SCHOOL children in Mindanao’s depressed and conflict-affected areas will be among the beneficiaries of an education assistance package launched recently and funded through donated junk lead acid batteries from industries, businesses and individuals.

Dubbed Learning Enhancement Assistance Package or LEAP, the project hopes to bring more children in school by supporting education initiatives in identified areas of the country particularly in Mindanao.

“Project LEAP will channel generated funds to support acquisition of textbooks for school kids, training of teachers, school-based supplemental feeding and conduct of reading camps,” Ramon Agustines, president of Oriental and Motolite Marketing Corporation (OMMC), said during the project launching held at SGV Hall, Asian Institute of Management in Manila.

LEAP is an offshoot of the Balik-Baterya Project, whose goal is to collect and recycle junk Used Lead Acid Batteries (ULABs). Retrieved ULABs have cash value. Funds generated from donated junk batteries have already helped school children deal with reading and comprehension challenges.

“PLDT has assisted over a thousand school children in reading camps held in Iligan City”, Evelyn del Rosario, Senior Manager for Community Relations of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), disclosed during LEAP’s recent launching. PLDT is the largest corporate donor to Balik-Baterya.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapuz thanked the corporate sector for launching Project LEAP calling it a “win-win project.” “You are investing in the future of our children and the country by supporting this effort”, Lapuz said.

The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and OMMC launched Balik-Baterya Project in the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Zamboanga. PBSP is the country’s largest corporate-led foundation at the forefront of poverty reduction. With Project LEAP, the corporate sector will help address education challenges affecting school children in depressed areas of the country particularly in Mindanao. (Danny Escabarte/PBSP)

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