LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 27 (PNA) -- Education, as they say, is the one thing that cannot be stolen from us. It is an investment that no one can measure the heights of its return. It is one of the most important legacies one can leave behind.
Recognizing these, the Masbate Gold Project (MGP), through its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), has focused on injecting funds for the education of the Masbateños.
Serving 41 host communities, MGP has given high priority to education projects from the Php528.1 million budget for SDMP, divided in two phases (2009-2013 and 2014-2018).
Education projects consisted mostly of scholarship programs, provision of school transportation, subsidies for teachers and school aides, and provision of classrooms, school facilities, and amenities.
Since 2009, 554 students have received tuition assistance and monthly allowance, while at least 99 high school and 95 college scholars have graduated.
In 2014, SDMP funded the honoraria of 29 teachers, 12 daycare workers and three school aides to address the lack of school personnel and cater to the growing number of children going to schools.
MGP has also helped in building and repairing 37 classrooms, libraries, toilets and fences.
“The improvement of school facilities has proven effective when it comes to the children’s learning capabilities. We will continue to work on this commitment to help Masbateños get better chances at education and, later on, at life,” Ramon Velasco, MGP Community Relations manager, said.
The year 2014 also saw the first batch of scholar graduates from Panique and Puro, wherein one of the graduates is now teaching underprivileged children in the community.
Currently, both barangays have 150 high school and 60 college scholars. The Panique National High School also received instruction materials early this year to help facilitate learning.
“Education is a top priority in all Filipino households across all social demographics, all over the country. This is why we want to make education accessible to all Masbateños and help them achieve their dream of living a better life,” Velasco said.
Aside from education, MGP has also spearheaded livelihood programs for its host communities.
Last year, Barangay Panique and Barangay Puro received fertilizers, sewing equipment, fishing nets and carabaos with plows, vegetable production, fertilizers and hog-raising kits.
MGP also conducted livelihood classes to equip residents with skills for income generation.
“We are committed to help the communities where we operate in achieving their full potential. Until there are improvements to be done, we will continue to address the communities’ needs,” Danilo Latuga, MGP resident manager, said.
This year, MGP also plans to expand projects in the health sector.
SDMP will now include projects for health improvement and proper nourishment, starting in the womb.
Feeding programs for pregnant women are currently in the works to help nourish the fetus as well as the mother to increase chances of infant and mother survival.
Additional projects have also been identified for the barangays this year. These include road concreting, reasonable teachers’ salary, medical equipment in health centers and hospitals, pharmacies and birthing facilities.
MGP not only provides livelihood for the Masbatenos but also aims to uplift the communities through sustainable projects in education, livelihood and health. (PNA) FPV/FGS/CBD