The 5K ARDCI Initiatives
Going beyond Microfinance.
Kalusugan. Karunungan. Kalinisan. Kalikasan. Komunidad.
These words represent the 5K Initiative of ARDCI for health services, educational assistance, sanitation and community development efforts, environmental protection, and other special community programs such as disaster relief operations and gift-giving.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) cited in 2016 that 26.3 percent of Filipinos were found to be living below the poverty line. According to David & Lechanon (2015), you cannot reduce poverty without a strong public health care system. This is one of the main reasons why ARDCI initiated this particular program believing that it is only when we are healthy that we can make ourselves more valuable and productive in our daily living. So as the company uplifts the lives of the enterprising poor, they also give equal importance to their health knowing that the health is indeed everybody’s wealth. Since the people from the marginalized sector of the society have very limited access to health facilities and services primarily due to high cost of medical services in the island, and much more in the mainland, ARDCI’s “Katuwang sa Kalusugan” answers these health concerns. This is done through the company’s efforts of providing free health services to its members and their families through free medical consultations, dental services, consultations with an ENT specialists, and free medications.
Also included in their free medical services is the “Operation Libreng-Tuli” which is done every summer.
It has been a regular activity for ARDCI to conduct medical and dental missions to the areas where it operates. In 2015 and 2016, the program serviced almost 50,000 patients, both members and their immediate family.
According to figures from the Department of Education and the National Statistical Coordination Board in the Philippines, 1 in 6 Filipino kids does not attend school. Further, only 7 out of 10 kids will complete elementary school. Of those 7 kids, only 4 will complete high school, and of those 4, 1 will proceed on to university. The main reason for this is none other than poverty (Meron, n.d.).
These concerns led ARDCI to grant educational assistance to the children of its members. As of 2016, ARDCI has already produced 56 graduates who are now working with the company. ARDCI also has 52 scholars in Catanduanes and 33 in mainland. In addition, there are 5 graduates who are in the accountancy review class and 4 are currently taking up the course. The company believes that education is life; that every individual who is given proper education has more chances of achieving a promising future. They also further believes that education is one of the best instruments in alleviating poverty. As part of its “Katuwang sa Karunungan” campaign, the company holds its annual “Bag at Gamit sa School (B.A.G.S.) Program”W for elementary students. By this, the children will now be ready to go to school knowing that they have bags and other school supplies with them. This is already a motivation for the learners to get excited in going to school, and at the same time an ease of burden for the parents as this program relieves them from buying expensive, and out-of-the-budget school needs.
In 2015, Sarah Jones reported that lack of clean water and sanitation in the Philippines kills 55 people every day. This report was not just alarming, but also very threatening. The disposal and treatment of human waste is a serious issue in our country. Katrina Arianne Ebora of UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene program in the country said that over 30 million people in the Philippines do not have access to improved sanitation facilities (Jones, 2015).
While the government is aiming to achieve universal access to safe and adequate toilets by 2028 (Philippine Sustainable Sanitation Roadmap, DOH, 2010) and as they address the serious sanitation concerns being faced by our country, ARDCI is already doing its best in becoming a stable part of the solution. For more than years now, the company is already assisting its 100,000 plus members and their communities by providing sanitation facilities such as toilets and potable water system.
ARDCI has distributed a number of Sanitary Toilet and Water Pump facilities in the Five (5) Pioneer Branches in Catanduanes.
As our country constantly experiencing environmental concerns such as deforestation, soil erosion, abuse of coastal resources, and the highly recognized air and water pollution, ARDCI takes part in valuing the importance of environment as it recognizes the vital role it plays in maintaining sustainable livelihood. In an area where farming and fishing are the main sources of living, making sure that both of these are not affected or at least preserved is the company’s priority; as improper waste disposal creates a hazardous environment, thereby creating more and more problems to the society.
Garbage thrown in the rivers, canals, and esteros do not just block our waterways, but invite rodents that infect our water. An infected water consumed or contained by humans can cause diseases and worst, take away lives. Furthermore, clogged waterways causes flash floods that affect the community. Taking forward the call to protect mother Earth, ARDCI partnered up with the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) on its nationwide orchestrated clean-up activities. ARDCI adopted the Gogon River near its Head Office in Catanduanes for a quarterly clean-up
ARDCI has always been thoughtful on its commitment in helping people and building positive communities. The company is not only satisfied by extending their services to its members and communities, but more importantly by bringing in extra services to those people or areas who are also in special need. One particular program that is always done by the company is the Gift-Giving Program during Christmas season to the children in the community. It is the company’s way of spreading and sharing love in the Yuletide season.
Another activity is the Mass Wedding Program. ARDCI believes in the sanctity of marriage, and the importance of a relationship bound in marriage by the Church. Through this, those couples who are still unwed are given the chance to finally say their vows without thinking of the money and finances they are going to use in the wedding. This activity has already benefitted almost 100 members/couples. In addition to these activities, the company is also doing Relief Operations to communities affected by calamities. In 2015 and 2016, the country was devastated by strong typhoons which affected most of ARDCI’s areas of operations. The company shared their relief operations to its members and other people in the community by distributing 5 kilos of commercial rice per member.