The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI Micro-finance)  is using a new system that will shorten the processing of loan applications.

The Credit Scorecard System is an automated and simplified process that facilitates fast release of loans to RMF clients. Loan applications are processed in three days or less.

Through a scoring system, a standard critical evaluation criteria in approving a loan is established. The system also uses a score indicator for risk instead of using the manual processing of the data from the Client Investigation and Background Investigation (CIBI) form, Progress-Out-of-Poverty Index (PPI) form, and cash flow of the clients.

RMF’s service provider CRIF will create and develop the system’s features. It is currently assessing the data in terms of structure and quality.

The project will be test-run as soon as the system is completely developed together with a platform.

Credit scoring is important and useful since it can provide an accurate information on risk and other credit factors. It will also give an efficient approval of a loan with objective decisions based on the statistical data analyzed by the credit scoring system.

With a better and improved processing system, RMF will be able to take the microfinance processing to the next level and fulfill its goal of achieving fast and efficient transaction in terms of loan evaluation.

The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI Micro-finance) provides financial and non-financial services to micro-entrepreneurs with a mission of elevating lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through stable and rewarding livelihood.

The Education Development Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-EDU) has partnered with the Municipal Government of Aloguinsan to fulfill its dream of providing school children with more learning-conducive classrooms under the School Rehabilitation Program.

Students in six elementary schools in Aloguinsan town in western Cebu will welcome the incoming school year in brand new classrooms.

 

Name of School

No. of classrooms

Angilan Elementary School

3

Aloguinsan Central Elementary School

3

Bojo Elementary School

3

Bonbon Elementary School

3

Olango Elementary School

3

Saksak Elementary School

3

TOTAL CLASSROOMS

18

 

 

“The project (classrooms) are very nice and a great help to our beneficiary schools. It will give our students a good learning experience. Our partners became our angels along our journey in giving basic quality education to our learners,” said Florencia Labang, District Supervisor of the Department of Education in Aloguinsan.

A final inspection and exit conference was conducted last March 9 and April 19, 2018 with the school community and local government representatives.

“We are very thankful to the local government unit of Aloguinsan and RAFI for the support they extended to our schools. Without the project, it would be impossible for us to build our classrooms considering our meager funds. We are happy that little by little, our school facilities are rehabilitated,” said Gregorio Lacre, School Head of Aloguinsan Central Elementary school.

The Education Development Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-EDU) helps in the formation of effective learning environments by providing high-quality, cost-effective school infrastructure and by capacitating school communities for the continuous improvement of learning outcomes.

 

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IAMRAFI: We Did Not Face

This Alone

The Story of Anne Georgia Crystal Solante,

Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragon Boat Team Captain (Part 2 of 2)

By Marco Paulo Trajano Deligero | May 29, 2018

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Battling and surviving breast cancer is already a life-changing experience for Georgia. Then she took on a new responsibility and formed a team to further raise breast cancer awareness through sports.

Georgia, or Captain Solante to her teammates, also aims to inspire more cancer-stricken people that there is life after diagnosis. This led to the creation of the Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragon boat team, the first and only breast cancer survivor team in the Philippines, that has already won two gold medals last October 2017.

 

On the Beginning of Something Better

In her battle against cancer, Captain Solante met several people that helped her create life-changing impact on people, particularly women afflicted with breast cancer.

Coach Nonnie Lopez of the Dragon boat Cebu Central, through Grace Ferrer, a Habagat team member and also a breast cancer survivor, encouraged her to try paddling as part of her exercise and hobby.

She was very skeptical at first but enthusiastic in trying out this new sport. She thought that it was going to be difficult for her, that her body would not be able to withstand the intense activity given that her body was still in the recovery phase from her battle against breast cancer.

“I cannot forget that day, it was on the 21st of January 2017. It was a great feeling trying it for the first-time! I never thought that paddling would be that fun, it was very exciting to try!” she said.

Captain Solante then invited her friends Maribeth, Mary Ann and Mirasol, to try the sport as well.

 

On Forming a Full-Pledged Team

She eventually fell in love with paddling, and then decided to form a team of breast cancer survivors. She invited other breast cancer co-advocates of the ICanServe Foundation to join the team.

By March 2017, just two months after her first paddling experience, Georgia completed the ICanServe Dragon boat team (with 10 paddlers, 1 helm, 1 drummer). They immediately had their first competition the next month at the Cebu Yacht Club.

