Operation Sagip

Sun Life Gives “light” Among Bayanijuan Residents

ALKFI
April 3, 2014

 The sun continues to shine at the Legacy of Light Village in Bayanijuan, Calauan, Laguna as they launched the Learning Center and Gym as its newest communal facilities.

Sun Life’s Gym and Learning Center are sure to be dynamic venues where sports programs, arts and culture and youth clubs will be carried out to bring forth a positive channel for the formation of values of young people.

Sun Life Financial Philippines, through Sun Life Foundation, committed to provide a comprehensive community development program within Bayanijuan that emphasizes the importance of environmentally-appropriate community and livelihood systems. It is an ongoing five-year program, which started in 2010, right after Sun Life donated a whopping Php49.3 Million to set-up its successful Legacy of Light Village at the Site 3 of Southville 7.

This partnership led to the construction of 115 houses with ongoing process of electrification, installation of rainwater catchment to ensure water supply and installation of 60 units of solar streetlights all over the community. A duck farm was also put up in the Legacy of Light Village where the delicious salted eggs come from.

Sun Life Financial Philippines CEO Riza Mantaring explained the stages of village’s rehabilitation. “The first year was focused on building eco-friendly houses. The second year was devoted to constructing communal facilities such as playground and volleyball court. The third year is devoted to creating livelihood programs and granting scholarships to deserving youngsters. Rest assured that we will continue to work with ABS-CBN Foundation in the coming years to further the development of this community,” she said.

Sun Life Executive Director Joub Miradora shared that Sun Life now celebrates its 119th anniversary in the Philippines, making it the longest-staying life insurer in the country. The first Sun Life office was situated along the Pasig River. This is the reason why the Legacy of Light Village was developed – to serve as a decent community for the informal settlers along Estero de Paco, an estuary connected to the Pasig River.

“The mandate of the management is to make sure the program is sustainable. We veer away from the usual dole-out donations. It has to be sustaining otherwise we do not solve the problem. Sun Life’s tagline is ‘Life is brighter under the sun’ so we really want to make sure that this phrase will be something believable and sustainable,” Miradora said.

Calauan Mayor George Berris expressed his gratitude in the support the private donors give to develop a portion of his governed area. He even proudly shared the result of the study conducted by the University of Florida.

“[Legacy of Light] is the best and the most organized relocation site that we have visited here in Calauan; all because we get assistance from ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. Sun Life Foundation and Don Bosco College. A lot of organizations help improve Southville 7,” Mayor Berris articulated.

True to its mission of providing Filipinos a sustainable future, Sun Life also awarded scholarship to 17 children under Bantay Bata’s Bantay Edukasyon program. They also built volleyball court and children’s playground to promote sports, recreation and health and wellness in the community.

Sun Life also endeavors to bring out the “artist” within the youth of Southville 7. University of the Philippines’ very own Tabsing Kolektib theater arts organization is tasked to organize series of theater workshops, exposure trips and youth development sessions to interested youngsters, age 14-18.

All of these are in line with Sun Life’s campaign “Sharing Hope And Resources for Education and Social Services” or S.H.A.R.E.S program.

Sun Life will also extend its commitment in working with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya’s Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig to revive the esteros leading to the Pasig River.

ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Chairman Gina Lopez expressed the unstoppable transformation of Bayanijuan in spite of its obvious success. She shared the result of research commissioned by Asian Development Bank, one of Bayanijuan’s huge partners.

“According to People Connect Research Management, 80% of the people in Calauan have reliable jobs, the remaining 20% has none. It’s not yet 100%, but 80% is not that bad. It is very difficult the change the whole Philippines but if we begin with small areas, it’s possible. It can be done,” Lopez enthused.

The Bayanijuan sa Southville 7, in Calauan, Laguna is the official resettlement site of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation. It houses 5,000 families from Metro Manila who used to live along the esteros or lost their homes after the unfortunate Typhoon Ondoy.