ECONOMIC zone operator First Philippine Industrial Park Inc. (FPIP) recently donated handwashing stations to 15 public schools in its two host cities in Batangas province as part of its support to help control the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, on top of promoting proper hygiene among schoolchildren.
Lopez-led FPIP formally handed over the facilities to the schools in the cities of Santo Tomas and Tanauan in Batangas to also assist in the preparations of both local governments units and the Department of Education for the safe resumption of full, in-person classes in November.
During the handover ceremonies, Mayor Arth Jhun A. Marasigan of Santo Tomas City pointed out the role the FPIP donations play in minimizing children’s health concerns and poor school performance by providing them the convenience inside their schools to clean their hands with soap and water: “Unicef [United Nations Children’s Fund] says almost 50 percent of school-aged children are infected with community-transmitted infections, which are the usual cause of diarrhea, stunted growth [and absenteeism among schoolchildren, which have a high impact on the level of their] education.”
According to Marasigan, the problems are “[due to the lack of] access to safe water, and it is not acceptable to me.” The local chief executive said that the addition of the handwashing facilities inside the schools will help local government units develop awareness and habits among schoolchildren on proper hygiene, which in turn, will help promote good health and improved academic performance.
“It is our role to imprint in the young minds of our schoolchildren the high level of health awareness and proper sanitation and hygiene,” the mayor said.
Ricky Carandang, FPIP vice president and head of external affairs, disclosed that the operator has so far designed and installed complete handwashing stations in 11 public schools in Santo Tomas, and in four others in Tanauan. He disclosed that, next year, the industrial park will complete the free construction of 15 more similar sanitation stations for public schools in the two cities.
Lopez-controlled First Philippine Holdings Corp., together with Sumitomo Corp. of Japan as a partner, established FPIP as a world-class location for global traders and manufacturers, as well as a platform for creating jobs for ordinary Filipinos and tax revenues for the government.
Today the 520-hectare ecozone provides employment for almost 70,000 Filipinos and generates millions in tax revenues for the government from locators, aside from exporting more than P200 billion in goods and services annually to the rest of the world.