Imagine that just by loading up on gas, you can make dreams come true

- Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2015 - 10:00am

One of the corporate social responsibility projects that caught our eye is what Chevron Philippines has come up with.  No extra donations from the pocket or pledges of help or long-time support—just tying up a routine act such as gassing up with a worthy cause that benefits young and marginalized Filipino students.  That is what Chevron Philippines achieved with their brand Caltex.

The company launched their Fuel Your School (FYS) project in the middle of this year, a short campaign from June 15 to July 15 wherein, for every four liters of Caltex fuel that you load, P1.00 goes to a special educational fund that would benefit our young high school students from public schools. What is nice about it is most of the Caltex dealers in Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite (a total of 153 Caltex stations) embraced this CSR project wholeheartedly. 

The Caltex dealers explained the mechanics of the promo to their faithful patrons who likewise embraced the idea of being part of the program that would benefit the schools in their community. You see, these customers are given the chance to vote for their chosen schools so these schools can be the beneficiaries of the Fuel Your Dreams project. Supported by their social media campaign, this program gave the students a fighting chance to realize their aspirations for a better education.

In this project, Chevron teamed up with the American Chamber Foundation and the Department of Education.  Program partner AmCham Foundation’s, (the socio-civic arm of the American Chamber of Commerce Foundation) president Edwin Feist  and executive directorJun Salipsip explained Chevron shared their advocacy of youth education and development, which was why they agreed to be a part of the program.

Chevron’s goal was to raise P5 million or at least P150,000 per target beneficiary school to fund the 28 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classroom proposals that were shortlisted by AmCham Foundation as submitted by 27 of the 38 schools pre-selected by the Department of Education. DepEd selected those schools in Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite they deemed most in need of support.

STEM teaching tools are what our bright, but poor students need—these are laboratory equipment, engineering kits, scientific calculators, laptops, tables and multi-media projectors their schools can provide for them .  After the month-long campaign, The Caltex Fuel Your School project finally culminated in an awarding program where the schools who garnered the most votes were named and their needs answered with the special learning tools that Caltex awarded to the schools.

Chevron country chairman Peter Morris, together with Pam Topacio, station business consultant of Chevron, Raissa Bautista, Chevron manager for policy, government and public affairs, graced the recent awarding program of the Caltex Fuel Your School program together with AmCham Foundation’s Edwin Feist and Jun Salipsip, Dr. Luz Almeda, regional director for NCR of DepEd and Fel Rose Ignacio, Grade 10 science teacher/project proponent of Caloocan National Science and Technology High School.

The top three schools and their rewards are: Caloocan National Science and Technology High School that got digital math tools, Culiat High School in Quezon City whose students stand to benefit from the program’s learning laboratory, and Pasay City East High School whose students will benefit from the InterScienTivity on the Go learning tools.

Aside from the top three schools, many other schools received their share as well.  Teacher/project proponent Reynaldo Cordova of Kalayaan High School in Pasay City said, “These brand new electronics and technical apparatus will help realize the dreams of the poorest of our poor students of becoming free from poverty.”  Pasay City South High School teacher Jonalyn Suzara requested for and got 303 scientific calculators and said “I can vividly remember how my students used palengke-style calculators in computing. They were complaining,  “Ma’am we cannot make logarithmic computations here.  That will not be a problem anymore with these scientific calculators.” The students of Carlos L. Albert High School in Quezon City tearfully received their state-of-the-art multimedia materials.  The school’s Science Dept. head shared: “In the past, storms and typhoon forms were discussed through MP3 or Manila Paper 1,2,3.  Now we have 48-inch flat screen TV!  Who wouldn’t want to see animations of cyclogenesis with that?”  Still another school, Pitogo High School in Makati City received laboratory equipment, for which the school’s STEM department headImelda Quiban is profoundly grateful. “To craft the finest biochemistry research, our student-researchers used to rent an autoclave or sterilizer machine in a university in Laguna for P5,000.00.  But now we have our own! Whereas we were forced to use ‘vintage’ equipment, now our autoclave is shiny and brand new.  Thanks to Caltex, our school will soon be the ‘center of science research’ in Makati”, she said.

Social media also played a big role.  The smallest school in the short list of DepEd, Caloocan National High School, through their teacher/project proponent Fel Rose Ignacio successfully campaigned for her school by declaring a “Facebook voting hour” and had her students view the instructional video they prepared for the Caltex program which were then uploaded and shared by the students.

Culiat High School in QC and Pasay City East High School received STEM materials and got an unexpected bonus of one laptop each for their untiring social media campaign.

Education is the greatest equalizer indeed, as Chevron’s manager Raissa Bautista said.  The collaboration of the motorists, the community and the private sector in general has made this CSR program immensely successful and fruitful. Through this program, about 3,000 senior-ready students from selected public schools are now learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics with brand new equipment.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

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