Compiled by Elyrose Naorbe, Editor-in-Chief of Pilipinas Rotaract MDIO
In the Philippines, there are 647 Rotaract clubs and these are clustered into 10 Rotary International districts. Each has an elected District Rotaract Representative (DRR), the Rotaract counterpart of a Rotary district governor, whose main roles include bringing clubs in the district together for service and fellowship as well as promoting Rotaract to Rotary clubs and to the community.
We asked each DRR in the Philippines: How would you transform Rotaract in this Rotary year of opening opportunities?
MARNIE MANIBLE of District 3770 says she will implement an action plan to strengthen all the clubs and maximize the use of technology for safe implementation of activities during this pandemic. "We want to boost Rotaract’s End Polio contribution and to create more accessible learning materials. We will make this year remarkable and enjoyable," she added.
HASEM BALADJAY of District 3780 hopes to lead for change starting with the organizational structure. “We will transform Rotaract by leading towards change. We will start by re-organizing the current structure in order to fully maximize the district’s roles and responsibilities. We'll also craft more joint projects with Rotary and other NGOs to increase our impact," Baladjay shared.
JOHN CARLO MALAMUG of District 3790 explains the value of having an action plan. "I will transform Rotaract in my district using a five year strategic plan aligned with the Rotary's new action plan framework. By having a plan and aligning to it, the district will have continuous development," Malamug highlighted.
ALILIE FRANCISCO of District 3800 wants to engage not just Rotaract but also Interact in different activities as they go virtual: "I think Rotaractors and Interactors should be more engaged given that virtual activities are their niche. The district should offer virtual activities that would interest them for them to be more knowledgeable about Rotaract and embody the true spirit of being a Rotaractor,” said Francisco.
RHYAN SATOQUIA of District 3810 and his team will guide, support and work with the Rotaract clubs in operationalizing their action plans, most especially in addressing their challenges during this COVID-19 pandemic. “Rotary International believes in the capabilities, creativity and innovativeness of us Rotaractors. We are expected to lead in adjusting Rotary to this new environment,” he says.
RENELYN SERASPE of District 3820 shares her perspectives: “Like a caterpillar in its cocoon pushing her way out to be a butterfly”, each of our Rotaract clubs is undergoing transformation - just like in my own experience where I have moved from nothing to “I want to do more, I want to be more. I want to share my talents and bring forth the skills and knowledge I have learned from my friends who served the ahead of me. We are going to reach out to people outside our district and in the international community. We will share with people who are in need and make relevant connections with the community. We will endeavor to raise the level of human dignity amid the challenges posed by adversity. We will adapt to the new normal and elevate Rotaract. Our commitment to serve counts a lot in these changing times."
MARC-ROLF LLANTO of District 3830 expresses how the pandemic pushed clubs to undertake transformation. “Truly this pandemic has changed the things that used to be. From physical human interaction, we are bound to settle to virtual interactions. As their District Rotaract Representative, I will unleash the creative minds of Rotaractors so they could effectively adapt to this digital era," said Llanto.
RICHARD JERIC CHUA of District 3850 believes going back to the fundamentals is the starting point in transforming Rotaract. "We need to appreciate each Rotaractor and each club as a member- and club-centered district. We need to build synergy as One Rotary Family of Interactors and Rotarians. This would make the transformation simple, meaningful and efficient."
ACE JUSTIN RESARE of District 3860 shares that "Rotaract clubs could adopt the practice of research-based assessment of community needs as the take off point in delivering relevant programs. We will empower Rotaractors to be more resilient to change and focus on the actual needs and underlying challenges in our communities."
ERNEST NID ABUEME of District 3870 has a vision: "Amidst this pandemic, you can expect a lot from me and our team. There will be more virtual conferences and trainings but hopefully if this pandemic will end, we will continue with the face-to-face trainings and activities. We will launch our District Rotaract Leaders’ Academy. We will feature best practices and projects through our website and newsletters. Friendship and camaraderie - fellowship through service - should be our core point."
They say that leaders are not born but created and Rotaract serves as a good platform to develop promising young leaders. Through the opportunity of becoming a DRR, Rotaractors are given the chance to influence change and develop more leaders.
This article was also featured in the Philippine Rotary Magazine as seen below.