Four public schools in Sicogon, Iloilo received learning materials and health kits from Ayala Foundation (AFI) as part of its continuing support for the education sector. A total of 24 boxes of books and 400 #BrigadangAyala health kits were given to Alipata Elementary School, Buaya Elementary School, San Fernando Elementary School, and San Fernando National High School. Twenty Philippine flags were also given to the schools as part of the foundation’s Maging Magiting campaign which aims to promote love of country.
Sicogon National High School head Reyvalyn Acer expressed her appreciation to the foundation and its donors for what she called “bundles of joy”.
The distribution activity followed the completion of Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) and Participatory Community Planning (PCP) sessions led by AFI and attended by the Federation of Sicogon Farmers and Fisherfolks Association (FESIFFA) and the Sicogon Island Tourism Estate Corporation (SITEC).
SITEC, a joint venture between Ayala Land Hotels and Resorts Corporation (AHRC) and Sicogon Development Corporation (Sideco), is developing a world-class eco-tourism estate on the island, located off the northern coast of Iloilo.
The appraisal and planning processes are integral components to the foundation’s community development framework and vital to the attainment of sustainable community development goals.
Members of FESIFFA and SITEC participated in workshops, focus group discussions, interviews and surveys to create a better understanding of the local situation. FESIFFA, the largest organized group on the island, represents 784 members in three barangays and two sitios on Sicogon.
The foundation is working closely with SITEC and FESIFFA on the development planning principles and framework to guide sustainable livelihood projects for the local community. Through these activities, AFI empowers SITEC to understand the socio-economic context of their partner community, and to identify roadmaps for better collaboration.
As a result of the participatory rural appraisal, the groups were able to establish a community information database, highlight fundamental data gaps, and contribute to the body of knowledge about Sicogon. Most importantly, the exercise underscored the potential for collaboration as stakeholders work towards the area’s growth and development.
“We are willing to cooperate with the Ayala group for the betterment of Sicogon island. Once Sicogon island develops, the community also develops. The progress of the community is the progress of the entire island. With Ayala Land and Ayala Foundation, we hope to achieve our dreams and aspirations of development,” said FESIFFA Chairperson Raul Ramos.
As part of the community planning session, FESIFFA members shared their vision for their community and how they envision stakeholder participation. They also underscored their willingness to contribute to achieving the shared goals.
After the two-day activity, the group formulated their strategic directions, livelihood ideas and potential revenue streams in areas such as trade, retail, ecotourism, and agriculture. Together with partners, AFI, SITEC and FESIFFA will create prototypes and conduct feasibility studies in preparation for the planned implementation.
“I am confident that these community engagements will lay the foundation for a stronger and more robust relationship among the different stakeholders in Sicogon as we work together to build sustainable communities,” said Ayala Foundation Senior Director for Social Development Joanna Duarte.
For years, Ayala Foundation has been a committed partner to Iloilo, implementing numerous programs and projects under the education and love of country thematic areas. Among these are #BrigadangAyala, which comprises the Ayala group’s social development and corporate social responsibility initiatives; CENTEX Training Institute, which provides mentorship and training to public school teachers; Leadership Communities (LeadCom), which harnesses the power of the youth to address community issues; and Wheels for Work, which provides bikes to workers in need of sustainable transport.