Tag: disaster relief

Aquino’s Relief Effort Seeks to Save Private Investments, Not Rehabilitate Communities, in Mindanao– BAYAN USA

News Release
December 9, 2012

Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN USA, depsec@bayanusa.org

Aquino’s Relief Effort Seeks to Save Private Investments, Not Rehabilitate Communities, in Mindanao– BAYAN USA

On Saturday, December 8, 2012, four days after Typhoon Pablo wreaked havoc on Mindanao, President Aquino has since signed Proclamation 522, declaring a state of national calamity allegedly in order to expedite the relief process. Filipino-Americans aren’t convinced such efforts are aimed to rehabilitate devastated communities.

“This is a false show of concern for the people. The relief and rehabilitation that Aquino wants to hasten is not for the impoverished communities who are suffering, but for the private sector who are losing capital from the disaster. The palace says so itself,” states Bernadette Ellorin of the US Chapter of BAYAN, or BAYAN USA.

Typhoon Pablo (international name Bopha), landed on Mindanao, the southern region of the Philippines, killing over 500 people and displacing more than 200,000 others. Mindanao is an historically neglected region of the Philippines, where its people, many of whom are from indigenous tribes and rural poor communities, face mounting poverty and joblessness.

Mindanao is also the most resource-rich area of the Philippines, where gold, oil, bauxite, nickel, copper, and natural gas have attracted large-scale corporate mining operations and other corporate agribusiness investments.

But on any other day, the people of Mindanao largely lack adequate access to basic social services such as healthcare and housing. Now, in the aftermath of the typhoon, they are receiving delayed and sparse relief assistance from the Government of the Philippines. Many people, sifting through the remains of their meager livelihoods were left scrambling for any means of survival.

“The Philippine government’s inefficient response in aiding the Filipino people during calamities is a disappointing pattern,” states Ellorin. “From Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 until now, the people are left in desperate conditions. Even in New York City, which was recently ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, thousands of Filipino migrants were negatively affected, and the Philippine government’s response was still minimal.”

Imperialist Plunder, Mining, and Global Warming

The frequency and increasing gravity of natural disasters in the past few years has many concerned groups rekindling dialogues about the effects of environmental plunder on global warming. Major typhoons that have hit the Philippines were exacerbated by floods and landslides due to state-sanctioned large-scale open-pit mining projects, which cause an imbalance within the natural ecosystem, deplete natural resources, poison water sources, uproot plantlife, and destabilize soil. These projects have been met with major resistance from the people whose lands are being exploited. The Philippine government has responded by highly militarizing these zones and forcefully silencing protest in order to protect business operations.

Mindanao activists have recently embarked on a long journey to Manila called the Manilakbayan to confront the Philippine government in the country’s capital and bring their grievances to the table. Included in their calls are demands to halt devastating mining projects and to seek justice for human rights violation victims who were maimed or disappeared for their resistance against corporate control and defending their rights to their land.

In the summer of 2012, the aftermath of Typhoon Gener provided another example of how anti-people state policies affect the marginalized in cityscapes. Urban poor communities in low-lying areas, who were previously wiped out and displaced by Typhoon Ondoy, were flooded and damaged. “Once again, the Philippine government evaded accountability for the major calamity,” said Ellorin. “President Aquino blamed the victims, the concentrated populations of  informal settlers around waterways, as the cause of major flooding. However, engineers have proven that Manila’s infrastructure, which prioritizes manufacturing plants and mega malls while neglecting sustainable planning that prioritizes the welfare of urban dwellers, is in fact the cause of the flood.”

Bayanihan Relief Effort, Serving the People

BAYAN USA is highly encouraging its community nationwide to assist in people-led relief efforts for Typhoon Pablo victims by donating to Bayanihan Relief for Typhoon Victims in the Philippines, led by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). Bayanihan Relief, established during the aftermath of Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, has continuously donated directly to community-based organizations in the affected areas to help supply immediate needs, such as food, water, and rescue equipment.

Donations can be made through PayPal at http://tinyurl.com/nafconrelief3 or by sending checks to “Tulong Sa Bayan (TSB)” at 519 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. TSB has been NAFCON’s established partner in coursing relief donations to the Philippines. On memo please write: NAFCON Bayanihan Relief and your city of residence. Donations of $250 or more will be tax deductible. Please include a return address with donations. For more information on regional collection centers, fundraising and relief activities in your area please visit http://nafconusa.org.

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BAYAN-USA is an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, please visit http://bayanusa.org.

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