Arcile “Arci” Padrigao, Past President of the Rotaract Club of Cebu South, was hailed as this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Youth Awardee in the Young Professional Environmental Sustainability Category. She was recognized on account of the impact of her “Agas” (Flow) Project, an initiative that provides filtration tanks that convert rainwater into potable water for use by residents in remote islands.
The CSR Youth Awards is a recognition program of the Benita and Catalina Yap Foundation (BCYF), co-presented by Deloitte Philippines, that aims to recognize outstanding young people who have initiated projects that advance good citizenship, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility.
Arci emerged as one of the three national winners due to the sustainability and cost-efficiency of her project. Kinartakan Island in Santa Fe, Cebu Province is the first beneficiary of the project. It is a community of 1,667 people who have to take one hour boat ride just to buy clean water from the nearest mainland. Pressed with this scarcity, island residents have resorted to stocking rainwater for their daily needs, including drinking, which endangers their well-being as stocked rainwater is prone to contamination of mosquito eggs and insect larvae.
Kinartakan Island received three water filtration tanks that follow the technology of Waves For Water (W4W), a non-profit organization. The filtration system relies on gravity and micron filters and need no fuel or electricity. Maintenance is also simple as when the filter starts to slow down or clog, it can be washed with clean water then reused. While the Agas Project primarily addressed the provision of clean water in the community, it also mitigated the risks for waterborne diseases and rechanneled household expenses to other daily needs of the residents.
To date, Agas Project has already provided seven water filtration tanks to three remote islands in Cebu: Cauhagan, Kinartakan, and Hilantagaan. Arci and her Rotaract Club plans to reach more remote communities. Organizations can actually sponsor a water filtration tank at a cost of Php 4,000. If interested to support, one can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pilipinas Rotaract Multi-District Information Organization (MDIO) and Rotary International Zone 10A, through Past District Governor Mary Anne Solomon, were partners in staging this year’s CSR Youth Awards. Rotaract fielded 14 nominees with two becoming part of the eight national finalists, Arci and MDIO Chair Louie De Real. Louie was recognized for his innovative programs in Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO and in enhancing the CSR programs of the Security Bank Foundation resulting to increased employee engagement, expansion of partnerships and tracking of impact indicators.
With Arci’s win in the CSR Youth Awards and Louie’s inclusion as finalist, they will have access to mentoring, partnership and funding opportunities provided by BCYF and its partners. They have also widened their platforms to extend the reach of their projects.
The authors are Louie De Real, Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO Chair and Arcile Padrigao, Past President of the Rotaract Club of Cebu South.
This article was also featured in the November 2020 issue of the Philippine Rotary Magazine as seen below.