BLESSED Association of Retired Persons Foundation, Inc. (Barp) will celebrate its twentieth year of existence on July 27, 2019. Strictly, it should be July 24 but the Board of Trustees moved the date to join the celebration with the monthly meeting of the General Assembly that is held every last Saturday of the month.
Barp stands for Blessed Association of Retired Persons Foundation, Incorporated. The acronym was retained for brevity from the originally thought of “Benguet Association of Retired Persons” when the association very soon registered as a foundation with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 24, 1999.
The name Barp is now a household word not only in Baguio-Benguet and nearby provinces but in other areas where the foundation has made bold imprints of its service activities.
From a mere 17 founding members in 1999, the organization reached the vicinity of “Fifteen Thousand (15,000)” by 2008. This was a clear indication that Barp was gaining importance and recognition among communities where its members spread the core values derived from their membership.
Membership in Barp is non-sectarian and non-partisan. It includes, but is not confined to, educators, farmers, businessmen, miners, laborers, social workers, nurses, physicians, engineers, lawyers, bankers, management specialists, librarians, administrators, media men, artists, soldiers, and policemen. This pool of very experienced and skilled human resources ever ready to be tapped for productive undertaking explains the trust and confidence that both management and clientele put more and more in Barp. The Foundation’s motto “To serve as we had served” is a mode of life for the members.
The continuing programs and projects of Barp, plus its ever-ready involvement, if not leadership, in community affairs and activities have made it an organization that became known for its vitality, confidence, and hope. Barp uniform added colors to parades down Session Road, same colors plus meaningful lyrics and melodies sounded to edify and entertain participants in sports and programs at the various nooks of famed Burnham Park and the Baguio Convention Center. It was even at the forefront in disaster-stricken areas during natural calamities so that it was entrusted at one time with an ambulance vehicle.
And remember the sad Little Kibungan incident at La Trinidad, Benguet where residents were buried with their habitation structures by landslides? Barp was there to give solace through unexpected but truly timely financial aid without much ado. As to the welfare of the upcoming generation, one or the other of its scholars even graduated with honors in college.
However, as it has happened, the very factors that lifted Barp to almost phenomenal heights proved that the organization is still a human creation founded on great ideals and potential but still tinted with human imperfection and weakness. Iron may be strong but the possibility of rusting and the possibility of further being eaten away by rust is always inherently there.
If an NGO, like Barp, is a potent “third force” to afford service to mankind, the otherwise positive qualities that spelled success for it must be employed with safeguards on time. Destruction is not always brought about by forces from without but from within, namely, the misconduct of people within the organization.
To explain more of this, misconduct may be active or passive: active, if people do what they are not supposed to do, passive, if people do not do what they are supposed to do. It is, therefore, necessary to inform the officers and rank and file members of the organization of what to do and what not to do to insure the continued existence and growth of same organization. Pre-membership seminars and refresher education are a must, foremost for those entrusted with power and responsibilities.
There is no denying now that Barp is experiencing trying and difficult time, a financial problem at that. But, definitely, let us say this right away, “It is not at all one of general financial bankruptcy.” This is so because by set-up, money is in the hands of its members and, when collected, is right away distributed to the documented beneficiaries as aid “alos” duly computed from the overall collection. The Golden Years Newsletter of Barp can attest to this, usually on pp. 4-5.
The above-mentioned financial problem is in the hardship of Barp to meet the rising amortization repayment of the loan it got from a lending bank due to unforeseen circumstances and changes, like the death of the designer and change of contractors, supporting structures to be built outside the main building touching the upper part of Bokawkan Road and others more. Money is not lost. It became a 7-storey cement building and the lot where it now stands. The members of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors have burned the proverbial midnight oil to arrive at possible happy solutions to the problem. So, we go to the day of celebration on July 27, 2019.
A main activity making the celebration will be the thanksgiving service to be held at the Barp Auditorium at the tower basements of the Barp Bldg., at Upper Buhagan/Bokawkan Road, Crescentia Village Barangay, Baguio City. Aside from the preliminaries and the induction of new members and the induction of new members and the distribution of the SMAP aid or “alos” to beneficiaries of deceased members. President Federico A. Balanag will give the message for Barp while New Mayor Benjamin “Benjie” B. Magalong will be the Guest of Honor and Speaker to be introduced by Madam Marlene B. de Castro, a staff member at the Mayor’s office.
“Come one, come all!”