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Jun 24

Ways to help

The saving grace of this country is that in times of trouble, people don’t have to be asked to help. They spontaneously do so.

The three most important issues here are:

1. the speed at which the aid can reach the victims;

2. the assurance that the aid really gets to them;

3. that the items sent to the victims are what they really need.

Aside from the Philippine National Red Cross, and the International Red Cross, the government has announced some embassies will accept donations. Catholic relief agencies (like CARITAS Manila) can also receive donations and since many Filipinos abroad maintain close ties to their parishes, you may want to inquire with your parish office if a collection can be taken up for Philippine relief and coursed through international Catholic humanitarian channels (this applies to most other religious associations/churches, too).

You might also want to consider coursing your aid and assistance through the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), which has issued a call for an urgent response to help the families suffering from Tropical Storm Frank’s fury. They have appealed to “the kind hearts of our members and partners to help in the emergency response operations”. You can reach them at 0928-3893629 (Floreen Simon) and 0917-9183122 (Joy Abot) or you can email them at <[email protected]>, <[email protected]> and <[email protected]>. You may also deposit cash donations to CNDR’s BDO Savings Account No. 004640030358 (Account Name: Corporate Network for Disaster Response).

You may also want to consider donating in kind. CNDR has the following drop-off points. Petron Corporation/Foundation is opening all its service stations. Ayala Foundation has opened a drop-off point in Glorietta 4 and will soon open more drop-off points in all Ayala Malls. ABS-CBN will also accept donations at Sagip Kapamilya’s warehouse in #11 Examiner Street in Quezon City. Manila Water will also receive donations. All goods that will be gathered in this campaign will be sorted and repacked at the Manila Water and ABS-CBN Foundation warehouse and will then be turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Suggested good donations based on identified needs of the victims include canned goods, water containers (jugs), and monggo beans. for donations from companies and their employees, CNDR will coordinate the pick-up of goods for delivery from donor companies with the help of transportation services offered by Coca-Cola and Manila Water.

CNDR says “A relief operation will also be conducted once sufficient cash donations are available. The service area will depend on an initial assessment of DSWD and a thorough damages, needs, and capacities assessment (DNCA) by CNDR.”

Also, “Currently, CNDR is coordinating the transport of Manila Water’s commitment of sending a portable water treatment plant and Zuellig Foundation’ disaster kits to Iloilo in coordination with DSWD. This will greatly address the need for potable water in the province. Zuellig Foundation will also provide at least 130 disaster kits more to affected families in Zamboanga”. According to CNDR, “This partnership with DSWD has earned us regular access to transportation facilities which will enable us to deliver the goods to the families in need of assistance”.

You may also be interested in finding out what individual companies have done, either to team up with them, or in order to plan similar efforts on the part of your company, neighborhood association, or civic group or school:

ABS-CBN and Lopez Group Foundation: served at least 5,273 individuals including 982 families and 800 kids in a series of soup kitchen. Areas served: Desamparados, Jaro, Iloilo City; Alabel and General Santos; Cotabato; Mandurriao, Iloilo City; Bacolod City; and Delpan and Binondo in Manila

Petron: Committed 1M for relief operations in partnership with DSWD. Started relief operations in Iloilo and Roxas. Provided jet fuel for choppers for rescue operations.

Quezon Power: Assessing the impact of TS Frank in Quezon Province. Will support CNDR’s relief operations.

Smart: Committed to support local chapters of Philippine National Red Cross in General Santos and Iloilo. Set-up Libreng Tawag Centers in Manila, Cebu and Lucena for communication access of families and relatives of the victims of the sunken MV Princess of the Stars.

PBSP: Sent out a call for response. Will assess needs of priority areas in Bicol, Samar, Step-Up areas in Metro Manila, and Mindanao.

Pilipinas Shell: Mobilizing donations in support of CNDR operations.

BPI Foundation: Pledged P50,000 in support of CNDR operations.

Here is CNDR’s report on the damage wrought by the typhoon:

Updates on Severe Tropical Storm Frank

CNDR, 23 June 2008 as of 12 noon

As Tropical Storm Frank slowly trudged the country, it left on its path death and destruction. Authorities have estimated that millions worth of property, crops, and infrastructure have been damaged. The amount of damage is expected to rise, and with it, the death toll as reports come in from various parts of the country some of which have been isolated by power outage, floods, and landslides.

