KDF all set for more programs on 30th anniversary

BACOLOR -- The Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF) celebrated its 30th year anniversary on January 9.

“More programs and strategies were approved and announced for immediate implementation in 2017- 2021 as our way of celebrating the KDF 30th anniversary,” the KDF said.

The Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF) was founded in 1987 when the late President Corazon Aquino was elected President. A number of Kapampangans from Pampanga and Region III decided to group themselves into a foundation led by, among others, Rizalino Navarro of Angeles City, lawyer Cesar Villanueva, Jose de Jesus, Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, Benigno Ricafort, Jose Ricafort, Jose Araullo, Sylvia Ordonez, and Mar Gatus. The criteria for membership is to be a Kapampangan born, does not live or work in Pampanga, but would like to go back to their roots and contribute to the development of Pampanga.

Initially, the Rural Industrialisation Can Happen (RICH) program was implemented with emphasis on mobilising the Pampanga communities to start thinking of programs in case the US Bases in Clark and Subic will be closed. The eruption of the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in 1991 overtook the events.

KDF was practically designated in charge of the rehabilitation of Pinatubo when Jose “Ping” de Jesus became head of the lahar mitigation program and Sylvia Ordonez of TLRC was designated as deputy head of the Pinatubo rehabilitation program (then Chair of TLRC, was the de facto chair as the CORD of Region III). The KDF RICH program organised civic and industry organizations came in handy. They were mobilised to help identify the programs and sites for the resettlements.

In 2009, KDF decided to focus in Health, Education and Livelihood programs or HELP. Manuel Pangilinan is the KDF Chair.

The Health programs of the KDF are focused on the promotion of a community based rehabilitation (CBR)/disability program for the less fortunate communities of Pampanga and Region III. The poor disabled people are considered the poorest sector in our society. They also get the least support from government and even from the private sector.

Lately, the supervision of the disabled sector in the government was transferred from the office of the President to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This emphasises the fact that in this country, the issues and programs related to disability are treated as “welfare” not a matter of right. The KDF would like to promote programs and policies that will focus on the rights of the disabled by advocating for programs and policies that promote community based rehabilitation approaches. This will involve both policies and programs.

The KDF operates two medical centers: the KDF-JADMC (located in Bacolor, Pampanga) and the KDF-MVPMC (located in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga). Through these two medical centers, the KDF makes medical services for the disabled more accessible. Accessibility is the key and most immediate need.

“The programs’ strategic and long term goal is to offer KDF programs as templates for replication for the other regions in the country. We are grateful to the late Dr Jesus A. Datu and family/clan for allowing us long term use of the JADMC and for our Chairperson, Manuel Pangilinan for donating the MVP building to KDF. We are hoping that more people like them will have the heart to offer the same support in the other regions so that more PWDs can be helped,” the KDF said.

A fund campaign will be initiated to create a KDF Trust Fund to ensure sustainability of KDF programs.
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