Kamag-anak Foundations Inc.?

THE president’s husband has a foundation named after his official title – First Gentleman – and is listed as incorporator in the KGMA Foundation, as are sons Jose Miguel and Diosdado. KGMA also includes presidential brother-in-law and Negros Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, as incorporator.

In addition, the president’s sister-in-law, two cousins, a cousin-in-law and half-sister each have organized their own foundation or NGO.

Arroyo sister-in-law Maria Lourdes, just months old as representative of the party-list group Kasangga – a self-declared group of micro-entrepreneurs – has her own Kasangga and Gabay Foundation.

Another Arroyo cousin, retired judge Demetrio P. Macapagal, is one of 15 incorporators of the Organized Response for the Advancement of Society (Quezon City Chapter), Inc., which registered with the SEC in April 2002. Two of its declared purposes are “the promotion of punctuality and respect for the rights of others and other similar values,” and “to raise funds or receive donations and sponsorships of any kind from any other person here and abroad juridical or natural to carry out its aims and objectives.” The SEC online registry currently lists this group’s registration as “revoked.”

The president’s half-sister, former Pampanga vice governor Cielo M. Salgado, meanwhile is the lead incorporator of the FOFJ Institution of Learning Foundation, Inc. that registered with the SEC in May 2003 “to establish and operate an educational institution or learning center which shall provide courses of study in high school.”

Among these NGOs, only the First Gentleman Foundation seems to have a functioning website, which lists Mike Arroyo’s charity activities. An article in the home page is titled “The Gentleman with a Big Heart for the Poor.”

This is reportedly how the “sick, poor and destitute” describe Arroyo “who had directly touched their lives since he became First Gentleman.”

According to its SEC registration papers, the Foundation aims “to engage in charity work to help improve economically depressed fellow citizens including out-of-school youth, such as by establishment of health, medical nutrition clinics, vocational training centers, community development projects, etc.”

Its website meanwhile states its vision as “to be the government’s vital partner in achieving its 10-point agenda by Year 2010: BEAT THE ODDS.”

Originally Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s acronym for her administration’s 10-point program, BEAT THE ODDS apparently meant something else for the foundation:  B: bato (kidney) – free kidney operation for the poor; E: eyes (cataract) – free cataract operation; A: academic / youth development; T: tulong libre abogado (free legal assistance); T: tree planting – 100 million seeds by 2010; H: hydrocephalus and meninggocoele assistance; heart surgeries; E: employee involvement through volunteerism; O: out of school youth livelihood training; D: dentures – free dentures for the poor; D: disaster and life threatening diseases assistance; S: sports development.

The site emphasizes that it uses only private funds and that the founder does not meddle in government affairs. There is, however, no report on the funds it receives and how they have been spent. A posted story says the site was put up by theOpisina ng Kabiyak (Office of the Spouse).PCIJ, September 2009