We at Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR) realize that having a well-thought-out corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that benefits the communities where our businesses operate is not only essential but makes good business sense. We will not be able to sustain the continued operations of our businesses without the support of the local people and it is but proper that we do our part in uplifting the lives of our less fortunate neighbors. There are numerous ways in undertaking social development programs but your management has consciously focused on education and the environment two areas where we think our efforts would have the greatest positive impact. Our CSR efforts are carried out by our various subsidiaries in coordination with The Alcantara Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit entity that oversees the CSR functions of all the companies of the Alcantara Group.
The Alcantara Foundation
The Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1984 with a mission to bridge local communities in Mindanao toward better life opportunities. The Foundation is the sincere expression of the Alcantara Group's continued commitment to the development of Mindanao and its people. By carrying out social development programs in the areas of education and environment, the Foundation sees a future where member companies of the Group and our respective host communities work together in improving the quality of life in our greater neighborhood.
Since 2004, the Foundation has focused its community development efforts in Sarangani, the fourth poorest province in the country, and home to some of ACR's and the Alcantara Group's key businesses.
The Alcantara Foundation's education program aims to strengthen the education system and uplift the quality of education among public schools in Sarangani. The Foundation is actively involved in government-led basic education reform programs in the area, and conducts initiatives to improve reading and comprehension skills of Grade 2 and 3 non-readers. Schools, teachers, and youth volunteers are also supported through training sponsorships and other financial assistance. The Foundation also maintains a school feeding project in partnership with Jollibee Foundation, Inc. to address and mitigate hunger and undernourishment, widely attributed as the primary cause of decline in attendance, among Grades 1 and 2 public school pupils.
The Alcantara Foundation's environment program is focused on the protection and conservation of Sarangani Bay, the primary sources of food and livelihood among the communities in Sarangani Province. The Foundation aims to sustain this coastal resource through the implementation of various complementary projects. These include the deployment of Artificial Reef Domes (ARD) to rehabilitate the coral reef system of Sarangani Bay and serve as an artificial habitat for fish and other marine life, cultivation of a mangrove nursery and coastline replanting program, and restocking of milkfish (chanos chanos) fry into Sarangani Bay and supporting the local fisherfolk association's backyard fishpond project.
In all these activities, The Alcantara Foundation makes sure that our various efforts toward social development are being sustained and owned by local government and beneficiary communities. The Alcantara Foundation employs participative approaches through public-private partnerships and participation to governance.
Energy and Power
In 2013, your Energy and Power business donated nearly 1,000 classroom chairs and tables to different schools in our host communities of Zamboanga City and Sarangani Province. We continue to award scholarship grants for high school and college students in these areas, and fully support training programs for various technical and vocational courses in coordination with TESDA, the government's technical training facility. We also sponsor the annual career guidance event for graduating high school students in our areas of operation.
Your company's education assistance in 2013 also included the donation of dictionaries to all incoming 1st Year high school students in the Municipality of Alabel in Sarangani Province, the training of school teachers in different fields, the repair and maintenance of school buildings and other campus facilities, and sponsorship of participants in co-curricular activities such as the scouting movement for the Municipality of Alabel.
Mindful of the environment, we have also initiated various tree-planting activities together with our employees, local government units, students and volunteers. Reforestation activities were conducted in the upland areas of Sarangani, along the river banks of Buayan River, as well as mangrove areas in Zamboanga.
Among your company's environmental projects, the reforestation of more than 7,000 hectares in the highlands of Maasim, Sarangani Province through the Maasim Watershed Development Project has received greater focus as it approached a landmark 500,000th tree planted since its launch two years ago.
Assistance to Calamity Victims
Sadly, 2013 was marked by many natural and man-made calamities and emergencies that affected thousands of our countrymen. In the Visayas and in Mindanao, the resolve of these people were severely tested with back-to-back disasters that claimed property, livelihood, and lives. Your company responded the best we could by mobilizing our people, resources, and networks to extend assistance to those who were in dire need of help.
Your company, through our Zamboanga-based subsidiary WMPC, supported the city government of Zamboanga in assisting the thousands of evacuees during the Zamboanga Siege last September 2013. We continued to support the local government as the rebuilding and rehabilitation of facilities and services in the city were initiated.
Your company was also able to send emergency relief goods to Bohol in response to the shocking 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked the island on October 2013. Less than a month thereafter, neighboring Leyte Province and a wide swath of the Visayas Islands were hit with the devastating Supertyphoon Yolanda. We again sent assistance, this time in the form of 6,000 medical and hygiene kits, focusing on disaster areas that were not being reached by other coordinated relief efforts.