Since 1989, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. (AFI) has been in the forefront of development programs that uniquely affect strategic sectors in the Philippines-each one with distinct goals and considerable impact. A duly registered non-stock, non-profit organization. AFI is a manifestation of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation’s commitment to be in the service of the Filipino people, particularly the Filipino child.
At the outset, AFI’S principal concern was to address the plight of t he disadvantaged while also ensuring that the solicited help are properly allotted and utilized. AFI used to have five flagship programs-E-Media, Bantay Bata 163, Bayan Microfinance, Sagip Kapamilya, and Bantay Kalikasan. Eventually, Bayanijuan was conceptualized to synergize these programs with the aim of rebuilding the Philippines one community at a time. In 1994, E-Media pioneered the production of educational television programs such as Sine’skwela, Hirayamanawari, Math Tinik, and Epol/Apple which later on were distributed to public elementary schools in DVD format. To date, more than 9, 000 schools all over the country have benefited from E-Media’s television-assisted packages. Recently, E-Media ventured into co-managing public elementary schools which aims to create models of excellence that can be replicated all over the Philippines.
Aside from ETV Shows of E-Media, the program also reaches out to Filipino children, teachers and the general public through the educational radio show, Bago ‘Yan Ah!. Created in June 1996, it has continued to use radio as an innovative medium to introduce lessons in Science and Technology as well as other related fields.
In 1997, AFI broke new ground when it launched Bantay Bata (Child Watch ) 163, the country’s first and only media-based child caring program that offers a 24/7 hotline, home visit, rescue, legal, educational, and medical assistance and supplemental feeding to children. Rescued children are assured of nurturing through the Children’s Village. A 2.5 hectare shelter in Bulacan. Additionally, Bantay Bata 163 has regional offices in Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Bicol, Laguna, Negros, Puerto Princesa, and SOCSARGEN areas (South Cotabato, Saranggani Province.)
Also in 1997, AFI formed Bayan Microfinance (Community Microfinance) to provide livelihood opportunities to poor but enterprising Filipinos. Bayan Microfinance became a separate non-profit organization in 2, 000 and was renamed ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation, Inc to suitably reflect the financial and non-financial services it offers.
Another landmark project of AFI is Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch) – a media-based environmental program. Launched in 1998, it envisions a responsibly protected and preserved Philippine environment where children can live safer, healthier, and more bountiful lives.
Even during the early 90’s, AFI has been in the forefront of disaster response in emergencies such as the Baguio earthquake and Mount Pinatubo eruption. Recognizing a need for a comprehensive program to address the needs of disaster victims, AFI formalized Sagip Kapamilya as a program in 2004. Since then, Sagip Kapamilya has extended its scope from relief assistance to include rehabilitation and disaster preparedness.
Another breakthrough in AFI’s history is taking on the challenge of rehabilitating the Pasig River.
In 2008, the former First Lady Amelita “Ming Ramos” who spearheaded the then Sagip Pasig Movement, entrusted the project of cleaning up the Pasig River to AFI Chairman Regina Paz Lopez which she welcomed with open heart. Thus, the birth of Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig(KBPIP), a project that aims to bring back the beauty and life of Pasig River and its tributaries.
In 2011, AFI ventured into another worthwhile campaign, the No To Mining in Palawan (NTMIP) which came to be when Doc Gerry Ortega, a media man and Bantay Kalikasan’s Project Manager in Palawan, was shot dead in his quest to fight mining and other illegal activities concerning the environment. Palawan is dubbed as the Last Ecological Frontier. The clamor to protect Palawan and its people against mining has been raised resulting to the launch of signature campaign. The campaign aims to raise ten million signatures to deliver a strong message to the Philippines and Palawan governments so that they would finally say no to mining on Palawan and help protect the one of the Philippine’s last remaining treasures. No to Mining in Palawan successfully gathered almost 7 million signatures from schools, non-profit organizations, institutions and other sectors of society. This campaign led President Noynoy Aquino to create a mining executive order banning mining in island ecosystems, agricultural areas. Ecotourism sites and other protected areas- a promising move towards saving the environment from degradation caused by human activities.
In 2013, the ABS-CBN Foundation has come full circle by taking on the new name ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. Lingkod Kapamilya is the name of the public service segment from which AFI originated in 1989.
ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. became a more holistic organization with 3 flagship programs- Bantay Bata 163, Sagip Kapamilya, and Bantay Kalikasan.
Sagip Kapamilya reached out at the height of infamous and strongest typhoon that hit the country—Yolanda. Beyond relief, it also exert efforts on sustainability of communities by embarking on Rehabilitation and Risk Reduction projects such as repair of damaged schools, feeding program for children(Sagip Kalusugan), shelter provision, water system installations and scholarship. Under this program are Programa Genio and Bayanijuan. Programa Genio, the educational arm of ALKFI, is involved with curriculum enhancement, teacher training and learning resource development. It conducted Teacher’s Training at the two schools in Bayanijuan in Southville 7 namely; Dayap Annex Elementary School and Sto. Tomas Annex Elementary School at Calauan community in Laguna. Programa Genio also implemented the alternative learning system (ALS) to provide education opportunities for the relocates in Bayanijuan. The ALS gives opportunities to those who were not able to attend formal schooling to pursue their studies and eventually move on to the next grade level. In 2008, Bayanijuan (Country of Juan) was launched to fully utilize the different programs of AFI in rebuilding the Filipino communities from the ground up. While Bayanijuan began its efforts in Bicol, one of the most disaster-prone regions in the Philippines. In due course, Bayanijuan extended its services to other areas such as Pampanga, Pangasinan, Camarines Sur, and most recently in Calauan, Laguna were families from the esteros of Paco and Pasig were relocated and given opportunities for a better quality of life.
Bantay Kalikasan has stayed true to its mission to initiate and catalyze initiatives to ensure an actively protected, adequately rehabilitated and sustainably-managed environment. It has pioneered successful watershed management in the country-the 1, 552 hectares of La Mesa Watershed has been reforested. Under this program are Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig or KBPIP- a project that aims to clean the esteros or riverways in Metro Manila; Green Thumb Coalition- a campaign against mining and destruction of the environment; and G-Eco Tours- a community-based tourism project of Bantay Kalikasan.
Bantay Bata 163, Asia’s model for child care services, celebrated its 19th anniversary this year. Its toll free hotline 1-6-3, remains as the country’s online helpline devoted to receiving and responding to child abuse reports. Bantay Bata 163 has responded to almost 400, 000 reports since 1997- 2015. It has likewise extended medical assistance to more than 56, 000 patients in partner hospitals. Bantay Edukasyon scholars, who are now in college or have graduated , pay the kindness forward by actively participating in Bantay Bata 163’s activities and mission.
ALKFI’s programs and services seek to uplift the way of life of the Filipino people in order to create a better world for its children.