Apl. D Ap (2nd from right, in dark glasses) holds a steel mallet as he prepares to break one of the walls of a heavily damaged school building in Talon talon Elementary School in Zamboanga City to build a new one in its place. Joining the ground-breaking are DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco and Franklin Baker Community Development Director Gen. Juancho Sabban (Ret).

Heeding government’s call for private sector assistance, Red Ribbon and Franklin Baker Company, in partnership with Foundation, has started rebuilding some public schools in Zamboanga City that were heavily damaged by fighting between government forces and members of the Nur Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Celebrity and Franklin Baker Community Development Director Gen. Juancho Sabban (Ret) flew to Zamboanga on Friday to join DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman and Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco for the groundbreaking rites of classrooms in three public school buildings.

The Foundation has partnered with bakeshop chain Red Ribbon and coconut ingredient company, Franklin Baker, in the “Macaroons for a Cause” initiative. The project aims to build classrooms in Mindanao public schools to address the lack of facilities for thousands of students.

“Our plan to build schools in Mindanao just got bigger because of the devastation in Zamboanga. I appreciate Franklin Baker and Red Ribbon’s support in our pursuit to help rebuild the city,” said the Filipino-American hip hop artist.

The military standoff between government and the MNLF caused the worst humanitarian crisis in Zamboanga displacing over 118,000 people.

“Red Ribbon’s ‘*Macaroons for a Cause’* project will expand its coverage from building classrooms in one public school to rebuilding classrooms in three schools in Zamboanga. The rehabilitation will begin immediately given the unfortunate situation of thousands of public school students,” Jollibee Group COO Ernesto Tanmantiong said.

Franklin Baker CEO, Jaime ‘Joel’ Santos pledged to continue their company’s investment plans in Mindanao as their way of showing confidence in the government and the Filipino people.

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