Regional District B3 COVID-19 CSR projects

May 14, 2020 | By: Arch. Justo I. Santos, Jr.

The pandemic COVID 19 has brought hardships unimaginable to a lot of us. But it has also drawn even bigger positive reactions. Faced with the challenges of such magnitude, United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), led by its National President Arch. Benjamin Panganiban Jr., rose to the occasion. It initiated various programs that encourage the deep involvement of each member. Foremost of which is the Bayanihan ArkiteKtura.

That call came ringing as well to its overseas members and chapters. In a display of deep humanitarian effort, UAP Kuala Lumpur activated its Chapter CSR program - Kalinga 2020. This is a joint Filipino Community donation drive consisting of UAPKL led Arch. Mildred Lam, Pinoy Shuttlemasters (PSM) led by Mr. Lawrence Ganda, Happy Golfers Kuala Lumpur (HGKL) headed by Malaysian Mr. Lawrence Vung and thru the guidance of UAP District B3 District Director Arch. Juz Santos, Jr.

Malaysia imposed a Movement Control Order (MCO) that started last March 18, 2020. Everyone thought that this will be over in no time. It was further extended twice and as per the latest extension, until June 9, 2020. Migrant workers are especially vulnerable in this period. Living in a culture and environment unfamiliar to them in search of better opportunities, they endure the challenges, exhibit resilience and resourcefulness in order to survive. It stretches their savings as most of their salaries are sent back to the Philippines for their families.

The Social Amelioration Program of the government does not qualify a family with an OFW member. AKAP Program by DOLE is limited to 150,00 worldwide members and qualifies only those regular and documented OFWs, certain undocumented OFWs, and Balik-Manggagawa or OFWs who could not return to their host country because of the Philippines' on-going lockdown. Even getting such aid requires strenuous documentation and verification process notwithstanding the limitations to produce them given the situation. Confusions in the guideline made it worst. The processing for such aid took so long. POLO KL was inundated with around 6000 applicants that include those who are not qualified. Obviously, the authorities are also caught off guard and struggled to cope up.

Recognizing the delay in the receipt and the needs of those who were not able to receive any aids from the government, the group quickly organized a drive using the social media platform. Tapping the rest of the Filipino community, local friends and friends in the construction industry, it was able to raise from 43 donors Malaysian Ringgit 10055 (P120,000) that was able to cover 176 recipients consisting of 9 nationalities.

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