Caritas Manila distributes 1-billion GCs For the poor

CARITAS MANILA (a church-based non-profit organization that serves as the lead social service and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Manila) through its “spiritual frontliners” of priests, nuns and lay volunteers in various parishes in mega-manila have distributed a total of P1,367,495,000 worth of Gift Certificates covering 5,445,255 urban poor families (or over 7.6 million individuals) currently affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine in the entire Luzon.

Under Project Ugnayan (a fund-raising initiative led by top business groups in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation) Caritas Manila was able mobilize its parish-based grassroots structure to provide social assistance to vulnerable communities of the greater Manila area.

“We appreciate the swiftness and efficiency of their work (Caritas Manila) under very difficult conditions and over very long hours each day,” said Project Ugnayan Lead, Fernando Zobel de Ayala. "We are grateful for this opportunity to be part of this business community effort to help people in a time of crisis.

This is a movement we should nurture as we prepare to let people return to work and to re-start our economy in the post-quarantine period” (Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, PDRF Co-Chairman). “The unity in diversity demonstrated by Project Ugnayan reveals the private sector’s serious commitment to help our country recover from the lost economic momentum because of the pandemic. We are proud to be part of this extraordinary collaboration of industries which will prove most valuable in getting the economy back on track” (Manuel V. Pangilinan, PDRF Co-Chairman).

To date the distribution of Gift Certificates are as follows: Diocese of Imus (Cavite) 108,100,000 pesos covering 380,550 families; Diocese of San Pablo (Laguna) 80,000,000 pesos covering 367,250 families; Diocese of Malolos (Bulacan) 75,000,000 pesos covering 262,315 families; Diocese of Antipolo (Rizal and Marikina) 115,682,000 pesos covering 578,410 families; Archdiocese of Manila (Pasay, Manila, San Juan and Mandaluyong) 370,713,000 pesos covering 1,732,935 families; Diocese of Caloocan (Malabon, Navotas and South Caloocan) 240,500,000 pesos covering 889,210 families; Diocese of Cubao (Quezon City District 1,3,4 and 6) 70,000,000 pesos covering 235,055 families; Diocese of Parañaque (Parañaque, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa) 84,200,000 pesos covering 215,300 families; Diocese of Novaliches (North Caloocan and Quezon City District 2 and 5) 126,300,000 pesos covering 572,535; and Diocese of Pasig (Pasig, Taguig and Pateros) 97,000,000 pesos covering 211,645 families.

Indicative of the Catholic Church in Action, this social service initiative comes over and above the spiritual services provided by various churches most especially this Holy Week.  Fr. Anton CT Pascual (Caritas Manila, Executive Director) stresses that the Church will always be at the service of the poor most especially during this COVID-19 Health Crisis. “The true spirit of Easter is about hope and has special significance in these difficult times. We thank all the generous benefactors of Project Ugnayan for this opportunity to fulfill a great mission of compassion for our vulnerable brothers and sisters. Your gifts have warmed their hearts and uplifted their spirits,” Father Pascual said.

The initiative earned praises from Archdiocese of Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo, San Pablo Bishop Buenaventura Famadico and other Prelates of the Suffragan Dioceses of Manila. The Prelates thanked the businessmen and private organizations that collectively help to make Project Ugnayan possible. This unprecedented assembly of so many of the country’s corporations and business families coming to the assistance of the most helpless in our society illustrates and speaks of the heart and generosity of the business community.

Special Thanks goes to the donors of Project Ugnayan, which includes (in alphabetical order): Aboitiz Group, ABSCBN/First Gen, Alaska Milk Corporation, Alliance Global Group & Megaworld, AY Foundation & RCBC, Ayala Corporation. Bench/Suyen Corp, Bonifacio West Devt Corp. Carmelray Group, Cathay Land, Inc, Cebuana Lhullier, Century Pacific, Coca Cola Philippines, Concepcion Industrial, Consuelo "Chito" Madrigal Foundation, Inc., Daiichi Properties, DMCI Group of Companies, Dowell Container and Packaging Corporation, Far Eastern University, First Life Financial Company, Focus Global, Inc., Global Food Group, Glorious Commercial Exports, Inc., Gokongwei Group of Companies/Robinsons Retail Holdings, ICTSI, JAKA Group 1, Jollibee, Kawit Prime Holdings, Inc., Leonio Group, Mercury Drug Corporation, Metrobank, Mumuso Group, National Grid Corp of the Philippines, New World Hotel, Nutri-Asia, Oishi/Liwayway Marketing Group, One Meralco Foundation, Penshoppe, People R People, PepsiCo/PepsiCo Foundation, Philippine Racing Club, Inc, PLDT/Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, Puregold, Ramon S. Ang & Family, RRK/Lee Jeans, Shang Properties Inc, SM/BDO, Sta. Elena Construction, Sugar Junction Inc.. Sunlife of Canada, Super Prime Holdings, Inc, The Alpha Suites Inc., Unilab, and Wilcon Depot.

“This is not a time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and needs to be united in facing the pandemic. May the risen Jesus grant hope to all the poor, to those living on the peripheries, to refugees and the homeless. May these, the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters living in the cities and peripheries of every part of the world, not be abandoned … Indifference, self-centeredness, division, and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever … May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end” (Pope Francis).

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