As of 6pm Sunday, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) lists at least 82 dead in Regions VI, VIII, XI, XII, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Some 82,571 families or 386,902 persons were affected by TS Frank. Of the number, at least 10,648 families or 51,100 persons are currently in evacuation centers. The NDCC also placed agricultural damage at P888 million in Leyte alone and another P52 million worth of damage to school buildings. This came from various reports as the NDCC is in the process of consolidating the effects of TS Frank.

“The weather and flooding does not enable us yet to transport relief goods and rescue equipment,” NDCC’s Dr. Anthony Golez said. “We will fly to Iloilo using C-130 planes,” he said. The NDCC said majority of Iloilo and Samar provinces were still experiencing power outages. In Leyte, 80 percent of electricity supply has been restored. The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Leyte, Capiz, and Romblon, meanwhile, remained powerless. The NDCC said officials would have to wait for floodwaters in the provinces to recede before restoring the power lines.

VISAYAS

On Saturday, the typhoon devastated the province of Iloilo as many residents spent the night on rooftops and desperately cried for help. Frank’s heavy rains and strong winds battered communities, sweeping houses and toppling trees and electric posts, including transmission lines of the power plant in Dingle town. Many roads were impassable because of fallen trees and landslides.

Almost all of Iloilo’s 42 towns and this city, including those that had not previously experienced flooding, were under water. Rescue and relief agencies scrambled to reach the typhoon victims and provide assistance. Officials said it was the worst flooding experienced in Western Visayas, with the number of fatalities rising to 81. Fifty-two people died in Iloilo province, 15 in Antique, six in Iloilo City, and four each in the provinces of Capiz and Negros Occidental. At least 136 others are still missing including 78 in Iloilo and 55 in Antique. The figures are expected to rise as reports come in trickles from towns and villages, many of which are still isolated by floodwaters.

The City Schools Division of the Department of Education Sunday declared the suspension of classes for at least three days because the schools were being used as evacuation centers. Many students were also among the victims.

In neighboring Capiz, more than 2,000 houses were destroyed in the provincial capital.

Although the government has target rescue and relief operations in Iloilo and neighboring provinces, heavy flooding have further isolated these areas.

In Aklan, at least 10 residents were killed and hundreds missing when floods from the Aklan River wiped out entire communities as TS Frank lashed the region over the weekend. Jess Marquez, executive assistant to Aklan Gov. Carlito Marquez, said that except for intermittent cell phone service, the province is cut off from the outside world. He further said that floods reached as high as chest level and many communities near the Aklan River were wiped out. Marquez cited information indicating their power generators, including those that power the province’s hospitals, are submerged in mud and water.

In Sibuyan Island, the MV Princess of the Stars, carrying 626 passengers and 121 crew on board, capsized during the typhoon. The ferry was en route to Cebu from Manila at around 12:30pm on Saturday. Twenty-eight passengers were reported alive but more than 800 remain missing.

MINDANAO

The local government on Saturday declared Vitali district and other areas in Zamboanga City hit by flashfloods as under state of calamity. The City Disaster Coordinating Council (CDCC) chaired by Mayor Celso Lobregat has mobilized all local government resources to assist the more than 1,000 families displaced by the flashfloods spawned by typhoon Frank since Friday.

In Southern Maguindanao province, at least 14 people drowned in flash floods Saturday including 10 persons that were swept away from riverside homes. Five others remain missing.

In Cotabato City, a man and his 10-year-old grandson were killed when a landslide buried their hillside shanty.

In Sarangani, at least 1,641 families are affected from the municipalities of Alabel (661), Kiamba (514), Maasin (288), and Maitum (288). At least 337 houses are destroyed and two bridges in key transport routes are washed out completely. Initial estimate of amount of damages is at P34 million.

METRO MANILA

In Metro Manila many residents had been caught unprepared as the storm, which rampaged in the Visayas and Bicol, made an unexpected — and deadly — shift and battered Metro Manila. Major streets were flooded and numerous traffic lights were out.

The typhoon also downed power lines and caused massive blackouts in franchise areas of Meralco, including parts of Metro Manila and the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon. About 46 percent of the electricity service was disrupted according to Meralco.

As day broke, transportation was paralyzed, many billboards were felled, and nearly all domestic and international flights were cancelled. Thousands of passengers were stranded. It was not until evening when international flights were allowed to leave.

Sources:

ABS-CBN News Online

Inquirer.net

Manila Bulletin

GMANews.TV

Sunstar

Reports from local contacts as relayed by CNDR members

33 comments

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  1. Mark

    Hi Sir,

    I am a regular reader and a follower of your site. I am adding you to my blog roll, if you don’t mind. Thanks….

