The United Filipino Organization will be holding several fundraising drives for the benefit of the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu provinces in the Philippines early Tuesday morning.
UFO president Annamae Adaza said the fund drive will start tomorrow, Oct. 19, 7am at the Sabalu Market in Susupe where the umbrella organization of all Filipino groups on Saipan will be setting up a booth.
It will continue on Sunday, Oct. 20, 6pm at the Kristo Rai Church and at the Tuesday and Thursday farmers’ markets at the Garapan Fishing Base next week.
“With all the issues going on in the Philippines like the pork barrel controversy, we still need to help our kababayans [countrymen]. The important thing is we make the effort to extend our help, rather than keep watching the news, feel sorry for them, and keep doing nothing,” said Adaza.
She said the UFO will only be accepting monetary donations and anyone who wants to donate but can’t go to the fund drive booths are requested to call her at 483-5237 or UFO secretary Mario Mayuga at 285-1021.
The Philippine Consulate General in Guam, meanwhile, said it is currently coordinating with the Filipino Community of Guam, particularly with its president Roy Adonay, regarding possible relief efforts for the benefit of the families and communities affected by the earthquake.
The consulate general and the FCG will also coordinate with the officers and members of the Cebu Association of Guam about this matter.
An official announcement on the relief efforts will be made available as soon as details are finalized. For queries and requests for information, call the consulate general at 646- 4620/30 or (670) 682-2222.
In its update to Filipinos in the Marianas about the earthquake in the central Philippines, the consulate general said the 7.2 magnitude earthquake occurred Tuesday at about 8:20am in the Visayan provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Siquijor.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the strength of the earthquake was equivalent to that of 32 Hiroshima atomic bombs.
As of 6am Wednesday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that 879 barangays in the three provinces were damaged by the earthquake, affecting approximately 558,390 families, which translates to about 2,841,956 individuals.
A total of 158 casualties have been reported, while 276 were reported injured and three persons have been rescued.
Due to the extent of the damage, both the provinces of Cebu and Bohol have been declared under a state of calamity.
In response to the disaster, the Armed Forces of the Philippines deployed its humanitarian assistance and disaster response units to assist in the rescue efforts. Two helicopters were deployed to augment the 2nd Special Forces Battalion conducting disaster response operation in Tagbilaran, Bohol, while four M-35 trucks with 50 military personnel were also deployed to Cebu City to assist in debris clearing, particularly in the Basilica del Sto. Niño, which partially collapsed.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development released 10 million pesos to the DSWD Field Office in Region 7 to purchase relief goods for the families affected by the earthquake. They have also started operating several evacuation centers in order to provide temporary shelters. (Mark Rabago)