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Filipino expats launch task force for victims

Lily B. Libo-on (lily@khaleejtimes.com) / 12 November 2013

The Filipino expatriates in the UAE are being urged to donate non-perishable goods to be sent across to the Phillipines as aid.

 Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates have mobilised a ‘Task Force Yolanda’ to rush food relief to over 10,000 victims of super typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, in the hardest-hit areas of central Philippines.

Filipino expatriates are urged to donate canned goods, noodles and other non-perishable foods, which need to be rushed to the Makati Cargo Express in Karama from 4pm to 8pm this Friday, from where all donations will be sent to the Philippines by air free of charge.

Divine Tibigar, marketing officer of Makati Cargo Express, told Khaleej Times that the Manila-based courier will send the food-relief early on Saturday, from where the shipment will be handed over to the ‘Sagip sa Pamilya’ of the TV Channel ABS-CBN in Cebu and Tacloban by Monday.

“So, all kind-hearted Filipinos and individuals in the UAE wanting to help our homeless and hungry ‘kababayans’ in the typhoon-ravaged areas of Tacloban City in Leyte and Eastern Samar, please come fast to our office in Karama for the early shipment of your donated canned goods and noodles,” he appealed.

As this developed, FilCom launched the Task Force Yolanda to consolidate all fund-raising and in-kind donations for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. Wendell Castro, president of United Cebuanos and head of  Task Force Yolanda, said Filipinos and other expatriates, who want to donate medicines, clothing, blankets or other goods should bring their donations to the Philippine Consulate General and the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Dubai this Friday.

He said Task Force Yolanda is preparing 25 super jumbo boxes where all these in-kind donations, particularly pharmaceutical products, clothing and blankets will be readied for shipment. Castro has urged all other cargo and freight forwarders in the UAE with businesses in Manila to offer shipment services free to Filipinos and individuals donating for the typhoon victims.

“There are already two cargo forwarders that have offered to ship our in-kind donations for free. But we need more because we expect many (donations) based on calls from major companies and pharmaceuticals interested to donate blankets, clothing, medicines and canned goods,” he said.

All wishing to help out are asked to come to the ‘Brunch for a Cause’ from 11am to 4pm on Friday where each participant will pay Dh50 for a meal, the proceeds of which will go to victims.

Popular artistes, singers and dancers from Manila will perform in Dubai at a venue to be announced later on December 13. “The proceeds will again be given to the typhoon victims. The Task Force Yolanda has scheduled this brunch and concert to shore up all resources and beef up the cash funds needed for the ongoing relief operations for the super typhoon victims.”


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