We are pleased to have Seaoil Philippines as our second partner supporting the Seal of Good Education Governance this year. It will provide P100,000 worth of gasoline card to each of the 17 winning LGUs. During the awarding ceremony last September 6, 2018, Mr. Mark Yu, President of Seaoil Foundation and President of Retail of Seaoil Philippines gave a very inspiring message to the SGEG winners and all the participants of the 12th National Education Summit.
He began with a short personal story of his early childhood spent in a small house in Pasay City. His father was once a jeepney driver and his mother a sidewalk vendor. His father went on to become a collector for a gasoline station and was able to borrow money to start SEAOIL.
Against the backdrop of success, his parents constantly engrained in them the value of hard work and the importance of stewardship. Believing that “we are merely stewards of the resources we have been given” has been the mind-set that has anchored the core values of SEAOIL towards integrity, accountability, making things better, and customer focused.
Mr. Yu said SEAOIL wants to engage with local government leaders to help realize the vision of SEAOIL Foundation to develop hunger-free communities through enhanced leadership, good agriculture governance, and active community participation by year 2022. Over the years, they have evolved from merely providing donations to journeying with local leaders and communities in improving services that address poverty. Their flagship program is the Agriculture Enterprise Leadership in Governance Program. In partnership with the League of Agricultural Municipality and Cities (LOAMC), they conducted several workshops to help improve the lives of farmers all over the country. In its first cohort of 7 LGUs, they piloted 34 farms in selected communities and reached 93% hunger free status with 80% diversity in crops among the participating families and communities.
However, SEAOIL understands that there must be a holistic approach in engaging local communities. “As we expand SEAOIL in the different areas in the country, we hope to deploy a long-term presence in these areas. We hope to be able to measure our presence not only in the depots we build but by how we partner with the local leaders and communities in addressing complex developmental issues.” Addressing hunger and food security is only one aspect of alleviating poverty. Mr. Yu said that Seaoil has started collaborating with foundations that focus on health and education like Synergeia Foundation. “ SEAOIL Foundation is one with Synergeia Foundation in working with local government leaders to improve basic education. Ma’am Nene Guevara has provided great insight towards how we can be effective in sustainably scaling our efforts. We hope to be able to jointly engage local governments in addressing both their education and food security needs.”
Mr. Yu closed his speech with a promise. He said that when his father was a young boy, he would be asked to stand outside the classroom because the family did not have enough money to pay for his tuition. His father promised that his children would not experience such humiliation and travesty. “We are extending this promise, little by little, to those who will benefit from our engagement with Synergeia Foundation.”
We are happy and grateful because of Mr. Mark Yu’s promise!