DAGUPAN CITY — Some 300 private corporations, including mother civic organizations, throughout the country, are supporting the Angat Buhay Program of the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo in its effort to uplift the lives of the poor, particularly children and senior citizens, in various rural areas in the Philippines.
This was bared by Vice President Robredo herself when she came here Saturday to launch three projects under her Angat Buhay Program in remote Barangay Carael as Dagupan is among 50 LGUs chosen as pilot areas for the program throughout the country.
Admitting that her office from the start has no budget to fund such program, Robredo felt this was not a draw back as more than 300 corporations throughout the country offered to partner with her office to keep Angat Buhay Program going.
These corporations committed their funds in a bid to touch the lives of the people mostly in impoverished parts of the country as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, Robredo explained.
Dagupan and Zamboanga are the only developed cities chosen as pilot areas for Angat Buhay. All the rest are small municipalities located in various far-flung areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Robredo explained that Dagupan was chosen for the program not because it is a poor city but because its mayor, Belen Fernandez, is one of the most active mayors in the entire country who can work well with the partner private corporations to push their respective projects through in her city.
Among the big corporations which linked up with OVP in pushing Angat Buhay Program are Nestle Philippines, Andres Soriano Foundation and the Seaoil Foundation which are now working on various projects in the 50 pilot areas chosen for the program.
All these corporations combined committed at least 716 pledges in answer to the individual needs of the 50 chosen pilot areas under the Angat Buhay Program, Robredo said.
In the case of Dagupan, it received at least 17 pledges of support from various partner corporations following a presentation made by Mayor Fernandez during the launching of the Angat Buhay Program in Manila last Oct. 10, Robredo said.
During the launching of the Angat Buhay program in Manila, the mayors of each of the 50 pilot areas presented the most pressing needs of their constituents in a market play session attended by representatives of the 300 partner corporations, in which Dagupan received at least 17 pledges of support.
Three of these pledges already arrived and were launched today (Saturday) by Vice President Robredo in Barangay Carael. These are a feeding program for malnourished children of Barangays Carael and Calmay with the Innerwheel Club of the Philippines as partner; donation of story books to the Carael Elementary School library with the Canvas PH as partner; and Senior Wellness Program by the Seaoil Foundation, which seeks to assure adequate supply of maintenance medicines for the elderly citizens.
Robredo said in addition to the Senior Wellness Program, a Community Rehab Program for senior citizens suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and those who suffered stroke will be offered so that senior citizens will live longer and and enjoy happier lives.
She said senior citizens who are well off may afford rehab themselves but those who are poor, need to be assisted by a Community Rehab Progeram, which is also a project of Seaoil Foundation.
Seaoil is now seeking the help of the Associations of Philippine Therapists, Rehab doctors and orthopedics to train Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) in Dagupan so that they can readily provide this kind of service to local senior citizens whenever they need for free.
Robredo said more Philippine corporations are coming in to support the Angat Buhay Program which they found as a better way to channel their Corporate Social Responsibilities to the people.
For her part, Mayor Fernandez thanked Vice President Leni Robredo for choosing Dagupan as one of the 50 pilot areas of the program.
Fernandez expects at least 14 more projects by different private corporations under their corporate social responsibilities to arrive in Dagupan City within the year.
She said some of these projects will take a year or more years to complete as each of these will involve all 31 barangays in the city.
“Here in Dagupan, we will help and facilitate all the projects of the vice president. Team work is really needed,” Fernandez said.
She told newsmen that the city government will provide whatever the program needs.
Fernandez said among the other Angat Buhay projects coming are training and support to Dagupan farmers, livelihood training for womenfolk, project to enhance the capabilities of the city’s rescue center and more feeding projects for malnourished school children in all barangays.
“I think some of these projects will take a long time to complete because the partner corporations would have to extend help to all those in need,” Fernandez said.
Barangay Chairman Violeta Velasquez as well as Federation of Senior Citizens president Cornelia Espanol thanked Vice President Robredo for bringing private corporations to help Dagupan residents. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com