With the Bohol-Cebu earthquake in October and supertyphoon Yolanda in November, the Lopez Group found itself fully immersed in relief and rehabilitation efforts.
ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya was at the forefront, coordinating with local governments, national leaders, donors and other funding agencies, and especially volunteers to provide hope and help to the victims of the calamities. Public response was overwhelming, necessitating the closure of its warehouses within a month of its telethon.
Aside from the telethon, ABS-CBN produced Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na shirts and organized a benefit concert to raise funds. Aside from distributing free SIM cards, ABS-CBN Mobile put up free text and calling centers until power and communication lines normalized. SkyCable set up free viewing stations in evacuation centers helping the survivors cope with the tragedy. Rockwell Land mobilized the Rockwell community consisting of residents, tenants, employees and customers to add funds to the rebuilding effort.
Over a thousand employees of Lopez Group member companies were affected by the supertyphoon. Lopez Group Foundation, Inc. (LGFI) and the Human Resources Council of the Lopez Group coordinated efforts directed at helping Lopez Group employees recover from the devastation. Their Lopez Group kapamilya immediately responded by donating leave credits and Christmas party budgets. They also volunteered to pack food and hygiene kits. Families with totally damaged homes were temporarily relocated, and building materials were sent to those who could still repair their homes.
Energy Development Corporation (EDC) faced the twin tasks of looking after the safety of its employees and restoring their damaged power plant facilities to good and reliable working condition. This effort continues with the support of its parent First Gen Corporation, First Philippine Holdings Corporation, and the rest of the Lopez Group.
Meanwhile, Lopez Holdings Corporation invested in causes consistent with its vision to improve the lives of Filipinos. Aside from providing legal, PR (public relations), accounting, and HR (human resources) technical assistance to LGFI and some LGFI member foundations, it directly participated in some projects.
The Out-of-school and Mature Learners Alternative Learning Institute (OMLALI) under Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc. (KCFI) continued to reach out to learners outside the formal school system. As of December 31, 2013, the 6.0 million initial funding provided by Lopez Holdings in 2010 had been fully disbursed, covering the production of educational TV materials, the provision of KCh LITE (Knowledge Channel Light Instructional Tool for Educators), the provision of KCh content for the Alternative Learning System (ALS) to more mobile teachers, and teacher effectiveness training and monitoring.
OMLALI reached more than the expected outcome at the end of the project. From the original target of 100 mobile teachers and from the revised plan target of 1,500 mobile teachers who would receive the ALS content videos, the project installed the KCh for ALS videos to 1,499 laptops of the ALS implementers. In addition, 42 E-Learning Centers with 397 desktops received access to the KCh for ALS content videos during the ALS roadshows. These E-Learning Centers are used by ALS teachers in holding ALS classes in their communities. Approximately 115,575 out-of-school youth and adult learners would benefit from these installed learning videos.
An endowment fund established in 2009 provided 2.9 million in operational funds for KCFI in 2013.
Lopez Holdings stayed committed to sponsor elementary scholars of the Phil-Asia Assistance Foundation, Inc. (PAAFI). PAAFI helps urban poor children stay in school by subsidizing transportation, school projects, uniforms, as well as counseling services. Each scholar’s performance is monitored through regular school and home visits by PAAFI social workers, and the regular submission of report cards. Since 1987, PAAFI’s “Off the Streets, Off to School” program has provided more than 9,000 scholarship grants.
The Department of Education (DepEd) chose LGFI and KCFI, together with De La Salle University and the Australian Agency for International Development to organize the SDS (schools division superintendents) Leadership Program or SLP. The program aims to provide SDSs with the level of competency necessary to perform their functions amid changes in the environment, strategies, policies and organization of the DepEd.
The first SLP batch covering 49 participants began in October 2012. Out of the 49, 47 continued to take SLP with the first batch, one joined the second batch, and one left the program. The 47 completed the one-week-a-month sessions held in Eugenio Lopez Center (ELC), Antipolo City in February 2014, at the end of which they were recognized in exercises held in DepEd, Pasig City.
SLP Batch 2 started in August 2013 with 60 participants. SDSs from both batches have given very positive feedback on SLP. The impact is almost immediate because they apply all that they learn and implement all that they plan in their respective divisions in the succeeding three weeks of the month following their week-long stint in ELC.
DepEd wants all the 220 SDSs and probably assistant SDSs to take the SLP.
Lopez Holdings also subsidized the operations of LGFI members ABS-CBN Foundation and Eugenio Lopez Foundation, Inc., administrator of the Lopez Museum and Library. The Lopez Museum is home to a priceless treasure of books and maps of the 16th century; works by the first internationally acclaimed duo of Filipino painters, Juan Luna (1857-1899) and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo (1855-1913); and personal effects of Philippine national hero José Rizal (1861- 1896). With over 500 works in its growing museum collection and over 20,000 titles in its expanding library catalogue, the museum cares for holdings covering 600 years of scholarship and artistry.