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  1. Join Date
    Aug 2006
    I actually expectes this before pa. As one friend put it, GK is becoming "too commercialized".

    Eh CFC is more on the conservative side, if you compare it to other religious organizations.

  2. Join Date
    Jun 2006
    I don't understand why they'd quarrel and actually break up over this. It's a non-issue.

  3. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    I support Boo Chanco's stand on this:

    Is Gawad Kalinga too good to last?
    Friday, August 31, 2007

    Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail that gave me information about the internal problems of Gawad Kalinga and Couples for Christ stalwarts. The e-mail detailed the split in the leadership and left open the question of how the Catholic Church hierarchy regards Gawad Kalinga in view of the split.

    I went against my instincts as a journalist and decided not to write about it when I received that email. This is the kind of bad news I wish would just go away. Also, I felt bad enough to be the first to write a column about the simmering problems of GK and CFC leaders last February. That column, the e-mail writer pointed out, caused Tony Meloto to resign his positions in the Church ministries. But even then, I only wrote about it at that time, out of a journalistic obligation to present a reader reaction to a column that lauded the Gawad Kalinga and Meloto.

    I guess the story of the leadership crisis is too good to ignore for long. Vic Agustin wrote two columns in the Standard over the past week on the subject and Ces Drilon had a report aired on it last Tuesday evening on ANC. Newsbreak had a story on it too in its website. What I find sad is the impression it leaves that we Pinoys can’t stand a successful venture. Soon enough, crab mentality sets in and the venture becomes too good to last.

    As I piece together the details of the sad and sordid mess, it appears that the crisis apparently started with some disagreements between Frank Padilla (the CFC founder) and Tony Meloto, dramatized by their resignation from the CFC Council early February of this year. Padilla is now leading a splinter group which he calls CFC FFFL (Foundation for Family and Life).

    As is typical with many Filipino groups, the problem eventually involves an election. Apparently, Padilla wanted to get back to the CFC council through its regular elections scheduled last June. When it was apparent that he couldn’t get back his position, he tried to have the election postponed. But the elections pushed through and a new council was elected with supporters of Meloto winning the contest.

    A number of bishops, supposedly at Padilla’s prodding, threatened to cut off CFC from their diocese, recognizing only the new FFFL. Meloto’s group was accused of turning non catholic. Among others, Meloto was criticized for taking in monetary support from corporations that advocated artificial family planning methods and for working with non Catholics, like the Mormons and the Muslims.

    There were also allegations of misuse of funds from both sides. Meloto was asked to account for donations received with the suggestion that not enough houses have been built. On the other hand, Padilla was asked to account for the P50 million in assistance provided by the Department of Health (DOH) to promote natural family planning methods. There are also questions on the handling of tithes given to CFC by its members.

    In his interview by Ces Drilon, Meloto said he had asked SGV to audit all funds donated to Gawad Kalinga. Meloto also said he was embarrassed to even have to answer that question in a public interview since trust is the essential element behind Gawad Kalinga’s success.

    If the Catholic Bishops eventually side with Padilla, what happens to Gawad Kalinga? While GK now has an internal capacity to raise funds and is organized to operate on its own, the split could affect the supply of dedicated volunteers from the CFC. CFC members constitute the backbone of GK volunteers and many of them are there because of the Church backing. So that even if the newly elected CFC officers support Meloto, it is not certain they will be able to keep their members once the Bishops withdraw support.

    But Gawad Kalinga is too good an idea to give up just because it became too successful. It is one of the rare instances when the Catholic Church is identified with a popular project that addresses poverty and the right of every human being to a life with dignity. GK gives the Catholic Church in the Philippines an unusual relevance in addressing a temporal need of its flock.

    I can’t help smirking when I read one of the accusations of Padilla that Meloto has strayed from the spiritual ministry of CFC and had become too temporal. GK under Meloto had been accused by Padilla of not strictly advocating the Church’s Pro-Life doctrine and is compromising with donors who advocate artificial contraception.