  2. PhilwoSpEditor

    MLQ3,

    Can I add one more to ways in how to help? I think after the relief goods giving time is over, I suggest that we extend the help, by helping them return back to normal faster…

    I mean, rebuilding the communities that were destroyed. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry anymore.” Relief goods isn’t always enough, based on what I’ve seen and experienced when I went to Bicol 3 weeks after Reming. Some don’t even reach the families who need it, unfortunately.

    I’m not trying to be a wet blanket to giving relief goods, it’s just that they only provide a temporary help.

  3. Bencard

    philed, the “temporary help” is meant to keep body and soul together for now. remember the old pinoy cliche, “aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo”. LET’S GIVE NOW. we’ll pursue long-term objectives later on.

  4. d0d0ng

    For Sulpicio Lines, it is business as usual.

    It promised to pay 200,000 pesos per victim. Of course, it has insurance coverage for victims plus replacement cost of the ship and indemnity on loss operations including suspension of operations pending investigation.

    Shipping tragedies are common in the Philippines where safety rules poorly implemented and substandard vessels ply dangerous waters. And Coast Guards can make money on the sidelines.

    Due to public outcry for the victims, the inefficient and corrupt government responded by suspending Sulpicio’s operations. But if history prove correct, it will be back to its business like it did after Dona Paz tragedy.

    Meanwhile, the catholic bishops can pray for the victims’ souls only if they are not using condoms or any artificial birth control.

  5. d0d0ng

    “3. that the items sent to the victims are what they really need.”

    Years ago when disaster fell on Samar and buried towns underneath the mudflows, it was the sight of American soldiers along the Philippine marines who were on sight to help recover the victims. It was beautiful sight marred only the ugliness of corrupt gov’t officials who switched the foreign relief goods (corned beef, imported blankets, etc) with local sardines and ukay-ukay stuff.

  6. Bencard

    bishop lagdameo’s recent criticism of pgma for being away in the midst of tragedy proximately caused by mother nature is just another example of the politicking clergy putting its foot on its mouth. what difference does it make if “gloria” is not physically present? can her presence change anything? can she do better than what is being done now? if he is saying noli de castro is not up to his constitutional job, why doesn’t he say so?

    the problem with his kind of thinking is the unwarranted premium ascribed to appearances, not reality. the familiar refrain ‘o, kailangan nandito ka para walang masabi ang tao’ is a display of intellectual vacuity. this is one reason why the clergy is fast becoming irrelevant on real monumental issues of the day.

  7. PhilwoSpEditor

    @Bencard

    I said, in addition to. I stated that after the relief goods time, then comes rebuilding time… Which most politicians usually fall short of, because of ‘lack of funds’. I’m not saying that relief goods should not be done. I’m just saying go the extra mile, instead of short changing them in the long run.

    And regarding the statement on how the president doesn’t really need to be physically present… Without her, her cronies don’t know what they would do. Remember that the helicopters came in a day after the storm, because they couldn’t do anything without that damned teleconference with the president. Imagine the response time of the NDCC, without the president… Seconds and minutes count and she delayed relaying information in a couple of days, for crying out loud, doesn’t physical presence count for something, especially if your subordinates barely have legs to walk on, when you’re gone.

    Sigh… She should have just cut down her time in the US, but that’s another story.

    @dodong

    Too true. But it’s also a slap in the face of those who are seated because it was foreign help that went in first. Which just made the Military respond earlier afterwards with Milenyo and Reming about a year after.

  8. Bencard

    philed, fine. just wanted to say, first things first. we’ll never run out of problems to bitch about, especially by people who look at the glass darkly. we always seem to do a million things at the same time that’s why we seldom accomplish anything

    if the people tasked to do their pre-set jobs cannot do the right thing without the big boss actually looking behind their shoulders, that is an indictment of the kind of public servants we have, most of whom were already there before “gloria”, and are protected by civil service rules. what do you expect the president to do if she was present? fire everyone on the spot because a helicopter was delayed waiting for her instructions. you are probably right, they have barely legs and feet to walk with. but pgma is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. when she berated the coast guard leadership and sulpicio management for apparent violation of rules, abs-cbn quickly dubbed it “nagtaray” (whatever that means, i’m sure it was not complimentary).

  9. d0d0ng

    Bencard, “what difference does it make if “gloria” is not physically present? can her presence change anything? can she do better than what is being done now? if he is saying noli de castro is not up to his constitutional job, why doesn’t he say so?”

    Asked if the president is going to cut short her 10 day visit, the reply is no. She remains in control of the situation through modern technology according to her minions. Injustice secretary added that the bishops would not understand Arroyo because they have not gone on state visits.

