Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez celebrated his 61st birthday with the Dumagat Tribe of Ipo Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. About 80 Ipo Dumagats were treated to a morning of gift-giving and entertainment during Fernandez’s birthday outreach held at the Ipo Dam Common Purpose Facility.
Fernandez, together with his family and some Maynilad officials, led the giving of power tools to the Dumagat sculptors who create art pieces using driftwood under Maynilad’s “Sining Ipo” program. School supplies were also distributed to 28 “Sining Ipo” scholars.
A Maynilad initiative that started in 2014, “Sining Ipo” seeks to train the Dumagats in the art of sculpture-making as an alternative source of livelihood, this discouraging the old “slash-and-burn” activities of the tribe. Proceeds from the sale of their “Sining Ipo” art pieces fund the education of Ipo Dumagat scholars. This year, the Dumagats produced its first college graduate, Rona Cruz (BS Information Technology).
“Our Dumagat partners have been very helpful in our effort to protect the Ipo Watershed, which is a vital water source for Metro Manila. This is our simple way of giving back,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez.
Fernandez also turned over cleaning materials to the teachers of Ipo Elementary School for their “Brigada Eskwela” school clean-up activity. Maynilad also helped set up a 10-unit computer laboratory in the school. Dumagat children mostly attend the said school.
Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base. It is the agent and contractor of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area, which is composed of the cities of Manila (certain portions), Quezon City (certain portions), Makati (west of South Super Highway), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon all in Metro Manila; the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite Province.
PHOTO CAPTION: Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez celebrates his 61st birthday by donating school supplies and sculpting tools to the Dumagat tribe inhabiting the Ipo Watershed in Norzagara, Bulacan. The Dumagats are Maynilad’s partners in protecting the watershed, which supplies the water requirements of Metro Manila. Receiving the sculpting tools from Fernandez is Ipo Dumagat Tribe chieftain Roge Cruz, who is also a master sculptor under Maynilad’s “Sining Ipo” livelihood program.