JUST A THOUGHT: ‘A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.’ —Marcus Tullius Cicero
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NEW MOWELFUND BUILDING AND TOWNHOUSES: Big things, surprising things, are unfolding at MOWELFUND as it celebrates its 45th anniversary tomorrow. The celebration has for its theme, “MOWELFUND @ 45, Onward to Greater Change for the Movie Worker.”
Foremost among these is the construction of a new four-story building within the same Rosario Drive complex a year from 2019.
The new building is part of a newly forged agreement between MOWELFUND (Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, Inc.) and realty developer Victor Consunji Development Corporation (VCDC).
Groundbreaking for the new structure to replace the old, existing one is among the highlights of the celebration. Mayor Joseph Estrada, founder of MOWELFUND and who donated the 6,500 sqm property in Cubao, will grace the occasion.
MOWELFUND president Boots Anson-Rodrigo said their new home shall continue to house its film museum and film institute. A state-of-the-art 100-seater theater is also among the features of the new structure.
The groundbreaking shall also signal launch of a cluster of 42 tropical modern townhouses to rise on the prime property.
VCDC President Victor Consunji said the high-end homes, costing anywhere from 18 to 30 million pesos each, will be built following tropical modern design.
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FINANCIAL STABILITY: MOWELFUND’s move to partner with a realty developer is seen as a step towards achieving financial stability for the agency whose mission is to serve marginalized workers in the Philippine motion picture industry.
MOWELFUND is a non-stock, non-profit social welfare, educational and industry development foundation established in 1974 by then producer-actor Joseph Ejercito-Estrada.
MOWELFUND estimates its yearly operational cost at around 10 million pesos. The amount is poured into medical aid, surgical assistance, continuing medication, funeral assistance, housing program, and livelihood program, among others.
MOWELFUND has been extending social welfare services to its present membership of 4,113 both active, inactive and honorary.
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HELP FOR LITTLE PEOPLE: A good chunk of MOWELFUND beneficiaries are members who function in the industry either as stuntmen, bit players, technicians, checkers, make-up artists, cameramen, props men, utility personnel, etc.
A separate charity fund, says Boots, is set aside for non–members.
Boots announced that with fresh funds flowing in, MOWELFUND can increase the amount extended to members. A new housing project to rise on a 5,000 sq. m. lot is also being considered in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
Already in place is a housing project in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan where 19 loft units are currently being occupied by members.
The agency is also offering more livelihood opportunities to members, says board member Rez Cortez. These consist of short courses on hairdressing, cutting, baking, etc.
Launched will be a new course on water bonsai plant making, an advocacy of Edwin dela Torre.
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GONE DIGITAL: MOWELFUND, says Boots, has also gone digital. It now has a dynamic online platform (www.mowelfund.com)that will promote greater awareness for its social welfare and educational programs. MOWELFUND is also undertaking a better database automation system that has enabled them to open up an additional 100 slots for new members this year.
Members pay only 500 pesos a year.
Also in the offing are greater prospects in film education through increased workshops on specialization and intensive filmmaking, collaborations with academic institutions with film schools, and the organization of the MOWELFUND Film Institute alumni association of acclaimed indie filmmakers.
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THANKING BENEFACTORS: MOWELFUND’s anniversary celebration kicks off with a thanksgiving mass to be officiated by its Welfare Director and Trustee Fr. Larry Faraon. Recognition will be given to major benefactors headed by Mayor Estrada.
Other benefactors include Lily Monteverde, Susan Roces-Poe, Antonio Tuviera, Ng Meng Tam, the late German Moreno, Jaime Baltazar (CMB Film Services), Ramon Ang, Andrew Tan, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Metro Manila Development Authority, Film Development Council of the Philippines, and Quezon City local government.