Brigada ng Ayala – Balik Eskwela kicks off in Manila

The Ayala group of companies launched its annual education initiative, Brigada ng Ayala, on October 12, at the Ramon Magsaysay High School in España, Manila.

The program, led by Ayala Foundation, supports the Department of Education’s Oplan Balik Eskwela and Brigada Eskwela.

Officials from the Department of Education and the Ayala Group inaugurate the 10-faucet WASH Facility at Ramon Magsaysay High School on October 12, 2020. (L-R) Reginald Andal, Executive Director, Manila Water Foundation; Virgilio Santos, Chief Superintendent, Department of Education; Gene Pangilinan, Principal, Ramon Magsaysay High School; Cel Rosales-Amores, Senior Director for Corporate Communications, Ayala Foundation; Kristine Gonzales, Program Manager, BPI Foundation; Cenen Milan, Manager, Ayala Foundation

“This is where we come together to respond to the needs of teachers and learners put forth by our DepEd partners,” said Cel Rosales-Amores, Ayala Foundation Senior Director for Corporate Communications.

Present at the launch were representatives from Ramon Magsaysay High School, the Department of Education, Manila Water Foundation, BPI Foundation and Ayala Foundation.

“Ang salitang brigada ay patungkol sa bayanihan ng lahat,” said Mr. Virgilio Santos, DepEd Chief Superintendent. “Ang araw na ito ay napakagandang pangyayari sa amin sa Department of Education sapagkat nakikita natin ngayon ang spirit ng bayanihan.”

The various Ayala business units inaugurated a 10-faucet WASH (water access, sanitation and hygiene) facility built by Manila Water. It will serve the 6,400 students from 400 barangays who study at Ramon Magsaysay High School.

“In behalf of Ramon Magsaysay High School, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude in choosing our school as beneficiary for WASH facility and Brigada ng Ayala,” said Gene Pangilinan, School Principal. “Malaki itong tulong upang maabot naming ang pangangailangan ng aming mag-aaral,” he added.

While students use distance and blended learning in the face of the Covid-19, the school’s staff still show up to work in person.

“The Lingap Eskwela Handwashing facility will help promote good health and wellbeing for the school personnel during the pandemic and prepare them and the students for the eventual return to face-to-face learning,” said Kristine Gonzales, BPI Foundation Program Manager.

“Kahit wala pang estudyante ay magtatayo na kami ng WASH facilities para sa pagbalik na ng mag-aaral, mayroon na silang safe at conducive environment,” said Reginald Andal, Manila Water Foundation Executive Director.

The WASH facility has ten faucets spaced one meter apart with foot pedals for operation. It also has a canopy to protect its users.

Aside from the handwashing facility, students also received Ayala EduCare packs containing washable face masks, a face shield, alcohol, hand soap, notebooks and writing implements.

This launch is the latest in a series of projects by the Ayala group in the country’s capital. Among the recent initiatives to help the city are the donation of a molecular laboratory in Sta. Ana, and the construction of a public convenience facility near the Kartilya ng Katipunan Shrine in Ermita.

Brigada ng Ayala aims to reach 122,931 students and 9,165 teachers in 305 schools nationwide.

[Article submitted by Karina Frances Reyes, Ayala Foundation, Inc.]