Establishment of the Philippine Hospitaller Foundation of the Order of Malta, Inc. (PHFOM, Inc. or the “Foundation”)
During the early years, most of the Philippine Association’s activities revolved around leprosy. Its active participation resulted in the establishment of the Tala Foundation, Inc. in Caloocan. It enabled the development of sustainable programs and projects aimed to uplift the socio-civic welfare of the Hansenites and their dependents as well as the underprivileged poor for the sole purpose of helping them regain their general well-being.
The Tala Foundation, Inc. (presently known as the Philippine Hospitaller Foundation of the Order of Malta, Inc.) was organized in 1974 under the initiative of a member, the Ambassador of the Order of Malta to the Philippines, Don Jose Ma. Soriano, Grand Cross of Magistral Grace, who was keenly interested in providing assistance for leprosy patients and their families, particularly in Culion, Palawan and Tala, Caloocan City. In Tala, he envisioned an institutionalized and continuing assistance to promote socio-economic development in the community. He felt this could be done if livelihood projects were initiated in the area to create job opportunities for dependents of leper patients.
The magnitude of the project called for the organization of this foundation with a distinct personality as a social development institution. It is a non-stock, non-profit corporation having the purposes for which it is formed.