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PETRON TO BEGIN STOCKING OF FISH CAGES IN GUIMARAS
As part of its commitment to give more livelihood opportunities to Guimarasnons, Petron will begin fingerling stocking of two of the three fish cages it established at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) area in the town of Nueva Valencia before the end of August. Initially, the target beneficiaries will come from four baranggays namely Igang, Magamay, Pandaraonan, and Dolores.
Petron signed a Memorandum of Agreement with SEAFDEC last June 15 providing seed capital for the establishment of the mariculture farm.
“The establishment of this mariculture farm in Guimaras underscores our desire to provide a viable, long-term livelihood assistance that will directly benefit fisherfolk. This will provide a more reliable source of income while preserving the environment,” Petron Foundation Executive Director Malu G. Erni said.
Several representatives from each baranggay will receive hands-on training including the construction of fish cages,stocking of fingerlings, feeding, maintenance work on the fish cages, harvesting and packaging for shipment to ensure that the program is sustainable. The third fish cage will be constructed by the trainees to give them additional knowledge on mariculture farming.
The first milkfish harvest is expected between December 2007 and January 2008.
Petron has already signed a partnership agreement with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), who will take the lead role in the social preparation and training of beneficiaries. For nearly four decades, PBSP has been the business sector's vehicle in delivering organized, professional, and sustainable assistance to Filipinos. Rising above traditional welfare approaches, PBSP promotes the philosophy of efficiency, self-help and participation in improving the quality of life of the underprivileged.
The company has also partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to implement a seaweed farming program in the municipality of Sibunag. To date, a total of 11 Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) Kaunlaran Associations have been given between P100,000 to P150,000 in seed money. The program is expected to initially benefit 300 fisherfolk and their families who are engaged in seaweed production.
Recently, the company inaugurated two educational facilities -- namely the Petron School in Nueva Valencia and the Petron Library Hub in Jordan -- in time for the start of the school year.
The Petron School is a four-classroom structure complete with new sets of chairs, electric fans, adequate lighting and clean restrooms for boys and girls. The school also has a training component for members of the Parent-Teacher-Community Associations, as well as other support programs for the community.
The Petron Library Hub is the company’s response to the problem of inadequate books and teaching resources in the public school system. The hub makes books and resources available to teachers and administrators for schools within the designated area. The books are grouped into bundles, with each school allowed to borrow a book bundle and store them in their libraries or reading corners for a period of 30 days.
The Petron Library Hub received an initial 36,000 books and is a joint undertaking between Petron, Saudi Aramco, Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation, Petron Dealers Association, San Francisco Public Library (USA) and Bato Balani Foundation.
The company is also in the process of connecting the 17 public high schools in Guimaras via the internet