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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Syngenta joins relief, food-for-work project in Benguet



Syngenta Philippines has pitched in to support relief operations for typhoon Pepeng victims in Benguet.


           In coordination witn the Itogon Inter-Barangay Alliance (IIBA) and the teachers at Ucab Elementary School in Itogon, Syngenta fed 800 pupils on October 26 and 27.


           Two pupils from the school along with other family members perished due to landslides at the height of Typhoon Pepeng. Ten other people died in Barangay Ucab, a mining community in Itogon.


           Syngenta and IIBA originally planned to feed only 400 pupils on the October 26 but nourished 400 more the following day


           On October 27, Syngenta also took part in the food-for-work program in Sitio Labey in Ambuklao, Botok, Benguet organized by the Serve the People (STP) Brigade.


           Residents of Labey, which is comprised of 90 families, joined hands with volunteers  to clear roads of debris and construct pathways and roads.


           A total of 21 volunteers from different institutions, including medical students from the Alliance of Concerned Medical Students of St. Louis University in Baguio and the Zuellig Family Foundation, went to Labey for the program.


            Syngenta also donated rice for the effort through the STP Brigade.


            Itogon Councilor Pedro Anton said "It will take months for the roads to be made passable to vehicles. We are thankful to nongovernment organizations (NGOs) helping us."


            Syngenta is also slated to help the STP Brigade in its planned food-for-work activities in Pasdong, Atok and three other isolated areas in Benguet.


            Labey is still isolated, roads are impassable and mobile phone signals are low. Residents have to walk for about three kilometers of mountainous terrain before reaching the sitio.


            Bangen Elementary School in Labey was totally damaged by a landslide. Two weeks after the typhoon, schools are still closed.


            Teacher Lolita Jose was still cleaning the school desks and drying what was left of their book collection. The only microscope for their biology class was also wrecked.


          "We need assistance," Jose said.


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