LEYTE – Bosch Philippines, which is celebrating its 20th year of operations in the country this year, turned over various school structures in Alang-alang town as part of the company’s Tindog Pilipinas (Stand Up, Philippines) initiative to help Yolanda-stricken areas.
Officially inaugurated on June 1, Monday, just in time for the start of classes, were a newly-constructed Math and Science Center at the Alang-alang National High School and a computer laboratory at the Alang-Alang Agro-Industrial School. A third site, the Tanauan II Central School, will also be opening its newly-built Industrial Center by the end of the month.
Bosch Philippines’ managing director Andrew Powell led the inaugural rites together with Alang-alang Mayor Loreto Yu and Leyte provincial board member Bob Abellanosa. Also with them were Tots Escalada, Habitat for Humanity Chief Operating Officer and Kristina Reyes, Bosch Corporate Communications officer.
Powell, who was with his wife Margaret, recalled that last year, he celebrated Valentine’s Day in Leyte. What he saw was a “flattened and depressing Leyte.”
Now, he said, “it was telling a different story, a much happier, and much more hopeful story. It’s the start of bigger and better things,” said Powell.
Powell added that “seeing the renewed hope of the school administrators and students as a result of the Tindog Pilipinas initiative makes me extremely proud to be part of a company that is both commercially-driven, and socially-aware.”
He added that, “Bosch is a strong advocate of education; and as a leader in technology innovation, we are committed to be a partner of these beneficiary schools not just in constructing their facilities but also in building a strong nation of innovators.”
Bosch Philippines’ rehabilitation efforts were mobilized with the help of Habitat for Humanity. Tots Escalada, Habitat for Humanity Chief Operating Officer, said that, “rebuilding the schools in affected sites was imperative in giving its residents a chance to prosper once more. As we turnover these new facilities to the school administrators and students, we hope to equip them with the tools and opportunity to create a brighter future for their communities.”
Alang-alang Mayor Loreto Yu, for his part, said he was overwhelmed with the show of generosity of Bosch and other donors, in helping his town recover. He said 80-90% of the schools in his town have already been rebuilt through donations from NGOs and the private sector.
He said that before the typhoon, the town only had 4 high schools. Now, it has 8, including a night high school, “making education accessible to all.”
“The donations are not only an aid but an investment. The kids utilizing the new classrooms could be a future leader, ” said Mayor Loreto Yu, who is an alumnus of the Alang-alang Agro-industrial School.
It was also learned that aside from the two school rebuilding projects in Leyte, Tindog Pilipinas also completed the construction of a two-classroom building in Purgason Primary School, as well as a library for the Looc Primary School, both in Daanbantayan province in Cebu, which was also badly affected by super-typhoon Yolanda.
The Tindog Pilipinas initiative of Bosch was funded mostly by donations raised by Robert Bosch, Inc. in Stuttgart, Germany, that amounted to €175,000 or 10.822-million in Philippine money.