The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) fabricated 18 units of pedal-controlled faucets as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eight units were created for the SEARCA Headquarters and SEARCA Residence Hotel (SRH) and SRH Annex, while 10 units were intended for donation to the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), Barangay Batong Malake, Maahas Elementary School, and other schools and institutions located in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.
UPLB, as the first recipient, received three units last 10 August 2020 in front of the UPLB Library building, which was also donated by SEARCA on 16 October 1991. Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., UPLB Chancellor and Country Representative of the Philippines to the SEARCA Governing Board, accepted the donation from Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, and Mr. Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration.
This week SEARCA will donate one set of foot pedal-operated faucet to Barangay Batong Malake. The schedule of donation to the beneficiaries of the remaining five units of faucets will be after the lockdown. The management ensures that proper COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) protocols will be observed.
Each unit features a 66x66x92 cm foot pedal-operated faucet that has a tapping point ready at the back portion of the mechanism. The faucet also includes a half-inch PVC pipe.
This initiative was conceptualized after Laguna underwent Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) lockdown. It was led by the SEARCA Office of the Director, Office of the Deputy Director for Administration, and General Services Unit.
Committed to accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN), Dr. Gregorio highlighted this project as part of the One Health/EcoHealth applications to agricultural and rural development, which is a priority area in SEARCA's 11th Five-Year Plan (2020-2025).
Through its CSR activities, SEARCA continues to promote the importance of health and wellness of its host institution and adjacent local communities towards a better, bigger, smarter, and enabling environment in time of the global health crisis.