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Unifil raises $27k, sets up more online accounts for PHL typhoon relief

17 November 2020

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Unifil adds more ways to donate to their fund drive for the typhoon victims

United Filipinos – Migrante Hong Kong has added more online money transfer accounts for donors, as it continues its relief effort for the victims of two devastating typhoons that hit the Philippines within a week of each other.

So far, the group has raised $27,523 from two Sundays of solicitations. As in the past Sunday, the money was sent to Migrante International and Balsa Philippines, which are in charge of ascertaining the stricken places where the donations should go.

In addition, seven extra boxes of relief goods – 2 super jumbo, 4 jumbo and 1 midi box courtesy of AFreight and GenEx cargo companies – were sent to Migrante’s office in Quezon City for sorting and distribution. They sent one box of goods the previous Sunday.

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 According to Unifil chair Dolores Balladares, they decided to add accounts in AliPay, WeChat and TNG in their appeal for donations to allow easy cash transfer even of small amounts.

She said they were also setting up a crowd funding drive to make it easier for donors, especially during the time of the pandemic, to send in their money. 

The group’s earlier call for donations only listed the bank account of the Mission for Migrant Workers, which as a registered charity, could issue receipts for donations of $100 and above.

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Cheque donations were also welcomed, but should be sent by mail to the Mission’s office at St John’s Cathedral in Central.

Balladares said they realized that the traditional methods of taking in donations did not work as well during this time, when many people, especially migrant workers, are not allowed to go out, or are given only a few hours to stay outside for their day-off.

On Sunday, Nov 15, Unifil expanded its relief drive in Central to cover four collection points – one near the General Post Office, another outside City Hall, the third on Ice House Street, and lastly, their permanent space on Chater Road.

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All these places were swamped with goods donations, but also of cash, that by the end of the day, they were able to accumulate $13,000.

Unifil-Migrante's donation post on Chater Road

“Thank you very much to all the organizations and individuals who give their donations and help us pack and deliver some of the boxes,” said Balladares.

 Also busy raising donations for the typhoon victims in stricken areas of Cagayan, Isabela and Rizal provinces, was Social Justice for Migrant Workers.

But instead of packing boxes, the group appealed for cash donations, which they sent to contacts in the Philippines, who in turn bought basic food supplies for the victims.

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A report posted online by the group said they managed to raise a total of $8,086.87 last Sunday, part of which they sent to the Philippines to buy rice, food packs and grocery items for the victims.

The donated items were used to help 100 families in barangay San Antonio, Lau Lal-lo Cagayan; 25 families in Linao East, Tuguegarao City, 13 families in Sinsayon, Santiago City, Isabela; and 50 families in Sitio Laoag Bukid, Kasiglahan Village, San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.

The group still has about $2,000 left from the solicited funds, which they intend to use to help residents of other stricken places.

Palma's daughter Levi posts pictures of the water bottles they sent to stricken areas

Aside from these, Social Justice founder Marites Palma got her family in Isabela to use their water refilling business to help their stricken neighbors.

Photos on her Facebook account show thousands of water bottles being loaded onto vehicles to be dispatched to areas severely affected by floods from typhoon Ulysses.

Another group that solicited donations was Federation of Luzon Active Group or Flag, whose leader, Alann Cayosa Mas, hails from the hard-hit province of Cagayan.

Mas said that despite the short notice, his group managed to solicit enough goods donations that were packed into six boxes sent to Tuguegarao ang Buguey in Cagayan, and another to Baao, Camarines Sur.

The boxes came from AFreight and GenEx Cargo, while one was paid for by Kathy Travel.


Flag's collection station beside World-Wide House

He said his group will continue its relief effort this coming Sunday, Nov 22, and he’s hoping more donors will step forward to lend them a hand.

Also busy packing relief goods last Sunday in Central was Isabela Federation, which managed to send two jumbo boxes to their province, which along with Cagayan, was also badly hit by the typhoon.

In a Facebook post, the group said they have one more box to fill next Sunday.

They thanked AFreight’s managing director Rosabelle Woolf for donating the boxes and freight, as well as their donors who gave cash and goods.

 

IsaFed members show the contents of one of their boxes during their packing session 

Also busy packing a jumbo box in one corner of Connaught Road on Sunday were members of Mindanao Federation, who did their bit to help some of the victims.

They said there were sending their lone box to an inundated barangay in Makati City,  for which a member sent an appeal.

MinFed members make sure their AFreight box is packed

Overall, the Domestic Workers Corner, a Facebook group that has about 50,000 members, has raised the biggest amount in Hong Kong for the flood victims. In just four days of an online fund drive, the group managed to raise more than $57,000.

This is apart from the 27 boxes that they, along with the Bicol Migrants Association Hong Kong, had filled, and sent on to various recipients in the Philippines.

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