The Alsons Power Group – Mindanao’s first and most experienced independent power producer thru its Zamboanga City-based subsidiaries – San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) and the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC), together with 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, officially presented the inaugural batch of scholars of the Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz Scholarship Program for aspiring weightlifters during the recently held Zamboanga Hermosa Weightlifting Championship at the Universidad de Zamboanga gym in Zamboanga City.
Alsons Power partnered with Diaz to spearhead this scholarship program as part of the Group’s commitment to help provide more educational opportunities for the young people in Zamboanga City, where Alsons Power is the primary supplier of electricity thru its 100-megawatt (MW) WMPC diesel power plant in barangay Sangali in the eastern portion of the city. The partnership aims to produce world-class Filipino weightlifters and support the country’s efforts in winning gold in the Olympics and in other international sports competitions.
This is also Alsons Power’s way of honoring Diaz for bringing glory to the country and, at the same time, boosting interest in the sport and encouraging potential weightlifting champions both in Zamboanga and in the whole Philippines.
The first batch of scholars are Citadel Callenero, 13, from Talon-Talon National High School; Jane Linette Hipolito, 16, from Universidad de Zamboanga Senior High School; Rosegie Ramos, 13, from Universidad de Zamboanga Technical High School; and Rose Jean Ramos, 11, and Desiree Jane Garcia, 13, who both hail from Mampang Elementary School.
The five scholars are part of the current pool of young weightlifters training under the supervision of the Philippine Weightlifting Association (PWA). The PWA, headed by its vice president and Technical Committee chairman Elbert Atilano, Jr., found these young students worthy of the scholarship based on their performance during year-round competitions and on the additional criteria involving academic performance and family income level.
Through the Alsons-Hidilyn Diaz scholarship program, the five students will each receive a subsidy worth P40,000 that will cover the provisions for school uniforms, shoes, a bag and school supplies, as well as a monthly stipend for transportation and food allowances covering the school year.
“I’m feeling hopeful because this is a new generation of athletes who would someday bring honor to our country,” Diaz said.
“Our role is to put Philippine weightlifting on the spotlight but I am optimistic that this will also carry over to paying more attention to Filipino athletes and encouraging support for the sports sector,” she added.
Alsons Power remains supportive of PWA and Diaz’s advocacy.
“Zamboanga City and the rest of Mindanao are teeming with potential and it includes promising talents who we intend to hone and support. As a company that has been operating in Zamboanga City since 1997 and in Mindanao for over 60 years, it is our responsibility to ensure that the region will reach its full potential in numerous aspects including providing opportunities for the young people of Mindanao particularly those form Zamboanga City,” Tirso G. Santillan, Alsons Power Group executive vice president and CEO, stated.
“We hope that this scholarship will serve as a springboard for these young people to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life,” Santillan continued.
Under the scholarship program, the scholars must continue to be active trainees in good standing with the Hidilyn Diaz Training Program in Zamboanga City and must qualify or remain active at the national weightlifting team. Scholars are also required to maintain a good standing in terms of academic performance.
The presentation of the Alsons Power-Hidilyn Diaz scholars was also witnessed by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey and representatives from the Philippine Weightlifting Association.