By Leslie Ann Aquino
Despite the inclement weather, thousands of Iglesia ni Cristo members and their guests still turned up at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila where the group’s Lingap Laban sa Kahirapan (Aid to Fight Poverty) event was held on Sunday.
The charity event, which started at 7 a.m., was held in celebration of the 104th Anniversary of INC on July 27, and its 50th year in the West.
During the event, free medical and dental services were given as well as random blood sugar testing, blood typing, urinalysis, X-ray, 2D echo, ultrasound, and electrocardiogram.
A mini hospital equipped with operating room was also set up for minor surgical procedures such as cyst removal and circumcision.
Specialized services such as internal medicine for adults, pediatrics and OB-gynecology were also made available for free.
Free medicines for hypertension, diabetes were also given out as well as reading glasses, wheelchairs, and quad canes.
Goodwill bags were also distributed during the event.
The event was highlighted by a Bible exposition.
In an interview, Bro. Erwin Briones of INC’s Public Information Office said Sunday’s event was actually the first time that they held their Lingap and Pamamahayag in one single venue.
“Previously we had the “Kabayan ko Kapatid Ko” in Quiapo and surrounding areas in 2014 and we had our evangelical mission 2012,” he said.
Briones also stressed that the event is open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation.
“We don’t have a clear estimate as to who will be the recipients of medical and dental missions because these are for free. Anyone who needs medical and dental help could come here,” he said.
Briones said they were anticipating about 150,000 to 200,000 visitors to the anti-poverty event.
“We don’t have an estimate on the INC members that would be convening here, but then we have to assume that over a million like the last time…for visitors, around 150,000 because that’s the number of seats we prepared,” said Briones.
According to INC, Sunday’s “Lingap Laban sa Kahirapan” comes following the recent Aid for Humanity missions carried out in June in Africa and the “Worldwide Walk to Fight Poverty” held last May in more than 300 sites.
The INC has been organizing socio-civic activities primarily through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation here and abroad.