Humanitarian groups such as the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter, business groups such as Tan Holdings, and even organizations like the United Filipino Organization and the MDX Amateur Radio Group have initiated fund drives and other campaigns to help victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that battered the Philippines last weekend.
ARC-NMI Chapter executive director John Hirsh said the American Red Cross has sent two of its top disaster specialists from California to the Philippines to help with the relief efforts.
“I believe they’re working with the Philippine Red Cross in Manila right now. They’re hoping to manage the massive logistics involved and trying to provide assistance to families in distress,” he said.
Those wanting to help can also donate funds to the American Red Cross’ local chapter.
“We’re accepting monetary contributions. Those will be specifically earmarked for this typhoon event,” Hirsh said.
The Red Cross also has a service called Restoring Family Links that can help Filipinos on Saipan find their loved ones in the areas struck by Yolanda.
“If you’ve got a loved one in the Philippines that you’ve been in regular contact with and now all of a sudden the contact is broken off, then you can come to our office and we have some forms you can fill out, and those are immediately forwarded to the Philippine Red Cross. They’ll be looking for those loved ones to make sure they’re okay,” he said.
Those wanting to use Restoring Family Links could visit the ARC-NMI Chapter office along Airport Road in front of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport or call 234-3459.
According to ARC website, Restoring Family Links is a free service that successfully assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world.
On Monday, Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo issued a statement to extend her sympathies to the Philippines and those affected by the supertyphoon.
"My thoughts and prayers are with all Filipinos affected by Supertyphoon Haiyan. The Philippines is one of our nation’s closest allies in the Asia-Pacific region. Many Filipinos in Guam continue to have friends and loved ones in the Philippines,” she said.
She promised Filipinos that she will work with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, and any other federal agency to ensure that the United States can support its allies in the Philippines “as we did with our allies in Japan following the devastation of the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake.”
Tan Holdings has initiated its own donation drive for victims of the supertyphoon, which reports indicate could claim an upwards of 10,000 lives in the central Philippines.
“As you may already know, Supertyphoon Haiyan, which devastated a large portion of the Visayas region in the central Philippines, caused horrific destruction and affected the lives of at least 4 million people in these areas. It was the strongest storm in recorded history to ever make landfall. It was 3.5 times the strength of Hurricane Katrina and weather reports said that its cloud band was so massive that if it was in the East Coast of the United States, it would have covered the area between Canada and Florida,” the company’s internal memo to its employees read.
Because of the urgency of the situation on the ground and the logistical challenges in bringing aid and relief to the affected areas, and considering the importance of speed, Tan Holdings has asked employees and other individuals who want to help to donate cash.
The memo stated that Tan Holdings CEO Jerry Tan himself has personally pledged to help in this effort. “We hope that everyone also finds it in himself/herself to give what they can.”
The beneficiary of Tan Holdings’ fund drive will be the United Nations World Food Programme (www.wfp.org).
“They are already in place to initially deploy 120,000 hi-energy food packs but need ongoing international support to fund logistics and transport. Food and water has been identified as the most vital need at this time.”
Calling on all HAM radio operators
MDX Amateur Radio Club is calling on all ham radio operators on Saipan to attend a meeting tomorrow, Nov. 13, 5:30pm at the 13 Fisherman Paviliion along Beach Road in Garapan.
According to MDX board member Leo Canedo, the group’s president, Bong Malasarte, wants ham radio operators on Saipan to help those who want to communicate with their families in the Visayas area, especially Leyte.
“As we all know, communication is still down up to now and the only means of communicating is by ham radio,” said Canedo.
He said that MDX was able to contact the Philippine Amateur Radio Association yesterday morning and they are now establishing stations in different parts of the province.
“We are calling all ham radio operators on Saipan and let us all join hands to help our fellow kababayans [compatriots] by means of communication. To all of our kababayans that are in need of assistance in finding the situations of their families, they can come and join us on Wednesday.”
Those who need help in locating their loved ones can contact MDX at 322-8895 and look for Romy or Leo or call 287-5525 and look for Bong.
MDX is also expected to start a fund drive, to be donated to the Philippine National Red Cross.
Rechargeable lanterns, fans needed
Cornerstone Family Empowerment Ministries, a ministry of Cornerstone Christian Church on Saipan and its affiliate Cornerstone Churches, is also seeking monetary donations to buy 300 rechargeable lanterns and 300 rechargeable electric fans for the victims of supertyphoon Yolanda in Maasin, southern Leyte. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier, the Philippine Consulate General in Guam and the United Filipino Organization said they will be starting fund drives to help victims of the supertyphoon in the central Philippines. (see list of Philippine agencies accepting monetary donations)
TYPHOON FUND DRIVE ACCOUNTS
Account Name: NDRRMC Donated Funds
Account Numbers: 0435-021927-030 (Peso Account);
0435-021927-530 (Dollar Account)
Swift Code: DBPHPHMM Account #36002016
Address: Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Camp Aguinaldo Branch, PVAO Compound, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Philippines 1110
Contact Person: Rufina A. Pascual, Collecting Officer, NDRRMC, Office of Civil Defense, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
Contact Nos.: (632) 421-1920; 911-5061 up to 65 local 116
Email Address: email@example.com;
Account number: 3124-0055-81
Bank Branch Address: Land Bank of the Philippines, Batasan, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact person: Fe Catalina Ea (Cash Division)
Contact Nos.: (+632) 931-8101 loc. 226,
Mobile No.: (+63918) 628-1897
PHILIPPINE RED CROSS
Contact No.: (632)527-0000
Bank Accounts for Donations:
Banco De Oro
Swift Code: BNORPHMM
Philippine National Bank
Peso: 3752 8350 0034
Dollar: 3752 8350 0042
Swift Code: PNBMPHMM
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM
Unionbank of the Philippines
Peso: 1015 4000 0201
Dollar: 1315 4000 0090
Swift Code: UBPHPHMM
Per advisory from the Philippine Red Cross website, for donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.
For continuing and further updates, you may wish to visit the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) website www.ndrrmc.gov.ph.