Renato M. Limjoco or “Rene” is a BankingMultilateral Assistance- International Consultant who was sponsored by PDG J. Antonio M. Quila and joined in RY 2002.
He recalls that his expectations of Service and Fellowship were met — in so many ways through donations and contributions, involvement in club projects and programs, and social activities.
For Rene, the Club provides a sense of belonging. Standing tall among its peers, it is united in the face of adversity, and most willing to help as and when needed.
Before he became Club President, he chaired Vocational Service B that included Stepping Stone, Teaching the Deaf to Speak, HeatherKinross, and Microfinance. He also chaired Club Administration that included Programs, Club Bulletin, Attendance and Fellowships. He served as Vice-President for RY 2010-2011 before he became President for RY2011-2012.
Assuming the presidency during a difficult period for the Club, Rene Limjoco instituted changes to improve controls. He added a Controller as part of Management. He also passed policies to institute better controls on expenditures and clearer guidelines on disbursements and liquidations, as well as to review accounting policies and procedures. He undertook a postevaluation of all existing projects for future guidance on project selection and screening, then constituted an Ethics committee to look into ethical issues that may become problematic. He also modified the Club Bulletin.
In preparation for the alarming consequences of global warming and climate change, the Club conducted two disaster preparedness seminar-workshops in Pasay and Makati and designed a disaster preparedness template that can be used as a model, and indeed was adopted, by other communities. Prepared by PP Pepito Bengzon, the plan was conferred a Significant Achievement Award by District 3830 at yearend.
With some P600,000 raised for disaster relief operations, Pres. Rene organized assistance activities for communities badly affected by typhoons and floods. Notable among these was a trip through flooded roads north of the metropolis to personally deliver relief goods, cash, and sleeping mats to some 800 families in Hagonoy in Bulacan, Macabebe in Pampanga, and La Paz in Tarlac in the aftermath of Typhoon Pedring that inundated Central Luzon in September 2011.
The Club secured two matching grants from The Rotary Foundation totaling US$120,931: $20,931 to fund 15 supplemental feeding modules for 450 malnourished children, and $100,000 for a special course in Baking and Laundry for adult students of Stepping Stone. It also raised $93,000 in new TRF contributions, including $50,000 for the Annual Program Fund.
Health took centerstage with 13 in-hospital missions that saw 388 patients undergoing surgery for various ailments at the Philippine General Hospital under the Medical Missions Project. The Supplemental Feeding Committee provided daily meals and milk to 360 pre-school children in four sites and gave away bikes and books to six communities and computers to two schools. It also applied for and received a matching grant of $20,931 for 15 supplemental feeding modules, while the Anti-TB team conducted medical treatment modules for 60 children with primary complex in Quezon City and Bacolod City.
In the area of Education, the Club awarded half-scholarships worth P288,000 to six students of the Philippine Institute for the Deaf, while one student received a full scholarship from the Rotary Club of Toronto. It also received a matching grant of $100,000 to fund a baking and laundry training facility for the Stepping Stone Learning Center, which took measures towards making the school a center of excellence in special education by fielding a Peace Corps Response Volunteer with extensive experience for a six-month tour of duty in the school. Would-be waiters and welders also underwent vocational training under the umbrella of the Heather Kinross Center.
To help high school seniors arrive at informed decisions on a post-graduation career path, the Club conducted career guidance seminars for the graduating classes of three schools: Mary Immaculate Parish Special School in Las Piñas, Don Teodoro Santos Institute in Mabalacat, Pampanga and its adopted school, Hen. Pio Del Pilar National High School in Makati.
The Bantay Bata Committee, in partnership with the Makati Social Welfare Department (MSWD), conducted 10 seminars, workshops and other activities for barangay workers, parents and child leaders on various aspects of child protection and care, including laws on children’s rights, and a weekend outing for the wards under the care of MSWD.
Under the Vision for Education Project, students in three public schools in Parañaque were given eye tests by optometrists to check their visual acuity. Some 820 of them were given free prescription glasses that led to improved academic performance.
The Club also distributed 330,000 books to some 830 schools, on requests from various organizations, including 86 Rotary Clubs, and signed a memorandum of agreement with District 3830 and District 3780 to make available 100,000 books to their member clubs.
A net revenue of P1 million from the Christmas Bazaar — raised from sponsorships, ticket sales, the White Elephants table, and donations from the vendors — shored up the Club’s finances and enabled the Anns to carry on with the Last Angel Gift-Giving Project, delivering presents to over 400 children in select communities, institutions and schools.
Assuming the MRCFI Chairmanship in RY2012-2013, Rene reviewed and strengthened the investment portfolio by redefining investment policies and targets, and reconstituted investment managers according to performance. He also pursued pending court cases, revived the directors’ liability insurance for the Board, and reinstalled the antiTB signing marker in the MRCFI Building.
PP Rene Limjoco observes: “As the Club has increased in size through the years, the closeness among members is no longer as strong as it used to be. Bonding among members through increased club participation and involvement and fellowship should be strengthened. Projects should be reviewed and evaluated and only those suitable for support by a Rotary Club and can be sustained should be pursued, especially those where the Club can make a clear difference and contribution given current funding levels. It may be time to brainstorm the future directions of the Club in the next 50 years.
“It would be ideal as a structure if both RCM and MRCFI were to become one, with RCM as the surviving entity and MRCFI as the investment and funding arm. However, due to tax, liability from suit and other considerations, the present structure should stand. Funding considerations and Club needs nonetheless require careful balancing. Funding limits as well as criteria and bases for funding must be clear-cut as well as qualified as Club expenditures.”