Generous Catholics boost ‘Pondo’
MANILA, Philippines—It looks like Catholics have been extra generous this year.
The nine-year-old Pondo ng Pinoy, a poverty-alleviation program initiated by retired Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, has collected a total of P15.8 million for the fiscal year 2012 to 2013.
The collection was up by P1.3 million compared to the previous year, according to Fr. Edwin Mercado, the program’s national officer.
The biggest source of donations were from the parishes of Metro Manila, contributing P7.9 million followed by those in Malolos, accounting for P1.2 million in contribution. Churches from Antipolo were also able to pool P972,000 for Pondo ng Pinoy.
A significant increase in contributions was also noted from the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in Ilocos Sur and the small dioceses such as Alaminos, Ilagan, San Carlos and Boac, said Mercado in an interview with reporters.
But records would show that recent figures were still low compared to June 2010 when total collection of the program exceeded P200 million, which bankrolled 1,081 projects in health, education, micro-finance, microenterprise and housing.
Rosales established Pondo ng Pinoy in 2004, which proved how as little as a 25-centavo coin could go a long way in giving aid to people in need.
“We are happy with the collection … at first we thought the excitement about the project will slowly wear off but people still continue to give,” said Henrietta de Villa, a Pondo ng Pinoy director.
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