    Meloto denied the accusation in his interview with Ces Drilon. But even if he is guilty as charged, I can’t see what the problem is. For evangelization to be significant in the lives of our poor, it has to be more than spiritual. Would the Church rather have the poor reproduce like rats and live with vermin in the streets, without any human dignity so long as its so-called Pro-life doctrine is upheld? Shouldn’t there be a Church supported program here on earth to house in dignity all those people reproducing themselves to Armageddon? How can anything be pro-life if it ignores the quality of our people’s lives?

    Meloto’s GK addresses that problem with this very novel housing experiment that proved more than viable. I know too that one of the things GK insists on before they even break ground is the matter of spiritual and values formation among the beneficiaries. There is a “caretaker team” for each proposed village that introduces value-formation seminars at the early part of any project. After the houses are built, the team would continue to assist the beneficiaries in education (usually a school built on-site, like those Meralco Sibol schools), employment (livelihood projects), and health, among others.

    This makes Gawad Kalinga unique. Much depends on the dedication of the volunteers in the caretaker teams. GK does not build and leave. Follow through after the homes are turned over is very important and that is perhaps the primary reason for its success. Raising the money and building the houses are the easy parts of the GK experience.

    Gawad Kalinga has now built some 1,200 communities all over the country, or about 22,000 homes for impoverished families nationwide, including Muslim-dominated provinces in Mindanao. I remember Datu Toto Paglas telling me that when GK built houses in his province, many in his Muslim rebel constituency were so touched by the gesture of Christians building homes for poor Muslim families they became predisposed to think of the potentials of living in peace.

    The current program of GK aims to benefit 700,000 families by building 7,000 communities by the end of 2010. It is too good to be allowed to wither in the face of a decision by the Catholic Bishops to withdraw support. If the Catholic Church would no longer have it, civil society should adopt it and give it even more fire. A withdrawal of Church support may even be the best thing that could happen to GK because of the opportunity that will create for every segment of society to now call it its own.

    The Church’s loss, if it withdraws, is the nation’s gain. The League of Corporate Foundations, Philippine Business for Social Progress as well as non-business NGOs should adopt GK as its mass housing project. GK should become a non sectarian effort, the Filipino version of Habitat for Humanity. More important, we have to prove to ourselves that we are able to sustain a good idea and protect it from dying or falling victim to the usual crab mentality for which many leaders in Pinoy communities here and abroad are known for.

    We have to separate the personalities from the project. Tony Meloto may have won awards for leading GK but GK is not Tony Meloto. GK is the Filipino who is ready to share of himself to house a fellow Filipino and give him the opportunity to live in dignity that every human being deserves. If the Catholic bishops and the Padilla group cannot see this, we will have to show them.

    Here’s hoping that Gawad Kalinga will survive this leadership crisis, one way or another. It is too good an idea to lose, specially because there is still so much work to be done.

  4. Join Date
    May 2006
    Mas maganda siguro na maging non-sectarian na lang ang GK.

  5. Join Date
    Jun 2006
    I definitely agree with Boo Chanco also. Crab mentality lang ito.

    I don't know where the crab mentality gene in the Filipinos came from... too much mixing of bloods i guess.

  6. Join Date
    Mar 2004
    money and power....and INGGIT!!!!

  7. Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Actually, GK only wants to build communities. They aren't even longing for power. They just want to do God's work.

  8. Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Siguro, para may unity, dapat sundan ang El Shaddai model...

  9. Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pa CFC CFC pa kasi sila, mga nagmamalinis lng mga tao halos dun. Thank God I never wanted to take part on that eversince I was a kid.

    Dapat nila itawag sa kanila Corruption From Christ. Kala mo mga santo eh parepareho lang naman tayong mga tao dito.

  10. Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by flagg View Post
    Siguro, para may unity, dapat sundan ang El Shaddai model...
    Lahat ng damit ng members eh loud ang kulay?

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CFC Split over GK