The Senate Spouses Foundation, Inc. (SSFI), chaired by Lourdes “Bing” Pimentel, mother of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, in cooperation with the DU30 Cabinet Spouses (DCS) and the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI), recently launched “Puso Para sa Kaunlaran,” an organization to help the victims displaced by the war in Marawi get back on their feet.
Along with Pimentel, Emily Alvarez, wife of House Speaker Alvarez and chair of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc., and Betty Medialdea, wife of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and chair of the DU30 Spouses Foundation, lead the group.
This is the first time that three organizations representing the spouses of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Executive branch banded together to help in the government’s efforts in rehabilitating provinces devastated by war or natural calamities.
“By banding together and pooling our resources, we hope that we can help the mothers who were affected by the armed conflict in Marawi relearn skills and get back on their feet,” Pimentel said.
The plan to put up day care centers in Marawi was first suggested by members of the DCS. Pimentel said that the SSFI thought of setting up an additional room in the center to be used for livelihood trainings and seminars.
“While the children are studying, the mothers can learn skills in the other room. The aim is to make the center a place of learning for both mother and children,” Pimentel added.
Medialdea, meanwhile, emphasized the importance of preserving the culture and traditions of the people of Marawi in their efforts to rehabilitate the province.
Alvarez said the CSFI was more than willing to help craft projects and livelihood programs that could help enhance people’s skills.
“The Congressional Spouses have a project where we help the wives of inmates, and the inmates in the women’s correctional develop skills through different livelihood projects, such as making rosaries,” said Alvarez.
“If we see a product, we do our best to match it with its target market,” she added.
Pimentel said the spouses would concentrate on raising funds and resources to help in the construction of the learning centers and tapping other government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd) for the skills training programs.
“We all agree that we want to help in the redevelopment of Marawi. With our vast network of friends, and with the help of both the public and the private sector, we can do that by building permanent centers.” Pimentel said.
“We also want to take this opportunity to spread the power of prayer through the Pasa Lord Movement. We want the people to know that although our goal is to help Marawi through our day care and livelihood center project, we are also there to help them rebuild their faith through prayers,” she added.
The Pasa Lord Prayer Movement calls all Filipinos regardless of faith to unite in praying for the country. It also asks for protection from foreign invasion, lawless acts, terrorism and war. It also seeks peace, unity, prosperity and transformation for the nation.