By A CORRESPONDENT
A TIGHT group of Mambulaoans based in the US and Canada has partnered the Mambulao local government in its efforts to help the low-income group in the community.
The overseas natives have started a fund drive towards the “kariton” livelihood project launched recently by the local government.
The ad hoc group with 20 members based in California and Canada said it decided to raise money to boost the funding for the local government’s “Sulong Kabuhayan sa Kariton”.
The project has received an endorsement from Vice-Mayor Ariel “Aye” Non, who is overseeing the livelihood scheme through the local government’s business development unit.
It is one of Mayor Ricarte “Dong” Padilla administration’s strategies to provide livelihood to the less-privileged households in the community.
The overseas fund drive is being spearheaded by online newsletter Mambulaoans Worldwide Buzz (MWBuzz) through its Marketing Director Percy A Ostonal, MWBuzz Editor-in-Chief Alfredo P Hernandez and Canada-based Mary Fe Barcoma-Dearth.
Ostonal said that MWBuzz has engaged Mambulaoans based in California and Canada, who immediately gave positive response.
“We are looking for an opportunity to help… and this is it,” he said, quoting one donor.
Ostonal said Non’s endorsement (of the fundraising drive) “would draw support from more Mambulaoans in the Americas and at the same time ensure donors their money would benefit the intended target audience, which are the poor in Mambulao”.
The 20-strong group has intended to send to Mambulao an initial P40,000 to be raised from each member who agreed to chip in US$50 each.
The funds will be sent to a bank account maintained by the local government’s Treasurer’s Office.
Should the project show success, the America group would send more to spread the assistance to more households, Ostonal said.
It is understood that the amount of P40,000 could provide soft loans of P2,000 each to 20 deserving poor household-recipients in Mambulao to start an income-generating project.
Likewise, the overseas group has initiated a drive to engage other US and Canada-based Mambulaoans to help sustain the project’s funding.
Ostonal said the California-Canada group wanted to partner the local government in social projects that would help improve the plight of the marginalized families in Mambulao.
He thanked Padilla and Non for giving the group an opportunity to help their kababayans.
“They are just waiting to be tapped for help,” Ostonal said.
Hernandez said this is a “timely public relations gesture” on the part of the Padilla-Non administration to accept help from a small group of private donors.
The LGU’s livelihood project called “Sulong Kabuhayan sa Kariton” provides a cheap loan capital of P2,000 to qualified indigent households in Mambulao.
The capital loan would be used to buy ingredients and materials needed to produce their goods, mostly cooked stuff.
The recipient will also get a push cart (kariton) with which to sell their goods or wares.
Each “kariton” cost at least P9,500 to build.
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