The Zonta Club of Makati was chartered with 22 members on April 26, 1971 by then International President Leota Pekrul. Today there are over 50 members representing diverse classifications. The club is a member of Zonta International, a worldwide organization of professionals and executives working together to advance the status of women through service and advocacy. The club was incorporated as a nonstock, nonprofit foundation in June 1983, and received its accreditation as a Donee Institution from the Philippine Council for NGO Certification on October 4, 2004 following its compliance with the latter’s stringent requirements. This means that donors can deduct in full their contributions to the club from their taxable income.

Serving poor communities in Makati Over the years the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs had served the depressed communities of barrios Carmona, Pitogo, Pinagkaisahan, Guadalupe Nuevo, and East Rembo, all in Makati. For almost 20 years (from 1979 to 1998) the Club operated a Multi-purpose Community Center in Pitogo where it conducted free medical and dental services rendered by volunteer doctors and nurses. In addition, there was a pre-school for malnourished children aged four to six, where they were fed nutritious meals. A variety of services for disadvantaged women, such as food vending for livelihood, family-planning, free legal advice, adult literacy programs, including projects for the elderly, were conducted in the Club’s Community Center in Pitogo. At one time there was even a Lying-in facility where pregnant mothers could deliver their babies, gratis, although this was only for normal deliveries. A public laundry facility for the women in the community was likewise available with free water supply.

At East Rembo The Club’s second center in East Rembo was dedicated to skills training in high-speed sewing and embroidery machines as a livelihood project for the disadvantaged women in the community. The Club also undertook a literacy project for out-of-school youth in East Rembo, which gained the recognition of the Department of Education.

A new center in Taguig The club had to abandon its facility in Pitogo to make way for an overpass to ease traffic. Many of the above-mentioned services, particularly the medical-dental program, and the preschool for children, are now being undertaken in the Club’s “Center for Women Empowerment,” a two-story building the club built and opened in 2000 at the Centennial Village of Fort Bonifacio in Taguig that houses over 700 poor families. The Center has been the venue of breast-cancer awareness seminars with free breast examinations for women by specialists led by well-known breast surgeon Dr. Diana Cua and staff of the East Avenue Medical Center. This service was likewise offered in a medical mission in San Pablo City in Laguna, and in other medical missions outside of Metro Manila.
Skills training for women’s economic empowerment A skills-training program for 26 unemployed women of Centennial Village, to help them become cosmetologists, was held at the Center in cooperation with the Splash Foundation. Further, a livelihood program in the Center also trained women to sew maids’ uniforms, pillowcases, kneeler pillows, and tissue holders. Other livelihood-training seminars such as on Reflexology, food preservation and processing, have likewise been conducted to give the disadvantaged women in the community an opportunity to have their own microbusiness. To this end, a micro-credit program was established and is supported by TESDA alumnae. The women in the program have banded themselves into the “Kababaihan” organization that gives them both financial and moral support.

UN Links Ever mindful of Zonta’s links with the United Nations, various club presidents have linked up with the UN’s country team in the Philippines led by the UNDP, which would present the UN’s various programs in the country– the UNICEF, UN Food Program, and the UNIDO. The Club had likewise aligned its projects with the UN’s Millenium Development Goals.

Implementing ZISVAW at Marillac Hills To address ZISVAW (Zonta International Strategies Against Violence Against Women), the Club has been working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the last 18 years at the latter’s rehabilitation center in Marillac Hills, Muntinlupa, where an average of 250 traumatized girls aged six to seventeen are housed. The club has a psychological rehabilitation program with psychologists and specially trained nurses who administer psychotherapy sessions. Almost all the girls have been sexually abused. Others had been physically battered. Zontians and their friends volunteer their time and talents giving the Marillac girls art and dance therapy sessions to help heal their trauma.

Some of the club’s past presidents had been at the forefront pushing for the passage of legislation against the trafficking of persons, resulting in R.A. 9202, as well as the Anti-Violence Against Women & their Children law (R.A. 9262).

