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Markham

Expats' Mutual Assistance Fund

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Markham

On Thursday evening, Bob Ward, Paul Whiteway ("ancienrocka") and I met with Attorneys James and Sheng Abadia over a lengthy dinner at the Golden Cowrie to discuss the formation of this organisation. We were particularly keen to address the concerns expressed by Forum Members. I have personally known Attorney James for almost two years and he has successfully represented Leah and myself in a number of matters, he is very meticulous in his work; he is also a good and trusted friend. His wife is a prosecutor in Cebu City although she's taking a leave of absence due to pregnancy.

 

The organisation will almost certainly be called the "Expats' Mutual Assistance Programme" rather than the "Expats' Mutual Assistance Fund". The reason for this is that the word "Fund" denotes a "Foundation" and this can not be formed without an initial deposit of at least one million Pesos.

 

To comply with Filipino Law, it will have five Board Members, three of whom will be resident Philippines Citizens, the other two will be foreign Expats. However, the two Expat Board Members must have residency status here. There will also be a Board of Trustees made up of (elected) Expats. The Attorneys will word the Programme's legal documents to reflect the wishes of all - that decisions as to the disbursement of funds shall be decided by the Board of Trustees "chaired" by a Director.

 

Again to comply with the Laws of the Land, donations received from outside the Philippines must be reported separately to those received within the country. Separate bank accounts for each currency will need to be maintained - even though monies from foreign currency accounts will be transferred to the Peso account as a need arises. This will actually benefit the Programme since banks such as HSBC give a better rate of interest on foreign currency deposits.

 

There will be two principal ways of donating funds: as a Programme Member who provides a regular monthly contribution and as a donor who gives as and when he can. Donors can be either from within the Philippines and in Pesos or, from outside the Philippines and in either Australian/US/Canadian Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. Full details of all the International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) and SWIFT codes will be published once the accounts are open.

 

The question as to whether any financial assistance should be repaid cropped-up in the other thread (and elsewhere). Requiring this would mean that the Programme acts as a Money Lender and, due to a number of complications, this is not advised by our legal team. What we therefore propose is this: if a subscribing member is assisted, then no repayment will be required since he has already paid into the Programme and (hopefully) will continue to do so. But if the Programme assists someone who is not a subscribing member, they will be invited to join the Programme upon payment of one (1) Peso and then sign an undertaking to continue subscribing to the Programme once their emergency is over. We believe this is the simplest and fairest solution to all concerned.

 

The Legal Fees and costs involved in registering and establishing this Programme have already been donated by me personally and will not be a charge on the Programme - ever Peso/Dollar/Pound/Euro donated will be used for the benefit of those in need.

 

We urgently need volunteers to fill the various Board of Directors positions - remember three resident Philippines citizens and two Expats with residency status. Bob Ward, Paul Whiteway and I are prepared to fill three of the five positions on the Board of Trustees and we require (at least) two more volunteers for those positions too.

 

Are you prepared to "step up to the plate"?

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USMC-Retired
On Thursday evening, Bob Ward, Paul Whiteway ("ancienrocka") and I met with Attorneys James and Sheng Abadia over a lengthy dinner at the Golden Cowrie to discuss the formation of this organisation. We were particularly keen to address the concerns expressed by Forum Members. I have personally known Attorney James for almost two years and he has successfully represented Leah and myself in a number of matters, he is very meticulous in his work; he is also a good and trusted friend. His wife is a prosecutor in Cebu City although she's taking a leave of absence due to pregnancy.

 

The organisation will almost certainly be called the "Expats' Mutual Assistance Programme" rather than the "Expats' Mutual Assistance Fund". The reason for this is that the word "Fund" denotes a "Foundation" and this can not be formed without an initial deposit of at least one million Pesos.

 

To comply with Filipino Law, it will have five Board Members, three of whom will be resident Philippines Citizens, the other two will be foreign Expats. However, the two Expat Board Members must have residency status here. There will also be a Board of Trustees made up of (elected) Expats. The Attorneys will word the Programme's legal documents to reflect the wishes of all - that decisions as to the disbursement of funds shall be decided by the Board of Trustees "chaired" by a Director.

 

Again to comply with the Laws of the Land, donations received from outside the Philippines must be reported separately to those received within the country. Separate bank accounts for each currency will need to be maintained - even though monies from foreign currency accounts will be transferred to the Peso account as a need arises. This will actually benefit the Programme since banks such as HSBC give a better rate of interest on foreign currency deposits.

 

There will be two principal ways of donating funds: as a Programme Member who provides a regular monthly contribution and as a donor who gives as and when he can. Donors can be either from within the Philippines and in Pesos or, from outside the Philippines and in either Australian/US/Canadian Dollars, Pounds Sterling or Euros. Full details of all the International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) and SWIFT codes will be published once the accounts are open.

 

The question as to whether any financial assistance should be repaid cropped-up in the other thread (and elsewhere). Requiring this would mean that the Programme acts as a Money Lender and, due to a number of complications, this is not advised by our legal team. What we therefore propose is this: if a subscribing member is assisted, then no repayment will be required since he has already paid into the Programme and (hopefully) will continue to do so. But if the Programme assists someone who is not a subscribing member, they will be invited to join the Programme upon payment of one (1) Peso and then sign an undertaking to continue subscribing to the Programme once their emergency is over. We believe this is the simplest and fairest solution to all concerned.

