UCPB Group continues investing for rural youths

UCPB and its thrift bank subsidiary, UCPB Savings Banks, have donated P11.0 million anew to the scholarship program for children of needy coconut farmers.

The donation will help send 200 more children of coconut farmers from various coconut provinces to college and to technical-vocational school next school year 2018-2019.

UCPB has been supporting the scholarship program since it was launched 2003.

To date, the program has awarded grants to 2,857 children of coconut farmers from 63 coconut provinces, 1,852 of whom took college courses and 1,005 underwent technical-vocational training.

The program is being implemented by the UCPB-CIIF Foundation. UCPB, together with United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Co., UCPB General Insurance Co, United Coconut Chemicals  Inc. and the CIIF Oil Mills Group, formed the foundation in 1987 to undertake developmental activities primarily in coconut communities.

“Our donation affirms the UCPB Group’s commitment to pursue its social mandate to empower coconut-farming families to improve their living condition,” UCPB President and CEO Higinio Macadaeg Jr. said.

Macadaeg added graduates of the program are now providing financial support to their families not only for their household expenses but also for alternative income-generating livelihood projects and the education of their siblings.

More than half, or 1,732 of the scholarship recipients, have already graduated, including 125 who completed their college courses with academic distinction.

The program has, so far, produced two summa cum laude, nine magna cum laude and 114 cum laude graduates, representing 14 percent of the total college graduates.

Based on the annual monitoring of the status of the scholar-graduates, nearly 80 percent are now earning incomes with 7 in every 10 of them already earning enough to be able to provide regular financial support to their families.

Apart from inclusive and quality education, UCPB actively supports three other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely health and well-being, sustainable forest management and poverty alleviation.

Last month the bank brought medical volunteers of Operation Smile to Davao City operate on children with cleft lip and cleft palate for free.

The children’s medical charity organization, with UCPB’s support, has treated 32,000 Filipino children disfigured by oral cleft since 1982.

The UCPB-CIIF Reforestation Program has reforested 33.3 hectares of denuded land inside the Upper Marikina watershed area.  The site now provides a haven to 65 species of birds, 18 of which are endemic, or found only in the Philippines; six species of mammal; and seven species of amphibians and reptiles, including the rare diminutive forest frog.

The UCPB-CIIF Finance and Development Corp., which UCPB formed in 1994, has released P400 million in livelihood loans to coconut farmers as of end of November this year.

Over the past 22 years, the finance company has pumped into the rural economy over P8.0 billion in loans directly benefiting 500,000 coconut-farming families.