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Accomplishment Report for the Period February 11, 2008 through March 31, 2010
By: Cesar Torres/Arman Muleem
The Worldwide Filipino Alliance, Inc.
Accomplishment Report for the Period February 11, 2008 through March 31, 2010*
By the WFA Board of Global Board of Trustees
16 March 2010
he Worldwide Filipino Alliance, Inc. (WFA), an Internet-based Non-Governmental Organization was conceptualized and organized by concerned overseas and homeland-based Filipinos who felt the need to assist in the development efforts in the homeland. It was accorded legal status by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission on February 11, 2009.
With the divergent needs of the 11 million Filipinos living and working abroad and their 55 million relatives in the homeland, the WFA hopes to serve as the action center on convergent common concerns and issues that may need referrals for immediate attention or action by concerned government agencies.
With members scattered all over the world, the WFA can also be the conduit for international assistance to help alleviate the socio-economic conditions in the country.
In December 2008. through the perseverance and untiring efforts of Ms Amanda Bueno, WFA Trustees and Members from the US and the Arabia, and invited guests from the Philippines met in Samal, Davao. They gathering came out with the following vision and mission of the organization:
"Harness Overseas Filipinos` potential to adopt and implement meaningful reforms in the homeland, alleviate poverty, and secure a brighter future for succeeding generations."
WFA is still in the midst of firming up its global organizational structures and processes. But while grappling with the challenges of time, space and communication across various time zones, it has started working towards the achievement of its goals and objectives which can only be characterized as "lofty" and perhaps, impractical, by the unbelievers. WFA has not shaken the world of the 11 million Filipinos in Diaspora.
Nevertheless in its two years of existence, it has been able to achieve something. For instance, the organization has survived despite the multitude of organizational, personal, and extraneous challenges that it had to confront and continues to confront.
We could be wrong. But the Corporation is possibly the only Internet-based organization whose Members, Trustees, officers, and supporters are scattered all over the world which continues to "muddle" through.
The discussion group that its officers moderate, Worldwide-Filipino- Alliance@ yahoogroups. com, is without doubt, the most vibrant, relevant, popular discussion group among the thousands and thousands of Filipino-owned and managed discussion groups in the Internet. This is WFA`s contribution to a discussion of urgent economic, social, and political issues impacting the homeland.
In terms of more concrete achievements, the following may be worthy of being cited:
1. As an affirmation that indeed, everything is related to everything else, especially for us Filipinos around the world, the family of a 9-year old boy and his 3-year old brother in San Francisco, California, whose parents are popular in the Filipino Community in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the University of the Philippines, has donated, through WFA, a state of the art laptop computer worth PhP34,000 for use of the National Chairman of the Teachers Dignity Coalition. It was originally intended for a leader of a a Muslim community in Basilan.
2. Because years of neglect and ignorance have contributed to the destruction of our environment, it contributed to the fluvial parade of the Sagip-Pasig Movement through Ms. Cynthia Estrada during the celebration of Earth Day last April, 2008; .
3. WFA has solicited financial assistance from UP alumni abroad, including the sister of the missing Fr. Rudy Romano, to co-sponsor a Feeding Program organized by Mindanao Tabang Bakwet (MTB) which benefited around 4,000 children affected by armed conlict in Datu Piang, Maguindanao.
4. In collaboration with some UP alumni in America, the NGO shipped three (3) balikbayan boxes of various college books, magazines, reading materials and some office supplies to UP Mindanao.
5. December 2007 was a memorable month for WFA. Through Caritas Manila, WFA sponsored a Christmas party last December 29, 2007 for street families of more than 30 persons where, aside from games for children where prizes included toys and educational materials, everyone was treated to a simple merienda fare and gifted with new clothes and slippers. After the Christmas party, each family brought home a grocery pack with 1 kilo packs of pansit, sugar, milo/ovaltine, milk, 100 grams of coffee, 5 kilos of rice and some canned goods (corned beef, sardines). The ecstatic families were also given P300 transportation allowance each. For many of them, especially the children it was their first time to receive such gift for Christmas. After the party, the excess amount was given to Caritas-Manila for the purchase of a sewing machine for their livelihood project.
6. In the same Season of Sharing and Good Tidings for the Christians and of Mankind, WFA sponsored a Christmas trip to the Museo Pambata for ninety nine (99) children from Smokey Mountain wherein they got to interact with toys and educational science materials and projects.
7. Equally memorable was the month of December 2008 when some members of the WFA core descended on Davao City to meet each other for the first time. Coming from the different parts of the country and from as far as the USA and Saudi Arabia, the core group decided to make the occasion more fruitful.
8. WFA provided financial assistance to the Municipalities of Daram and Dolores in Samar for the purchase of food packs, clothing and footwear/slippers which were then distributed to the marginalized farmers in the remote barangays.
9. To help defray the expenses for hosting several forums on gender, human rights and urban poor concerns, the Davao Chapter of Partidong Panggagawa was also given financial assistance.
10. Under the leadership of trustee Dr. Rusty Balderian, Mayor of Tabon-tabon (Leyte), WFA, in partnership with Feed the Children International and International Medical Outreach, launched a nationwide deworming program. The activity started last July 2009 and is expected to continue until December 2010 or until the $9.4M worth Mebendazole tablets supplied by IMO run out.
