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Breaking intergenerational poverty through education

philippine star

September 25, 2022 | 12:00 am

Energy Development Corporation’s SIKAT Scholarship Program Reaches New Heights

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Renelyn Udtohan, 22, of Valencia, Negros Oriental, received a pat on the back for successfully completing her studies this year despite the ongoing disruption caused by global COVID-19. One of the million Filipino college students. -19 Pandemic.

She is particularly proud to have graduated with honors in her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Negros Oriental State University (NORSU), one of the best public academic tertiary institutions in the state.

The photo shows this year’s batch of SIKAT scholars from Negros, one of EDC’s working regions.

Most importantly, her achievement of another honor gave her community even more reason to celebrate. Udtohan earned the highest graduation honor ever among alumni of her prestigious SIKAT Scholarship Program.


Established in 2011, SIKAT is the banner social investment program in education of First Gen-owned Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the country’s pioneer and largest renewable energy (RE) producer in the geothermal sector.

SIKAT identifies high school graduates within EDC’s production facilities across the Philippines and grants admission to state universities and colleges, primarily the University of the Philippines (UP) system. Once enrolled, SIKAT will further support your university education not only financially, but also through character and social development skills.

SIKAT assistance extends to mentoring, career guidance and board exam review sessions as needed. Ultimately, a SIKAT scholar can find work primarily within her EDC or elsewhere in the private or public sector through post-graduation employment assistance.

This is what sets SIKAT apart from regular educational scholarship programs, adopting a holistic, end-to-end approach to supporting Filipino students. In addition, SIKAT was designed to complement EDC’s banner environmental re-greening project, BINHI, by creating final decision-makers in the workforce with a sensitivity to environmental protection and conservation.

SIKAT stands apart from typical private sector scholarship programs, offering everything from financial assistance to employment and life management skills to marginalized but likely deserving Filipino youth. We offer a holistic approach and support for

“SIKAT is a priority among EDC’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives because it has demonstrated the ability of education to break through generational poverty within marginalized communities,” said Atty. says. Alain V. Barcena, EDC Assistant Vice President and Head of Corporate Relations and Communications for the company.

SIKAT is a response to the country’s continuing lack of access to quality education. Barcena cites a recent survey showing that only 23% of her Filipinos graduate from college. “We believe that investment in education creates the greatest social value,” he explains. “Our scholars not only earn college degrees, they become productive citizens of our country.”

As its name suggests, the program, which in Filipino means “sikat,” which is related to rays of light, aims to light the way to a brighter future. “SIKAT is Lopez Group’s core strength for the power of knowledge and learning to transform and improve the lives of Filipinos, as part of the conglomerate’s mission of regenerative development not only for a clean energy future, but in all other areas. It is an expression of faith, the aspect of nation-building,” adds Barcena.

break down barriers

Since its inception, SIKAT has seen its scholars and alumni break more barriers and achieve more record-breaking achievements. In 2022, the program will produce 43 graduates of his, among whom Udtohan was selected as the first honors student, and her two outstanding students from Sorsogon State University and her UP-Visayas. Alumni, 16 honor students were produced.

This year’s batch also includes 15 graduates from various groups of Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Mindanao, specially selected to be part of the SIKAT program. This is another prominent area of ​​influence for his SIKAT, as part of his EDC’s host community at Mount Apo Geothermal Power Plant in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato can be found in traditional IP domains. Thus, working closely with the IP department is a hallmark of his CSR strategy at EDC.

So far, SIKAT has sent a total of 256 scholars to state universities and produced a total of 133 graduates, 75% of whom are now in paid employment in the private sector. On the other hand, new graduates are actively preparing for job hunting and officer examinations.

The scope of SIKAT also includes support and assistance to students in basic education. As part of its annual outreach activities, SIKAT distributes school supplies and participates in the Ministry of Education’s Brigada Eskwela school readiness campaign.

To date, SIKAT counts 90 public schools as part of its annual outreach program, benefiting more than 20,000 children. Apart from training for teachers and tutorial sessions for children, this program also provides financial assistance to selected K-12 students.

upwards and upwards

Udtohan is one of the beneficiaries that SIKAT has supported since high school. Now, she has her sights set on her further education and with a scholarship from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), San of Cebu she enrolled in a Master of Science in Mathematics at Carlos University.

She recognizes the invaluable support SIKAT has provided her and how the program has created countless opportunities for marginalized youth like her. At an online special event.

She also reminds them of their duty, a simple but important notion that is the only requirement they have from their patrons. Let us continue to contribute to the local community and be a source of hope for the next generation. “

Such enthusiasm and optimism, thanks to EDC’s relentless efforts and programs such as SIKAT, can only make the future so bright for a promising young man like Udhan.

Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a 100% RE subsidiary of First Gen Corporation and has over 1,480MW of total installed capacity, which accounts for 19% of the country’s total installed capacity. His 1,188 MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, making him the third largest geothermal producer in the world.