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GMA’s Handling of Typhoon Ondoy is the Real Disaster

by Alliance-Philippines (AJLPP) Saturday, Oct. 03, 2009 at 1:05 PM
ajlpp_socal@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

In response to the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy, members of the national Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (AJLPP) and the Filipino youth-based Daluyong Coordinating Committee are organizing Sagip-Tulong Sa Pilipinas (STP) Emergency Relief Fund Campaign. This campaign will raise material and monetary support for the typhoon victims and aims to raise ,000 by Monday, October 5, and another ,000 by Friday, October 16.

GMA’s Handling of ...
5-11-09kalayaan_forum_038.jpg2ok6uq.jpg, image/jpeg, 2816x2112

SAGIP TULONG SA PILIPINAS (STP) RELIEF DRIVE

SAGIP TULONG PILIPINAS

For immediate release

October 2, 2009

Contact: Al Garcia (Los Angeles), People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment, 213-241-0906; Leah Obias (New York), Damayan Migrant Workers Association, 212-564-6057, sagip.tulong@gmail.com

September 28, 2009

GMA’s Handling of Typhoon Ondoy is the Real Disaster

New York, NY—In response to the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy, members of the national Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (AJLPP) and the Filipino youth-based Daluyong Coordinating Committee are organizing Sagip-Tulong Sa Pilipinas (STP) Emergency Relief Fund Campaign.

This campaign will raise material and monetary support for the typhoon victims and aims to raise ,000 by Monday, October 5, and another ,000 by Friday, October 16.

As overseas Filipinos rush to assure the safety of their loved ones back home and come to the aid of the hardest-hit victims, a disturbing narrative of government incompetence and neglect, in the wake of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s lavish foreign trips, reveals the true character of the present regime the same way George W. Bush was exposed for his handling of Hurricane Katrina.

With maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour, the storm was not as powerful as many of the typhoons that have hit the country. But by Sunday evening, the National Disaster Coordinating Council reported that at least 400,000 residents had been displaced, 360 people had died and 23 more went missing.

Criminal Neglect of the US-Arroyo Regime

The response of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s government, both prior to the flood and after the disaster, is one aspect of the tragedy of the typhoon. The chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) blamed the public for not heeding storm warnings. And yet no evacuation order was made prior to the flood. Local government units were paralyzed at the onset of the flood and were not able to issue official advisories on what the vulnerable population should do.

As floodwaters receded, hundreds were still stranded. Residents saw overwhelmed rescue choppers leaving many people behind. In Barangay Payatas, Quezon City, the parish priest, Fr. Orlando Noriella, claims that while a state of calamity had been declared to facilitate the release of funds, no food and medicines had reached the affected residents. The government admitted that they do not have enough rescue vehicles or facilities.

Consistent with the utter lack of preparedness, the stage had been set for disaster even before the typhoon hit. The massive land conversion of the Marikina watershed and the mountains of Rizal put people in imminent danger, especially those living near riverbanks and mountain slopes. Despite warnings by community groups of the danger of high-risk projects, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources did nothing to put in place protections for residents in these areas. According to local community groups, powerful foreign corporations, granted permission by GMA, are engaged in housing projects and quarry operations and have been leveling the mountains of Rizal for years.

GMA’s administration continues to allow big time bureaucrat loggers, American, Australian and Canadian commercial miners and other developers to cause massive ecological devastation in the country, making the Philippines even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. And with climate change, as typhoons and hurricanes worsen and sea levels rise, communities are being forced to relocate to vulnerable and poverty-stricken areas.

The GMA regime, the International Monetary Fund’s structural adjustment program, and foreign countries such as the United States and Japan have this devastation on their hands. Their criminal negligence and destruction of the environment such as continued quarrying, illegal logging and land conversions from farmlands to subdivisions contributed to the environmental disaster of Typhoon Ondoy. For over a century, the mineral resources of the Philippines have been extracted largely for export, for the benefit of foreign countries and mining corporations. As a result, communities are displaced and forcefully evicted, and environmental devastation such as the Payatas landslide and Typhoon Ondoy’s floods flow uncontrolled down the plundered land, causing the death and destruction we are witnessing today.

To donate online or be part of the Facebook Cause: http://apps.facebook.com/causes/362079?m=40c37195

To organizationally endorse or take part in the STP Campaign, please email us at sagip.tulong@gmail.com.

In Los Angeles: Send cash or check donations to People's CORE, 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite No 2, Los Angeles, CA 90026. Donations more than are tax deductible. Material donations drop off (donations; shoes, clothes, canned goods. medicines etc. ) at PEOPLE"S CORE OFFICE at 1610 Beverly Blvd. Suite No. 2, Los , Los Angeles, CA 90026 pr the PCORE CULTURE AND ARTS CENTER at 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026; Contact: Rebecca Peteson/Al Garcia 213.241.0995

In New York: Send cash or check donations to DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association, 406 West 40th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018. Donations more than is tax deductible. Donated materials (clothing, shoes, canned goods, etc) can be dropped off on Saturday, October 3 from 11 am until 7 pm at Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, 53-22 Roosevelt Avenue, 2nd floor, Woodside, Queens (between 53rd and 54th streets). After October 3, materials can be dropped off at the DAMAYAN Office, 406 West 40th Street, New York, NY, 10018). Contact: Leah Obias, Chevy Evangelista, 212.564.6057

One hundred percent of the cash and material donations will be directed towards those affected by victims of typhoon Ondoy.

The member organizations and endorsers of the Sagip-Tulong sa Pilipinas (STP) Emergency Relief Fund Campaign stand in solidarity with the people of the Philippines who continue to suffer from this tragedy. The STP relief fund campaign is organized by Damayan Migrant Workers Association (NY) and Ugnayan ng mga ng Anak ng Bayan (NY), KmB/Pro-People Youth (CA), People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment (CA), and Justice for Filipino American Veterans (CA). The list of endorsers is still in formation.

*******

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