11. When typhoon Ondoy hit the country last September 2009, the alliance immediately released PhP10,000 to finance relief efforts for the victims who were evacuated at the Commonwealth Elementary School in Quezon City.
12. For its part, WFA-Jeddah sent 35 boxes of relief goods for distribution to the victims of "Ondoy" thru Caritas Manila.
13. WFA-Jeddah, in partnership with KASAPI Congress, an alliance of some 30+ Filipino organizations in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia, assisted OFWs in distress who had erected tents outside the Philippine Consulate by providing food, financial assistance and attending to their needs while awaiting repatriation to the Philippines. Those who chose to stay and had the necessary skills were referred to kind-hearted Saudis who gave them decent employment and wages.
14. The WFA network has linked with local and international NGOs assisting the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao. Two of its members have been invited by Pansariling Kaunlaran ng mga Kamangyanan (PKKI) - an NGO founded by SVD Missionary Fr. Dennis Flynn - to share their experiences among the Mangyans in Mindoro. Technical support has been extended, while project evaluation and assessment will commence by January 2010.
15. WFA technical and financial support has enabled its member in North Cotabato to do the following.
16. Make social preparations work for a micro and mini hydro electric project for a rural cooperative and IPs (on going).
17. Conduct research and development initiatives for Coffee Development Program which led to partnerships with the local government, UP Mindanao and a Japanese biochemist who serves as consultant.
18. Provide technical support to a local chamber of commerce to strengthen its organization.
19. Establish a water district for the Municipality of Makilala (on going).
20. Establish a local cooperative (Holy Family MPC) whose asset is now estimated at Php 400,000.00.
21. Provide technical support to Muslim communities under a peace agreement with the MNLF.
22. Provide technical support for the establishment of a national partylist group for Rural Energy (I CARE) with a mass base of about 8M consumers. WFA Trustee James Zamora was elected as Vice President for Mindanao.
23. Drafted a "Position Paper on Overseas Absentee Voting" which was presented last November 2008 to Hon. Richard Gordon, then Chair of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Absentee Voting (COCAV), and to Hon. Aquilino Pimentel last April 2009 in a WFA forum at the National Ecology Center in Quezon City.
24. In collaboration with a popular international charity giver who is now based in Paris, WFA through some of its Members assisted in the raising of funds through the Internet to construct 600 chairs and school desks to the Patikul National High School, a war torn Sulu in 2007.
25. WFA has also started a fund drive to help the family of a slain soldier who helped in the construction of school chairs in Patikul. The soldier died in a battle between the Muslims and the Government soldiers.
26. At the moment, a project to ensure that the madness of the Ampatuan Massacre will not be forgotten, is being conceived and funded.
27. Through Atty Cita Borromeo Garcia, computers have been donated to some selected persons.
28. Cash assistance of close to P100,000 has been provided to some of WFA`s members too during their times of tribulation.
29. Donations to members who have lost their loved ones have also been undertaken.
30. In December 2008, the WFA Membership who had gathered in Metro Manila were honored with an invitation to have a dialogue with two statesmen of the Philippine Government – the Honorable Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. and Francis Pangilinan, both members of the Philippine Senate.
31. WFA has more projects in the pipeline. Some of which are:
· Organic Farming
· OFW Processing Centers in every municipality
· Centralized Remittance for OFs/OFWs
· Reintegration Programs for returning OFWs and retirees
· Construction of a multi-purpose building that will serve as WFA headquarters, show/demo room and halfway house for stranded or province-bound OFWs
· A "Darangpan Fund", a micro-mini Grammeen-like operation to help its members when the need is dire and immediate.
32. In the works, but is unfortunately gathering dust in the parking area at the moment, is the possibility that $15,000 – which we are hoping could be raised to P1 million – from the dormant Pamana-United Way of the San Francisco Bay Area (UWBA) foundation funds can be shifted to WFA`s responsibility.
UWBA has already authorized the remittance of the $15,000 to the Philippines. However, even if it is in the name of Pamana of which three of its holdover Board of Directors are Members of WFA, with two as Trustees of WFA, the fund, unless some changes can be effected, will be transmitted to the United Way of the Philippines.
We are hoping that the original request of Cesar Torres and Ramon Brion III, holdover Chairman and Vice Chairman of Pamana, board members Dr. Isagani Sarmiento, Amor Oribello, Jr., and Morgan Benedicto will be heeded by the Executive Vice President of the UWBA that a composite group composed of the United Way Philippines, the National Red Cross, the USAID, with WFA as Chair, can managed the Pamana Fund.
If this can be effected, it would have tremendous implications on the future viability of WFA.
[*The original Incorporators and Trustees of the Corporation were: General Jose Comendador, Atty Cita Borromeo-Garcia, Roger Bantiles, Jun Aguilar, Theodore Makabulos Aquino, Jesusa Abenojar Barbieri, Emma Orozco, Joseph Midar C. Nepomuceno, Emiliano Garchitorena, and Leo Santiago.]