Standard Chartered Bank, the oldest international bank in the Philippines, recently launched its Livelihood and Education for Agri-Aquaculture Development (SCB LEAD) program in Catbalogan City, Samar in partnership with Phil. Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the Department of Education and Catbalogan City local government unit.
SCB LEAD will support the development of the Catbalogan City Agro – Industrial School (CCAIS) in Barangay San Vicente into a centre of excellence in farming and fishery in the Eastern Visayas.
The school utilizes an abandoned jailhouse with quarters allocated for the instructional and dormitory of the senior high school students.
Students taking up the Agri-Fishery strand were offered scholarship grants with the privilege to stay at the dormitory with free board and lodging and school supplies. Currently enrolled student-scholars come from the 57 barangays of Catbalogan.
The SCB LEAD program includes: development of a 5-year operations manual and strategic plan for the CCAIS school; formation of school governing council; provision of farm tools, recreation and audio-visual facilities; computer laboratory donation; teachers training, leadership and employment coaching; immersion trip and job fair for the senior high school students.
The bank will also provide a medium-sized milkfish cage for the Sierra island barangays as livelihood assistance and exposure site for the students taking the fishery strand. The program is very much aligned with the LGU and local DepEd priority initiatives.
This is the second flagship program of Standard Chartered Bank in Catabalogan, Samar.
In 2016, the bank implemented its “Banca ng Buhay” project in the Sierra island barangays which provided motorized fiberglass boats to fisher folk and their wives given capability training and seed funding to start small businesses.
The program was also designed to include a commitment from the beneficiary fishermen to transport the students of Sierra Islands to school daily for free resulting in an increased enrollment and zero drop-out rate the following school year.
[Group shot showing turnover of farm tools]
SCB LEAD program includes donation f a computer laboratory, audio-visual materials for education and recreation and farm tools and equipment, skills training for teachers and students.