Tag: BALSA

BAYAN USA Activates Nation-wide Relief Efforts: IN THE SPIRIT OF BAYANIHAN

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2012

Contact: Chera Amlag-BAYAN USA Finance officer: finance@bayanusa.org

BAYAN USA Activates Nation-wide Relief Efforts: IN THE SPIRIT OF BAYANIHAN

BAYAN USA is appealing to all concerned citizens to donate $5, $10, $20 or any other amount within your capacity to help with relief efforts. There are numerous calls to donate from around the globe, however many larger donation outlets are not transparent in where their funds actually go. The organizations in BAYAN USA work directly with BAYAN Philippines and BALSA to provide 100% of your donations to the communities it serves and will reach those areas not covered by media  reaching the far barrios to provide food (more than one kilo of rice, dried fish, mongo, cooking oil, and more) and other basic needs.  The grassroots organizing efforts of BAYAN and BALSA with the communities in the Philippines will ensure that all donations given are directly contributed to the areas that need immediate assistance.

This is an urgent call to please help the victims of massive flooding in the Philippines by making a donation to BALSA today: http://tinyurl.com/BALSAbayanihanrelief and by taking a minute to help forward this email to your all potential contributors!  The only way to achieve complete relief of the massive flooding is to activate our bayanihan-community effort– and giving spirit as the Philippines has been hit once again with the worst flooding since 2009.

For the past week,  rains due to the southwest monsoon (Habagat) after typhoon Gener (international name, Saola) left the country have caused massive flooding in different parts of Luzon, especially in Metro Manila where half of the city is submerged.

Source: Ted Aljibe/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

At present, as the rains continue to pour, many have been stranded in their homes, while thousands are being relocated to various evacuation centers in their cities and municipalities. According to news reports, the rains have affected some 199,485 families (or about one million individuals based on an average of 5 per family) across 11 regions of the country. A total of 60 individuals have been reportedly killed due to the non-stop rains, flooding, and landslides. PAG-ASA, a local weather station is forecasting more rains in the next few days. This and the fact that the dams around Metro-Manila are spilling out water will worsen the flooding in days to come.

Source: Aaron Favila – Associated Press

The thousands of displaced families and communities in the Philippines need your support at this time, anything truly helps. Many thanks for your consideration!

With Gratitude & Appreciation,
BAYAN USA

For More information:
http://www.bayan.ph/site/
http://bayanusa.org/

See this video of BALSA at work during Typhoon Sendong Relief efforts just earlier this year.

Donate today to BALSA, the relief organization of BAYAN for more than a decade: http://tinyurl.com/BALSAbayanihanrelief

NEWS COVERAGE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/world/asia/flooding-in-philippines-grows-worse-as-thousands-flee-manila-and-desperate-residents-are-trapped-on-roofs.html

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/244365/heavy-rains-paralyzeluzon-metro-manila

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Heavy-rains-submerge-Philippine-capital-killing-9-3766863.php

Filipino-American alliance conducts relief work in typhoon-ravaged communities: members deliver $15K, medicine and 2,000 bags of food to typhoon victims

Contact: Rhonda Ramiro
Secretary General, BAYAN-USA
secgen@bayanusa.org


Philippine Congresswoman Liza Maza distributing relief packages

DAGUPAN CITY, PHIILIPPINES–Filipino-Americans under the banner of BAYAN-USA, a US-wide alliance of 14 Filipino organizations, have been actively responding to the needs of the victims of typhoons Ketsana (Ondoy) and Parma (Pepeng) that slammed through the Philippines in the past few weeks killing hundreds and devastating thousands. In addition to conducting on-the-ground emergency relief operations in the Philippines, the alliance reached its projected goal of $15,000 for BALSA (Bayanihan Alay Para Sa Sambayanan), a broad, multi-sectoral disaster relief organization affiliated with its mother alliance, BAYAN Philippines, in addition to gathering dozens of boxes across the US filled with in-kind donations of clothes, food, and medicine.

This week, members of BAYAN-USA traveled to the Philippines to deliver their monetary donations and participate in relief operations. In Dagupan City, Pangasinan, BAYAN-USA joined Congresswoman and Senatorial Candidate Liza Maza of the Gabriela Women’s Party and MAKABAYAN Coalition for one day in handing out over 2,000 sacks of food to long lines of families who had been devastated by the typhoon’s destructive force, but met with the inadequate response of the Philippine government in providing relief. Pangansinan, one of the most impacted provinces in the nation, was 80% submerged due to the man-made disaster of the San Roque Dam opening that unleashed more than 8 million cubic meters of water.

“We have seen with our own eyes how the Philippine government has neglected the needs of the typhoon victims at a time of tremendous need for basic necessities like medicine, food, and shelter,” commented Bernadette Ellorin, chair of BAYAN-USA and one of the members of the relief team. “It has been the responsibility of people’s organizations, like BAYAN-USA, to provide the emergency response needed for our families and loved ones back home who are suffering and will continue to suffer from the Arroyo government’s greedy, disaster-creating policies.”