“We saw that the ICanServe Dragon boat team had very good potential, but we needed a professional coach if we wanted to be stronger and succeed in dragon boating.” 

 

Newer and Better Changes

It wasn’t until their team was adopted by the Philippine Accessibility Disability Services (PADS), where they were given the formal training by their newly-found coach, Christian Ian Sy. 

Coach Christian gave them a rigorous three-month training. He taught them the proper body form used in paddling, how to strengthen and condition every aspect of their physical body, including their core, muscles, balance and sharpening of other skills related to paddling, including the mind.

“We really needed a trainer to support us, and to help us become better. Someone who will push us to be the best we could be!” Captain Solante said.

 

The Journey Continues

With all these changes and progress, she decided to register the team with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the ‘Cebu Pink Paddlers Inc.’ on July 13, 2017.

“One of the reasons why we registered the Cebu Pink Paddlers Inc.’ Dragon boat team is to officially begin our advocacy through paddling, which would also allow us to gather funding from different individuals and organizations to further strengthen our advocacy through the sport.” 

 

More Than Just an Advocacy

The primary advocacy of Cebu Pink Paddlers Inc. Dragon boat team is not just to stay fit, but to also inspire and empower those who are battling [breast] cancer, and to show the world that there is life after being diagnosed with the disease.

“There is life after diagnosis. There is hope, everyone should remember that.” 

In preparation for their very first international competition in Taiwan, Captain Solante and her team were really excited, but also committed themselves to prepare and to double their efforts in order to be successful in the international arena.

“We are very lucky to have people around us who always help us in achieving the goals that we aim for.”

Captain Solante also mentioned the efforts and support that their team doctors gave them, in the person of Dr. Rhoel Dejaño, their strength & conditioning doctor.

“I remember what Dr. Dejaño always tells us in order to prepare and to prevent any injury from happening in for our competition in Taiwan.” 

“We even have a team Physical Therapist, Billy John Remedio, who is also the strength and conditioning doctor for our team.” 

“Basically, we train everyday in order to achieve the desired results.”

“Everyday training, skills, plus science. This is the foundation of our training, and the coaches always remind us to do only those that our bodies can take or absorb.” Georgia added.

 

Taiwan and Their First Two Golds

When they arrived in Taiwan for the big competition, Captain Solante said that they were all on their nerves because their competitors, also breast cancer survivors, were bigger, fitter, and  had 15 years of paddling experience.

“When we saw them, we asked ourselves, ‘are we ready for this?’ And then as a team, we motivated each other and cheered, we can do this!”

And win they did! The Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragon Boat team won the Breast Cancer Survivor (BCS) 500m race category in the 2017 Taiwan Keelung International Dragon Boat Festival, held at the Keelung Harbor in Keelung City, Taiwan with 5:09.140 time record.

Their competitors, the Long Beach Pink Dragons of USA finished in with 5:26.740 and Dragon Abreast Hong Kong finished with 5:41.800 finishing second and third, respectively.

 

And on the second leg of the competition with 200m race to finish, the Cebuano paddlers ended strong with 1 minute and 57.29 seconds. Giving them their second gold victory.

 

 

Challenges Encountered

The Taiwan competition was not an easy win for the Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragon boat team, according to Captain Solante.

 

“What people don’t know is that this (Taiwan competition) was the most challenging race that we have done so far. During the first five strokes, our boat nearly flipped over because of some circumstance, good thing we, as a team, managed to think fast and made our way to finish the race.” 

“The shorter the length of the race the more difficult it becomes, because in our experience, we have to be accurate and fast as possible in just a very short span of time in order to win, and that’s one of the challenges that we have faced and conquered as a team.” 

Despite this gold medal finish, the team kept their feet on the ground. “Wala ni namo maabot kining tagumpay nga kami-kami ra,” (We did not achieve this victory on our own.), she humbly said.

 

Greatest Lesson Learned

When asked on the greatest lesson, or lessons learned by the Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragon boat team, Captain Solante said it would be to give your all in hard work and trust, and give everything to God.

“We might not have survived this without Him, without God.”

“He is our strength, our everything.”

She also said that optimism goes long way, because ‘no matter how difficult the challenges are, there will always be hope if you remain optimistic, it’s time that you take hold of your life.’

She also values the love and support she, and the rest of team, receive from their families and friends.

