Philippine Landslide Survivors Get Donation From Riyadh Community
By:(Arab News: 4/2/2006)
RIYADH, 2 April 2006 — Filipino organizations in Riyadh have donated SR15,204 (204,740 pesos) for the survivors of the Feb. 17 landslide in the central Philippine village of Guinsaugon.
The OFW Congress-Riyadh, which spearheaded a fund-raising campaign for the victims, turned over the donation to a bank official for remittance in a simple ceremony at the Philippine Embassy on Friday night.
James Oliver, assistant vice president of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), received the money in the presence of various Filipino community leaders, embassy personnel and visiting officials from Manila, led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael E. Seguis and Philippine Special Envoy Roy Cimatu.
The donations were then transferred through RCBC-Arab National Bank to the account of Administrator Marianito D. Roque of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Manila.
Roque is to forward the donation to the OWWA Region 8 office in Tacloban through its officer in-charge, Evangeline Filamor, who will then turn it over to Rosette Lerias, the provincial governor of Southern Leyte.
Bello said the arrangement was made during Roque’s visit to Riyadh last week.
“We deemed it best to send the donations directly to the governor of Leyte since she had been directly involved in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations in Guinsaugon,” said Bello, who himself is from Leyte.
Only 139 bodies have been retrieved and another 973 remained missing and believed buried beneath tons of mud after one side of Mount Can-abag crashed onto the village of Guinsaugon after a week of non-stop rain.
Guinsaugon is a settlement of about 3,000 people in the municipality of St. Bernard. Only 57 survivors have been rescued three days after the landslide.
Officials said Guinsaugon’s survivors need more help because they have to be resettled. A number of nearby villages have also been marked for abandonment due to landslide hazards.
Bello said they expect an acknowledgement from the office of the governor in Southern Leyte for transparency purposes.
A press statement sent by the OFW Congress-Riyadh to Arab News by e-mail contained an attachment of a computer screenshot of the remittance.
In the statement, Manuel “Bong” Amora, secretary-general of OFW Congress-Riyadh, thanked all of those who contributed to the group’s fund-raising campaign.
“We have proven that the bayanihan spirit — one good trait Filipinos are known for — lives on. Your kind commitment to help others in need is sincerely appreciated,” he said.
The donors include: ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Saudi Arabia employees (c/o Alex Bello), SR7,996; King Fahad National Guard Hospital (c/o Renante Lloren), SR1,855; JFCM (c/o Bong Amora & Romeo dela Cruz), SR1,234; Romeo & Amy dela Cruz, SR1,000; KKUH-CF (c/o Eddie Viduya), SR1,200.
Expat Darters of Saudi Arabia (c/o Romy Galvez & Ricky Virgula), SR250; KGS – Migrante (c/o Mr. Richard Bautista), SR250; Gawad Kalinga (c/o Manny Lector), SR200; Al Furqan Islamic Association (c/o Mohamad Valenzuela), SR175.
Engineer Mac Escober, SR50; Leybisa c/o Rene Festejo, SR192; SE Production (c/o Ranie Basanta), SR102; Samafil (c/o Robert Ramos) SR200; Shakba (c/o Allan and Dante of OFWC), SR100; FGA (c/o Rene Layug of OFWC), SR100; San Miguel de Mayomo (c/o Oscar Domingo of OFWC), SR100; James Oliver, SR100; and Romie Sinamban (OFWC), SR100.
Bello said the proceeds of the fund-raiser initiated by his group “is not much compared to the huge amount of funds raised by Filipino communities in other countries, yet this small amount will help much to the survivors of the recent tragedy that struck the nation.”
“More than financial assistance, I urge everyone to pray not only for the souls of the victims, not only for the whole Southern Leyte, but to the whole country and humanity,” he said.
Among the groups with a good track record in rescue and relief work who continue to accept donations for the Guinsaugon victims is the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).
The PNRC headquarters in Manila could be reached at (632) 527-0864 (telephone and fax).
Potential donors are encouraged to visit the PNRC website at http://www.redcross.org.ph.