Roberto “Bert” J. Montinola

About Roberto “Bert” J. Montinola

Term: 1976-1977

Senior members will remember the term of Roberto “Bert” Montinola, a charter member who went on to become a district governor of District 382 in RY 1982-1983, as the year the Club ended its management of the MCC Post Office, turning it over to the Bureau of Posts after ten years of successful and profitable operation. Having kick-started the project and run it to great success, the Club felt it was time to mainline the project to the government entity under whose province it rightfully belongs.

The Club’s advocacy for the health of mothers and children found concrete form in the Targeted Maternal & Child Care Health Program under which children and expectant and lactating women from indigent sections of Makati were given access to free consultations with doctors and free medicine for common ailments. It also continued the operation of feeding centers and mothers’ classes under the Mothercraft Project.

In vocational service, the Club worked in tandem with the Rotary Club of Manila to donate the seed capital for a project to provide job opportunities to the un-employed and under-employed under “Operation Placement” and organized training programs for Makati residents who hoped to find gainful employment as waiters, cosmetologists, dressmakers, tailors, carpenters and craftsmen. It also expanded the hog-fattening project by providing funds for projects in Daet, Camarines Sur and the towns of Taal and Lemery in Batangas

Wary of the increasing incidence of drug use among the youth, the Club mobilized the Rotaract Club of Makati, the membership of which was composed entirely of former drug dependents who had kicked the habit—for good. The Rotaractors were conscripted into a Speakers’ Bureau and sent off to schools and various organizations to share their stories on the evils of drug abuse, the prohibitive cost of rehabilitation, and the toll that addiction takes on relationships and self worth.

The MRDC which by then was beginning to evolve into a special school, was given a much-needed financial shot in the arm with a cash donation from the Rotary Club of Tasmania in Australia that helped keep the school afloat that year. The Club in turn began a cultural exchange project that had MRDC sending to a Rotary Club in India a set of dolls depicting the evolution of Philippine national and regional costumes.

Under Pres. Bert’s watch, the Club donated 5,000 books to various schools and libraries in Cebu and Surigao del Sur. The Club also hosted to two inbound Rotary Exchange (Rotex) students from Australia and Canada, and supported three Filipino Rotex students bound for New York and Colorado in the United States.