Chinese bizmen donate 10,000 bags of rice, shirts for Marawi evacuees

MANILA-- The Federation of Filipino Chinese Association of the Philippines (FCAP) on Thursday turned over to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) 10,000 bags of rice and 10,000 shirts for people displaced by the clashes in Marawi City.

FCAP officers and members led by chairman, Choy Chi Ho, presented the donation to PRC chair and CEO Richard Gordon.

"I'm very happy to receive 10,000 T-shirts and bags of rice... That's really wonderful because madami talaga ang nangangailangan (many are in need)," Gordon said, commending the generosity of the Chinese businessmen.

"Ang turing namin sa kapwa Filipino ay parang kapatid, kaya kung anuman ang nangyayaring kalamidad sa kanila ay parang nangyari sa amin (We treat fellow Filipinos as brothers that whatever calamity happens to them seems to happen to us as well)," said Tecson Alonzo, vice chairman of FCAP.

Choy Chi Ho said they chose to donate rice and shirts since they noticed that many of the relief goods from other donors consisted of canned goods.

In the more than one month of armed conflict in Marawi City that has affected tens of thousands of families, the PRC has mobilized its staff and volunteers to provide various forms of services together with the government and other organizations.

PRC volunteers have set up tents and portalets in evacuation centers, and provided the evacuees hygiene kits and clean water, as well as hot meals. They have also conducted psychosocial support among the affected individuals, and have provided ambulances.

PRC has also acknowledged the donations of the Israeli Embassy, which provided PHP1 million worth of basic equipment, medicine and supplies; the Taiwan Red Cross, which donated a water tanker worth PHP1.65 million; the Social Security System, which handed over PHP500,000; Nestle Philippines Inc., which turned over PHP1 million; ROHM Philippines, which sent PHP560,000 worth of food items; and the Korean Embassy, which donated PHP5 million.

According to PRC, they also plan to help the affected families during their recovery phase.

Meanwhile, Gordon said they are also aiming to reach out to the "underserved" sector.

"During disasters, ang nasisilbihan palagi ay yung pinakamalapit pero ang malayo di na. Pero kami, hindi namin pinapabayaan yun. (During disasters, those who are in the nearest areas are the ones who are served but those in remote areas are often neglected.) We try to go farthest, para mabigyan sila (so we could give them aid as well)," he said.

Gordon said they plan to use their vessel, Amazing Grace, in the distribution of food packs among people around Marawi City who find it difficult to purchase their food due to the checkpoints they have to go through before they could access the food and supplies they need.

According to the social welfare department's Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DREAMB), as of June 27, some 82,767 families or 403,052 persons have been affected by the clashes between government forces and elements of the terrorist Maute Group who have laid siege to Marawi City since May 23. The crisis has so far affected all 96 barangays in Marawi City, as well as 20 other municipalities in Lanao del Sur and two municipalities in Lanao del Norte.

Source: Philippines News Agency