OFWs hoping to help PH disaster victims

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Oct. 24, 2013

LOS ANGELES – One month, three major islands, three disasters: a crisis in Zamboanga followed weeks later by Typhoon Santee in Central Luzon, then the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Visayas, Filipinos are now mobilizing to help the homeland.

While President Aquino has not yet issued international appeals for assistance, Filipinos in the U.S. are finding ways to help—especially those who have close ties to affected areas like Mel Alfarero, who hails from Tagulan City in Bohol.

The civil engineer who once worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during the 1996 Northridge earthquakes in California still owns a commercial property in Bohol.

He plans to go there in a few weeks with the help of other engineers to transform it into a relief center for those affected.

“About 30,000 Boholanos are displaced,” Alfarero said. “I think more than half of them are not able to rebuild because it’s expensive doing it. I’d like propose a base on my commercial property to take some of those who’d like to volunteer for these people to have their house rehabilitated and repaired.”

With bridges and roads impassable, Consul General Helen Barber Dela Vega said, monetary donations through various organizations may be the most efficient way to give aid.

In the meantime, the Philippine Disaster Relief Organization (PeDRO) will hold a 5k walk on Nov. 10 to raise funds for disaster survivors.

Government agencies as well as nongovernment organizations have given P15 million in Santi aid, while P19 million for earthquake relief has also been issued.

Nearly 200 people died in this strongest Asian earthquake in 3 years.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • JD
    29 October 2013 at 10:22 am - Reply

    I’m glad to see, some Americans will help the people in the philippines. What happen to Aquino why can’t he give more help to his people ? Come On Aquino take care of your people they he ones that voted for you?