Z & Golden Z Not to forget the youth, the Club has organized a total of six Z and Golden Z clubs. The Club received Honorable Mention in the ZI Emma Conlon Awards of 1994 for its Z Club’s outstanding summer project for the youth in a depressed community (Pitogo) of Makati.

Helping house the poor: Because women bear the brunt of poverty, the club partnered with Gawad Kalinga for the construction of 40 low-cost houses in Taguig. It also partnered with the ABS-CBN Foundation under its BayaniJuan project, to relocate families living under the bridges of Metro Manila by the Pasig River, to Calauan, Laguna.

EWSP From 2009 to date, the club has partnered with Unilever Corp., the Dept. of Social Welfare & Development (DSWD), Woman Today, and the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in providing scholarships for young women in various engineering courses at the PUP. Called “Empowering Women Scholarship Program,” all its 74 scholars subsequently passed the Board examinations and are today gainfully employed.

Outstanding Club For the club’s outstanding performance in achieving the Governor’s biennium goals, which included chartering a new club and two Golden Z clubs, it was named Most Outstanding Club of District 17 at the District Conference in Aug. 2011. This was in addition to its being named outstanding club for its 20% increase in members from 2010-2011. Then president Carol Llanillo received a harvest of awards. Past club president Angelina “Chona” Lopez, who was Area 5 Director in 2010-2012, was recognized for her leadership of Area 5 by its being named “Most Outstanding Area.”

At the District Conference in Hong Kong in Sept. 2013, the club, under the leadership of pres. Cora J. Tan, was also named “Most Outstanding Club” for its service projects and for its Web site.

ZCME presidents in ZI

The Zonta Club of Makati and Environs Foundation, Inc. is justifiably proud of its members who have gone up the leadership ladder of Zonta International—Olivia A. Ferry, International President (2006-2008), and International Nominating Committee Chair (2008-2010); Erlinda T. Villanueva, Vice-president (1984-86), ZI Foundation Director (1986-88), and Member of the International Nominating Committee (1992-94); Erlinda E. Panlilio, International PR & Communications Chair (2006-2008); Georgitta P. Puyat, District 17 Governor (2010-2012), likewise, Carmen Enverga-Santos in 1990-1992.

Last but not the least, the Club is likewise proud of its one-time Zonta-Makati Chorale, installed in Area 5’s Hall of Fame for its consistent outstanding performance at Zonta events, culminating in its being the featured performer at the Memorial service of the ZI Convention in Hong Kong in 2000. This choir was likewise the featured performer of the Philippine Embassy in its celebration of Philippine Independence Day in Madrid, Spain in 1995.

At the beginning of biennium 2012-2014, president Corazon J. Tan revisited the core mission of Zonta–the empowerment of women. She had lined up projects to train women for livelihood skills, to instill awareness of their rights, and to make them a force that will improve the status of women in the community. Rosie Go (2014-2016) has been following in the footsteps of her achieving predecessors. Her newsletter shows the club’s accomplishments from 2014 to June 2015.

The club salutes its past presidents for making the club what it is today, a vibrant member of Zonta International, contributing to the empowerment of women through service and advocacy.

They are as follows:

Dr. Carmen Enverga-Santos 1971-1973
Isabel Caro Wilson 1973-1975
Erlinda T. Villanueva 1975-1976
Dr. Fe Canlas Dizon 1977-1980
Ileana Maramag 1980-1982
Olivia A. Ferry 1982-1984
Erlinda E. Panlilio 1984-1986
Olivia M. Villafuerte 1986-1988
Editha L. Arambulo 1988-1990
Bellaflor Angara Castillo 1990-1992
Dr. Vermen Verallo Rowell 1992-1994
Carina C. Lebron 1994-1996
Georgitta P. Puyat 1996-1998
Armita B. Rufino 1998-2000
Monica R. Aveo 2000-2002
Carmencita N. Esteban 2002-2004
Maritess M. Pineda 2004-2006
Angelina M. Lopez 2006-2008
Olga Severino Martel 2008-2010
Carolina O. Llanillo 2010-2012
Corazon J. Tan 2012-2014
Rosie Dy Go 2014-2016