Iglesia ni Cristo expands OFW outreach program in Asia
INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr. yesterday said the Lingap sa Mamamayan program recently conducted events in China and Thailand.
Joven Cagande

Iglesia ni Cristo expands OFW outreach program in Asia

Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has expanded its outreach and aid program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to several Asian countries.

INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr. yesterday said the Lingap sa Mamamayan program recently conducted events in China and Thailand.

The events for OFWs were held in Hong Kong on Jan. 27, Macau on Jan. 20 and Bangkok on Jan. 13, according to Santos.

The INC has also held Lingap programs in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on Oct. 28 as well as in Taipei and Kaohsiung, both in Taiwan, on Nov. 18 and Nov. 25, respectively.

“For the most recent Lingap activities abroad, we made a conscious effort to reach out to our OFWs. Our kababayans are scattered all over our neighboring countries in Southeast and Northeast Asia, but seldom do they get together as one big Filipino community. That’s what we did and accomplished with our Aid to OFW events. We opened up opportunities for us to meet and help each other,” Santos said.

Santos stressed that the Lingap efforts in Asia were fueled by INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo’s continuing desire to offer tangible, effective and needed assistance to Filipinos abroad who toil hard for their families back home.

The INC official noted that in realizing Manalo’s goals for foreign-based Filipinos, they specifically chose spacious venues that could accommodate as many OFWs as possible.

The Taiwan legs were held at Taipei’s Hua Nan Bank International Convention Center and Kaohsiung International Trade and Exhibition Center. Sheraton hotels housed the Lingap efforts in Macau and Thailand. The Kuala Lumpur event was at the Malaysian capital’s Majestic Hotel.

Close to a thousand attendees per venue graced the Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Macau activities. The Hong Kong Lingap attracted an estimated 3,000 people.

Free “goodwill bags” separately containing food and hygiene items were distributed at all locations.

“Our kababayans were also grateful for the emotional and spiritual nourishment that the Lingap gatherings brought. The sense of community and the opportunity to interact with other Pinoys was as important to them as the actual aid and assistance they received. When you’re abroad, you’re homesick. You relish every chance to physically gather in one place with fellow Filipinos,” Santos emphasized.

In 2018, the INC, through its Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, went full blast with Lingap events in other countries.

Two groundbreaking “Aid To Humanity, Fight Poverty” activities were held in Long Island, New York and Hartford, Connecticut in the United States in September, targeting low-income localities.

In the same month, Toronto in Canada benefited from simultaneous Aid to Humanity programs that focused on elderly, women, children and immigrants in various centers and shelters in the North American city.

Residents and attendees at the various Canadian locations received approximately 4,000 “goodwill bags.” The FYM Foundation likewise donated funds to each of the centers and shelters visited.

For 2019, the INC plans to re-establish Lingap in various parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia while sustaining efforts which have already gained momentum in North America.

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