launch Year 2 of educational assistance to Olango SHS scholars
December 5, 2018
CEBU CITY – As the
youngest of seven children, 18-year-old April Mae Siton wanted to
finish her senior high school (SHS) education without relying too
much on her aging parents.
For years, her father, a
fisherman, and her mother who works as a shell accessories worker,
have been trying to make ends meet so her siblings can finish their
studies and have a better life. To help lessen the cost of her
studies, she took up a Senior High School (SHS) strand that had the
least expenses, Food and Beverage Services (FBS). She also worked
part-time jobs to be able to help her parents pay for school
“My original dream was to
become a police officer or a seaman. But I no longer wanted to
burden to my parents and siblings for my expenses even if they
wanted to support me. My parents are already old and my older
siblings have their own families already so I do not want to depend
too much on them, especially with my plan to pursue college. FBS was
the most ideal choice,” Siton added.
Luckily, Siton’s plans
were answered when she was selected as one of the scholars of a
one-year scholarship assistance from PBSP and corporate sponsors
through the Olango Challenge, an open-water swimming event held
every May that raises funds for education programs on Olango island.
PBSP, Olango Challenge
corporate donors, and DepEd officially launched a one-year
educational assistance project that will support 100 junior and
senior high school scholars of Sta. Rosa National High School. The
event also witnessed the ceremonial turnover of laboratory equipment
for the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) course in the school.
“This is a dream come true
for me to become a scholar because I really tried my best to be
chosen. Now, I can fulfill my future dreams because of this
financial assistance without burdening my parents,” Siton added.
Aid for a Hundred Students
Sta. Rosa NHS is one of
the three senior high schools located within the island. Most of its
students face financial difficulties that prevent them from
continuing their SHS education, especially that Technical-Vocational
Livelihood track (TVL) mostly requires students to purchase
materials for their school projects. The school’s effective
implementation of its TVL curriculum is also hampered by the
shortage of facilities and equipment.
“We chose to continue our
assistance to Sta. Rosa NHS because it focuses on providing
Technical Vocational Livelihood (TVL). If we want our students to
gain holistic understanding and appreciation in their chosen
strands, its shortages need to be addressed. We also want the
students to learn skills that match most of the industry
requirements in Mactan and the rest of Cebu,” PBSP trustee and
Visayas Executive Committee Chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz said.
The scholarship assistance
includes the monthly transportation and project allowances,
registration fees for National Certification assessments, and
employment assistance for students wanting to find jobs after
graduation. The provision of tools and equipment for the SMAW
laboratory, on the other hand, aims to contribute to the improved
curriculum delivery of the school and strengthen the students’
competencies. Tools and equipment include coveralls and uniforms,
leather gloves, respiratory masks, welding rods and shields, work
suits and gloves, angle grinders, and cutting and grinding disks.
“Some of you will choose
to work immediately after you graduate. Some of you will go on to
further studies. We hope that the assistance that we provide you
helps to lighten your load and lets you concentrate on the skills
that you are learning and the education that you are getting from
the school,” Aboitiz added.
Present during the program
launch were Oriental Port and Allied Services Corporation (OPASCOR)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tomas Riveral, GMR Megawide
Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) Junior Manager for Corporate
Communications and CSR Avigael Maningo, and Aboitiz who distributed
certificates and allowance vouchers to the scholars.
Building Schools through
the Olango Challenge
This is the 11th year that
PBSP has continuously poured in support for Olango island schools
through the Olango Challenge. Since the event’s launch in 2008, it
has built nine classrooms for Olango’s elementary schools and
provided educational assistance to 190 SHS students.
This is the second year
that PBSP provided educational assistance to the SHS students
through the Olango Challenge proceeds. Major sponsors for this
year’s Olango Challenge include the Aboitiz & Company, Dow Chemicals
Philippines, Inc., GMCAC, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., and
“We hope that by providing
them with these interventions, the students will successfully pass
their subjects, perform well, and access better job opportunities
after graduating from senior high school,” Aboitiz added.