 

‘We Did Not Face This Alone’

Faith in God, and to the Our Lady of Guadalupe, have been Captain Solante’s motivation, ‘I claim success every time I pray to God.’

To ‘my love,’ Jojo, even though we are far away from each other, you have been very supportive of me, I love you.

“To the Solante family, and my two sons, Gerard Geronimo Crystal Beniga, now 21 (her son from her first husband who passed away), and Gregory Roman Crystal Solante, now 11. You are my motivation, I love you both.”

“To my ICanServe Foundation Inc. family, Dr. Villegas who encourages me to serve, to Tita Nella, and Tingting Caballero, core group of ICanServe Foundation Inc. who visited me during my surgery, thank you.”

“To the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC), Sir Ronald Delos Reyes, EJACC coordinator, Ms. Gina Mariquit, and to RAFI-EJACC itself, daghang salamat.”

 

Paddling Towards Success

In behalf the Cebu Pink Paddlers dragon boat team, Captain Solante also give thanks to their team Physical Therapists, Dr. Bayron Garcia, and Dr. Dianna Nebria.

“To our doctors, Daghang salamat (thank you very much) for being there when we most needed it. We’ve seen the dedication that you have given us.” 

She also give thanks to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Commissioner Ramon Fernandez.

“To Mr. Ramon S. Fernandez, the PSC commissioner, thank you very much for motivating us. You did a great job in motivating us, daghang salamat (thank you very much), Sir!”

“Also, thank you to the Cebu Mighty Dragons, Philippine Navy, to the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) for providing us a certain amount of financial support, and of course, to the whole team of Cebu Pink Paddlers, let us continue inspiring women, one swing of a paddle at a time.” Captain Solante said.

Captain Solante said that she even remembered a time when Dr. Garcia said that “You, the Cebu Pink Paddlers Dragon boat team are no longer just breast cancer survivors, you are athletes now.” #IAMRAFI

 

 

 

 

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“Everyday training, skills, plus science. This is the foundation of our training, and the coaches always remind us to do only those that our bodies can take or absorb.”

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While local government unit (LGU) employees typically focus on operations and development of their respective areas, tourism and agricultural officers of the towns in the seventh district have begun to look beyond the boundaries of their municipalities to address common issues.

Last April 24, 2018 in Dumanjug town, tourism officers in the seventh district met to determine shared strengths and weaknesses of the district’s existing tourism industry. They also discussed opportunities and threats for its development.

The following day, agricultural officers of these towns met to hold their own SWOT analysis.

After presenting their own LGU’s SWOT analysis as output of their validation exercises, the LGU officers came together again to consolidate their outputs for a district-wide SWOT analysis.

In addition to the SWOT analyses, the LGU officers also created a list of key stakeholders for the tourism and agricultural industries in the district. This list determines key decision-makers and influencers for the development of the industries.

Both of these outputs will be presented to the district’s leadership and used in the upcoming strategic planning and visioning workshop scheduled on June 5 to 7, 2018.

The Integrated Area Development Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-IAD) provides Local Government Units (LGUs) with technical assistance towards socio-economic development.

Officials of Consolacion town are tapping its youth to play an active role in strengthening the implementation of the purok system and spearheading information, education, and communication campaigns for the town’s projects and programs.

This was the agenda when Councilor Victor Maglasang, Association of Barangay Council (ABC) president Roger Linaboc, and acting Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Officer Nelia Bandico met with the Mega Cebu Constituency Building, represented by Rosendo Bonghanoy, to talk about the youth general assembly in Barangay Pulpogan.

Bandico also said during the meeting that they will commence the town’s training for their environmental officers, which was initiated by the Mega Cebu ConsBuild in partnership with Mandaue City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office. Consolacion is now preparing for the implementation of “Limpyo Consolacion” which was patterned after Mega Cebu’s campaign “Limpyo Cebu, Puwede Kaayo.”

Linaboc and Bandico said thet are excited about this development and are hoping that more attention will be paid to it, with the cooperation of the local government units and the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board’s Research, Program and Organizational Development-Project Management Office.

“Limpyo Cebu, Puwede Kaayo”  first kicked off in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City last April 22, 2016, and was eventually adopted by all towns and cities of Metro Cebu. This year, the campaign which was organized and strengthened by Mega Cebu ConsBuild through the Purok Organizing Team, is expected to broaden through the active participation of thousands of purok members in towns and cities that don’t have purok systems yet.

