FAQs About OLRA Educational Foundation

  1. OLRA Educational Foundation (OEF) is an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organization, whose sole mission is to raise funds to promote education in the Philippines. Despite the government's efforts to provide educational assistance, many students in rural Philippines are forced to quit school because their family cannot afford the additional school fees not covered by the government funding. OEF helps those students complete basic education by providing financial support to qualified recipients.

    OEF was registered in 2002 in the state of Texas. It is not affiliated with any governmental organizations or other NGOs, nor is it affiliated with any special interest group. OEF does not involve in any political or religious activities.

    OEF is an international organization, with members and operations in North America and Asia. Entirely run by member-volunteers, it raises funds through personal and corporate donations and distributes the funds to qualified aid applicants in the Philippines. It also conducts special programs like building schools and libraries and mentoring.

    All donations to OEF are tax-deductible under the IRS 501 (c) (3) code.

  2. Most of the Foundation's members are Filipinos or Filipino Americans. They include students, professors, educators, engineers, doctors, intellectuals, businessmen, philanthropists, newsmen and professionals. They range from youths, retirees, and old and new overseas Filipinos. Our common goal is to promote education in the Philippines. Our members are distributed throughout the United States of America, Philippines and other countries. However, they are predominantly from Houston, Texas.

  3. Currently, the students who receive aid are predominantly from the poor rural regions of the Philippines. The areas where the schools are located must be certified by the state or province as poor areas that need special financial assistance. However, OEF also supports some schools which are located in rural areas of the Philippines but not belonging to state certified poor County Students supported under OEF's regular program must be the middle and primary school students who face drop out because of poverty. OEF also have special programs (by special donation for such programs) for supporting disabled undergraduate students with extreme economic difficulties. OEF approve students' applications based on student family economic condition, academic record, and conduct in school.

    1. To receive aid, the students must be from poor families that face drop out.
    2. The qualified students must have a good academic record in addition to good conduct.
    3. The students must personally fill out and submit an application form (void if filled out by others), Fall or Spring transcript, teacher recommendation and a form that shows the financial status of the student.
    4. A student who receives aid must personally write a letter to the "OLRA Educational Foundation", stating the year's end performance and the receipt of assistance. Lacking any one of these items will disqualify the applicant.
    5. The relatives of our OEF members are not eligible to apply. This is based on the IRS requirement.

  4. The Foundation has rules and regulations to ensure a fair and accurate evaluation, and the release and use of the fund.

    1. The coordinator (volunteer in Philippines, appointed by OEF) and the school representative assist the applicants to fill out the application forms (All of the forms are available for downloading in this website). They also process the preliminary evaluation. The Chief Class teacher and the Principals must sign the application.
    2. The coordinator and the school representative mail student applications to OEF Coordinator Dr. Renato Alegarbes. The number of students recommended must exceed 50% of the number of students who receive aid.
    3. Mr. Rene Gaviola then submits the applications to the Foundation.
    4. The Foundation evaluates the applications.
    5. The Foundation will inform the school principal, the school representative and the coordinator of the decision. The Foundation will write a letter to each successful applicant, informing him or her the amount each will receive.
    6. The Foundation will send the fund to OEF's fund delivery coordinator, Renato Alegarbes. He then sends the fund to the schools.
    7. The school principal, coordinator, school representative, class teacher representative, and the students who receive the fund will hold an open meeting to hand the money over to the students. The student, coordinator, school representative, and school principal must sign a receipt which is then sent back to the Foundation.
    8. The school is required to post the names and the amount of fund each student receives on campus.
    9. The coordinator must submit to the Foundation an annual report on how the fund is released, the use of the fund, how the applicants were solicited, the most recent progress report about the students, and the opinions and suggestions of the coordinator.
    10. The Foundation will send an inspector from time to time to spot check on the students and the school as to how the fund is released and used.

    The Foundation has a well-established system in Philippines which comprises of coordinators, school representatives, inspectors, fund remitters and fund collectors. They are all long-term volunteers of the Foundation. Questions relating to them can be found as follows.

  5. The coordinators in Philippines are recommended through various channels: by members of the Foundation, donors, overseas organizations, some non-governmental organizations in Philippines, Universities and Colleges or governmental administrations at different levels including the Education Departments . All coordinators are non-paid volunteers.

    Qualifications of Coordinators:

    1. The educators, in service or retired, and others who are enthusiastic in volunteering their time to promote education in poor regions of Philippines.
    2. They should be able to contact directly with the students who receive aid.
    3. They should submit two letters of recommendation: at least one from a member of The Foundation, another from the working units where they worked with or currently are working with, or organizations, governmental offices, and schools. They must file an application form (available at this website).
    4. They must be approved by the Foundation's Philippine Affairs Subcommittee. The president of the Foundation will issue a three-year contract of service which can be extended upon mutual agreement.

