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LOPEZ, LEGARDA LAUNCH “THE QUEST FOR LOVE” SEARCH TO BOOST COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

In Photo (L-R): Robert So (Ecosystem Technologies), Department of Trade and Industry assistant secretary Amina Fajardo, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar, Sen. Loren Legarda, Gina Lopez, Department of Science and Technology secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Department of Tourism assistant secretary Reynaldo Lacao Ching, Department of Social Welfare and Development undersecretary Malou Turalde, TESDA director Sonia Lipio, and Department of National Defense undersecretary Cesar Yano.
 
 

Gina Lopez, Senator Loren Legarda, and other partners from the government and private sectors joined forces for “The Quest for LOVE,” a nationwide search that aims to transform marginalized communities into successful and sustainable agro – forestry, fisheries or through ecotourism sites.

 

The competition, which will be featured as a special segment on “G Diaries” on ABS-CBN this July, will give a chance to social enterprises, cooperatives, people’s associations, foundations, NGOs, and other socially-oriented organizations in the country to establish sustainable community-based businesses.

Lopez launched the project last Thursday (March 8) in Palm Grove, Rockwell Club in Makati with Legarda, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar, Department of Science and Technology secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Department of Tourism assistant secretary Reynaldo Lacao Ching, Department of National Defense undersecretary Cesar Yano, Department of Social Welfare and Development undersecretary Malou Turalde, Department of Trade and Industry assistant secretary Amina Fajardo, and TESDA director Sonia Lipio.

Through “The Quest,” the Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies (ILOVE) Foundation that Lopez founded will provide financial and technical support to eight deserving organizations, with the hopes of promoting wide-spread social and environmental development in the country.

The search begins with the shortlist of entries from all over the Philippines gathered online to 16 organizations that will be selected based on their track record, leaders, and the potential impact of the proposed intervention on the partner community. Social enterprises, cooperatives, people’s associations, foundations, NGOs, and other socially-oriented organizations are open to join the competition.

The Top 16 will then participate in a three-day boot camp with trainings on area development where candidates shall pitch their preliminary plans to a panel of judges at the end of the boot camp. After the training and background checking by the I Love assessors, eight candidates will be chosen to undergo the I LOVE mentoring and support program with each of the eight organizations receiving P100,000 cash plus direct access to government support.

Viewers will get to follow the journey of the eight semifinalists this July on “G Diaries,” which launched its second season early this year. Three organizations will win and shall receive direct assistance from I LOVE and its private and government partners to bring their proposed businesses to life.

Lopez said I LOVE hopes to address the reality that although the Philippines boasts of a 6.7% GDP growth and is seen to be one of the top three fastest growing economies in Asia, the robust growth has not trickled down to the remotest areas of the country.

Lopez believes that the strategy to uplift the lives of the marginalized community is through inspiring them and providing them proper mentoring.

"The key is the person. The key is the partner. If you find partner that can do things on the ground efficiently and sincerely, then you have found a partner that is gold," she said.

Meanwhile, she continues to promote local destinations, products, and services through “G Diaries,” which will air its second episode for the season on Sunday (March 11) with “G Squad” members Gretchen Ho and BoybandPH members Ford Valencia, Niel Murillo, Joao Constancia, Russell Reyes, and Tristan Ramirez on a green getaway in Lobo, Batangas.

“G Diaries” airs every second Sunday of the month before “ASAP” on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD. Watch online oniwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph. Visit QuestforLove.ph for more information and follow @GdiariesPH on Twitter and @GDiaries on Facebook for program updates.