Help Fund My Basic Income Advocacy

One of the risks of being an advocate/activist is that once your eyes are opened, it is so hard to unsee what you’ve seen, and all you want, henceforth, is to find solutions. In my case, one of the heartbreaking situations that I and my fellow advocates encountered was the plight of the families of victims of extrajudicial killings related to the brutal and deadly war on drugs. There are two main concerns that need added help. First, is the livelihood aspect, that is, the economic devastation suffered by the families because of the loss of one — sometimes two — breadwinners, and how to address it. Although many organizations and groups are doing their best, a lot more need to be done. Second, are the orphans/children traumatized by the killing of their parents and loved ones. We need more resources and more manpower to attend to their psycho-social needs.

When I first came across the concept of Unconditional/Universal Basic Income (UBI) and started studying it, I realized that the concept could be applied to assisting the EJK families as well. I did a preliminary consultation with some of the families, and they immediately appreciated the concept of an Unconditional Basic Income. Basically, I learned what I intuitively knew: that each family is unique, and that a certain amount of cash will go a long way in meeting their needs — some will spend it on basic needs like food/groceries, on emergencies, on the needs of the children (school allowance/supplies, etc.), further education or skills training of family members, and then livelihood. In short, a Basic Income will address most of the economic needs of the families, and thus help with their psycho-social/mental well-being as well.

In this regard, I would like to seek your help in making the piloting of Unconditional Basic Income among EJK families a reality. In order to focus, I need to free up my mind of my own financial worry. Every month, I am always scrambling to come up with a little less than 15,000 pesos for rent and electricity. If I could only meet this basic need for even just THREE MONTHS, I’m sure I will be able to eventually launch a UBI project in one parish, and then if successful, expand the project later to other communities. I’ve already talked to leaders and priests in at least two parishes, and they are willing to give the UBI experiment a try.

I am, therefore, asking for donations of 500 pesos (10 USD) or 1,000 pesos (20 USD), or whatever you can afford, to help me support myself myself for at least three months (45,000 pesos or 900 USD), while I come up with a more long-term sustainable situation. My main plan is to apply for Basic Income grants and seek donations so I can pay myself and other volunteers, and then fund the pilot. Meanwhile, one NGO ally has indicated that they are willing to help out in terms of grant-seeking and provide the organizational/legal structure while my fellow advocates and I try to found our own non-profit.

Moreover, I will also continue to do the following:

1)Studying/researching UBI, and sharing my findings and experiences in my blog. For the long term, I would like Basic Income to be piloted/implemented in municipalities, and eventually all throughout the country. Aside from reading books and perusing research studies, I will also interview economists, governance advocates, and other specialists on how to best implement UBI in the Philippines and how it can help solve our country’s long-standing problem of poverty and inequality.

2) Supporting Andrew Yang’s run for the U.S. presidency, whose flagship policy is the Freedom Dividend, a Universal Basic Income of 1,000 US dollars per month. If he gets elected in 2020 — and signs are pointing to a rising popularity and growing candidacy — UBI will be mainstreamed not just in the U.S., but the rest of the world as well, especially because of international support for his UBI and other policies, and what he represents: a new administration with a solutions-based and abundance mindset. But even now, Andrew Yang has helped tremendously in bringing basic income to the forefront of possible and effective solutions to a growing worldwide concern of inequality.

The personal growth coach Barbara Sher has said in her talks and her books that one of the keys to realizing our wishes and dreams is to reach out to others and ask their help. My family, friends, fellow advocates and global citizens, I am now asking for your help. That said, I am deeply grateful for your taking the time to read this. If you cannot help with monetary donations, forwarding this to a friend will be greatly appreciated as well.

If you want to donate, you can help me via the following platforms:

Paypal: paypal.me/filipinowriter

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/filipinowriter

Bank:

Landbank

Account Name: Medardo M. Manrique Jr.

Account Number: 3076015537

G-Cash / Paymaya : 09215482622

Other: Or pls e-mail me at filipinocreative@gmail.com for other arrangements.

Again, thank you, and wishing that your own wishes come true and may you be showered with more blessings.


UPDATE: After initially sending this post out to friends and contacts, I have so far received 5,000 pesos in actual donations and pledges. Others have indicated that they will be donating soon. Thank you very much for your generosity! And thanks to all who shared this post!


If you enjoyed, learned something from, or were insipired by this article, kindly consider donating (if PayPal: paypal.me/filipinowriter), be one of my patrons at Patreon, or please contact me at filipinocreative@gmail.com — your way of providing me a basic income   — so that I may continue my advocacies and continue to research & write more such articles.

A #YangGang Story: Billy & Gretchen Morgan

Billy and Gretchen Morgan

So I was scanning the Andrew Yang For President 2020 Basecamp FB group a couple of days ago, and saw this post by a #YangGang member of a #MyYangStory YouTube video by Billy Morgan, another Yang Gang member.
In the video, posted on August 26, 2019, Billy introduces us to his wife of 26 1/2 years, Gretchen, who is bedridden because of multiple sclerosis (MS). Billy explains that he is an Andrew Yang supporter because of what the Freedom Dividend of a 1,000 dollars, a Universal Basic Income, can do for their family: they won’t have to think so much of their bills while he takes care of his wife.

Billy and Gretchen Morgan’s #MyYangStory video

In the video, he addresses the Yang Gang folks on Twitter, so I looked him up on the social media platform, but sadly found out from his most recent posts that Gretchen had died. In a YouTube video dated November 16, a distraught and tired-looking Billy explained that Gretchen passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 4. However, because of all the expenses, they haven’t kept up with their rent payments and were in danger of being evicted. He sought help — although with hesitation because of their previous generosity — from the Yang Gang via the GoFundMe page for Gretchen.

Billy Morgan’s latest video where he tells us the passing away of his wife Gretchen.


Billy Morgan’s situation is typical of why a lot of people are fighting for Andrew Yang to be president. They see him as their final hope. Somehow, the system has failed them, or has not sufficiently addressed their needs. In the GoFundMe page for Gretchen,  it says that “Gretchen lost her disability due to an error on her paperwork,” and that it has left them “struggling ever since.” This is why the Freedom Dividend, Andrew Yang’s flagship policy, is important for a lot of Americans. Every individual or situation is unique, and the Freedom Dividend gives them the freedom and power to address their financial and other concerns. It is also a way around or a better alternative to the “errors” and failings of government bureaucracy.

In short, many in the Yang Gang are fighting not just for Andrew Yang, but for themselves and for the rest of the Americans. This election is the fight of /for their lives.


Billy is still seeking the help of Yang Gang, and doing everything he can for his family — aside from the concern about the rent, both of his daughters are pregnant, according to his latest video.


One of the reasons I’m writing this blog post because I’m assuming that there are still members of the Yang Gang (and even non-members) who haven’t heard of his story, and maybe would like to help. The power of our community is that aside from our sense of mission of bringing Andrew Yang to the White House, we are all guided by his campaign slogan, “Humanity First.” We are not just a movementwe are also a family, and we take care of one another. Thank you, in advance, Yang Gang!


If you enjoyed, learned something from, or were insipired by this article, kindly consider donating (if PayPal: paypal.me/filipinowriter), be one of my patrons at Patreon, or please contact me at filipinocreative@gmail.com — your way of providing me a basic income   — so that I may continue my advocacies and continue to research & write more such articles.