    The Duties of Coordinators:

    1. To work with the school representative and to submit completed application forms to the Foundation.
    2. To assist the Foundation in evaluating the applicants.
    3. To be in charge of the release and supervision of the use of fund.

    The Obligations of the Coordinators:

    1. To publicize the goal and mission of the Foundation.
    2. On annual basis, to work with the school representative and to collect application forms, to verify the financial status of the students, and to make comments and recommendations to OEF, and to send applications to OEF Coordinator in transferring letters, Dr. Renato Alegarbes, who is responsible for transferring students' materials to OEF.
    3. To submit an annual summary of the release of the fund to Mr. Rene Gaviola.
    4. The coordinator should not subtract the traveling expenses from the fund. The Foundation will reimburse the postage and the photocopy fees.
    5. The coordinator will submit an annual report on the school's annual schedule, tuition, textbook fee, stationery fee, miscellaneous fee, the way how the fund is released and utilized, how the students that receive the fund were solicited, the student's recent academic performance, and the suggestions and recommendations of the coordinator.
    6. To work with school representative on the assistance fund, and to co-submit an annual report, along with all the receipts on the use of the fund, to the Foundation.
    7. If these obligations are not fulfilled, the Foundation will dismiss the coordinator and the allocation of the fund to the students supervised by the coordinator.

  6. The Funded Schools:

    1. Usually, no more than 25 students per school will be funded based on the total number of students in that school.
    2. In 2002, a student receives a maximum of Phil. Peso 5,000 per year.

    The Qualifications of the Funded Schools:

    1. The schools located in the nation's or province's list of poor counties have the first priority to receive aid.
    2. With the assistance of the coordinator, the school principal recommends a school representative (the principal may serve as school representative) to supervise the release of the fund. With the approval of the Foundation, the representative will serve for three years. When the term is up, the service can be extended upon mutual agreement.
    3. The representative must file an application form for school representative.

    The School's Duties:

    1. Once the school has been approved for assistance by the Foundation, the school representative and the coordinator must release the fund directly to the students. The school must encourage the students to work hard to achieve academic excellence, and to educate them on the difficulty of fund-raising.
    2. The school principal, the coordinator, the school representative, the teachers and the students who receive aid should hold a public ceremonial to release the fund. The school should post the names of the students and the amount that they receive in the bulletin board area of the school.
    3. If a student drops out from school, the school representative must inform the Foundation immediately. Without the approval, the school representative must not temper with the fund.
    4. The school representative should not deduct administrative fee, traveling expense or other fees from the fund. The fund should not be tempered with without approval from the Foundation. Otherwise, the school will be disqualified from receiving aid.
    5. The school and the coordinator must discuss the use of assistance fees, and submit a joint annual report along with the receipts of the expenses.
    6. The school representative is responsible for collecting the application forms, and for submitting an annual report and transcripts to the coordinator.

  7. The Qualifications of Inspectors:

    1. The inspectors are appointed by the Foundation. They can be either members or non-members of outstanding moral and law-abiding volunteers.
    2. To ensure fairness, the inspectors should have no relationship with the funded schools.
    3. The inspectors must fill out the inspector application form.
    4. The Foundation evaluates and approves the appointment of the inspectors for three years which can be extended upon mutual agreement.

    The Obligations of Inspectors:

    1. To evaluate on regular basis, the performance of the coordinator and the school representative.
    2. To report on the performance and progress of the students who receive aid.
    3. Should not reveal to the public the results of evaluation without the approval from the Foundation.
    4. The inspectors who violate the rules and regulations of the Foundation will be dismissed.

    The Assistance to the Inspectors:

    The Foundation will abide by the regulations to subsidize the appropriate expenses incurred by the inspectors who normally visit the students on their trip back home in the Philippines.

  8. To make a donation (make a check payable to OLRA Educational Foundation) or to apply for membership, please fill out the membership form and send it to:

    OLRA Educational Foundation
    3300 S. Gessner Rd., Ste. 111,
    Houston, Texas 77063
    U.S.A.

    The form can be downloaded from this website. You can also contact our OIC in Member/Donor Services, Dr. Renato Alegarbes at 713-772-7682 or our president, Mr. Rene Gaviola at (713) 772-7682 or contact any board member (please check the website for more contact information). You can also e-mail us at: info@olrafoundation.org.

