and private organizations, such as the Galing Pook Foundation, especially as we bring about meaningful progress in the country.”


Galing Pook Chairperson Mel Sarmiento expressed his gratitude to all the local executives and LGU teams that participated this year: “It’s truly inspiring to see the impact of the work that you do, and I’m sure you’ve brought value to many Filipinos all over the country. Our collaborations bring us closer to realizing our shared vision, na ang bawat pamilyang Pilipino, may simple pero kumportableng buhay.”


  The winners of the 2022 Galing Pook Awards were: The Green Wall of Alcala (Alcala, Cagayan);

Advancing and Sustaining Good Governance and Community Actions towards Resiliency and Empowerment (Basilan Province); Bataan Public-Private Partnership Programs (Bataan Province);

Balik-Biñan Project: Tourism Development through Heritage Conservation (Biñan City, Laguna); From Black to Green: Fishponds, Eco-Tourism and Full Employment (Brgy. Cayabu, Tanay, Rizal);

Trekking to Unlock Community Ailments and Difficulties (TUCAD) (Goa, Camarines Sur); “I-BIKE” A Program Promoting the Development of the Iloilo City Bike Culture (Iloilo City); Yaru: A Whole-of-Community Approach Towards Disaster Management (Itbayat, Batanes); Libertad Fish Forever Savings Club (Libertad, Antique); and

Basta Piddigueño, AgriHenyo: Consolidated Farm Production System (Piddig, Ilocos Norte).


The 10 winners were chosen from 18 finalists and a record field of 196 applications from different LGUs in the country.


Launched on October 21, 1993, the Galing Pook Awards has recognized 329 LGU programs from 200 LGUs in the country that have been promoted for replication to benefit more communities.


SM provides learners with environment conducive to learning

More than just an area where students gather to hold classes, a school environment plays a vital role in learners’ cognitive development. Research has shown that with an environment conducive to learning, students increase their attention and focus, and they are more motivated to practice higher-level critical thinking skills.

Adamant to provide students with venues where they can fully hone their skills and knowledge, SM Foundation (SMFI)—the corporate social responsibility arm of the SM group—cemented its partnership with the Department of Education (DepED) in 2002 through DepEd’s Adopt-A-School Program.

Through this, SMFI builds SM school buildings in grassroot communities, complete with basic furniture and equipment. More so, SMFI integrates specialized features to each SM school building to address the unique needs of their school recipients—some received rooms dedicated as a guidance office, a clinic, a mini-library, and some even got a water tank and a handwashing facility.

To date, SMFI has turned over more than 100 SM school buildings nationwide with the help of its partners, which share the same aspirations for the Filipino learners and teachers. One of which is the SM Prime Holdings (SMPH) - one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia. Since the project’s inception, over 90 SM school buildings out of the more than 100 were built through the social good collaboration with SM Prime.


SM school building in Sorsogon City

Infrastructure for calamity prone areas

SMFI and SMPH ensure that the SM school buildings incorporate a disaster resilient design to guarantee the safety of the students, teachers, and other school personnel. Emergency lights at both staircases, and fire and earthquake alarm bells are also installed.

Principal Joji Buelvo, school principal of Basud Elementary School (BES) in Sorsogon City, shared the state of their school community before they accepted the fully furnished SM school building from SMFI and SM Prime in 2021: “Ang aming paaralan ay saksi sa maraming kalamidad. Kaya karamihan ng mga classrooms ay may kalumaan na, ang mga kisame ay malapit na bumagsak—talagang hindi na conducive for learning.” 

“But through your [SMFI and SM Prime] donation, our BES learners now have a haven where we can nurture their young minds to be academically-ready and well-rounded members of the community,” Buelvo further expressed.


Green space which promotes environmental consciousness.


Addressing classroom shortage

The continuous rapid growth of the country’s population is taking a toll on schools—leaving the students, even the teachers, with overcrowded classrooms which affect learners’ academic performance. 

In 2012, the Banisil National High School (BNHS) in General Santos City received its first SM school building. But being the only secondary school in Barangay Tambler, BNHS records a significant increase in their enrollment per year. With this challenge, SM Foundation decided to provide another edifice of hope for the sub-urban Muslim community in 2021, addressing the growing needs of BNHS learners and teachers.

BNHS then principal Shiela Balbon said, “Yung patuloy na paglobo ng population every year ay talagang naging suliranin namin.

