Fil-Ams offer aid for Ondoy victims

Posted at 09/30/2009 9:37 AM | Updated as of 08/04/2010 7:45 PM

SAN FRANCISCO—Filipino-Americans are turning anguish into action, rushing to the aid of victims of Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.  At the Westbay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, kids filled boxes full of clothes and food.

“I was sad because some of my family was there, and a lot of people are dying,” said Edmund Rusell Manzano, an 11-year-old volunteer at Westbay.  Another Westbay youth, Sabrina Bustos, age 9, donated money from her piggy bank to help raise money.
“Some of them are poor.  They need help from other people,” Bustos said.
San Francisco Deputy Consul General Wilfredo Santos says he is not surprised to see Fil-Ams mobilizing aid for the typhoon victims.

“This is an indication of how much they care about the Philippines, not only because they have ties there, but because they are worried about the situation back home,” Santos said.

The Philippine government is tapping agencies like the National Disaster Coordinating Centers, National Red Cross, and the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development to receive donations in cash and checks from overseas Filipinos.

Dr. Carmelo Roco of the Philippine Medical Association says Fil-Ams from the medical community should organize to send medicine to the flood victims, who are now vulnerable to diseases.  Roco plans to send volunteer doctors to the Philippines

“All the medications we have in excess, we should send back home.  The most important we need to send are vaccines and antibiotics.  We also need to send milk to prevent malnutrition among children,” Dr. Roco said.

Community leaders plan to meet at the Philippine Consulate tonight to organize a Fil-Am disaster committee to will lead relief efforts in the U.S. for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy and other future disasters.