Monsanto and Human Nature scholars graduate from Gawad Kalinga’s School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED)

All smiles from the representatives of Monsanto, Human Nature and Gawad Kalinga as they hand over the certificates of completion to this year’s GK-SEED graduates

It was a highly emotional graduation ceremony as the scholars of Monsanto and Human Nature received their diploma marking the end of their two-year course at Gawad Kalinga’s School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (GK-SEED). The scholars have definitely grown very close not only to each other but also to their mentors as evidenced by the exchange of warm messages accompanied by heartfelt tears indicating a mixture of joy, excitement and sadness as their two-year live-in training ends.

The GK-SEED was launched in 2014 to provide an education-based solution to rural development. It is the country’s first school for social entrepreneurship for the poor which prepares students to create social enterprises with a vision to develop rural areas through rural job and wealth creation. During the two-year program, students take a variety of courses that focus on character development, enterprise management, communications, business math, and agriculture.

The school is also a pilot program that will be replicated to provide quality education to thousands in communities across the Philippines. It aims to raise the next generation of agri-entrepreneurs.

“It is the first school to be training people from the bottom of the pyramid, specifically the young to actually learn business. We teach them to become employers and leaders,” said Mark Lawrence Cruz, Director of GK-SEED Philippines. “Our vision for them is to lead their communities out of poverty.” Cruz underscored that the scholars will not only end poverty for themselves but also for their families, their communities, and our country.

Meantime, Monsanto’s Corporate Affairs Head Charina Ocampo said that “we are humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to help children from farming families achieve their dreams. We are excited that through GK-SEED, they are now equipped to realize their fullest potential and can help alleviate the lives of not only of their families but also of the other members of their communities.

Monsanto also helped build a two-storey dormitory inside the GK-SEED campus to provide a place for scholars to stay during their two-year course. These scholars come from various parts of the country and as far as the Visayas and Mindanao regions.# (MonPhil/TN)


Environment-friendly Banahaw Spring Purified Water now serving

Banahaw Spring Purified Water 3
Officials of Philippine Bottling Beverage (PBB), a Filipino-owned firm, and guests show the new bottled Banahaw Spring Purified Water during its launch in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, recently. (PBB photo)

A new player in the purified water and non-carbonated drinks industry has joined the pack.
It’s the Filipino-owned Philippine Bottling Beverage (PBB), which revealed that its Banahaw Spring Purified Water product comes from the waters of Mount Banahaw located between the provinces of Laguna and Quezon.
PBB is a Filipino-owned business, and it put in three years of research and testing before they finally commercially released to the local market their bottled water.
Thor Jourdan Mutuc, PBB’s business development manager, other company executives, and guests launched the product recently in Taguig City’s Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
He assured Filipinos of PBB’s commitment to upholding production process adhering to international standards and quality.
To achieve this, he said they brought to the country an European technology which is one of the latest at present.
“Our production facility located at the foot of Mount Banahaw in San Pablo, Laguna, is at par with world standards, fully automated and requires minimal human intervention, preserving only the essential natural qualities of water from the mountain,” Mutuc said.
PBB took pride in being the Philippines’ only purified water that was named after its source.
“Today, we are sharing with you a purified water product harnessed from sustainable natural sources and bottled with care to ensure you get only safe and quality purified water we Filipinos can be proud of,” the PBB official said.
While sourcing its product from the water of Mount Banahaw, PBB also puts importance to the mountain as it ensures it is taking care of the rural community where the mountain belongs. PBB, then, advocates strict compliance with environmental standards in its operation.

Banahaw Spring Purified Water
Media and guests scramble to pick fruits offered by Philippine Bottling Beverage (PBB) during a media event for their new bottled water. (PBB photo)

“Water sustainability is the most significant aspect of our business. Beyond careful usage of water, we are putting in place measures that are geared towards protecting forests that nurture groundwater and contribute to the healthy circulation of water in nature,” said Mutuc. (Edd K. Usman) #