BDO employees fund training center for Mindanao youth

2019 May – BDO Foundation finds a way to nurture a culture of volunteerism within BDO Unibank, Inc., the country’s largest bank*. As BDO’s corporate social responsibility arm, it engages the bank’s over 36,000 employees based in more than 1,200 offices and branches through initiatives in disaster response, rehabilitation, and rebuilding and, since marking its 10th anniversary in 2018, financial inclusion.


The foundation attributes the success of its programs to employee-volunteers who give back by sharing their time, talent, and heart to the community.


“Volunteering gives us a sense of purpose, knowing that we spend our time and energy for a worthy cause. We’re happy to be part of an organization that extends assistance to people affected by calamities,” said Maridel Soliven, client service associate of the BDO Ilocus Sur-Candon branch.



Giving relief


In 2012, super typhoon Pablo wrought havoc in Cagayan de Oro and Davao, destroying homes, infrastructure, and school buildings. Quick on its feet, BDO Foundation mobilized its employee volunteers and organized relief operations together with the local government and non-government organizations.


A total of 7,500 families in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Valencia in Bukidon, and Cagayan de Oro benefited from relief bags containing canned goods, noodles, and bottled water.


Some of the relief goods were turned over to the local Philippine Red Cross Chapters, especially for Compostela and Davao Oriental, which were rendered inaccessible to light vehicles due to massive destruction of roads and other infrastructure.



Going beyond


To complement its relief operations with a more meaningful contribution, BDO Foundation partnered with Don Bosco Training Center (DBTC) and facilitated the donation of a two-story technical vocational training center in Mati City, Davao Oriental. The construction of the building was fully funded through the generosity and donations of BDO employees.


This year, the project was completed. The new building, located in Barangay Dahican, provides a conducive learning environment complete with tools and equipment for hundreds of disadvantaged and out-of-school youth.


“We Salesians work hard, but we know that without the assistance of others, we could only go so far. We are grateful to people who have a heart for the needy,” said Fr. Rey Jude Albarando, rector of DBTC - Mati.


“Thank you BDO family for your support. You have given us Salesians not only the reassurance that God never abandons us. You have also given hope to hundreds, even thousands, of youth in Mindanao,” Albarando added.



Moving forward


In the next three years, around 560 senior high school students from Don Bosco and neighboring public high schools are expected to learn technical-vocational skills through workshops conducted in the new

facility. Graduates of DBTC - Mati are hired by some of the biggest industries and companies in the country.


The construction of the tech-voc center in Mati is in keeping with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 to promote sustained economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.


“Being responsible corporate citizens means building partnerships to drive responsive and holistic programs that will yield positive and sustainable results. Through our partnership with DBTC, we hope to equip students with the skills to find employment here and abroad, and empower them to create a bright future for themselves and their loved ones,” concluded Mario Deriquito, president of BDO Foundation.


*As of December 31, 2018, BDO Unibank Inc. ranks as the country’s largest bank in terms of total assets, loans, deposits, and trust funds under management based on published statements of condition.


BDO employees’ donation made the construction of a new technical-vocational training facility at Don Bosco Training Center  - Mati possible. This initiative contributes to the efforts of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco to educate and evangelize underserved youth.


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