Jun Rojas — that’s with a “j,” he would remind, lest his surname be misspelled with the expected “x” — should be remembered with a deep sense of gratitude by over 1,000 small entrepreneurs in Pasay City. The reason: it was during his term as Club president that these small business people benefited from a microcredit program that allowed them to avail themselves of small loans for small businesses such as sari-sari stores, operation of two-unit internet cafés, and sale of phone cards and “loads” for mobile phones. This was in partnership with the Tulay sa Pag-unlad, Inc. (TSPI), a non-government organization committed to uplifting the socioeconomic status of families through small and micro-enterprise development.
The Club’s concern for the well-being of communities and for helping meet their needs prompted the construction of a water project in a new community in Sitio Gabihan, Tanay, Rizal. The sitio was the relocation site for some 200 families displaced by Typhoon Ondoy, which inundated Metro Manila and surrounding areas in 2009.
In advancement of its educational agenda, the Club completed Phase 2 of the Concentrated Language Encounter under which 14,690 first- and second-grade pupils in 27 public schools in Makati were given lessons meant to develop or sharpen their skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
The Club also helped the Stepping Stone Learning Center by raising P1.6 million for a scholarship fund to enable needy students to stay in school, then applied for a matching grant of $50,000 from The Rotary Foundation for further assistance.
Support was also provided financially challenged families by way of half scholarships for eight students of the Philippine Institute for the Deaf, a school for hearingimpaired children. And over 750 schools all over the country became the recipients of nearly 450,000 books from the Books Across the Seas Project, then on its 22nd-year run.
Some 700 pupils with poor eyesight in four public elementary schools in Parañaque received free eyeglasses under the Vision for Education Project initiated by Francis Macatulad the previous year. The eyeglasses were donated by optical shops as sponsors.
The area of health also received attention through six surgical missions at the PGH with 80 patients operated on for various ailments under the Medical Missions Project, 234 children with primary complex in 13 communities treated under the Anti-TB Project, and 11 eleven modules of the feeding program providing daily meals to 330 undernourished children in ten communities.
International Service was served with the renewal of matched club agreements with eight sister clubs and 13 brother clubs, and the Club’s standing in terms of giving to the TRF program fund was boosted with a $100,000 gift by then district governor nominee-designate Robert Kuan, raising him to level 4 major donor status.
The Club fattened its coffers by P1.55 million in net revenue from the 22nd Christmas Bazaar chaired by Ann Pina Rojas, who also led the Rotary Anns in delivering Christmas presents to over 1,000 children under the Last Angel gift-giving project. The newsletter, Kaunlaran, was reformatted to tabloid size, partly funded by revenue from adverts and sponsorships. And four names were added to the membership roster.
Pres. Jun succeeded in reorganizing MRCFI, the Club’s funding partner, to draw a clearer picture of and strengthen the lines of synergy between the Club and the Foundation. He also secured donee institution accreditation for the Club from the Philippine Council for NGO Certification.