MIF reaches out to parishes in Negros Occidental
By Mila Glodava
Three parishes in Hinobaan in the Diocese of Kabankalan in Negros Occidental received an unexpected gift of 75,000 pesos each for a total of 225,000 pesos from a Metro Infanta Foundation donor who wants to remain anonymous.
"I have been blessed during my short stay in Hinobaan, and so I want to give back in thanksgiving for those blessings," he said. "I am glad that my donation can help the parishioners of Hinobaan through this rice crisis."
And what a timely gift it was! During a seminar on stewardship in the Diocese of Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, parishioners from various parishes recounted the hard life now being felt in the Philippines. The saddest issue right now, apart from the usual issues of poverty in the Philippines, is the extremely high cost of rice. With dwindling rice outputs due to farmlands being developed for residential, commercial and industrial needs, the government has resorted to importing rice at high costs. In fact the Philippines is becoming one of the world's largest importer of rice.
According to some reports rice can go as high as 45 pesos a kilo. It's now an ordinary sight to see lines of people qualified to buy rice at the National Food Authority distribution sites. In the rural area people walk miles to take advantage of the state-subsidized rice at half the cost. This is indeed a hardship for many families in the rural areas.
As a result the Diocese of Kabankalan organized an effort for all its parishes to apply to the NFA for the right to become a rice distributor. Not all parishes, however, can afford the 100,000 pesos capital it needs to make this possible. Among those that could not do so were the three parishes in the Hinobaan area.
L-R: Seated Fr. Ariel Gregorio (Our Lady of Sorrows), Mila Glodava, Fr. Pedro Dongor Our Lady of Candles); Standing: Mayee Abear Marzan (SPI), Fr. Rolex Nueva (Archdiocesan Social Action Director) and Fr. Jose Gerson Te-ad (St. Michael the Archangel).
Enter Metro Infanta Foundation, thanks to its anonymous donor. The three parishes in Hinobaan were not only grateful for this blessing, but they also promised to secure their own 25,000 pesos counterpart to make the 100,000 pesos needed capital. "Father Pedro could not believe this unexpected blessing," said Bishop Buzon, as we said goodbye to him on our way back to the airport. "Please thank your donor for his gift," added the bishop who gave a wide grin when informed that the Hinobaaan donor also has concurred that Metro Infanta Foundation should also allocate some funds to help implement stewardship in his diocese.
L-r: Mila Glodava, Bishop Patrick Buzon, SDB, Mayee Abear Marzan, Joey Clemente, and Fr. Rolex Nueva.
This is not the first time Metro Infanta Foundation has extended a helping hand outside of its service area. Some may recall our outreach to the victims of the mudslides in Leyte and to parishes in other parts of the Philippines. Although our efforts will always remain in the Metro Infanta area, we will also not hesitate to reach out to others when the opportunity arises. As with other projects, Mayee Abear Marzan, shown above with executive director Joey Clemente of Socio Pastoral Institute, will monitor this Kabankalan project for Metro Infanta Foundation, while Father Rolex Nueva, social action director, will monitor the project for the Diocese of Kabankalan.