Landco Pacific Corporation, known for pioneering premium landscapes for more than three decades, forges ahead with its Adopt-a-Scholar program in partnership with Batangas State University and local public high schools. This latest initiative is part of Landco’s long-term Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at helping underprivileged youth within the vicinity of Landco BeachTowns in Calatagan and Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.
Under Landco’s Adopt-a-Scholar program, five college scholars each from Calatagan and Laiya will be selected, and provided with financial assistance for a four-year course in Hospitality at Batangas State University. The financial aid covers their daily needs for food, transportation, dormitory, school necessities and projects.
“We partnered with the local high school to select the students based on: academic performance and financial capability. We visited the houses of the candidates to meet their family members and learn more about the candidates, their dreams, and if they are serious about finishing their studies,” Landco President and CEO Erickson Y. Manzano stated.
Upon their graduation, they have the option to take job opportunities at Landco BeachTowns and Millennial Resorts, the hospitality arm of Landco which currently manages the unconventional accommodations: Crusoe Cabins in CaSoBe (Calatagan South Beach), Cocoons (CaSoBe and Club Laiya) and Camperisti (Club Laiya); and leisure facilities: Aquaria water park (CaSoBe) and Laiya Beach Club (Club Laiya); among other upcoming developments.
”We all start off at different levels in life and education is the great equalizer. And this is what we hope to accomplish with Landco’s Adopt-a-Scholar program. We don’t believe in dole-outs. We believe in helping people learn how to fish,” Manzano remarked on the main reason behind this initiative.
“The Adopt-a-Scholar program is close to my heart. It is inspired by my own family’s journey in life. Both my parents had humble beginnings, and they were able to finish college because someone from their families paid for their tuition and expenses,” he shared.
“My dad used to shine shoes growing up. His eldest sister, who was a teacher at the time, paid for my dad’s schooling. My dad was able to get into the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, and graduated with a Civil Engineering degree. My mom, on the other hand, used to be a nanny when she was young but her brother sent her to the University of the East where she finished college as well. My parents have done very well for themselves and it was really through education that they were able to rise from where they started in life,” he expounded.
“My parents have paid it forward throughout their lives. They’ve sent several of my relatives to school and many of them now have very successful lives with very promising children,” he emphasized.
“With my parents as examples, we hope that our scholars will also pay it forward. We hope that they become successful in their lives and come back and help their own families and relatives. This is how our countrymen can get out of poverty. If we help those with little means, but with the potential and the drive to rise above their current circumstances, then hopefully they’ll come back and take care of their families. And hopefully, some of them will come and work with us in Landco. But even if they don’t join us, if they simply come back to help their own families, then this program would have been a great success,” he related how education serves as a powerful tool to transform lives and the country’s socio-economic growth.
Along with Landco’s efforts on eco-friendly design and sustainable initiatives that will help conserve the natural environment and pristine beaches of Batangas, the premium real estate developer is committed to creating a meaningful, positive, and lasting impact in the lives of the people who are in the environs of the BeachTown developments in Batangas. Through community development and support for the education of underprivileged youth at the grassroots level, Landco aims to create inclusive growth in the tourist destination of Batangas, and a legacy for the communities that the company nurtures.
“In both our project locations in Batangas: San Juan, Laiya, and Calatagan, we are the biggest developments there. We’d like the families around us to be successful. We’d like them to grow as we grow. It’s a lot more gratifying to work when you’re able to help the people around you. That’s what the ‘R’ in CSR means. It is the responsibility of those who are doing well in life to help out those who didn’t win the genetic lottery,” he said.
“We hope to keep adopting scholars for every project we launch, in every location we’re in. We want to do something that really matters in the lives of the people around us. We hope that this will have a significant and exponential effect on the quality of their families’ lives. And I hope they pay it forward, just as we did,” he relayed his vision for Landco’s Adopt-a-Scholar program.
Manzano together with Landco Project Director and Head for Community Development Jeramie Fauni, BSU President Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo and BSU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Atty. Noel Alberto S. Omandap signed the agreement for Landco’s scholarship program.
Witnessing the ceremonial signing ceremony were BSU representatives: Dr. Teodorica G. Ani, Director, External Affairs Central; Engr. Edgardo Titus Kaalim, Jr., Executive Assistant of the President; Ian Sayne Macasaet, Administrative Assistant, Public Relations; Christian Lawrence C. Ortiz, Technical Staff, External Affairs Central; Landco executives: Gerard Penaflor, Vice President for Sales and Marketing and Charisse Santiano, Sales and Marketing Manager; and Melani Torres, Principal, Calatagan Senior High School.
Landco implements environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives to create a better tomorrow for its stakeholders. As a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Corp. (MPIC), helmed by its Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Landco aligns its sustainability strategy to MPIC’s commitment to achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable; and strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Landco’s holistic approach to sustainability encompasses LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registration of Resort Estates CaSoBe and Club Laiya, EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) certification of Crusoe Cabins, employment of approximately 70% locals for Millennial Resorts, and initiatives such as mangrove sapling planting, release of turtle hatchlings and support to fisherfolks.