Primer on PONDONG DAMAYAN
1. What is Pondong Damayan?
Pondong Damayan is a Solidarity Fund which aims:
- primarily, to save money for the needy ones. It is saving money for those who are less fortunate.
- secondarily, for one’s own need, especially in times of emergency.
2. How to build up the Pondong Damayan?
Pondong Damayan can be generated thru:
a. Regular Saving. One can save thru the 3S way: Sacrifice, Save and Share.
b. Tithing/Monthly Pledge
c. Donations/Voluntary Contributions
3. What are the special services offered by the Pondong Damayan?
Pondong Damayan offers:
a. Subsidy to all the member-depositors
b. Loan without Interest
4. How to join the Pondong Damayan?
One can join the Pondong Damayan by opening an account with the Fund. Any amount can open an account.
Like savings in a bank, Pondong Damayan will issue a passbook in the name of the member depositor. There shall be a ledger for individual depositor in order to record total deposits.
5. What will happen to my savings if I join the Pondong Damayan?
Money deposited in the Pondong Damayan is strictly no longer owned by the depositors. Hence, it cannot be withdrawn by the depositors, but must be ready to be disposed in favor of the needy brothers and sisters. All deposits, including tithes, donations and voluntary contributions are not withdrawable, and shall not bear interest inasmuch as they are intended for charity and social services of the poor. In fact, all deposits are considered donations by the depositors.
However, depositors may avail of the services of the fund such as, Loans without Interest, Grants, Annual Biyaya Dividends and Extraordinary Subsidy.
6. Who manages the Pondong Damayan?
If the Pondong Damayan is parish-based; it is the parish that manages, with the Parish Priest as the Administrator. The services of the Parish Finance Council can utilized as auditor, or bookkeeper, or cashier.
If the Pondong Damayan is organized by the BEC or any community-based, from among the depositors-members of the community, the manager and other officers shall be selected.
There shall be a Board of Directors elected by all the depositors-members. The Board shall be the policy making body. The Administrator takes care of day to day transaction of the Fund.
All the officers and those people working at the Bank shall receive no remuneration.
Fund collected shall be entrusted to a secured bank or invested to a reliable broker in order to earn interests.
7. In case of dissolution, what will happen to the fund of the Pondong Damayan?
The policy shall determine the proper action in case of dissolution of a particular community that established the Fund. In the absence of such policy, the management may decides to merge the fund with other Pondong Damayan or may donate all the remaining funds to a chosen charitable institution.
SAVING THE 3S WAY:
SACRIFICE, SAVE and SHARE
SACRIFICE means giving up something or mortifying from any unwanted desires in favor of someone needing immediate aid. Every act of sacrifice shall be quantified in terms of monetary equivalent. For example, I will not take any snack today or every Friday. If one snack would cost twenty pesos, I save twenty pesos that day. There are many little acts of sacrifice we can think of, then calculate their worth. That’s your saving!
SAVE. Keep what you save that day. Choose a day in a week, when you can come to the office of the Pondong Damayan and deposit it. Make it your regular habit. Or at least once a month you deposit the accumulated amount you have for all the mortifications and sacrifices you made.
SHARE. Allow the Pondong Damayan to use your saving to help your poor brethren. That is your sharing. The Lord say, “…when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you”(Mt.6:3-4). Almsgiving can be linked to fasting. Money saved from giving up superfluities may be redirected to helping those who do not have necessities for life. Why not take the money that would be spent on that fancy meal you decided to forego and give it to those who do not know where their next meal is coming from? If you have given up movies for Lent or any other indulgence, again let the money saved be diverted to the really needy.