    Actually, there is nothing wrong with this governance from outside especially if the constitution perfectly envisioned a shopping spree president abroad (terrorism funds, human rights funds, food and economic aid, etc) while its populace languished in a disaster.

    The big picture according to injustice secretary Gonzales that state visit is more important than her people. Those dead people cannot generate funds the way she and her full retinue of 59 congressmen and 10 cabinet secretaries.

    It is a matter of priority. Unfortunately, the Filipinos during time of tragedy is less of priority than the Americans who has the green bucks. Aray!

  10. d0d0ng

    Bencard on, “what do you expect the president to do if she was present?”

    Good point, you don’t want Arroyo to sing Ave Maria for the families of the dead victim, regardless the fact that those families are also taxpayers who paid the expensive travel expenses of the president, 59 congressmen and 10 cabinet secretaries.

    Ano ba talaga ang gusto niyo?, another way to put it. The dead can’t speak for themselves.

  11. TonGuE-tWisTeD

    First, Gloria could have declared a state of emergency to expedite response without need for the usual route of paperwork necessary to, say, purchase gas for relief vehicles or a massive deployment of assets that would never happen since the signatories are in her junket.

    Under SOE, she could direct the military to secure all necessary equipment for cutting through the ship, which equipment were readily available from many private shipbuiilders/repairers in Subic, Cebu, Mindanao, including those from her friends’ Aboitiz Shipping.

    She could direct the full force of the military to assist the victims and secure those still threatened by disaster. She couldn’t, cuz she also had with her the DND Sec who could order the CSAFP, who in turn would order his Commanders, and so on.

    The pilot can fly the plane in the cockpit better than flying a remote controlled one.

  12. Bencard

    what shopping spree? here you go again, talking way out of your head. you should be ashamed commenting on who paid the expenses for the president’s state visit. you are not even a philippine taxpayer.

    out of place sarcasm is a product of a defective thought process. you are trying too hard, man.

  13. d0d0ng

    bencard on, “you should be ashamed commenting on who paid the expenses for the president’s state visit”

    You address to the wrong person, you should ask the President and her 59 congressmen who spent the hardearned taxes of Filipinos on shopping trip to the US while the country is in a state of disaster. It is okay for you and others to see such kind extravagance during difficult times. Obviously, such is a product of a defective thought process.

  14. d0d0ng

    mlq3 on, “The saving grace of this country is that in times of trouble, people don’t have to be asked to help. They spontaneously do so.”

    Except for the President and her stooges -59 congressmen and 10 cabinet secretaries, they think there is no need of cutting expensive trips to alleviate the badly needed funds for the disaster areas.

    So what, manood muna sa laban ni Pacquiao – speaking of priorities.

  15. d0d0ng

    The Arroyo government is business as usual (saying this trip had been planned a long time ago) and cannot just be cancelled if 700 or a million Filipinos become victim of a disaster. There is a hint of arrogance.

    Pasensiya muna yung lumulutang dyan sa flooded areas, the 59 congressmen are still enjoying their airconditioned suites.

  16. The Equalizer

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/24/bush-to-filipino-presiden_n_108985.html

    Bush To Filipino President: “I Am Reminded Of The Great Talent Of The — Of Our Philippine-Americans When I Eat Dinner At The White House”

  17. hvrds

    The country still does not respect mother nature. There were forecasts of a storm packing 170 kph winds. The eye was forecasted to track along a more easterly track.

    But the size of the storm system would mean the Visayas would be in the path of the storm system. So the eye swerved a little.

    The government still does not have the political will to oversee safety standards in the light of clearly dangerous weather over the right of business to make a buck. It was a judgment call weighed down by economic considerations. Baka maka lusot.

    The crew and passengers were expendable and left to the vagaries of mother nature.

    The culture of preserving human life is still immature in this country most especially those at the lower income levels.

    Getting out of the way of incoming powerfull storm systems is SOP in every country with effective safety standards fo citizens in place.

    The utter helplessness of the government is not their fault. But trying to pretend that we have a first world safety standard with press cons and phto ops is more damaging.

    Thank goodness for civic society groups in the country. Just make sure you do not allow the Palace or other politicos to put their name brand on the relief goods which is also SOP. Onli in the Pinas so to speak.

  18. leytenian

    Govt grounds Sulpicio
    Shipping line vows to continue selling tickets
    http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2008/june/24/yehey/top_stories/20080624top1.html
    “We’re still issuing tickets,” Sulpicio Lines Vice President Sally Buaron said. “We haven’t received a formal notification [of the suspension],” she added. “

  19. hvrds

    One should not argue about whether Big Mike and GMA should have gone to the U.S. Her official visit and not state visit was scheduled a long time ago.

