TeaM Energy pushes development programs to help in pandemic rebound
We may have grown too familiar with using the word ‘resilient’ as an adjective to define the Filipinos’ ability to overcome adversity. We hear this word one too many times whenever natural calamities hit our archipelago and we find ourselves trying to survive and recover.
The ongoing COVID crisis is proving our resilience as Filipinos, and has brought out the best in us. We witnessed our community cooperation and collaboration through our individual efforts, the emergence of community pantries nationwide, and the large contributions of private companies and organizations as a way of doing our part to help us make it through this difficult time.
Initial COVID Response
Corporate foundations have adapted and created new strategies during this health crisis. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs were recalibrated to address the current needs of Filipinos.
For TeaM Energy, through its CSR arm TeaM Energy Foundation Inc. (TEFI), the response to the COVID situation during the onset of the pandemic was swift and strategic. Working closely with provincial and local government units, TEFI immediately conducted relief efforts in Pangasinan, Quezon, Metro Manila, Benguet, La Union, and Bataan.
“When the quarantine measures were announced by the government, we immediately started planning how to respond to the situation,” says Maria Teresa Lopez, Vice President of TEFI. “We worked in close coordination with provincial and local government leaders to make sure we were able to provide help where it was most needed,” she adds.
Initially, TEFI provided 1,200 sacks of rice to Pangasinan and Quezon to help residents who were affected by quarantine measures. Vitamins, medicines, PPEs and different food items were also provided.
In Metro Manila, 5,000 bags of 5kg rice were donated to the AFP Leadership Development Center which they distributed to families in Payatas, Quezon City. Thousands of packs of rice, sardines and instant noodles were provided to the Pantawid COVID project to benefit street vendors and public utility vehicle drivers who lost employment.
Meanwhile, in Bataan, TEFI donated bags of rice to the local government of Mariveles, and food packs to a number of affected families in Benguet.
In the past year, amid the pandemic, TeaM Energy continued to implement its community development programs, focusing on easing its effects and helping government emerge from the crisis.
Livelihood and employment took a big hit from the pandemic. To help provide income opportunities for affected communities, TeaM Energy implemented different livelihood programs in Quezon and Pangasinan.
In Pagbilao, Quezon, fishing nets and other fishing equipment were donated to a community of fisher folk in Barangay Bantigue, to help ensure their continued livelihood. In neighboring Padre Burgos, Quezon, a Grouper (Lapu-lapu) aqua-culture project was established to help local fisher folk augment their income.
In Sual, Pangasinan, a program to help boost the productivity and income of rice farmers in Barangay Sioasio was implemented. This included the construction of a solar-powered rice milling facility, provision of a palay de-husker, winnower, de-stoner, and a sewing machine to make rice sacks. The project is in partnership with the European Union Access to Sustainable Energy Program and the Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative or CENPELCO. Additionally, TEFI also installed a solar-powered air-conditioning system for a honey processing plant managed by the Siaosio East Forest Development Association in Sual.
Education initiatives in the new normal
To help public schools in its host communities adapt to distance learning, TeaM Energy worked closely with the Department of Education (DepEd) and different local government units in Pangasinan and Quezon to adjust to the new normal.
Hundreds of reams of bond paper and ink cartridges were donated to the DepEd Quezon division for the printing of learning modules. Additionally, TeaM Energy also partnered with DepEd Quezon to facilitate the airing of learning programs over Quezon local radio.
As part of Brigada Eskwela, more than half a million Pesos worth of learning tools and equipment was given to select public schools in Quezon and Pangasinan. Hygiene and disinfection packages like alcohol, bleaching solutions, and surgical masks were also given through the program.
“We realize the importance of sustaining the learning process for students in a safe and effective manner, while addressing the challenges brought about by this global pandemic,” says Greggy Romualdez, Head of External Affairs, TeaM Energy.
Aside from the efforts made by TeaM Energy to aid distance learning, they also anticipate the return of face-to-face classes in the near future. Recently, TEFI, through its Project SIKAP, turned over a brand new multi-purpose building to Padre Burgos Central Elementary School in Padre Burgos, Quezon. While a one-classroom, one-storey school building was constructed in Cabuyao Elementary School in the same town. This brand new classroom is fully furnished with desks, chairs, ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, and a comfort room for the convenience of the students and teachers.
