THE Philippines has set a new world record for having formed the longest line of pencils at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Spearheaded by the Council for the Welfare of Children, Departments of Education and Social Welfare and Development and SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, some 2,000 students aged 14 to 17 years old formed a 859-meter pencil line besting the record of Germany at 459 meters which it set in 2015.
The breaking of the world record marked the celebration of National Children’s Month and the launching of the 1 Million Lapis campaign, which is aimed at collecting one million pencils for donation to underprivileged children.
Carrying four pencils each, the students formed a line along MOA’s By the Bay area early morning Saturday connecting their pencils with one another.
Confirming the world-breaking feat were representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Manuel Nague of the Land Registration Authority who led the survey and measurement of the line.
Details of the event together with the pertinent documents will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records for review.
CWC executive director Patricia Luna said they are extremely delighted by the outcome of their initiative as they have not only set a new world record but also highlighted the need to make school supplies easily accessible to the youth.
Royston Cabunag, project director of SM Cares Program for the Youth, said the 1 Million Lapis campaign started as a pet project of SM Prime Vice President for Corporate Communications Elena Bautista Horn and then Department of Education Undersecretary Mario Derequito as a way of addressing the shortage of school supplies, particularly pencils, in schools.
“Many students share a pencil because their parents don’t have the means to buy them and despite this situation, they still do their best to study and write. This is our way of making learning easier for them because education is a right guaranteed to them,” Cabunag stated.
This early, Luna said they have already surpassed their 1 million target as more than 3.3 million pencils have already been donated and pledged for the project. Most of the pencils were donated by pencil maker Amspec.
All the donated pencils will be given to various remote provinces across the country.
“Wae are very happy with the outcome of our partnership to help our children get the education they deserve and we are honored by the overwhelming support of our private donors to make this a successful project because we did not only reach the 1 million target but surpassed it more than 3 times,” she stated.
With the success of the project, Luna said they are looking at launching a similar program that will include other school supplies such as bags and notebooks. “This will open hopefully new doors and with our ever reliable partners, we will be able to help more Filipino children realize their dream of having an education,” Luna said.