Last month, Philippine Allied Enterprises Corporation (PAEC) the official importer and distributor of Bridgestone Tires in the Philippines, fulfilled its promise to fund the construction of three classrooms for the Talogtog Elementary School in Mangaldan, Pangasinan. PAEC partnered with Friends of Hope Inc., to coordinate with the Department of Education (DepEd) for the CSR project.

As an industry leader in motoring, Bridgestone understands that mobility is part of being human – be it physical or social. Hence, the brand aims to encourage every child to pursue their best chance in seeking better futures through education. By sponsoring the construction of much-needed classrooms, Bridgestone is hoping that the children of Talogtog Elementary School would become more excited to go back to school once the pandemic is over.

Bridgestone Philippines Delivers on Promise to Children Amidst Pandemic image

In 2019, around 560 students enrolled at Talogtog Elementary School in Mangaldan, Pangasinan. This inflated number of enrollees meant that a fraction of the school population, which included the faculty, had to make do with makeshift rooms of lumber and plywood. These plywood rooms were cycled, narrowly serving various grade levels (Kinder to Grade 2) and purposes (feeding and faculty rooms). During the rainy season, the makeshift classrooms of Talogtog Elementary School would swell and rot due to the rising water – a common vulnerability of last-mile areas. Similarly, unfortunate scenarios and lack of fast intervention would mean longer-term damage to Talogtog’s makeshift classrooms, which are short-term solutions. Eventually, the rain and elemental features will no longer affect just the classrooms, but hold back the community as a whole. The lack of a sound schooling environment brings the children of Talogtog behind their peers, thereby hindering progress at the margins.

Thus, Bridgestone, in cooperation with some key partners and contributors, started plans to bring change to Mangaldan by improving Talogtog Elementary School. The partnership will replace the 3 makeshift classrooms of Talogtog Elementary School, as well as raise these new classrooms to protect from the rising water during inclement weather. In doing so, Bridgestone will actively contribute to the continuance of education of Talogtog Elementary School students who come from its surrounding communities.

“It is important to give children something to look forward to because the hope they feel today will fuel their aspirations for a better tomorrow. Our goal is to empower these kids by stimulating their motivation through excitement. What better way to excite them to study than knowing new rooms are waiting for them to use instead of those oven-like structures.” says Marc Tagle, president and CEO of Bridgestone-PAEC.

Earlier this month, Bridgestone Marketing Manager and project lead Allan Santos, visited the school as an envoy of goodwill and met with partners in the province to discuss this mission of giving hope to children through education.

At the moment, discussions between Bridgestone Philippines management and other partners are ongoing to bring this goal to more meaningful fruition.