By MAO HERMITANIO
Contributed to Bulatlat.com
Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng may have left the country last month but the need for relief and rehabilitation efforts have not subsided especially in Central Luzon provinces devastated by the surging flood.
Volunteers of Tulong Anakpawis from Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Anakpawis Partylist, Task Force Obrero and the offices of Rep. Rafael Mariano and Rep. Joel Maglunsod, the two poorest congressmen, were able to travel to Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan last October 26 to 27 to provide relief goods to peasant families and rural poor communities affected by the calamities.
Kindness of People
A single entry on the social networking site Facebook calling for donations fetched a significant amount from artist Chickoy Pura of the Jerks who donated the proceeds of one of his gig at My Brothers Moustache to Tulong Anakpawis.
In between relief and clean-up operations in San Mateo, Montalban, Antipolo in Rizal, Marikina, Pasig, Taguig-Pateros, Mandaluyong, Caloocan, Malabon and Valenzuela cities, Anakpawis chapter members who were mostly typhoon victims themselves conducted house-to-house information and solicitation drive to gather support.
Erning, a tricycle driver in West Kamias, Quezon City who earns roughly P150 ($3.15 at an exchange rate of $1=P47.60) after a day’s work earnestly shared a few pesos from his own pocket as contribution. He said in Filipino, “Our homes were also flooded that is why I know the situation other victims are in. I would like to help in my own little way.”
KMU’s Task Force Obrero launched its ‘Piso para sa mga biktima ni Ondoy campaign’ while KMP started the ‘Sagip Kanayunan’ operation. Donation boxes were also set up at the House of Representatives lobby.
After persistent requests and follow-ups, Anakpawis gathered more than 350 cavans of rice from National Disaster Coordinating Council. The next problem is where to get canned goods. The wonders of charity worked because within 48 hours before the scheduled trip, a delivery of 10,000 cans of sardines, from an anonymous donor, arrived at the partylist’s headquarters.
Renting a cargo truck to deliver the goods costs too much and that remained a problem that almost postponed the relief operations. Good samaritans are always there when needed, as another anonymous donor, volunteered to loan an Elf truck.