FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2018 - 12:00am

The voting at Barangay Ugong in Valle Verde 2, Pasig, went smoothly, it took my family just 10 minutes to fill up the form and drop it into the ballot box.

For so small effort, we got our big  reward – our candidate for captain, kagawad and a number of kagawads won.  Perhaps the expeditious voting was due to our having accomplished the biometrics requirement which automatically put our names on the voters’ list. And the manual voting seemed trustworthy.  For sure, the teachers attending to us were pleasant and smiling. 

Another good news was that my younger sister, Milagros, a retired nurse, won her bid for a kagawad post – actually her second attempt, as she lost in the local election several moons earlier. She follows the footsteps of our deceased mother, Corazon Maristela Torrevillas,  who won a seat in the Gingoog City council. My younger brother, Greg, ran for kagawad in his own barangay last Monday, but his loss should not be cause for sadness, as he is still young, and can run in the next election.

Congratulations  to our Bulong Pulungan colleague, Mila Allora, who won a kagawad seat in her barangay in Makati.                         

Another good thing about May 14 was the absence of traffic jams. I drove my pick-up truck swiftly, as there were only a few buses and private vehicles plying the EDSA route. It took me simply 20 minutes to reach Diamond Hotel from my place in Pasig – a drive that usually takes about an hour. Oh, were the streets so beautifully empty is my, and everyone else’s dream.

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 Atty. Pablo Ronquillo, president of Community Chest Foundation Inc. (ComChest) and Dr. Florita Miranda, president of Wesleyan College of Manila (WCM), recently signed a memorandum of agreement establishing their partnership in offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in Business Management and Education, and certificate courses in Social Development.  

 This partnership fulfills ComChest’s Institute of Social Development (ISD)’s goal of training and developing professional leaders in the field of social development,  and WCM’s mission of forming Christian character through unity of piety and learning in human formation.  

The partnership will enable both institutions to provide a continuing education program for workers in the profession; recognize outstanding leaders and professionals in the field, and enable them to expand their services and inspire more private initiatives for social development. 

The project is a consortium of  Cavite State University and Ramon Magsaysay Technological University. Classes will commence in June 2018 – just a month away – at the Wesleyan campus on 1706 Leveriza St. cor. Balagtas St., Pablo Ocampo Sr. Avenue, Pasay City. 

ComChest, which will oversee students’ on-the-job training and internship requirements, is a 68-year-old social development institution that financially supports 17 social service  agencies engaged in the care of  abandoned children, out-of-school youth, abused women, indigenous communities, the elderly and the handicapped. Its offices are located at 2/F Gil Puyat Bldg. 2, 815 Remedios St., Malate, Manila. 

The WCM will take charge of the academic component and program design in fulfillment of CHED requirements. It is the only Methodist institution of higher learning in Metro Manila and is headed by distinguished and active Methodist leaders  with  Bishop Emerito P. Nacpil  as  president  emeritus. It offers  a  basic education program, degree courses in Communication and Business Administration, Ladderized Associate in Computer Technology and short-term Computer courses.

The ComChest group of the ComChest/WCM team is composed of Atty. Pablo Ronquillo, president; Orlando Pena, first vice president; Dr. Betty Molina and Dr. Nona Ricafort, trustees.  Dr. Cindy Dollente Ang is  corporate secretary and executive director. The WCM group is composed of Bishop Emerito Nacpil, president emeritus; Dr. Betty Molina, board chair, Dr. Florita Miranda, president; and Rowena Martinez, finance officer.   

For inquiries, contact ComChest at tels. 5245389, 3539727; fax 5245389 and email Contact WCM at tels. (632) 3104132, 3104134, 3104135; telefax (632) 3104131; and Website

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FROM ANOTHER FRONT: The Council for the Welfare of Children, UNICEF and NGO partners have  joined Congress and local governments to commit to investing in a multi-sectoral strategy action plan to end violence against children in the Philippines. 

Sen.  Loren Legarda and Rep.  Karlo Nograles, Senate and House committee on finance chairs respectively, with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio representing local government executives, urged all levels of legislative and executive agencies to support child protection councils in addressing the high prevalence of physical, psychological, sexual violence and online abuse of Filipino children.

“We need to put a stop to these forms of violence and online sexual abuse,” said Senator Legarda in a message at the launch. In the national budget of 2018, she  ensured that the PNP’s Women and Children’s Protection Center would successfully pursue its commitment with an increased budget to purchase additional equipment and obtain training to increase their capacity in their work, and,  as chair of  the committee on finance in the Senate, she pledged  additional funding in the 2019 national budget. 

“Congress will support a PHP2.4million budget for the national implementation; as well as PHP2.8 million for the localization of the VAC. As chair of the committee on appropriations, I commit to advocate to our colleagues in Congress to allocate these resources for this very important national plan; and continue policy dialogues for strategic implementation,” said Rep. Karlo Nograles of the first district of Davao City.

“I congratulate the Council for the Welfare of Children and UNICEF. We will continue to support to protect the rights of children, and sustain the campaign for a more humane and protective environment. We will support programs for parents and caregivers inpositive parenting; that children have access to quality protective services and child protection systems at all levels are functioning,” said OIC-Secretary Emmanuel Leyco of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. 

CWC Executive Director Mitzi Uy urged  Congress to use the results of the  Plan of Action as basis to enhance policies and invest in programs for children. 

UNICEF  is concerned that ”violence committed against  children is committed by people they trust. Violence also has high economic cost to the country; the more strategically we prevent violence, government will be able to avert the expenses it will need in responding to VAC in the long-term. UNICEF will thus continue supporting the work laid out in the Plan of Action to address VAC in the Philippines,” UNICEF Philippines OIC-Representative Julia Rees said, citing the Philippines’ commitment to the UN sustainable development goals (SGD 16.2).

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also said in a message read by Councilor Abygale Maralza, chair of Davao City’s Council for Women’s Welfare: “As one of the leading LGUs in children’s welfare, we will commit to the implementation of the PPAEVAC in Davao. It is my hope that all cities will rise up in the work to continue protecting our children.” 

The launch was highlighted by a creative depiction conceptualized and produced by the ANAK Culiat Children’s Theatre Group on the various forms of violence suffered by children. The performance conveyed messages from children to all responsible adults with a strong call to action to stop and prevent all forms violence against children. 


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