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Soaring high, uplifting lives

Apr 7, 2017

Soaring high, uplifting lives

Limited -- that was how life can be described in the Sitio Narra community of San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Residents had to walk to get water from a well, had to rely on rainwater for extra supply. They had to leave the community, and go to the town proper or to cities to get jobs. Children had to endure walking several kilometers to reach the school.

“Taga dito ako sa Narra talaga, pero hindi ako dito nagtuturo kasi wala namang school dito dati, malayo pa. Wala masyadong mabibilhan dito. Kailangan mo pang pumunta sa bayan,” said Salome dela Cruz, a resident of Narra and teacher-in-charge of Narra Elementary School. (I am a resident of Narra, but I was not teaching here because there was no school here before. There were also no stores where you can buy goods, you really had to go to the town.)

But since Eagle Cement Corporation (ECC) arrived in the community in 2008, the landscape of Narra has changed. ECC opened doors of opportunities for the residents by opening up jobs in its company and paving ways for residents to enjoy a better life. Eagle Cement has provided Narra and its neighboring Akle community with roads, basic needs such as water and education, healthcare, and livelihood.

Josie Quizon, a resident of Narra shared, “Masaya kami dahil sa Eagle, umokay yung buhay. Kasi yung mga anak at yung asawa ko nagkatrabaho dito, tapos nagkaroon ng daanan na papuntang bayan, hindi na mahirap. Sumusuporta din sila sa school dito.” (We are happy; life became better because of Eagle Cement. My children and my husband got jobs here. Roads were also built which made it easier for us to travel to town. Eagle also supports the school here.)

Bettering lives in its community

According to Quizon, also a barangay health worker in Narra, ECC has a water program that has greatly helped the residents in the community whose location prevents them from having easy access to water. “Dito sa amin, pinakakailangan ang tubig. Lalo na ngayong tag-araw, kasi natutuyo ang balon. Buti na lang nagdedeliver ang Eagle Cement ng tubig sa school at sa mga residente,” Quizon shared. (In our community, water supply is what we need the most especially during the summer season because the well dries up. Thankfully, Eagle Cement delivers water to the school and to the residents.)

Since ECC put up its plant in the area, residents are able to enjoy more stable economic resources. The plant has provided jobs within the community and has helped them progress. Student Marjorie Balmores’s mother was able to open a sari-sari store and her father was able to find a job as a driver of Eagle Cement’s trucks.

“Yung nanay ko nakakapagtinda na siya kasi meron ng mga tao na bumibili simula nung maitayo ang planta. Yung tatay ko naman, driver siya sa Eagle, at palagi siyang nandoon.” (Since Eagle Cement was built, my mother was able to open up a store and sell goods because there are now people who would buy the products. On the other hand, my father is a driver in Eagle Cement Corporation, and he’s always there.)

ECC’s presence also resulted to the foundation of Narra Elementary School. According to Ms. Aline Buizon, the company’s community relations representative, “Wala ito dati, but because of the plant, dumami yung population ng area, kasi may jobs na, and then nung dumami, hindi na maaccommodate ng Akle Elementary School yung mga bata, so they decided to put up an extension, this one [Narra Elementary School].”

(This school did not exist before but because of the plant, population grew in the area due to the jobs. When the population grew, Akle Elementary School cannot accommodate all the children so they decided to put up an extension.)

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Soaring high, uplifting lives

Limited -- that was how life can be described in the Sitio Narra community of San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Residents had to walk to get water from a well, had to rely on rainwater for extra supply. They had to leave the community, and go to the town proper or to cities to get jobs. Children had to endure walking several kilometers to reach the school.