 

The Legal Fees and costs involved in registering and establishing this Programme have already been donated by me personally and will not be a charge on the Programme - ever Peso/Dollar/Pound/Euro donated will be used for the benefit of those in need.

 

We urgently need volunteers to fill the various Board of Directors positions - remember three resident Philippines citizens and two Expats with residency status. Bob Ward, Paul Whiteway and I are prepared to fill three of the five positions on the Board of Trustees and we require (at least) two more volunteers for those positions too.

 

Are you prepared to "step up to the plate"?

 

 

I would help any way I can. I however am on a tourist visa. So if you need help or rides to various places let me know. I will do what I can.

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Markham

Thank you Tim!

 

As far as I'm aware, positions on the Board of Trustees can be filled by non-residents but, obviously, I will get clarification on this. However I think we should have a rule that such positions are not open to anyone who has been here less than 3 months and/or whose stay will be less than 12 months. That would make you eligible (subject to legal requirements) and I, for one, would be very happy if you would join.

 

 

 

Mark

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Paul

Mark,

 

I will help any way I can. Just let me know (via PM or email), as to how I may help.

 

As I have already stated to you, I will be happy to provide the server space and pay for the hosting of a domain name, for a website you may wish to build.

 

Please note, I have a pending obligation that will not end until May 6th. So, it will be difficult for me until then. However, after that point, I can make myself available to the organization a priority.

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Balintawak

Hows going with this project? Any updates or progress?

 

Ill help out to volunteer the board.

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Daisy

Considering all the incidents I've heard and encountered, I think this issue should be given special consideration.

 

For non-stock, non-profit, The Board will only be composed of 5 members. Other members will just be added in the RED book!

A lawyer would not be even necessary for it.

Mark, I really hope you will go on with this vision, count me in to assist if you need it!!!

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Athena

Just a suggestion

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Daisy

Just a suggestion

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JohnFromTexas

Just saw this thread... I'm not a resident (on tourist visa tho married to a filipina) but if you need my help let me know. I think it's a good idea.

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Balintawak

I second that too. However many would just ask for help and never give any back. It could be given as a private loan as an option, with long-term dp if little funds.

Someone who dont have some kind of pension, income or work here,, why is he here at all?

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Markham

Daisy - thank you!

 

Tex, Andy and Elinel - thank you also!

 

Well, we did start the wheels in motion around this time last year but it was placed "on hold" for three main reasons.

 

Firstly, some Forum members were really quite vocal in stating their objection to the legal requirements of the Board being comprised of mainly Filipinos of which there would have to be five. Their negative - and dare I say it, racist - remarks may well have put off others from expressing an interest in joining the scheme. That may also have acted as a deterrent for Filipino members to come forward to act as Board members.

 

Secondly, there was a fear that funds would be used to support foreigners who came to the Philippines financially unprepared and there were several who supported the Fund in principle but not if it were used in this way. That raised the question of under what circumstances would a foreigner be supported via this Fund, a question which is still unresolved.

 

I have already paid for this not-for-profit fund to be legally established and I do trust the lawyer with whom the necessary fees and expenses were paid. It's merely a case of me re-contacting him and giving him the green light.

 

When Bob Ward, Paul Whiteway and myself met with Attorney James Abadia (my lawyer) and his wife - who is a Cebu City Fiscal - we suggested that the two Attorneys be Board members, to which they agreed. That just leaves us with finding (I believe) three other Filipino citizens to join them. My personal preference would be Daisy, Bet_Busta and BigRob but, other than Daisy, I don't know if the other two are both interested and willing.

 

As far as membership is concerned, it would be open to any foreigner whether resident or not. The only condition on joining would be a rolling year-to-year membership commitment.

 

Elinel: Yes, anyone who is helped by the Fund would be (morally) obliged to repay the Fund once his financial circumstances have improved. However some care has to be taken as to how this is worded so as not to run foul of the Money Lending Laws.

 

 

 

 

Mark

Edited by Markham

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Baldy

I will support this great idea by becomming a member.

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joemama

I understand you would have a mainly filipino board, but i wonder, if there could be a vote of all members that choose to attend, on each person in need. or if all members could be emailed with details, and then vote. I doubt (hope) it wouldn't be something that occurs once a month, or even once a quarter...but if Joe blow needs surgery from a motorcycle accident 2 days ago, could you notify all members to vote if Joe blow can get help? that way, all members that want a voice, could give their vote? i dunno, just thinking outloud here...

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Dragon

I would seriously consider being a supporting member IF there are clearly defined guidelines. This could turn into a huge drama fest without specific guidelines. I commend you on the effort already expended but I need to see the rules.

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Arkanmo

"three of whom will be resident Philippines Citizens, the other two will be foreign Expats."

 

Sounds like it is doomed from the beginning to me. Why not have an American not for profit corporation set up and run totally by expats?

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