Corporate Social Responsibility
In the energy industry, multiple projects take place in the provinces or hard to reach areas in the Philippines, we always make sure to give back to the community in all these areas where we operate and ensure that the population understands what our company and our clients are doing and the impact that this may have on their day to day lives.
Here is an example:
By Astrid Gabo
Aware of its corporate social responsibility to the environment and the society, NEWREST SOS has been receptive to the urgency of addressing social concerns in the country. Thus, NEWREST SOS has committed itself to take part in servicing to both the oil and gas industry and the community. Commitment to serving communities is NEWREST SOS priority.
Lamion Walking Blackboard Project
Within Tawi-Tawi’s pristine waters lies its town capital, Bongao. Of Bongao’s 35 barangay communities, Lamion is one of the most driven in its vision to provide quality education to the young minds of its Badjao inhabitants. In a 3rd income class, rural community like Lamion, where agriculture, fishing, agar-agar farming and water trade business are the main sources of livelihood, it is quite a challenge to make this vision into reality. Amid numerous constraints, the Lamion Walking Blackboard Elementary School was established a decade ago through the joint efforts of Barangay Chairman Elias Akip and Dr. Hadjirul Sabdani. Its name was inspired by the practice of moving a blackboard from one place to another to bring education to the children of Lamion, even when they are at play in knee-deep water. Badjaos are under the Samal ethnic group and they live close to the sea. The wooden planks connecting their homes built over the water had been the teachers’ bridge in order to spread knowledge throughout Lamion.
Ten years have passed and the Lamion Walking Blackboard Elementary School still stands. However, time took a toll in the school as its ceilings and walls are now dilapidated and the roofs are leaking, in addition, the number of tables and chairs are inadequate for the student population. Most importantly, there is a lack of teaching facilities and learning supplies for the students and these hinder the school from granting the children quality learning.
To respond to this situation, the NGO, Alternative Center for Organizational Reforms and Development (ACORD), conducted a Barangay Development Planning through Participatory Resource Appraisal (BDP-PRA) in Lamion. Rehabilitation and improvement of the Public Elementary School had been their priority since then.
In partnership with one of NEWREST SOS’ clients, Tap Oil Limited (“Tap”), the Lamion Walking Blackboard Project was launched on the 14th of February 2008. From the refurbishing of the roofs, ceilings and walls of the school to providing sufficient tables and chairs, the project walked its way for a better Lamion.
After a month of hard work through the cooperation of the different sectors in the community together with the commitment of Tap Oil and NEWREST SOS, the last decade that had passed without any improvements done in the school seemed so far away. After the renovation was done, The Lamion Walking Blackboard Elementary School has now transformed into an environment that is conducive for the children’s learning and well-being.
To inaugurate the newly renovated school, Mr. Blaine Ulmer, Tap Oil’s Engineering and Development Manager, Mr. Louis Paul Heussaff, NEWREST SOS Chairman & CEO, together with Mr. Jose Fermiza, NEWREST SOS Field Supervisor, traveled all the way to Lamion to distribute school bags and supplies to the eager children of the barangay. The students did not fail the kind gentlemen as they received their school materials with beaming faces. They also prepared a presentation by performing Tawi-Tawi’s cultural dances to welcome and express gratitude to the visitors who helped make their hopes for a brighter future all the more possible.
PPA-PMO Puerto Princesa Medical and Dental Mission 2008
Reaching out to different sectors of society has always been a main concern for NEWREST SOS. The company’s enthusiasm to attend to its responsibility is evident in several community involvements. Another socially oriented endeavor it participated in the Gamutang Bayan sa Pantalan 2008 (Medical Mission at the Port 2008) spearheaded by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), particularly the Port Management Office (PMO) of Puerto Princesa City. This half-day event was held on the 23rd of November 2008 in the PPA-PMO.
NEWREST SOS, through its Puerto Princesa Base, donated various medicines and drugs for the free medical and dental mission. This humanitarian effort was conducted for the benefit of the less-privileged dockworkers and residents of various barangays in the city. They include Bagong Pag-asa, Liwanag and Matiyaga which are all located near the port area. It was a meaningful half-day especially to the recipients of the undertaking.
NEWREST SOS takes satisfaction in having been a vital element in the completion of these feats. There is a great sense of fulfillment to become part of something so valuable for the betterment of an entire community. This is one of NEWREST SOS’ drives through its 30 years of steadfast service to the exploration industry and the society as it is a family that cares and shares.