Congressional Spouses Foundation kicks off fund-raising for House staff

Mara Cepeda
Congressional Spouses Foundation kicks off fund-raising for House staff
The foundation is asking lawmakers to buy capiz angels for P2,000 each, which will be used to buy Christmas gift packs for the House employees

MANILA, Philippines – The spirit of Christmas has arrived at the House of Representatives as the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Incorporated (CSFI) launched its fund-raising activity to give holiday gift packs to congressional staff. 

Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her daughter, CSFI president Luli Arroyo Bernas, led the lighting ceremony of a giant Christmas tree at the Batasang Pambansa’s lobby on Monday, November 12.

The CSFI is asking all lawmakers to buy capiz angels at P2,000 each.

The capiz angels will serve as decoration for the Christmas tree, while the proceeds from the fund-rasing will be used to buy gift packs for 1,000 “non-organic” personnel at the House.

Bernas said the beneficiaries will include those working at the day care center, housekeeping and utilities, security personnel, building and ground maintenance personnel, and members of the Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine National Police deployed to Batasan.  

If all 291 lawmakers will buy at least one capiz angel, CSFI would be able to raise a total of P582,000 for the Christmas fund-raising project. 

WITH THE SPEAKER. Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is flanked by congresswomen and CSFI members during the tree-lighting ceremony on November 12, 2018. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

“This is aimed at those who help the congresspersons here at the House of Representatives. Apart from congressional staff for each district, there are about 1,000 non-organic personnel who serve in Congress to make sure that the grounds are clean, the people are safe, children are taken care of while the parents are at work, emergency services are ready, and office facilities are maintained properly,” said Bernas. 

“They may have humble job descriptions, but without these people who go about their work diligently and without calling attention to themselves, without them, the House of Representatives will literally fall apart,” she added.

The CSFI previously held its Kabuhayan National Livelihood Trade Fair from November 8 to 11 at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, where products from small and micro-businesses from different districts were sold. 

The CSFI is also in charge of utilization of the P6.575 million that lawmakers raised to help the government’s rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.