Relief Distribution Plans

In relaying its monetary and in-kind donations, BAYAN-USA expressed distrust over the Arroyo government’s recent directive for all donations from abroad to be coursed only through accredited organizations with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or face taxation and other types of penalties and fees.

Furthermore, Philippine Consular offices in the U.S. have imposed restrictions on courier services from shipping relief goods collected by organizations whose efforts are not affiliated with the Philippine government. Courier services face high penalty fees should they choose to ship goods from people’s organizations collecting donations such as BAYAN-USA.

“In this time of calamity, it is unconscionable that the Arroyo government sees this as an opportunity to make money off of suffering,” Ellorin added, “especially when its own corruption of the National Disaster Relief Funds to pay for Arroyo’s lavish lifestyle is at the root of this disaster.”

Like other donors from the U.S., BAYAN-USA is calling for the Arroyo government to lift restrictions on goodwill, including the DSWD accreditation requirement and the taxation on relief goods, as it is posing a concrete obstacle to donors to send relief to the Philippines.

“Donors from the U.S. are not responding to the directives because of clear distrust. How can they be assured that their donations will reach their loved ones and the neediest communities back home?” Ellorin questioned. “Donors are choosing to go through alternative routes to circumvent the Arroyo government’s greedy paws.”

With the approaching super-typhoon Lupit expected to hit the Philippines within the next few days, the need for long-term or permanent disaster relief efforts becomes more apparent. “In the face of government corruption and inutility, people’s organizations should develop long-term relief operations to meet the escalating needs of the people to fight off the looming threats of cholera, dengue and other health epidemics as well as widespread hunger and homelessness,” ended Ellorin.


Members of BAYAN-USA and GABRIELA-USA with Congresswoman Liza Maza

For more information on how to donate through BAYAN USA, visit www.bayanusa.org.

Typhoon relief drop-off sites and contact information

OFFICIAL DROP OFF SITES and CONTACT INFORMATION:

[To be updated regularly]


New York

BAYANIHAN Filipino Community Center
40-21 69th St.
Woodside, NY 11377

Open Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 AM – 8 PM; Saturday and Sunday, 12-6 PM.
Contact:
Yancy Mark: (347) 867-0330
Jonna: (646) 578-7390
filipinocenter@gmail.com

Stony Brook University
Contact:
Jun Rose: (646) 750-3489.

FIND District III college organizations
Contact:
Patricia Dayleg: patricia.dayleg@gmail.com
Isabel Marie Gomez: isabelmariegomez@gmail.com

BKPNewYork
(specifically collecting children’s books to the Philippines)

Contact:
Frederick (646) 641-7183
frederick@bkpny.org


New Jersey

New Jersey
Contact:
Yves Nibungco: (201) 621-3156
Nick Cordero: (917) 476-7855

Sinugba Cafe
561 Westside Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07304

Casa Victoria
691 Newark Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07306-2803

Kalusugan Coalition
591 Summit Avenue Suite 412 (Corner Summit and Newark Ave)
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Contact/Office Hours:
(201) 653-4600


Midwest

Fellowship for Filipino Migrants-FFM
PO Box 901
Glenview, IL 60025-9998

Contact:
Nerissa: (224) 381-6888
ffm4outreach@gmail.com


Los Angeles

Money, clothes, blankets, non-perishable food, medicines, toiletries and other basic necessities can be dropped off at designated BALSA locations in Southern California.

Downtown L.A
519 S. Spring (between 5th and 6th)
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Contact:
Fernando Fernando: (323) 854-4478

More drop-off locations will be volunteered in the coming days.

Los Angeles BALSA Relief Coordinators:
Fernando Fernando: (323) 854-4478 (Central LA)
Kuusela Hilo: (818) 395-9207 (LA)
Daya Mortel: (206) 355-0256 (West LA)
Victor Romero: (424) 225-0322 (South Bay)

E-mail: sc@bayanusa.org

Checks can be made out to Tulong Sa Bayan. (Tax-deductible) Online donations via paypal can be made at http://www.bayanusa.org.


San Diego

Cristy’s Bakery
9178 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126-4804

Contact:
(858) 271-6135

Mira Mesa Senior Center
8460 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126-2311

Contact:
(858) 578-7325

Fava Hall
2926 Market St.
San Diego, CA 92102

Contact:
(619) 234-1360

Kalasugan Community Services
1419 E 8th St
National City, CA 91950-2602

Contact:
(619) 477-3392

BALSA efforts in SD
Contact:
Anakbayan San Diego: anakbayansd@gmail.com
Eugene Gambol: (916) 296-4848 egambol@gmail.com
Ivan (619) 370-1296

Additional relief information
Patricia Guevarra: (858) 692-0785 patricia.guevarra@gmail.com


San Francisco/Bay Area

Donations in San Francisco/Bay Area
Contact:
Ryan Leano (626) 534-4971

Monetary donations can also be dropped off at these sites. Checks can be made out to “Lakasdiwa,” a non-profit organization that will send the funds directly to MIGRANTE International in the Philippines, a workers’ organization directly helping the victims in the disaster relief efforts. Please put “Typhoon Ondoy Relief” on the check’s note.

