Philippine charity appeals for help
By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer
Gina Lopez, a head of the largest private children's charity for the Philippines, was in Hawai'i yesterday to ask members of the Filipino community to share a little of their success with the children of their ancestral homeland.
"There is a sizable community here," Lopez said yesterday, just before making a presentation to a gathering of about 25 people at the Philippine Consulate in Honolulu. "Many of them send money home to their families, but I'm hoping they will widen their sphere of influence a little, and help give their own children more pride in their roots."
Lopez is director of the ABS-CBN Foundation, a philanthropic offshoot of ABS-CBN Broadcasting, the largest media organization in the Philippines. Her brother heads up the broadcast arm. In Hawai'i, the company broadcasts The Filipino Channel, which offers news and entertainment and airs appeals for the foundation's charities.
"I have a strong network behind me," she said. "My rent is free, my broadcast time and use of the studio are free, and so I can spend less than 16 percent of what is donated on administrative costs. The rest of whatever people give goes directly to benefit the children."
ABS-CBN Foundation projects include:
- Bantay Bata, which includes a 24-hour hotline in metro Manila and immediate rescue to children endangered by abuse, abandonment, or other types of crisis. It operates shelters for children, including a Children's Village in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
- Making educational television available to schools nationwide. ABS-CBN Foundation works with the Philippine Department of Education to produce educational tapes on a number of academic subjects, including dramatizations of historical events. The foundation is working to provide televisions, VCRs, and a full library of tapes to each school in the Philippines.
- Bantay Kalikasan, an ABS-CBN Foundation environmental group, is working to reforest the La Mesa Watershed, a 2,700- hectare forest that was badly denuded by "slash and burn" farming practices. The forest filtered the water supply for Manila, and before so much of the forest was removed acted as a sink to clear carbon dioxide from the air. Manila is severely polluted and Lopez said children are poisoned to death daily by their environment. Bantay Kalikasan is working to replant and rehabilitate the area.
ABS-CBN Foundation can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. It has a Web site. The address is: ABS CBN Foundation Inc, 859 Cowan Road, Burlin-game, CA, 94010. The telephone number is (800) 527-2820.