SUBIC, ZAMBALES - Amidst the bustling freeport zone is a fishing community situated in Sitio Kinabuksan, Barangay Cawag in Subic. Every day, around 100 students walk a rocky trail by the beach from Sitio Nagbayukan to attend class at Kinabuksan Integrated School - the only public school in the area accessible to them.
“When it is high tide, they have to trek at least 40 minutes in the dangerous trail going to school. Sometimes, they just ask for a free boat ride from the fishermen but oftentimes they need to walk. It gets worse during the rainy season,” said Dr. Rod Raguine, school principal of Kinabukasan Integrated School.
In response to these concerns, Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RP Energy) initiated a boat project that will benefit the school’s stakeholders. The boat was turned over to Kinabuksan Integrated School in a ceremony held on February 22.
The boat project is part of RP Energy’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program for Education, which was launched in 2013 in order to address the transportation problems of students and teachers in coastal areas such as Subic, Zambales.
Victor Chan, RP Energy Head for External Affairs said addressing the transportation challenges of students and teachers in Sitio Kinabuksan is just a part of the solution in addressing the problems of our public education system in grassroot communities.
"By providing the students and teachers with a boat, we will be able to provide them with a safe means to reach their school. Students will have more time to study since their travel time will be shorter, thus, improving their scholastic performance. As for the teachers, they will have more time with their families and they will be able to save more, which can greatly contribute in their daily budget,” Chan said.
Gemma Pilapil, Vice President of the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), expressed gratitude for the support from RP Energy and promised to take care of this gift.
As their contribution, the PTA provided the new anchor for the boat. The school and the PTA will be working together for the operations and maintenance of the vehicle.
Besides transporting the students, the boat will also be used by the school’s Fishery course, which is part of their K-12 curriculum.
“Our goal is to be the catalyst for development in our host communities. Aside from providing a competitive and reliable energy source, this is our way of walking the talk when we say inclusive growth. We are enjoining our fellow freeport locators to partner with us and the SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) in order to synergize our efforts in helping our neighboring communities grow,” Mr. Chan added.
“RP Energy believes that education is the best way to empower communities. Through RP Energy’s ‘Project Bangka,’ we are hoping to contribute in improving the education performance of the students in order for them to get a better future,” said Meralco PowerGen Vice-President for External Affairs Litz Santana. (SNL)
 Boat donated by RP Energy to Kinabuksan Integrated School
 DREAMS AFLOAT. Parent-Teacher Association Vice-President Gemma Pilapil, (1st from left); Principal Dr. Rod Raguine (4th from left); Meralco PowerGen Vice-President for External Affairs Litz Santana; RP Energy External Affairs Head Victor Chan; RP Energy CSR Officer Jason Gavina; with teachers and students of Kinabuksan Integrated School.
 THANK YOU. Grade school pupils with their paper boats. SBMA Public Relations Officer Malou Dungog with RP Energy External Affairs Head Victor Chan.