    W. however was more keen to meet with the Vietnamese Prime Minister since Vietnam is more important in the American scheme of things. Vietnam is a country that is self suffcient in crude oil. But they still are in the process of building their refinery capacity. Guess who is China’s main competitor in the Spratly’s? Vietnam. The Chinese consider the China Sea their pond. Vietnam exports its crude and imports the refined products for now.

    Billing for Big Mike and GMA unfortuatley was overshadowed by both the visit of the Vietnamese leader and the tragic storm that hit the country.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/24/AR2008062400963.html

  20. cvj

    hvrds, W. did compliment the Philippine-Americans for their cooking skills, so that must count for something.

  21. Jeg

    So by staying there instead of coming home, do we take it to mean that she is ending her term in 2010?

  22. PSimeon

    ..”the President and her stooges -59 congressmen and 10 cabinet secretaries,” d0d0ng

    A poor country pretending to be rich?

    mlq3, why is there again a Presidential trip to the U.S. in September? What can be accomplished tnen that can’t be done at this point? Better to have the visit next year after the new U.S. President is seated.

    Anyway, its still early in the typhoon season. Another Perfect Storm might just happen to keep PGMA home.

  23. manuelbuencamino

    Bencard,

    It makes a difference. A tragedy occurred. Her countrymen are suffering. Iba yun sa rice and fuel crisis etc which can be managed by remote control.

    Parang New Orleans yan. Why were Americans so pissed at Bush because instead of going to New Orleans immediately after Katrina he took his sweet time (5 days) and had himself photographed looking out the window of Air Force 1 at devastated
    New Orleans.

    Pakikiramay ang tawag dyan. The least Arroyo could have done was to show some sympathy for people she had been living off for the last seven years.

    Alam mo Bencard, people expect a little sign of humanity from their leaders.

  24. Bencard

    manuelB, are you sure it will be seen as “pakikiramay”? she could have joined the navy divers and search for the dead bodies herself and i’m sure some wag from your crowd would call it pakitang tao. see, mlq3 sees whatever the president say or do as “appearing to be doing something”. like you said before, “sala sa init, sala sa lamig”.

    kailangan maging practikal tayong mga filipino. tama na yang mga panlabas na pa-porma. if people believe the president doesn’t sympathize with the victims’ families for attending to other official business somewhere else, that’s their choice. what’s important is what is in her heart, but neither you nor i can make a judgment on that.

  25. Bencard

    btw, mb, glad you’re back. i think mlq3 needs your support, really – one who can provide worthwhile argumentation. i think cvj is o.k. but sort of faltering a bit lately (lol).

  26. veteranson

    manuelbuencamino,

    Philippine veterans also expect a little sign of humanity from their leaders, don’t they?

  27. hawaiianguy

    All I can say about this is: indeed, it’s more tragic to see leaders enjoying abroad while their countrymen are suffering from untold miseries. Expect many of them this Saturday in Las Vegas, watching Pacquiao.

    Arroyo’s trip to DC is another attempt to beg from Bush who can’t deliver any longer. This is more damning than being hit by several supertyphoons at the same time.

    Hell!

  28. hawaiianguy

    All I can say about this is: indeed, it’s more tragic to see leaders enjoying abroad while their countrymen are suffering from untold miseries. Expect many of them this Saturday in Las Vegas, watching Pacquiao.

    Arroyo’s trip to DC is another attempt to beg from Bush who can’t deliver any longer. This is more damning than being hit by several supertyphoons at the same time.

    Hell!

  29. rego

    Im just wondering if these people who is complaining about Glorias absence also did something to be of help. Naiipoktitohan ako!

  30. Bencard

    rego, i doubt it, but i’m sure if you challenge them, they will say “i’m not the president”.

  31. tess

    linked this to my site… do we really need to argue on this page? gizzzzzz people!!!

  32. Bencard

    rego, have you noticed that the very ones who bitch about “gloria” being absent (at least in this blog) are her detractors who couldn’t stand her presence? funny isn’t it?

  33. leytenian

    manuelB,
    yes… public service is in line with humanity. it’s sad that our public servants do the opposite. i am hoping that this tragedy will make our public servants more pro-active, prepared and trained for anything that has not happened yet. ( risk management) Mother nature cannot be underestimated. today… we just have to deal with it and get over it. Gloria will definitely eat her own cake.

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