The Governance and Linkages Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-G&L) seeks to foster responsive institutions and an engaged citizenry through awards and recognition, good governance and leadership development programs, and active linkages and platforms of engagement and collaboration.

 

The Microfinance Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI Micro-finance) opened its 100th branch in Victorias, Negros Occidental last April 26, 2018.

“RMF’s expansion started after the Bugsay Project led by Renoir Group. The project empowered and inspired RMF to reach out to more micro-entrepreneurs by opening more branches to various provinces in the Visayas,” said RMF Expansion Head Dominic Sencio.

So far, RMF has opened 25 branches, including those in Samar. Before the year ends, it will open new branches in Iloilo.

Established in 1998, RMF started operating only in Cebu province with four branches in Argao towns, Balamban, Liloan, and Minglanilla. By the end of 2017, it has established branches in Biliran, Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI Micro-finance) provides financial and non-financial services to micro-entrepreneurs with a mission of elevating lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through stable and rewarding livelihood.


Excited about the upcoming Gabii sa Kabilin?  We have 29 participating sites from four cities waiting for you!

To help you choose, check this LIST NOW.

No tickets yet? Tickets are available at the sites, too!

For additional inquiries, you may send us a private message at our official GABII SA KABILIN Facebook page.

 

 

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IAMRAFI: Conquering Dragons:

From Camp 71 to a Decade After

The Story of Daphne Ramirez Dia, Assistant Director for the Youth Development Program (YDP), Kool Adventure Camp,

10 Years in Service

By Marco Paulo Trajano Deligero | May 22, 2018

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Daphne’s camp name is ‘Pillow’ because she endeavors to bring comfort to the people around her.

She commits herself to consistent self-improvement for her to be a good role model and mentor to the youth — and this is one of the secrets of her 10-years stay in RAFI.

 

 

From Camp 71 to Belgium and the Netherlands (Young Minds Academy)

Daphne Dia, or Daphne, had already formed strong ties with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) even before joining the Kool Adventure Camp (KAC).  

“I was the documenter for Camp 71 of KAC in 2003, and I got to try first-hand the camp itself, it was very memorable.” 

“I was also part of Young Minds Academy in 2007 (Team 1, Generation 1, Season 1), that taught me a lot on social development work,  which was also instrumental in my being sent to Belgium and the Netherlands for the Young Minds on Xplore. It was a very enriching experience. I learned a lot and met people from different cultures and background. It was simply awesome.” She added.

 

 

On Being the Youngest in Her Family to Being the ‘Big Sister’ in KAC

Daphne, who considers herself an introvert, was born and raised in Toledo, Cebu. Her father is a mechanical engineer while her mother is a public school teacher. She is the youngest of six (five girls, one boy). She considers her position in KAC as a huge responsibility.

She even shared a trivia — her eldest sister was born on the day RAFI was founded which also happens to be the birthday of the founder Don Ramon, November 16, 1966. Talk about coincidence?

 

 

Looking for Meaning

Daphne and her family has a business of their own, and her father wants her to be involved in continuing the business.

But Daphne has something different in mind. She constantly reminds herself of the question ‘why do people give back only when they are older? We need to feed the soul, not just the pocket.’

This question has guided her on her career — to build relationships with people, and contribute to nation-building.

“I prefer more face-to-face interactions. I like to build direct connection with people, that is very important for me.” 

She joined RAFI on October of 2007 when Mr. Anthony Terence ‘Totits’ Ocampo invited her to apply for the Facilitator position.

 

 

Life Is Easier If You Are Passion Driven

Daphne believes that being part of the Kool Adventure Camp is a blessing more than anything else, for it is aligned with what she wants to do in life, which is to be of inspiration to the youth and to continue to be of service to the personal growth of an individual or an organization.

“We get to inspire and influence other individuals, especially the youth, to make a positive change in their own communities and schools.”

 

 

‘Being With KAC Is Being With Family’

She also added that being with the KAC means being part of a family.

“We share meals and cook for each other, we travel together, we laugh and cry together, and we even have healthy discussions as well.  Basically, being with KAC is like being part of a family. ”

 

 

What Makes KAC Different Amongst Others

The Kool Adventure Camp of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-KAC) is the first and only fully dedicated Adventure Education Center in the Philippines.

