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2020 Brigada ng Ayala launched at RMHS

Ramon Magsaysay
10-faucet handwashing facility is turned over to Ramon Magsaysay High School under Brigada ng Ayala sponsored by BPI Foundation and implemented by Manila Water Foundation. Photo shows (L-R) Mr. Reginald Andal, Executive Director, Manila Water Foundation; Gene Pangilinan, Principal, Ramon Magsaysay High School; Virgilio Santos, Chief, SGO Division of SDO Manila; Cel Amores, Chairperson, Brigada ng Ayala; Cenen Milan, Manager, Ayala Foundation; and Kristine Gonzales, Program Manager, BPI Foundation

AT the time when collaboration is much-needed, Ayala Group of Companies proved its synergy through the launching of the 2020 Brigada ng Ayala at Ramon Magsaysay High School (RMHS) in España, Manila on October 12.

Aligned to the call of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s WASH in Schools program, Ayala Group foundations – BPI Foundation, Manila Water Foundation, and Ayala Foundation – commenced the Brigada ng Ayala with the turnover of a 10-faucet handwashing facility and 200 Ayala EduCare packs.

As handwashing facilities are essential in the prevention of the spread of coronavirus, the hygiene facility was designed by Manila Water Foundation to match the current needs in the new normal. The “contactless” design of the facility helps users to turn on the faucet via a foot pedal, while the one-meter distance between faucets allows proper physical distancing. Appropriate signages were also mounted on the facility to ensure that the steps to proper handwashing are followed. The facility is also connected to clean water supply and a drainage system to ensure reliability and safety.

Meanwhile, the Ayala EduCare packs are hygiene kits that contain school supplies, posters that teach about COVID-19 measures and proper hygiene, face masks, a face shield, alcohol, bar soaps, and the Manila Water Foundation’s children’s storybook May Tubig na sina Tinay that teaches about water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices.

Ms. Cel Amores, Chairperson of the Brigada ng Ayala (BNA) and Senior Director for Corporate Communications of Ayala Foundation, emphasized the collaborative approach of the different Ayala foundations in the said program. “If we all work together – together with the communities, learners and teachers, we achieve much more. This is not just within the Ayala Group, we also welcome other partners who may be able to help.”

With the “new normal,” BNA mainly focuses on the following focus areas: Kalusugan at Kaligtasan led by Manila Water Foundation, and Edukalidad, led by Globe Telecom. Under Kalusugan at Kaligtasan, main donations are health sanitation and disinfection, multivitamins and food supplements, personal protective equipment, DRRM kits, handwashing facilities. For Edukalidad, these are composed of teaching and learning materials, e-learning paraphernarlia, and education and training.

BPI Foundation which sponsored the handwashing facility in RMHS, aims to contribute to the efforts of preventing COVID-19 from spreading. Kristine Gonzales, BPI Foundation Program Manager for Employee Volunteerism and Disaster Response shared, “We wanted to increase awareness and show the importance of hand hygiene because during these trying times, it saves lives.”

Mr. Gene Pangilinan, Principal of RMHS said, “Lubusan ang pasasalamat ko sa ngalan ng aming paaralan, sa mga taong tumutulong at walang sawang naghahandog ng kanilang kalinga at panahon. (We are deeply grateful to the people who help us and who tirelessly show their concern and share their time with us.)

Manila Water Foundation (MWF) is the lead implementer of Brigada ng Ayala’s Health and Safety pillar which is also aligned to the MWF’s WASH in Pandemic program that aims to empower schools and communities against the threats of communicable diseases such as COVID-19.