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14 January 2009

Aeta tribe gets computer, scholarship grants from SBMA, BOI media

For members of the remote Kanawan Aeta community in Morong, Bataan, 2009 finally introduced them to the wonders of technology and the promise of better education as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) presented them on Monday a computer set and scholarship grants, among other gifts to uplift their socio-cultural condition.

The post-Christmas presents were received by Kanawan tribal chieftain Josefina Alejo from SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga, Administrator Armand Arreza, and Director Maria Angela Garcia, who represents Morong in the SBMA board.
The items included a computer set, a brand-new tricycle, and a DVD player and amplifier worth a total of P125,000.

Aside from these, Alejo also received from the SBMA a check worth P120,000 to cover scholarship grants for students from the Kanawan community.

“The past year was a very good one for all of us in Subic, and we closed 2008 with more than 85,000 workers in the free port’s workforce,” Arreza said.

“But the SBMA is not only counting the jobs to measure what it has done to the community. We are also concerned about the larger impact that SBMA and its partners are creating for the community,” he added.

Arreza said that the equipment donations given to Kanawan were solicited by the Board of Investments media pool in Manila.

He said the same group has also conducted assistance projects and gave donations recently to needy residents at the Pastolan Aeta community in the Subic Freeport, as well as in Augusuhin, Subic, Zambales.

For her part, the leader of the Aeta community thanked the SBMA for its continuous assistance to Kanawan and lauded the agency’s community relations projects initiated by the SBMA Public Relations Office.

“We are very thankful to the officials of SBMA, because while our community is in a very remote area, SBMA personnel continue to make a sacrifice in visiting us and helping improve our way of living,” Alejo said in Tagalog.

Sitio Kanawan is located more than six kilometers into the hinterlands of barangay Binaritan in Morong, Bataan. It is home to 84 families, most of them upland farmers and forest gatherers.

“Sa lugar po namin ay walang masakyan ang mga tao. Wala pong computer kaya walang marunong mag-computer sa amin, at wala ding television,” Alejo said.

She added that the computer set given to the village will help teachers assigned to the area in providing better education to children, as well as introduce Kanawan youth to modern technology.

The tricycle, meanwhile, will be a big help in moving things about in the hilly terrain of Kanawan, and during emergencies could also serve as ambulance, she added. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO CAPTION: SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza (right), Chairman Feliciano Salonga, and Director Maria Angela Garcia present the computer set, tricycle and scholarship grants donated by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and members of the Board of Investments media pool. Kanawan tribal chieftain Josefina Alejo (third from left) received the donation.

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