They value safety & security, and they make sure that campers enjoy their experience at the camp.

“In KAC, we do not have a canned program, we make sure we give the campers the training that they need, provide them with materials and activities that is in line with their personal and professional lives, everything is tailor-fit, that’s one reason which makes us different.” Daphne said

“We make sure that when they have completed their camp training, and leave the gates of the KAC, they are more equipped than ever, and have a genuine desire to create change for themselves, to be of service to the youth, their community and their country.” She added.

 

 

More of the ‘Aha’ Moments

Being with KAC also means that she has the chance to see ‘aha’ moments almost everyday.

“What made me stay are precious moments, like seeing the expression of the campers who just ‘flew’ (jumped off) from the pamper pole, seeing so many emotions expressed through their eyes when they have conquered their fears: when doubt/fear turns to courage, then shifts to disbelief (that they were able to slay their “dragons”)…”

“…which then brings them to hope and to dream that they are able to do greater things for as long as they do something about what they want even if it may be difficult at times.” Daphne said.

 

 

‘I Believe I Can Fly’

Daphne feels fulfilled every time she sees campers conquering their own ‘dragons’ or fears.

“There will be specific moments that is repeated constantly. Every time, when campers have so much hesitations, uncertainty, insecurities, and when they release all their fears and start “flying”, when they succeed, I look into their eyes and I see success, triumph.”

“It makes my heart full, it makes me complete!” Daphne added.

 

 

Conquer ‘Dragons,’ Rest, Repeat

When asked what she does when she’s tired, she simply answered, “I sleep.”

For Daphne rest is as important as work, everything should be balanced.

When asked if she is still afraid of climbing, she answered, “Of course! I still fear it, that is part of being human.”

And then she added and assured, “when the time comes that I am no longer afraid and no longer have fears, that is the time when I am no longer alive.”

“Being afraid is natural, you should learn how to deal with it in the best way possible.” Daphne added.

 

 

Daphne and Her Biggest Life Motivation

Family and her colleagues, especially the younger ones, are some of the people she considers as her life motivation.

“My biggest motivation has always been my family and the idea of being able to use the skills, talents and abilities I have to productive use for the organization or community I am part of.”

“I am also very motivated to learn more. They might not know this, or I may not have explicitly told them, but the younger facilitators (those who were hired 2011 and beyond), have been my motivation. When we were given the task to be mentors to them, I pushed myself to know more than what I already knew and to set a good example — how else could I teach them if I don’t know my job…”

“…So yes, I give credit to the younger ones for me to always strive to do better.” Daphne added.

 

 

 

On How She Wants to Be Remembered

 

When asked on what she wants people to remember about her, Daphne humbly said that it is best if her colleagues will be asked to share their thoughts about her.

I sent a message to one of her colleagues, the Kool Adventure Camp Director herself, Ms. Sol Delantar-Gonzalvo.

 

“Daphne is a persistent learner. She seeks for answers and likes to share her learnings. She is an introvert but she speaks up when she feels strongly about something.” Delantar-Gonzalvo said.

 

“She is highly dependable and always keeps the team’s interest in mind. She takes rules seriously and will not hesitate to call out people when they are out of line but she is also first to raise matters especially when well-being is affected.” Delantar-Gonzalvo added.

 

Another colleague who shared their thought about Daphne is Anthony Terence ‘Totits’ Ocampo, KAC Senior Partnership and Development Officer, Professional Development Program, said.

 

“Daphne is very well-engaged with the KAC campers and facilitators, including her staff, which is very much appropriate to her chosen camp name ‘Pillow.’ She is generous and a disciplinarian which I believe, she got from the teachings and influence of her mother.”

 

 

On Her Greatest Career Accomplishment

For Daphne, seeing how the Youth Development Program (YDP) has grown and changed over the years, is one her greatest accomplishments.

“The YDP and how it changed over the years is one of my greatest accomplishments. Leo [Urpiana] and I started the YDP program ten years ago with just a very lean two-person team. Now we have competent young facilitators who are able inspire campers to make a positive difference to society.” Daphne proudly said.

 

 

New Challenges Encountered

For Daphne, mentoring and handling the new and younger staff is a huge responsibility and challenge. 

“In the Kool Adventure Camp, experience is our primary product. It is our tool to empower the youth and organizations, and produce synergy amongst the campers, among themselves, their groups and their community, after they finish the camp.” 

