Fil-Ams mobilizing help for PH calamity victims
LOS ANGELES – One month, three major islands, three disasters: a crisis in Zamboanga followed weeks later by Typhoon Santi in Central Luzon, then the devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Visayas, Filipinos in the US are now mobilizing to help the homeland.
While President Aquino has not yet issued international appeal for assistance, Filipinos in the US 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.