By Chito Chavez
Religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) will stage its global anti-poverty initiative at the Quirino Grandstand on Sunday (July 15) after recently taking its Lingap sa Mamamayan outreach program to Africa.
Known as the Lingap sa Mamamayan, the activity is expected to draw at least 150,000 people.
At the INC Central Headquarters in Quezon City, INC General Auditor Glicerio B. Santos Jr. said the program is part of the church’s resolve to tap its resources in coming up with concrete efforts in alleviating poverty worldwide.
While the INC has conducted the Lingap sa Mamamayan in other parts of the globe, Santos said the leadership of the INC which was established in the Philippines in 1914––recognizes that “charity begins at home.”
“Poverty is indeed a worldwide problem, but we are aware that it has and continues to be a serious issue in our own country. So while we are spreading our reach and living up to our responsibilities as global citizens, we have not forgotten that we are, first and foremost, Filipinos,” Santos said.
The Lingap sa Mamamayan program has been one of the INC’s most significant programs under the leadership of Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo, who has been at the helm of the church since 2009.
For the Lingap activity on July 15, INC has readied ultra-modern laboratory and radiology equipment ready to perform complete blood count, blood sugar determination, blood typing, pregnancy test and urinalysis as well as ultrasound, 2D echo, at 12 liter ECG. All these services are to be given for free.
“We will also offer free consultations in internal medicine, dermatology, pediatrics, ob-gyn, and surgery. Two mini-hospitals with two minor operating rooms will be set up at the venue. Canes, wheelchairs and reading glasses would be given at no cost to Lingap attendees on top of maintenance medicines for hypertension, diabetes, and cholesterol, antibiotics, medicines for children and multivitamins for people of all ages,” Santos added.
Lingap sa Mamamayan activities have been organized and staged in the United States, Canada, Northern and Southern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and key areas in the Middle East including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
The INC recently finished a Lingap sa Mamamayan swing in Africa, distributed food parcels in Kibera and Kawangware in Nairobi, Kenya last month. It also held a similar activity in Blantyre and Samama Village Mangochi in Malawi in the same period. Church officials revealed that an estimated 33,000 people received assistance.
Santos revealed that the success of the INC’s Worldwide Walk Against Poverty last May has allowed it to hold even more Lingap sa Mamamayan activities as a result of the funds the activity raised.
The Worldwide Walk drew over one million people in Manila and was conducted simultaneously in 358 sites across 44 different countries.
Santos said the landmark INC activity is credited for breaking three Guinness world records: the largest charity walk in a single venue, with 238,171 INC members taking part in the event along Roxas Boulevard in Manila; the longest human sentence, with 23,235 participants; and the largest picture mosaic, formed by 9,000 INC members.