Pushing this initiative, Daphne said that active leadership & citizenship is one of their advocacies, which includes youth empowerment and creation of new leaders that could lead the nation one day.

 

 

On Having An Influence

Daphne believes that we all have the innate ability to influence others.  

“Sometimes the youth forget that they have influence, they are not aware that they have created impact, and that they have an impact in the first place.”

“For example, it is never enough to just recognize that there is trash everywhere… we need to go further and ask ourselves: What can I do about it?”

“Then we can start to think of solutions to eliminate or at least minimize the trash in your community. The youth should think that way, that for every act, no matter how big or small it may be, as long as it is consistent and genuine, it will create a huge change.”

“And that is what we are doing in the Kool Adventure Camp: waking up the potential leaders from among our campers — one activity at a time.” Daphne added.

 

 

On Being a RAFInian

Daphne believes that being a RAFInian boils down to being able to live a life beyond oneself, and the people you love.

“Most importantly… it is about looking at how we could have a bigger impact in different areas of the community. That has kept me here in RAFI for a long time, a decade this year,”

“Because seeing the great work that my teammates and those from the different  program teams, and the support we get internally, make me realize that we, as an institution, is doing something good — in the best way we possibly can.”

 

 

 

People Who Matter

Given this opportunity, Daphne wishes to give thanks to the people she works with at the Kool Adventure Camp.

“I would like to thank Mr. Anthony Terence ‘Totits’ Ocampo, Sheerene ‘En en’ Abrea, Jay Alera, Leo Urpiana – I’ve learned lots of things, I learned the core of why we exist, the purpose of why I am with the Kool Adventure Camp.”

She also expressed her gratitude to the person she believes has supported her in her vision for the KAC – Ms. Sol Delantar-Gonzalvo.

“I work very well with Sol, she has given me the independence and supported me throughout. She taught me the ropes of doing things and has never failed to make me feel supported and comforted.”

Daphne also give thanks to the first KAC Camp Director, Edvan Loh.

“He was the one responsible for KAC to transition from where we were before to how we are now. ”

And of course, her KAC colleagues whom she considers her KAC babies.

“To my KAC Team  — previous instructors, new instructors, always do the best we can for the things that we do, we have to mentor new people and, continue the culture that we have started, a culture of love and respect.” Daphne said.

“I am complete.” #IAMRAFI

 

 

 

 

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“In the Kool Adventure Camp, experience is our primary product. It is our tool to empower the youth and organizations, and produce synergy amongst the campers, among themselves, their groups and their community, after they finish the camp.”

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“To my KAC Team  — previous instructors, new instructors, always do the best we can for the things that we do, we have to mentor new people and, continue the culture that we have started, a culture of love and respect.”

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“My biggest motivation has always been my family and the idea of being able to use the skills, talents and abilities I have to productive use for the organization or community I am part of.”

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Public schools in Cebu and Bogo cities bagged the top awards in the second run of the Seal of Excellence in Education Development (SEED) program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI).

Mabolo Elementary School in Cebu City and Jovencio N. Masong National High School in Bogo City each won P1.5 million worth of grants, which can be used to address gaps/needs identified in the SEED assessments. Apart from the awards received, the schools were acknowledged for their efforts and initiatives to make the education experience of the school children worthwhile. (See table for full list of winners)

“Through SEED, we get to fulfill our dreams to satisfy the needs of our students. We [in Jovencio Masong NHS] are proud to be the SEED champion. Thanks a lot RAFI-SEED. You are our spotlight,” said Philip Bercero, Jovencio N. Masong National High School principal.

WINNERS:

ELEMENTARY CATEGORY

Champion – Mabolo Elementary School, Cebu City (P1.5 Million)
2nd place – La Paz Elementary School, Bogo City (P1 Million)
3rd place – Maguikay Elementary School, Mandaue City (P500,000)

Finalists

Napo Elementary School, Carcar City (P200,000)
Boljoon Central Elementary School, Boljoon (P200,000)

SECONDARY CATEGORY

Champion – Jovencio N. Masong National High School, Bogo City (P1.5 Million)
2nd place – Mantalongon National High School, Dalaguete (P1 Million)
3rd place – Gelacio Babao Sr. Memorial National High School, Carcar City (P500,000)

Finalists

Adlaon Integrated School, Cebu City (P200,000)
Jagobiao National High School, Mandaue City (P200,000)

During the awarding ceremony, the top schools shared their best practices in Organization Management, Instruction, Learning Environment and Performance during the Education Experience forum.

