Monday, 09 April 2012 00:00
Some 1,250 dependents of the country's active duty military personnel will benefit from the scholarship program offered by the Asian Brewery Inc. (ABI) in a memorandum of agreement (MOA) it signed with the "Help Educate and Rear Orphans" (HERO) Foundation Inc.
The MOA signing was held last week at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
The joint undertaking is also a way to commemorate and honor the sacrifices made by the country's fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives in the preservation of peace.
It is very timely as the country commemorates on Monday, April 9, the 70th “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) or the heroic last stand of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by the Japanese forces in World War II.
The signing formalized ABI’s pledge, amounting to P2 million yearly, to support the HERO Foundation in financing more student scholars which are endorsed by the AFP Educational Benefits System Office (AFPEBSO).
The donation is expected to be able to support 1,250 students in five years' time.
In coordination with the AFPEBSO, the HERO Foundation has been providing financial assistance in the form of allowance to selected dependents of AFP members.
This is in line with the foundation’s goals of securing an educational support for children of soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice of dying or being permanently incapacitated in the line of their duty as vanguards of freedom and national sovereignty.
Among the signatories of the MOA were Fernando Zobel de Ayala, HERO chairman; Antonio T. Aquino, HERO president; Michael G. Tan, chief operating officer of ABI; and Hubert L. Tan, ABI vice president for marketing. AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa, represented by deputychief-of-staff Maj. Gen. Gregorio E. Macapagal served as the witness.
AFPEBSO head Lt.Col. Mannuel V. Sequitin said that the "agreement is one way of giving back to our soldiers who have sacrificed their own lives while serving our country."
“The agreement between HERO and ABI is a great manifestation of honoring our soldiers’ hardships and bravery in the line of their service to our country. We will make sure that their efforts to help our military dependents in their education will not be taken for granted and instead will be exchanged by excellent academic performance by our scholars,” Sequitin added.
The AFPEBSO is one of the morale and welfare outfits of the AFP which grants educational benefits both to the military personnel and their dependents with the aim of assisting them to finish their education.
The organization is currently serving a total of 4,065 grantees of educational benefit and scholarship with help from different educational benefit programs from government agencies, foundations, private individuals, non-government institutions and partner schools in all regions.
Recognizing the soldiers' heroism, especially of those who lay down their lives in protecting peace, AFPEBSO gives priority to the orphans of Filipino soldiers who were killed in action.
From 2008 up to 2011, AFPEBSO was able to help more than 1,800 students finished their education in college, with more than 40 graduating as cum laude and 10 as magna cum laude.
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