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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com> and <firstname.lastname@example.org>. 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.
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.
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.
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.
ABS-CBN News Online
Reports from local contacts as relayed by CNDR members