The Rizal Provincial Cooperative Development Council (RPCDC) continued its quest as one of the unwavering pillars of cooperatives in the province of Rizal. And to ever further its services, it moved to promote cooperativism even in times of trials to all communities in the Province. The dawn after Typhoon Ulysses hit the country, footages of families who have lost their homes and were hungered through the night of the storm wrenched many Filipinos. From north to south, families cried for help, while some remained under the radar while going through the devastation of belongings and losing valuables.
The cooperatives are not immune to the feeling of loss, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has taught us after all of how we could lose everything in an instant without so much of a warning. But the RPCDC realized that no matter how hard it may be, cooperativism must stand tall and proud, no matter how difficult the situation may be, we can work together and our strength in number can create impacts on the lives of those around us. Thus, learning that there are many victims of typhoons in the province, it crafted a special program that can unite all cooperatives in Rizal to help those in need.
Only days after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, the Council had a special meeting wherein its Adopt a Family Program was created. The program aimed to provide basic shelter materials (4 plywoods, 4 galvanized sheets/yero, 4 timber, and nails), Christmas packages, and psychological aid to affected families. It was agreed that there would be two selected areas to be benefitted, the municipalities of Montalban with many totally submerged and damaged homes reported and Tanay wherein Indigenous Peoples and other Unreached Peoples Groups reside. It was a tough decision as the Council knew of its limited resources. However, even with very little, it knew that something had to be done. After the very first meeting, a resolution was crafted, encouraging cooperatives to take part and give donations for the program; the Council also promoted to other possible sponsors outside the Cooperative Movement. In three weeks, the Council was able to gather a total of PhP380,000.00 from the cooperatives of Rizal and other private sponsors.
With the shelter and food packages costing P5,000.00 each, the Council would be able to provide for 76 families who lost their homes, families that could start anew with the very basic materials provided.
On December 11, 2020, a program was set at the Most Holy Rosary MPC’s restaurant, which also acted as the facilitator in Montalban area of the Adopt a Family Program, together with its MCDC. The members of the RPCDC were present, headed by Chairperson Claro Ugay and facilitated and also sponsored by the Most Holy Rosary MPC. The giving of vouchers for shelter materials and psychological debriefing by the Gintong Aral Pangkabuhayan Multi-Purpose Cooperative and additional gift packages from the Most Holy Rosary MPC to 35 families and signing of the pledge of commitment were conducted.
On December 12, 2020, the gift-giving in Tanay was undertaken, through the facilitation of the Tanay MCDC and sponsorship of Morong Retailers and Community MPC and a private sponsor engaged by the RPCDC’s Vice-Chairperson Mr. Adonis Calimlim. Just like the program in Montalban, it was attended by the RPCDC members, this time joined by the field CDSs in Rizal, Ms. Jerah Valdez and Ms. Princess Anne Castro. Vouchers for the shelter materials, Christmas packages and a raffle of 20 health food packs were given to 41 families while the psychological debriefing was again conducted by the Gintong Aral Pangkabuhayan Consumers Cooperative. Ms. Valdez also grabbed the opportunity to provide a brief orientation about the concepts and principles of cooperative to the beneficiaries.
The Adopt a Family Program was able to provide for 76 families in Rizal Province, it was not much in number but the RPCDC hopes for greater impact. New homes with proper roofs and walls, and families not having to stay with neighbors, relatives, or evacuation centers in time of the pandemic. There is so much to be done though, and the Council, together with the rest of the cooperatives in Rizal are not backing down to the challenge of doing more. The Council is on it for blood and soul. The love of service to others always prevail. The Council will not sit on the glaring needs around, but it will stand to work and extend help to others.
Thank you to all the sponsors of Adopt a Family Program of Rizal PCDC! (By: Ms. Jeramel B. Valdez)