August was no ‘ghost month’ for SM Foundation



By Rose de la Cruz


When most important activities are put on hold in most (Chinese-influenced) enterprises because of  folk belief in ‘ghost month,’ August saw many launches, completions and turnovers of projects and programs of SM Foundation Inc. despite persistent strong rains from typhoons and habagat during the 7th month of Chinese lunar calendar.


This, despite SM founder Henry Sy Sr.’s birth origin in China but who spent his growing years here and raising his family as Filipinos. He also left behind a well-oiled foundation that is run by Filipinos, whose religious beliefs take precedence over any concept of ghosts or evil spirits that could affect business or every type of human endeavor in August.


KSK programs


Thus, in August there were new batches of training program for farmers called Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (Batch 216 in San Nicolas, Cebu City; Batch 214 in Naga City and a harvest festival of Batch 205 in Biliran province).


The foundation’s 13 years of KSK trained 23,170 farmers through 187 farmers’ training sessions held in 2,925 barangays in 772 towns and cities all over the country. In 2018 alone, a total of 3,370 farmers were trained from 32 batches of training sessions in 189 barangays nationwide. Some of the KSK program’s previous graduates have already formed cooperative groups and are currently supplying fresh produce through SM Food Group’s wholesalers or to the public markets and restaurants in their areas. 


Medical missions


The foundation also held medical missions last Aug. 1 in San Jose del Monte that was availed of by 1,360 patients and on Aug. 20 in SM City Calamba that saw 1,155 patients availing of this free health service.




Last Aug. 9, SM Foundation turned over its 94th schoolbuilding project undertaken in (its second) partnership with the PSE Foundation to the Tuba Central School in Benguet— braving torrential rains and gusty winds.


Fully equipped with 200 armchairs (of which 20 are for left handers); four teachers’ desk sets, 16 wall fans, 8 concave blackboards, four wall clocks and four toilets inside the rooms plus a ramp and toilet for the disabled, the schoolbuilding will be a conducive learning center for 569 pupils from Grades 3 and 6, occupants of the ground floor classrooms and the senior high school for the second floor.


Lectors’ renewal


On Aug. 19, the Felicidad T. Sy Foundation—which is behind the construction and operation of mall churches—held its lectors renewal program for 54 SM officers and staff at Sunshine Place in Jupiter St., Bel Air, who would be commissioned for such roles in SM mall churches and chapels and can use their orientation certificates for their own parishes. The total lectors’ pool of SM is now at 220.


Financial education


Another foundation of SM Group, the BDO Foundation held last Aug. 13 the financial education program for over 140,000 soldiers and civilians of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as the prime mover. Last July 30, it also forged a memorandum of agreement on the financial literacy program for millions of government workers under the Civil Service Commission.


PNP award to SMFI


It is no surprise then that on the 118th service anniversary of the Philippine National Police, SM Foundation was given an award for its medical assistance to PNP through medical missions and renovation/upgrading of health facilities and the donation of RONMEDDS technology, which makes robust the recruitment and hiring processes of the police system.
















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