By Leslie Ann Aquino
On the 15th year anniversary of Pondo ng Pinoy, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle expressed hope that the Catholic Church’s fundraising program will become global.
“We tried to bring the PnP abroad before so overseas Filipino workers could help not only Filipinos back home, but also those in other countries who fell victim to human trafficking,” the cardinal said in a press briefing in Manila, Monday.
“I hope there will also come a point that it would be able to help other nationalities not just Filipinos,” added Tagle, who is the PnP chairman.
His Eminence cited the refugees in Lebanon as an example.
“We see the situation of those in Venezuela…those who flee their country because of hunger, the refugees in Lebanon…Hopefully, PnP will be our contribution to people in need of help and care,” Tagle said.
To note, the cardinal is also the President of Caritas Internationalis.
When asked how do they plan to make the PnP global, the country’s former ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa said they would be needing the help of the different chaplaincies for this endeavor.
“We can coordinate with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People. Based on my experience in Rome, we have chaplaincies. So, it’s always through the church as the steward,” said the chairperson of the PnP Community Foundation Inc. Promotions Sub-Committee.
Here in the country, De Villa happily revealed that 30 dioceses are already participating in PnP. Aside from the Archdiocese of Manila, these dioceses are Antipolo, Malolos, San Pablo, Daet, Lucena, Ilagan to mention a few.
“PnP continues to gather millions from the 25 centavo coin savings, to fund raising for informal settlers in Malibay in Bulacan…to provide water and electrification to some communities, livelihood projects to farmers, fisherfolks, and so many others,” she said.
“But for me what matters most, especially in these trying times when the culture of indifference is so pervasive is that PnP has bolstered hope and faith in pag ibig ng Panginoon (love of God) when lived can transform lives,” added De Villa.
Initiated by then Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales in 2004, PnP aims to encourage every person, “no matter how poor, no matter how humble, the freedom to give, to help and live fully.”
This is because Pondo ng Pinoy aims to cultivate the culture of giving and helping another, through saving as little as 25 centavos a day as an act of love for the poor and as symbol of one’s good works.
The money, Cardinal Rosales said, would be meaningless without the love that is generated from saving it. Cardinal Rosales summed up the Pondo ng Pinoy principle in this motto, “Anumang magaling kahit maliit basta’t malimit ay patungong langit.” That is, small ordinary acts can accomplish great things if done or given by many, frequently and consistently pooled together for a common vision.
From 2004 to 2019, crumbs collection has amounted to around P400 million that are translated into projects and aids for the empowerment of communities. The crumbs distribution has helped around 250,000 individuals and communities through projects on health and nutrition, livelihood, education, housing, and occasionally, emergency relief.