National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) Executive Director Penelope Belmonte has apparently decided to diversify the functions of her office, to include reaching out to less-privileged Filipinos, specially children.
This had become highly visible when she established months ago the agency’s ‘We Care Day Care Center,’ aimed at helping or providing assistance in various forms, indigent or homeless children with their basic needs such as proper food, clothing, daycare education and medical care, among others. They are also provided with nursery education and taught proper hygiene, to keep them away from illnesses caused by poor hygiene.
Without fanfare, Belmonte herself would lead the agency’s ‘Children’s Day’ every Friday, during which she gathers the indigent kids loitering in the park and those living near the NPDC vicinity and tours them around the Luneta Park after which they eat altogether.
Just recently, some members of the Manila Police District (MPD), led by its director Chief Supt. Rolando Anduyan, jumped in to contribute to the efforts, by allotting their free time on teaching under the program called, ‘Ang Guro Kong Pulis’ and taking care of the streetchildren being cared for at the NPDC.
These children have either been abandoned, are runaways or are living in poverty and practically live in the streets with no food or shelter. They were gathered from the immediate vicinity of the NPDC and its areas of jurisdiction, particularly the Luneta Park and Quirino Grandstand.
Belmonte welcomed this development with open arms and lauded the policemen for reaching out to the said poor, homeless kids in their own capacity.
The policemen, the bulk of which are from the MPD-Station 5 and the MPD Headquarters on United Nations Avenue, have agreed among themselves to raise money so they could provide them with basic needs by means of contributions from their salaries.
“These policemen are highly commendable. They said that the money they spend on cigarettes for instance, will now go to a common fund for the streetkids of the WCDC,” Belmonte enthused.
The help from these cops is expected to go a long way in boosting the efforts of the NPDC officials and employees, led by Belmonte herself, as they have been pooling their own personal funds to supply the needs of the children being taken care of at the WCDC.
Belmonte said that during his speech, Anduyan had bared that he also used to be a streetchild so that he fully understands the needs of the said kids and strongly feel for them.
Under the ‘Ang Guro Kong Pulis’ program, Belmonte said members of the MPD have volunteered to teach the children, aged between five and seven, during their free time on various kinds of subjects.
Belmonte believes it is important to provide the children with education, while making sure that the cops’ teaching will be a meaningful and enjoyable experience for the children involved. The police, I learned, teach the kids about good manners and right conduct and basic reading, among others.
Since the children being taken care of at the WCDC have practically nothing in life, Belmonte has also seen fit to issue an appeal to kind-hearted individuals for toy donations, specially since Christmas is just around the corner.
‘We call on those who have more in life to please share their blessings. Instead of throwing away old toys, donate them. They will go a long way to make less-privileged children happy,” Belmonte said, adding that those who are interested may give the toys directly to the children concerned. They may be old or used or new, it doesn’t matter.
Even used clothes and vitamins are welcome assistance to the efforts being exerted by the men and women of the NPDC in order to give the children in its care a semblance of a normal life.
Kudos to the men and women of the NPDC, specially Belmonte, for their generosity and concern for the unfortunate kids and their families. Ditto with the MPD and its head, Anduyan.
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