Rotary Year 1979-1980 was a milestone year for RC Makati, for two reasons.
One, it saw PP Paing Hechanova taking on the post of district governor, the first member from RC Makati to be so elevated and the first governor of the newly created District 382, to which RC Makati belonged.
Two, it marked the birth on RC Makati soil of Rotary’s most ambitious global initiative—PolioPlus, a program that sought to eradicate polio from the face of the earth. The seed of the project was sown in 1979, RI’s 75th anniversary, when RI President James Bomar, taking part in a polio vaccination mission conducted by the Club, administered the first oral polio vaccine to a Filipino child, setting off the PolioPlus program. That event took place in Guadalupe Viejo, site of the Club’s Makati Research and Development Center (MRDC) at the time and of its clubhouse today.
It was a busy year at MRDC, with a long list of projects in its primary focal areas—education and health.
In education, the school worked with the Elsie Gaches Village to conduct a ten-day summer camp in Legaspi City for special-needs children and held a seminar-workshop on special education for public school teachers of Makati and Manila and for MRDC staff; in health, there were seminars on family planning, child care and nutrition for mothers and would-be mothers, immunization and de-worming drives for children, and medical-dental missions for the Guadalupe Viejo community.
With Paing Hechanova as district governor, the task of hosting the district conference fell on RC Makati, his home club. The first district conference of the newly created District 382 put the Club’s event organizing capability to the test, one that it handled with seasoned hands, although it was only its first. The event was highlighted by the presence of RI President-Elect Rolf Klarich as guest of honor and logged a record turnout.
In international service, the Club forged ties with its very first sister club, the Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu-Malaysia, a relationship that stands strong to this day, after 37 years. The Club also sponsored the trip of three outbound students and provided homestay to four inbound students under the Rotary Exchange (Rotex) program. The inbound group’s visit was made memorable with a week’s stay in Baguio and participation in the district conference.
Pres. Efren carried on with the Jomalig Project, expanding it to include two livelihood projects—goat dispersal and peanut production. And to ensure the proper handling of the finances of the credit union, its officers were sent to Manila for training in bookkeeping and basic accounting. He also expanded the hog fattening project and to give their enterprise a more organized twist, formed a Hog Raisers’ Association in Brgy. Pitogo in Makati.