Villar ‘Sipag’ awardees/ Jack Jones coming to town

FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas - The Philippine Star

“Poverty remains the main problem of the country,” so says Sen. Cynthia Villar.  To address this problem, she and her husband, former Senate President Manny Villar, launched the Villar SIPAG awards, to encourage, and acknowledge best community social enterprises that are models of good practices in poverty reduction.

The Villar SIPAG  Awards is the abbreviated form of Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance. It is managed by the Villar Foundation, established by the Villar couple in 1995 as a means to combat poverty among Filipinos.

Its  nationwide search for model enterprises , launched last August, yielded 20 winners who received cash awards at recent awarding ceremonies.  These were the 10 Most Outstanding Community Enterprises, and the 10 Most Promising Community Enterprises. Ten of the 20 winners come from the Mindanao region — a good sign, says Senator Villar. “This means that the island is fighting poverty despite all its problems.”

The senator, herself called “Mrs. Hanapbuhay,” lauded the efforts of all the winners,  and specifically cited the San Francisco Association of Differently Abled Person Multi Cooperative which is based in San Francisco, Agusan del Norte.

The cooperative is made up of disabled persons involved in the manufacture  of chairs and other furniture. It was founded by its manager, Rolando Ordona, who was bedridden  for  two years after suffering from a spinal column  injury.

The cooperative received an initial  boost from the National Federation of COOP for Persons with Disability which ordered 360 units of armchairs made of steel and fiber board. In 2007, it also received an order from the Department of Education of P18 million worth of armchairs at P700 per chair.

The nine other Most Outstanding Community enterprises are Andres M. Soriano Employees Fresh Fruits Cooperative of Kapalong, Davao del Norte; Baclaran Vendors Development Cooperative, Baclaran Paranaque; Bukluran Multi Purpose Cooperative, Dasmarinas, Cavite; Kalasag Farmers Producers Cooperative, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; Malapatan Multi Purpose Cooperative, Malapatan, Sarangani;  Nueva Segovia Consortium Cooperative, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur; Paglaum Multi Purpose Cooperative, Misamis Occidental; Peoples Alliance for Progress Multi Purpose Cooperative; Panamao, Sulu; San Francisco Associations of Differently-abled Persons Multi Purpose Cooperative, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, and San Joaquin Multi Purpose Cooperative, Sarat, Ilocos Norte.

The 10 Most Promising Community Enterprises are cooperatives in Catmon, Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Davao City, Danlugan, Pagadian City; San Isidro,  Davao Oriental; Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay; Paco, Manila; Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte; Oton, Iloilo, and Valenzuela, Metro Manila.

The 10 outstanding community enterprises  received P250,000 each, and the  promising community enterprises got P100,000 each.

The awardees received their cash awards and  plaques of appreciation in a simple program at the Villar SIPAG Bldg. on  C-5road extension in Barangay Pulang Lupa, Las Pinas, on the occasion of the 64th birthday of the Manny  Villar.

The former senator, also founding chairman of Villar SIPAG Awards,  stressed that100 per cent of the cash prizes came from  dividends from the Villar family-owned Vista Land.

The winners were selected after undergoing thorough screening by a team of validators headed by Prof. Edel Guiza of Asian Institute of Management.  The nominees (of local government units, some of them direct applicants) were asked such questions as how to manage a business, create jobs, and increase the income of families. their business,     

Entries came from the National capital Region, Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas and Midnao regions.

The criteria for their selection for each category were  effectiveness, significance, financial viability, sustainability and adaptability.

Senator Villar herself has established over 300 community enterprises all over  the country. These are an offshoot of her green social enterprises on water hyacinth weaving, coconut weaving, organic fertilizer making, charcoal making, citronella oil making, handmade paper making, and waste plastics recycling.

“I am glad  that we have inspired many individuals and groups of people with their  own stories of hard work and persistence,” Senator Villar said.  â€œThe more people who will work towards the goal of providing livelihood and jobs to the people , the faster we can realize our collective goal of  lifting  fellow Filipinos out of poverty.”

The search for the next batches of awardees is ongoing.

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What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than bringing your beloved to the Jack Jones dinner concert on February 15, at the Manila Hotel Tent! The Grammy Award singer will be singing  some of our  favorite songs – “The Impossible Dream,” “She,” “Dear Heart,” “Where Love Has Gone,” “I Wish You Love,” “What I did for Love,”  â€œBewitched,” “Call Me Irresponsible,”  “What I Did for Love,” and many more — you ask him, he’ll sing them.

This will be a love concert too, as part of the proceeds will go to the Bohol and Yolanda victims.

 Carla Guevarra, who played the role of Kim in the London “Ms. Saigon,” will do duet with the legendary singer. Also performing will be The Angelos, a recent recipient of the Consumers’ Choice Award as the Most Outstanding Professional Achievement Award for classical, pop music, and pop sopranist.

For ticket inquiries, call Manila Hotel, 5278802 or 5270011, or Ticketnet Online and Salute promotions at 9115615.

John Allan “Jack” Jones, born Jan. 14, 1938, is an American jazz and pop singer and was particularly popular during the 1960s. He continues to perform concerts around the world and in Las Vegas. He is widely known for his recordings of “Wives and Lovers” (1964 Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), “The Race  Is On,” “Lollipops and Roses” (1962 Grammy Award, Best Pop Male Performance), “The Impossible Dream,” “Call Me Irresponsible,” “Lady,” and “The Love Boat Theme.”

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