The winners bested 1,645 other public schools in Cebu that have implemented initiatives and good practices that promote education development. They were awarded last May 11, 2018 at the Cebu Grand Convention Center. The ceremony was attended by local chief executives, Department of Education (DepEd) officials, and partners from the academe and private sectors.

SEED awardees were determined by getting the highest aggregate scores in:

Provincial Level Site Validation (50%)
Numeracy and Literacy Tests (30%), and;
Panel Presentation and Interview (20%)

SEED is an annual data-gathering, monitoring, evaluating and awards program which identified outstanding public elementary and secondary schools in Cebu using an evidence-based scorecard and was developed to engage, mobilize and capacitate the school governing councils in all public schools at the same time promoting best practices by featuring local initiatives that further education development.

“It is our hope that the SEED program will be a inspiration for all public schools in Cebu, to aspire and be high-performing schools, delivering quality education to all learners and being role models for other schools to emulate.” Jon Ramon Aboitiz, the RAFI Chairman of the Board said.

The Education Development Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-EDU) helps in the formation of effective learning environments by providing high-quality, cost-effective school infrastructure and by capacitating school communities for the continuous improvement of learning outcomes.



The Urban Transport System Capacity Development Seminar last March 15, 2018 at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. – Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (RAFI-EADSC)

Urban transport stakeholders from local government units in Metro Cebu participated in a four-day seminar to enhance individual competency and strengthen institutional functional capacity. It was conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. – Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center last March 15, 2018.

The urban transport system seminar covered topics on urban development and transport planning, introduction to transport planning, traffic engineering and management, introduction to public transportation, mobility management, institutional framework and traffic signal and control. A guest from Kobe City, Japan presented the urban development master plan in Kobe City, urban management for the implementation of master plan, and the development management and control for establishing infrastructure system in Kobe City.

Aside from the seminar, the JICA Project Team is planning to carry out a GIS training and a study visit to Japan in late May 2018.

JICA has been conducting “Master Plan Study and Institutional Development of Urban Transport System in Metro Cebu” since July 2017 in response to the request of the Philippine Government. This project stems from the “Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development in Metro Cebu” carried out from 2013 to 2015 by JICA and aims:

1. To formulate the Metro Cebu Urban Transport Master Plan for the year of 2022 (short term), 2028 and 2040 (medium term), and 2050 (long term);

2. To identify priority projects and to conduct a pilot project and a Pre-F/S for some priority projects to be included in the Master Plan; and

3. To strengthen the capacity of Metro Cebu agencies responsible for urban transportation in such areas as planning, implementation, and coordination.

The Governance and Linkages Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-G&L) seeks to foster responsive institutions and an engaged citizenry through awards and recognition, good governance and leadership development programs, and active linkages and platforms of engagement and collaboration.

Young boys in Barili town availed themselves of free circumcision during the summer community outreach program of the Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI Micro-finance) held last April 14, 2018 at the Barili Gymnasium, Barili, Cebu.

“Tuli” or circumcision, considered a rite of passage to manhood, is a Filipino tradition usually done during summer when boys are on a school break. Aside from being part of tradition, circumcision is also good for the hygiene.

One of the patients, James Ewican was all smiles when he walked out of the operating room.

“It didn’t hurt but I still got scared. I’m happy it’s over now. I can now call myself an adolescent,” he added.

His mother Cheryl expressed her gratitude to RMF and to the volunteers for the free circumcision and medicines that were given to them after the procedure.

Three doctors, five medical student volunteers, and three nurses from the local RHU unit of Barili facilitated the operation.

Other free services offered during the outreach program were breast and cervical screenings for early detection of breast and cervical cancer, dental services, optical services, blood typing, blood sugar testing, and medical consultations. There were also free massages, orientations on livelihood opportunities and government services.

The event was made possible with the help of the following partners: Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.-Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center, Banilad Center for Professional Development, Pilmico, Pau de Arco, AMSA-SOMA of Cebu Institute of Medicine, volunteer doctors and nurses, and PhilHealth.

RMF conducted another community outreach program last April 28 in Canlaon, Negros Occidental.

The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI Micro-finance) provides financial and non-financial services to micro-entrepreneurs with a mission of elevating lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through stable and rewarding livelihood.