The spouses of the members of the House of Representatives have eclipsed the donation of the lawmakers to the earthquake victims of Bohol and Cebu with a P20,000 contribution per member or at least P2 million pesos in total.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, the President of the Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI) representing her father Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. of Quezon City, made the disclosure during the launch of the CSFI’s Kabuhayan 2013 National Livelihood Trade Fair which seeks to be of aid to small and medium enterprises across the country.
The P20,000 amount from the CSFI members, which has at least 100 active members per Vice Mayor Belmonte, is actually higher than the P10,000 mandatory contribution from the 292-strong House of Representatives.
“In times of disasters, we ask our members what we can do for them. We were told that they need in kind [donations]such as blankets, goods for those in the evacuation center. What we will do is to give cash, P20,000 per member, because Visayas is far. But if it [calamity area]is within Luzon , we can send goods,” Vice Mayor Belmonte said in an interview.
The CSFI has a calamity fund which generates money thru fund raising activities and solicitations from the public sector and private entities.
“We can give more [from our calamity fund], upon approval of the CSFI board,” Vice Mayor Belmonte added.
On top of the P20,000 donation per CSFI member, the CSFI was also able to secure a P2 million donation for the earthquake victims from the Quezon City government led by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.
The CSFI is a nongovernment organization composed of the spouses of the lawmakers. The House members who do not have spouses, just like Belmonte who is a widower, are represented by their immediate family like mothers, fathers or children.
LLANESCA T. PANTI