The current “new normal” brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has shifted everyone’s life from face-to-face interaction to virtual events and interactions, including students who now need to do distance-learning for their education. 

To help its scholars adjust with the new normal of learning, Lopez-led geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) tapped Taiwan-based multinational electronics and computer company ASUS to provide free laptops to its current 110 scholars. 

EDC Corporate Social Responsibility-Public Relations Head Atty. Allan Barcena said under the SIKAT program, its banner education program, the key priority is to provide quality education to underprivileged yet deserving students from partner communities in all sites across the country to allow them to become successful individuals, help their family break out from the cycle of poverty, and contribute to nation-building. 

“This is in line with our current thrust of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, which will only happen if we help elevate our partner communities, including our SIKAT scholars,” Barcena said. 

“We thank ASUS for this partnership and for being enablers of a brighter future for our scholars. More than P2.86 million worth of premium laptop donations to our scholars will surely help them in their educational endeavors,” Barcena added. 

ASUS for their part also expressed gratitude to EDC for the opportunity to share their product for a cause that will not only benefit the scholars individually but also a larger number of people in their community. 

“In today’s new normal set-up for education, learning and sharing knowledge can be accomplished anytime, anywhere. We, at ASUS Philippines, with the help of Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) team are here to provide the students and even our hardworking teachers with total education solutions through our innovative, very efficient, and 100% education-ready products, particularly our laptops, both for learning and teaching,” said George Su, ASUS Philippines Country Head. 

The laptop units will be distributed to the scholars from EDC’s different partner communities in its geothermal areas in Leyte, Negros Island, Bicol, and Kidapawan, North Cotabato as well as in Ilocos Norte where its combined wind and solar power facility is located starting on October 22. EDC eyes to complete the distribution of laptop units this November. 

To fully ensure that the scholars will be able to perform and study well in the remote learning set-up, EDC also provided each scholar with one unit of pocket wifi for their internet connection during synchronous classes and for research purposes. 

I just want to say thank you very much EDC and to ASUS for providing us with this laptop. This will help us in our studies and give us easy access to the new way of learning due to this pandemic. This will enable us  to achieve our goal — to finish our studies. Thank you so much, no words can explain how grateful I am, for having this opportunity to be one of the SIKAT scholars,” said Leah Capatoy, Batch 2018, currently taking up BS Agribusiness at the Visayas State University.

EDC generates over 40% of the Philippines’ renewable energy output and serves about 10% of the country’s overall electricity demand with its installed capacity of 1,499MW. Its over 1,200MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, putting the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal power producer.

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