Aljun Manire, a grade 7 student at Tejero National High School, is one of the 17 recipients of Visayan Electric’s Tindak sa Kaugmaon Project. His family, residing in a barangay along the South Road Properties (SRP), can only afford to provide him with jeepney fare on his way to school. On his way home, he walks.
Nagpasalamat kaayo ko labi na akong papa nga natagaan kog bike aron di nako maglakaw pauli unya naa nasad mi magamit sa paghatod sa akong mga igsoon.
Student, Grade 7
Tejero National High School
Imagine walking under the scorching heat of the sun for an hour just to get home from school, not to mention the dangerously fast vehicles cruising through the highway. This is something he and other students have to endure every day—until Tindak sa Kaugmaon came into the picture.
Cebu City, being the bustling metropolis that it is, is filled with various modes of transportation—from jeepneys, taxis, and buses to habal-habals. Whatever you need, it’s there, ready to take you to your destination. Consequently, transportation isn’t a major concern for us Cebuanos, especially now with the availability of various ride-hailing applications. Getting to places is as easy as a few taps on your phone. However, for thirteen-year-old Aljun, this luxury is something he doesn’t have.
Tindak sa Kaugmaon is a project that provides chosen beneficiaries with bicycles, complete with accessories, to help them get to school faster. This was made possible through Visayan Electric’s collaboration with the Aboitiz Foundation and Bikes for the Philippines Foundation.
During the turnover ceremony on November 23, 2023, Visayan Electric’s President and COO expressed gratitude to both the Aboitiz Foundation and first-time partner, Bikes for the Philippines Foundation, for making this project a reality. “This is the first time for Visayan Electric to partner with Bikes for the Philippines, and I am beyond grateful because, through this, students will be able to go to school using bikes—a more economical and environmentally friendly mode of transport,” he said.
Dr. Gilbert Tito, School Principal of Tejero NHS, also expressed gratitude to the benefactors for providing their students with a new mode of transportation. “I am very grateful to our very generous donors, and I hope that today’s event will inspire and empower each and every one of us to strive for a brighter and healthier future,” he said.
The same sentiments were echoed by the Public Schools District Supervisor, Dr. Nestor Arandia. According to him, this project aligns perfectly with their vision of creating a safer and greener environment for students.
Before the bikes were officially handed over to the beneficiaries, they were first assembled with the help of volunteers from Visayan Electric. A three-day road safety and bicycle maintenance training program was also conducted to ensure the safe use of the bicycles.
The president of the Bikes for the Philippines Foundation, Joel Uichico, who is one of the project proponents and headed the bike assembly, said he is honored to be one of the benefactors of the project. “Thank you to Visayan Electric and to Mr. Gilbert Tito for giving us this opportunity to serve,” he expressed. He also highlighted how these gifts were not from him but from God who makes all things possible.
Through this project, students like Aljun will now be even more motivated to ride off to their future. This does not only help the students but also their families, as it lessens the daily financial burden of transportation fares—an amount which for us may not be too significant, but for them, could have been spent on meals and other necessities.
“Nagpasalamat kaayo ko labi na akong papa nga natagaan kog bike aron di nako maglakaw pauli unya naa nasad mi magamit sa paghatod sa akong mga igsoon,” Aljun expressed.
(I am very grateful especially my father, that I was given a bike so I don’t have to walk back home, and now we also have something to use in transporting my siblings.)
Tindak sa Kaugmaon underscores Visayan Electric’s commitment to uplift the lives of Cebuanos, specifically those in the education and urban poor sectors. This project is just one of Visayan Electric’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs aimed at the Education Sector. Other programs include School Rewiring Projects and Brigada Eskwela Projects.