Filipino Community Center
4681 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94112

Liwanag Kultural Center
Hillside Park Clubhouse
222 Lausanne Ave.
Daly City‎, CA‎ 94014

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30 – 6 PM; Wednesdays, 3:30 – 8 PM

Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership
310 8th Street, Suite 215
Oakland, CA 94710

Monday-Friday, 10 AM – 6 PM
Contact:
Armael Malinis, AnakBayan-East Bay


San Jose/South Bay

Donations in San Jose/South Bay
Contact:
Melissa Nievera, Filipino Community Support (FOCUS): focus.balita@gmail.com.

Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC) & Filipino Community Support (FOCUS) drop-off sites:

Welch Park Community Building
Located at corner of Kenesta Way and Clarice Dr
San Jose, CA 95122

(open everyday from 2 – 5 PM to receive donations)

Valley Faith United Methodist Church
1251 Sandia Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Stanford’s Pilipino American Student Union (PASU)
Contact:
AV David (650) 491-4561
avhdavid@stanford.edu


Portland, Oregon

Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Contact:
Claire Oliveros
portlandchrp@gmail.com
You can send CASH through Metro Bank acct. 3 189 14540 1 For BAYAN’s “BALSA” (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan)

Contact:
Consuelo Rivera (503) 729-9449
welorivera@yahoo.com

Gov’t policies worsen “natural” disaster: BAYAN USA statement on Typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana and Arroyo’s response

Contact: Rhonda Ramiro
Secretary-General, BAYAN USA
secgen@bayanusa.org

The worldwide outpouring of aid and support for the over 1.8 million victims of Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) in the Philippines this week leaves Filipinos in the United States reeling with anger in response to the Arroyo government’s utter ineptitude in providing adequate disaster relief.

This anger towards the Arroyo administration is justifiable for a number of reasons, the most obvious of which are the Philippine government’s evident corruption of billions in national disaster funds in order to fatten up the Presidential international travel budget and subsequent insistence that donations coming from abroad be channeled through government agencies.

But in the case of Ondoy, the Arroyo government’s hands have extended past the budget purse-strings and into crafting disaster-prone policies as well.

Not Just a Natural Disaster

The vast, heavy floods that swept through Metro-Manila devastating over 319,811 families and killing at least 240 people slammed tons of pressure that left properties in ruins. But contrary to claims of Malacanang, these killer floods did not come solely from unpredictable heavy rainfall and winds, but from deadly landslides originating from the neighboring provinces.

For years, the Philippine government has denied links between mining and logging activity and landslides in order to protect the investments of multi-national corporations (MNC) in the Philippines. But other mining authorities, such as the British Columbia Geological Survey Branch, admit to a direct link between heavy mechanical activity launched by foreign corporations in resource-rich countries like the Philippines and the weakening of bedrock along slopes that can result to slope failure and eventually a fatal landslide.

In addition to ensuring nothing less than maximum devastation when disasters like Ondoy strike, irregular warming of the Earth’s surface caused by greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from dense MNC activity also contribute to the altering of regional climate patterns, such as the generation of typhoons.

Charter Change

While illegal mining and logging continue throughout the Philippines under the Arroyo administration, the Arroyo clique relentlessly campaigns for changes to the 1987 Philippine Constitution that would allow 100% foreign ownership of Philippine territory. Intensified foreign mining, logging, deforestation, land conversion and marine fishing throughout the Philippines coupled with poor infrastructure will only leave Filipinos vulnerable to more calamities such as Ondoy.

Support People’s Needs, Not Corruption

In this time of urgent need for the vast majority of Filipinos impacted by Ondoy, BAYAN USA appeals to supporters around the world to think twice before donating financial support to Philippine government-led initiatives such as those spearheaded by consular offices around the world.

The reason why overseas Filipinos are choosing NOT to remit through government channels is because of the Philippine government’s proven and historical track record of taking advantage of monetary donation drives in response to calamities as ample opportunities for graft. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo is one glaring example of this. In fact, to this day, more than Pph 7 billion (USD $280 million) in public funds allocated for post-eruption disaster relief remains unaccounted for.

The Philippine government makes billions in US dollars every year from the remittances of overseas Filipinos. Let’s not give them a chance to make more money off the victims of Ondoy. There are more reliable and credible people organizations both in the United States and in the Philippines, who not only organize communities for social reforms, but are now working tirelessly to divert donations from the government’s corrupt hands and bring direct relief to the most impacted areas without any discrimination or bias. Visit www.bayanusa.org or www.bayanihan4ondoy.wordpress.com to learn more about them. ###