Pagpasok ng 2020, nagkaroon ng COVID. So naisip ko baka hindi na matuloy. Pero itong SM Foundation, walang pande-pandemya sa kanila. Talagang desidido silang matugunan yung pangangailangan sa classroom ng mga estudyante,” she added.

“Our salute to our longtime partner, SM Foundation and SM Prime, for being so generous and proactive in providing us with school buildings that are conducive to learning. We are so grateful for your extended support to our school amidst the pandemic,” Balbon concluded.

SM Foundation, through its School Building Program, is an active partner of DepEd’s Adopt-a-School project. This social good initiative aims to promote quality public education by building classrooms nationwide.

Every classroom in an SM school building is well-ventilated and spacious enough to allow the students to have a better learning experience.


SM School building in General Santos City








Thursday, November 24, 2022

UST’s Henry Sy Sr. Hall to boost health education

Pursuing its objective of driving Philippine social development by fostering the youth and the culture of excellence through education, the Henry Sy Foundation, Inc. (HSFI) recently inked a partnership with the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) Research and Endowment Foundation to construct a building that elevates health education in the country.

Named in honor of the late SM Founder, the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall of UST will rise on the main campus in Manila to respond to the needs of digital medical education.

 

The Hall will feature technologically advanced facilities and equipment that complement UST’s teaching, learning, and research practices. Focused on interdisciplinary collaboration in medical studies, it will also house the simulation and research facility of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery (UST-FMS).


Leaders of Henry Sy Foundation Inc. (HSFI), led by the Sy family (L-R: Harley Sy, Hans Sy, Elizabeth Sy, Debbie Sy, Tessie Sy, Henry Sy Jr, Engr. Ramon Gil Macapagal (extreme right)) , formalize its partnership with the University of Sto. Tomas (L-R: UST Rector Fr. Richard Gaw Ang, OP, Dr. Ma. Lourdes Domingo, Fr. Angel Aparicio, OP, Fr. Maximo Gatela, OP)



Paragons with passion

 

Fr. Richard Gaw Ang, OP, Rector of UST, thanked the Sy family as they work together to provide the best education to future physicians and increase UST’s research productivity to fill the gaps where communities are disadvantaged.


“Your family consists of industry leaders who have visions for the Filipino community. Your choice to support this endeavor of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery is a significant stamp of approval to the work and tradition of this medical institution,” Fr. Ang said in a letter to the Sy family.

 

“Your family’s Patriarch, Henry Sy, Sr., had principles in life that we, as an institution, give our best to also follow. We aim to lead as paragons with passion, integrity, far-reaching and optimistic vision, sensible priorities, and discipline. At the core of this is a deep sense of charity for God, the church, and the nation,” Fr. Ang added.


Thumbs up! Leaders of the Henry Sy Foundation Inc. (HSFI) and the University of Sto Tomas during the Henry Sy Sr. Hall partnership signing.


UST’s future Henry Sy, Sr. Hall


Rising as an intellectual hub for future physicians, the building has a dedicated floor for the Faculties of Medicine and Surgery Research Center and the Medicine and Surgery Graduate Programs and Ethics Review Board. Here, medical education research and various medical-related specialty research will be reviewed and conducted. 



Designed by C.A. Ventura & Partners, the upcoming Henry Sy., Sr. Hall in UST is envisioned to propel the health education of future physicians in the country.


The building will include specialized centers, rooms, and laboratories, such as Medical Simulation Centers and Care Ultrasound Institute, and Otorhinolaryngology Laboratory. These will be equipped with cutting-edge tools and technology to develop medical students’ competencies in multiple simulated healthcare settings crossing the human lifespan.


The HSFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization inspired by SM founder Henry Sy, Sr.’s desire to aid educational institutions to drive Philippine social development. Its projects are undertaken in partnership with the SM group and its foundations to honor the SM founder by supporting educational institutions in promoting academic excellence as a key to a brighter future for the youth. Through the years, the foundation established and supported several academic infrastructures, such as the Henry Sy Sr. Primary School Building in Xavier School, Nuvali Laguna; Henry Sy Sr. Innovation Center in Miriam College, Quezon City; NU Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna; NU Nazareth School in Manila; and a Henry Sy Sr. Hall each at Immaculate Conception Academy, San Juan City, and Assumption College.