A Memorandum of Agreement was signed for the on-going installation of solar panels in all 20 public elementary and high schools in Sual, Pangasinan to power their computer laboratories. Six public schools in the same town underwent capacity-building activities through the Ecoskwela Program where trainings and funding of structures on Solid Waste Management, Biodiversity, Energy, and Water Conservation were provided by TEFI to the participating public schools.
Health, safety, and security amid the pandemic
In partnership with the provincial, local, and barangay government units in Pangasinan and Quezon, TeaM Energy continued its implementation of planned social development programs.
In Silaki Island in Bolinao, Pangasinan, TEFI repaired and replaced damaged parts of their 6.4kw solar power station. Residents of this off-grid island charge car batteries in the said station, which are then used to power lights and other appliances in their homes.
TeaM Energy also installed a total of 82 solar streetlights in different sitios in Barangays Pangascasan, Capantolan, Macaycayawan, and Sto. Domingo in Sual, Pangasinan. This is to improve the safety and security of the residents living in these communities.
In Pagbilao, Quezon, water systems in Barangays Ibabang Polo and Ilayang Polo were installed, giving residents of these barangays access to clean water.
Heavy duty Closed Circuit Camera Monitoring Systems were installed in barangays Parang and Ikirin, also in Pagbilao, to enhance peace and order in their areas.
To help improve the delivery of basic services, two brand new service vehicles were donated to the Provincial Government Unit of Pangasinan late last year. In Pagbilao, Quezon, one fully-equipped rescue vehicle and two motorcycles were donated to the municipality. The rescue vehicle can be used as an ambulance for health emergencies, while the local police will use the motorcycles as patrol vehicles.
After its initial COVID response at the onset of the pandemic, TeaM Energy continues to take part in the fight against the ongoing health crisis. They donated 2,500 units of Viral Transport Medium (VTM) test kits to the provincial government of Pangasinan, while 25,000 pieces of multivitamins were donated to the local government of Sual to help boost the immunity of residents.
Meanwhile in Quezon, over 1.35 million Pesos worth of medical supplies was donated to the provincial government through the Quezon Medical Center. Among the items donated were sets of Personal Protective Equipment, scrub suits, hospital shoes, disposable flat bed sheets, face shields, boxes of disposable gloves, multivitamins, and other hygiene and disinfection materials for the medical front-liners in Quezon.
Typhoon Relief Efforts
While the entire country is still in the middle of dealing with the pandemic, another challenge came as several strong typhoons destroyed homes, livelihoods, and even claimed lives in the many areas that were hit late last year.
When Super Typhoon Rolly severely damaged parts of the Bicol region last November 2020, TEFI immediately sent help to Oas, a municipality in Albay, that was in dire need of basic relief supplies. TEFI was able to give out 500 food packs and hygiene kits to families in Oas; they also donated construction materials like 600 pieces of galvanized iron sheets (yero) and roofing nails to the residents whose homes were badly destroyed by the storm.
Just a few days after Super Typhoon Rolly hit, another Typhoon called Ulysses, struck Luzon, affecting many towns and provinces including the town of San Ildefonso in Bulacan, where TEFI donated more than 700 relief packs containing food and hygiene kits to the affected residents, along with blankets and towels.
The communities of Barangay Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, in Quezon Province were also severely affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses in Luzon last year. TEFI donated almost 400 packs of 10kg rice to families in these communities. Blankets, brand new undergarments, and used clothes were also given to the residents by TEFI.
The journey to recovery
Seeing the country out of the global health crisis is something all sectors must work on together. For TeaM Energy, apart from generating needed electricity to revitalize industries, power hospitals, energize vaccine storage facilities, and light-up homes, it has also shown a deep commitment to working with its stakeholders in hastening the country’s recovery through high-impact CSR programs that are meant to uplift lives and complement government’s development programs.
The adverse effects of the pandemic are all too real. From its impact on the global economy to how we live out our everyday lives—the world is a vastly changed place. The journey to recovery will be filled with challenges. Overcoming them will require that we all move together as one. The participation and cooperation of private sector players such as TeaM Energy in government’s recovery efforts will play a crucial role in our return to normalcy.
TeaM Energy operates two coal-fired power plants: the 1,200 MW Sual Power Station in Pangasinan and the 735 MW Pagbilao Power Station in Quezon Province. It also has a 50% stake in the 420 MW Pagbilao Unit 3 Power Project in Quezon, and a 20% stake in the Ilijan natural gas project in Batangas.
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