  9. The youth member can be under the age of 18. The Foundation encourages the overseas youth to help the needy students in Philippines. A donation of US $100 will support a student for one year. With the exception of youth membership, all members have a right to vote and be elected to the Board of Directors.

    Types of Membership
    Annual Membership Fee Types of Member Criteria
    None Regular member Obligation of donation $100/year
    None Life member Obligation of donation $500/year

  10. The answers are YES. The Foundation will issue an acknowledgement letter to the donor after receiving donation. This letter can serve as a receipt and also a token of our appreciation. Membership fee is also a part of donation. Any membership fee and donation are tax-deductible because the Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under IRS 501 ( c ) (3) code. Our acknowledgement letter will provide a tax exempt account number. We can issue a letter of appreciation but not tax-exempt number to countries other than U.S.A.

  11. All donations and membership fees (100%) will go to the needy students. The administrative fee comes from special donations donated specifically from trustees, board members, or advisors of the Foundation.

  12. The answer is YES. A donor has the right to inquire about the dispensation of the donations. A donor can choose to get in touch directly with the students the donor specifies. The Foundation will reveal online (through this website) the dispensation of the donations on regular intervals.

  13. The treasure of the Foundation is managed by the Financial Committee, comprising of Foundation's Treasurer, Cashier, Accountant (professional CPA), donation depositor, and other members of the Board of Directors. All donations (checks or money orders), once collected by the fund raisers, will be deposited in a bank by the depositor, who should send a report of the deposit record to both the Chair of the membership/donor services and the Foundation's accountant for verification. The bank sends the monthly bank statement to both the accountant and the Chair of the Financial Committee, the Treasurer, for verification. The fund Cashier of the Foundation is responsible for safe guarding the check books. An amount of less than US $100 expense must have the approval of the Chair of the Financial Committee. An amount over US $100 must have the approval from the President of the Foundation. The President and the Cashier both have to sign the check over US $500 before it can be released. Both must also be present when the check is cashed from a bank. The Foundation has accounts with the Metrobank NA Harwin Branch, Houston, Texas 77036, U.S.A.

  14. The fund will be sent directly from the Foundation to the schools or coordinators. The school principal, the coordinator, the school representative, class teacher representative, and the students (and their parents) who receive the fund, will hold a public meeting to distribute the fund. The school is encouraged to invite other students and teachers to attend this meeting. Part of the fund can be sent directly to the families of the students to support the cost of living if specified by the donor.

  15. Yes. You can contact the Chair of the Philippines Affairs Subcommittee to obtain such materials. You can also e-mail us at info@olrafoundation.org. We shall send you a copy. You can download the form from this website.

  16. At present, we mail our fund twice a year (once per semester). The schools in Philippines have two semesters per year. At the end of each semester, the students must submit their semester transcripts to the Foundation for consideration of continual funding.

    The coordinator and the school are responsible for supervision and the use of the fund. They will also submit a report to the Foundation on the progress of the students who receive the fund. The Foundation also sends independent inspectors to spot visit and check the students who receive the fund so as to understand how the fund is utilized.

  17. To relieve the difficulty and financial hardship for the students, they or their families can write to Mr. Rene Gaviola, the letter transferor of the Foundation in Houston, who will transfer letters from the students to the Foundation.

  18. No. The Foundation is an independent, non-profit, non-political charity organization. It is neither controlled nor manipulated by any governmental or non-governmental organizations, nor is a branch of any organizations. So, our Foundation is totally independent. You can also get to know us through our quarterly newsletters which are posted on our website http://www.olrafoundation.org. We welcome your opinions and suggestions. If your are interested in the work of the Foundation, please go through our website.

    To effectively carry out our mission, we do sometimes collaborate with the Philippine government (especially the local authority) and the Department of Education to obtain educational information about rural areas of Philippines. In terms of financial management and the release of funds to the needy children, we uphold our independence.

  19. You can mail us or call any officials in-charge of the Foundation, their contact information is posted on this website. You can also e-mail us at info@olrafoundation.org.

    If you choose to mail us, please use the following address:

    OLRA Educational Foundation
    3300 S. Gessner Rd., Ste. 111,
    Houston, Texas 77063 USA

    We welcome your opinions and suggestions. If you are interested in the work of the Foundation, please visit our website.

  20. The annual fee for a student is 5,000 Phil Peso. This is on the average equivalent to about US $100. It covers books, other school supplies, stationery, and miscellaneous fees.


 

Headquarter Address:

OEF
OLRA Educational Foundation
3300 S. Gessner Rd.,
Ste. 111, Houston,
Texas 77063 USA

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