Sen. Cynthia Villar refuses to let the COVID-19 pandemic stop her family’s yearly tradition of recognizing selfless Filipinos who tap both heart and mind in helping uplift their countrymen from poverty.
Villar announced that the Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (SIPAG, also the Filipino word for industriousness) Awards on Poverty Reduction would push through this year on Dec. 18.
“This year’s search for poverty reduction champions is more meaningful given the challenges that we are all facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vilar, director of Villar SIPAG Foundation, said.
The annual search, now in its eighth year this year, aims to recognize the top local organizations who have been working on the grassroots level to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of Filipinos.
“It is important to recognize these individuals and organizations who continue to give back to the community and work hard so that no one is left behind,” Villar said.
Villar SIPAG will award 20 outstanding community enterprises who have been contributing to the growth and prosperity of their communities.
Winners will be given P250,000 each to help advance their objectives and further develop their organization.
“These cooperatives allow individuals to pool together their resources and expertise to solve problems, identify common goals and address challenges to achieve lasting growth,” Villar said.
The foundation is also scheduled to honor 10 outstanding social enterprises organized by Filipino youth groups around the country in March, 2021. Winners in this category will each receive P150,000 to further help their projects and initiatives in alleviating poverty in their respective communities.
Last year’s Villar SIPAG Awards was held on Dec. 13 at The Tent in Vista Global South, coinciding with the 70th birth anniversary of former Senate President Manuel B. Villar Jr.
Aside from the Villar couple, also gracing the event were Vista Land Chief Executive Officer Paolo Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar.
The Tent has a capacity of 5,000.