More foreign aid pours in for ‘Sendong’ victims
More foreign aid, corporate donations, and contributions from overseas Filipinos continue to pour in for the victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong.”
Switzerland has donated 300,000 Swiss francs (about P14 million) to support the rehabilitation efforts particularly in the devastated cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The DFA also said the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation would dispatch a four-man team of water and sanitation experts to the flood-ravaged areas.
Earlier, Swiss President Micheline Calmy Rey wrote President Benigno Aquino III to express sympathy for the calamity victims. In 2009, the Swiss government gave a total of 1.5 million Swiss francs in the aftermath of Tropical Storm “Ondoy.”
The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has called on its 57 member-states to help the Philippines in its post-calamity rehabilitation program, the DFA also reported.
A four-member OIC delegation headed by Fuad Ali Al-Maznaee, director general for humanitarian affairs, arrived in Cagayan de Oro City on Dec. 26 for a four-day visit to assess the devastation and see where exactly can the member-countries help.
First for OIC
Foreign Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said it was the “first time the OIC had dispatched a needs-assessment mission to the Philippines” to see how the organization can help affected communities in Mindanao, as directed by ‘’no less than OIC Secretary General Ekmelledin Ihsanoglu.”
“The Philippines appreciates this kind of gesture from our brothers in the OIC,” Seguis said.
The OIC members include, among others, Morocco, Nigeria, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Albania, Uganda, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Tunisia, Syria, Oman, Algeria, and Egypt.
The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv and Filipino groups based in Israel have also raised some $800 for Sendong victims, the foreign office added.
Two organizations of overseas Filipino workers in Afghanistan also donated P50,000. The groups—Pinoy Bunkers and Filipinos In Afghanistan (FIA)—sent the money to the Philippine Red Cross, said FIA spokesperson Emmanuel Geslani.
Marubeni Corp. of Japan will donate 10 million yen (P5.6 million) to the relief effort, the company said in a statement on Monday.
The two Philippine companies under the Marubeni group are also extending assistance to the victims. These are San Roque Power, which has donated P1.5 million through the ABS-CBN Foundation Sagip Kapamilya; and Team Energy, which is donating P1 million.
Marubeni has been operating in the Philippines since 1909, with investments in power generation, industrial estates and construction machinery.
Globe Telecom employees worked through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to distribute relief goods in three barangays in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. Other Globe volunteers helped pack relief goods, while the company’s Libreng Tawag (free call) facilities also continued operations through the Christmas weekend.
“The Christmas season provided (our) employees with the opportunity to demonstrate compassion those who need it the most. We have been blessed with employees who embraced the spirit of social responsibility and who generously augmented the funds from Globe earmarked for relief efforts,” said Rob Nazal, head of the company’s corporate social responsibility flagship program, Globe Bridging Communities.
The telecom giant said its relief efforts had reached over 3,800 families in Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, with cash donations alone reaching more than P1-million raised from company funds and employee contributions. Jerry E. Esplanada, Philip C. Tubeza, and Amy R. Remo