WITH the initial phenomenal growth of Barp (Blessed Association of Retired Persons Foundation, Inc.) in the early nineties and the fact that the acronym has become a household word in Baguio-Benguet, there is danger that knowledge about Barp is much less than the reality. In fact, even among its members at present, this might be the case.
The coming 20th anniversary celebration on July 27, 2019 (last Saturday of July 2019) is a very good occasion for alerting Barp members to be more active in preparing for the Silver Jubilee on July 24, 2024, one which should be truly “en grande”. (We know that silver, gold, and diamond jubilees are traditionally grand affairs.)
To be prepared for the silver anniversary demands adequate knowledge about the grand organization that Barp is supposed to be (Vision) and to do (Mission) to attain the vision.
Barp is a non-governmental organization founded and registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippines on July 24, 1999 as a non-profit, non-stock corporation and later registered as a foundation on November 5, 1999. It was accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other government units as a social and welfare and development organization.
It was also registered senior member organization with the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (Wango) and proved itself active member of the Baguio NGO Multi-Sectoral Council (Bango) affiliated with the Philippine Association of Retired Persons (Parp) and the Coalition of Service for the Elderly (Cose) and assiduously tried to maintain linkage with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). It is, to date, seeking certification from the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) in order to qualify as a donee institution.
From past documents, particularly the Constitution and By-Laws and board resolutions and as well as personal interviews with the founding president/CEO, Prof. Federico Balanag, Barp was envisioned to be a foundation where the members can realize their dreams and aspirations, and can live a life worthwhile within a caring and sharing community. Its mission to attain that vision is “to establish sustainable projects and programs through sound advocacy, resource mobilization, and capability building in collaboration with similar NGOs and international agencies to serve the needs of members and the community.”
As to core values, Barp firmly believes in caring, sharing, transparency, personal commitment to one’s duties, respect for human dignity, and altruistic volunteerism in caring and work as their forefathers in the highlands had practiced as a way of life and so produced such present day wonders such as like the rice terraces and the government of elders.
Barp had lined up programs and projects to bring to actuality what it had envisioned: some fully, some partially operational, and others in the designing stage. Examples of such programs and projects are: (1) Mutual Assistance Program (MAP), at first distinguished into regular (RMAP) and special (SMAP); (2) BARP Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BMC); (3) Human Resource Development and Consultancy (HRDC); (4) BARP Botika ng bayan (BBNB) (now discontinued) ; (5) Life Is Green Program (LIGP); (6) Physical Fitness Program (PFP); (7) Half-Way Home Center (HHC); (8) BARP Retirement Village (BRV); (9) BFI Publication and Bookmaking Project (BPBP); (10) BFI Library Museum (BLM); (11) Rose Garden for the Elderly (RGE); and (12) The Group Hospitalization Assistance Program (GHAP).
The SMAP program was so successful that it became a flagship program until now. But, unfortunately it came to be looked at as if it is the lone program of BARP, its raison-de-etre. It must therefore, be stated that, as enumerated above, there are others aside from SMAP. Equally worthwhile involving oneself at that so that if we are not awardees of recognition this 20th anniversary, we can prepare better for the Silver Jubilee. We have ample time and chances. Good luck, good health, God bless you and keep you!
For the moment, says never-grow-old President Federico Balanag, just come one, come all on the 27th of this month to the BARP Center Auditorium, Upper Bokawkan Road, Baguio City.