Actress Assunta Rossi and husband Jules give 60% of wealth to farmers
Actress dubs it country’s ‘largest philanthropic bequest’
The actress dubbed this the “largest philanthropic bequest” ever done in the Philippines, saying it’s her and her husband’s version of government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
While this would make the couple minor stockholders in the Ledesma Group of Companies, De Rossi clarified that they would still be running their Hacienda Euzkara for the workers.
“Believe me, it’s going to work,” she told entertainment writers over the weekend. “We pray that it’s going to work so that all the other landowners will follow.”
The couple’s combined estates in Hacienda Euzkara cover 28 square kilometres of land, which is bigger compared to the 27.36 sq km covering Metro Manila’s Makati City.
Inspired by 2008 global financial crisis
Assunta said everything happened when their hacienda was hit by the 2008 global financial crisis.
“In 2008, when the world was having a meltdown, [an] economic crisis, ang ginawa niya [Jules] baligtad: Instead of letting go of workers or mag-lay off, he did the other way around. We paid off all the debts of our larger estate. While paying for that, sinusulat na niya ‘yung trust kasi sabi niya, ‘Ipapamigay ko ‘to sa workers ko kapag nag-zero na siya. And it’s all free.’”
“We put everything in a trust para, you know, it’s self-perpetuating and nobody can break it apart,” she further said.
The actress also related that this effort may have regained the trust of Jules’ constituents and given him another term at the recent midterm elections.
Records show that Jules has been consistently absent in the plenary, and that he attended only three out of the 50 sessions in the 15th Congress.
De Rossi said her husband of 11 years had come up with the idea of giving a large chunk of their hacienda to the farmworkers during the 2008 global financial crisis.
“We paid off all the debts of our large estate,” she said in Filipino. “While paying for it, my husband wrote the trust so he could eventually distribute the land. And it’s all free.”
Stressing that the trust is “self-perpetuating and nobody can break it apart”, de Rossi said this could be the reason why her husband was reelected by his constituents as congressman in the first district of Negros Occidental in last month’s polls.
In December 2002, De Rossi, then 19 years old and an award-winning actress, married the then-41-year-old Ledesma in civil ceremonies at the groom’s hometown of San Carlos City.
Excerpt from : http://www.emirates247.com/entertainment/actress-assunta-rossi-and-husband-jules-give-60-of-wealth-to-farmers-2013-06-26-1.512066
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