Homes in Phillipines

The exemptions to Mother from Foreign Exchange Regulations helped her open Homes in other countries as well. The biggest beneficiary was another Asian country Phillipines, a Roman Catholic nation. So, that country had natural expectations from Mother Teresa.
The economic and social condition of that country was similar to India. There poverty and diseases were as rampant as in India.
Many Homes were opened by Missionaries of Charity in Phillipines. Manila became the centre of its activities.
Indians settled in Phillipines or there on business were natural allies of Mother Teresa.
Taxing problem
T.B. and Diarrhoea were two disease that ravaged the Phillipinos most. Cardinal Sinn invited Mother Teresa to open her 11th Home in that country dedicated exclusively for the care of the people suffering from above maladies.
With the cooperation of the President Cori Aquino the Home duly came up. But its functioning faced a bureaucratic hurdle.
A big consignment of donated drugs had arrived from abroad at the airport. The Sisters were very eagerly awaiting for the drugs for use. They were costly drugs. In Phillipines drugs were in short supply and prices very high.
Sister Superior who had gone to the airport returned empty handed after several hours. The consignment was not given to her by the authorities.
Mother enquired, “Sister! What took you so long? Got the medicines?”
Sister revealed, “I have been running around for hours. The customs people are demanding the custom duty on the drugs or they won’t release the consignment.”
Mother declared angrily, “We won’t pay the tax. I don’t take anything from the government. So, why do they want tax from us? Some kind donors have sent those costly drugs for the poor of this country. Why should the government tax the gifted medicines? It’s ridiculous and outrageous. I won’t pay.”
She turned to an old Indian friend who happened to be there to say, “Mr. Mehta, do something. Whenever drugs come we have to hassle with those officials. Paper work uses our energy. Charity works suffer. Find some lasting solution please.”
Later, with the help of the Health Secretary, Mr. Perricot this problem was solved.
Through a simple written guarantee the drugs to Mother’s Charity Homes were exempted from customs duty.

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