Friday, November 29, 2013

Statement: The Presidential Spokesperson on the presentation of Yolanda Recovery and Rehab Plan to the President

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

Statement: The Presidential Spokesperson on the presentation of Yolanda Recovery and Rehab Plan to the President

Statement of Secretary Edwin Lacierda:
On the presentation of the Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan to the President
[November 27, 2013]

Today, the President called in his Cabinet for a meeting, during which Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan presented the Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan. The plan has three phases: to provide immediate assistance to affected areas, expand initiatives and programs in the medium term, and reach full recovery and rehabilitation in the long term.

The President approved in principle many of the items cited, but asked Secretary Balisacan and other pertinent members of the Cabinet for more specific details before providing formal approval.

The Cabinet will meet with the President again on Friday, November 29, to present further refinements to the plan, especially to the immediate actions to be taken. The President’s overarching instructions to the Cabinet was: “Dapat gawin, kayang gawin, ngayon na.”


Alberta, British Columbia gov’ts pledge cad 800k, Filipino-Canadian groups raise CAD300k for relief

From the Department of Foreign Affairs
The governments of Alberta and British Columbia (BC) are committing a total of CAD 800,000 (approximately P9.8 million) in support of relief efforts for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The Alberta government announced today that it is committing up to a half million Canadian dollars to support relief efforts in the Philippines by matching Albertans’ donations to the Canadian Red Cross.

Thomas Lukaszuk, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, said, “Along with all Albertans, the Alberta government is concerned for the well-being of Filipinos affected by the devastating typhoon.  We offer our heartfelt sympathy to those who have had family and friends affected by this massive disaster.”

Philippine Consul General in Vancouver Neil Frank Ferrer called on Lukaskuk last Friday at his office in Edmonton and thanked him for the support of Albertans and the Alberta government to the Philippines.

On the other hand, the BC government announced on November 14 that it is committing to match up to a total of CAD 300,000 in monetary donations that British Columbians make to the Canadian Red Cross by December 23, for disaster relief in the Philippines.

BC Premier Christy Clark said, “So many British Columbians have roots in the Philippines—family or friends the storm has left homeless, missing or waiting to be rescued. The provincial government will match every dollar British Columbians donate to the Canadian Red Cross – up to CAD 300,000. This will support search-and-rescue missions and provide assistance on the ground. I encourage all British Columbians to dig deep and do what they can to help.”

Consul General Ferrer expressed deep gratitude for the generous support and solidarity by the people and the governments of British Columbia and Alberta with the Philippines in this time of need.  He noted that together with the matching fund from the Canadian Government, contributions from the people of British Columbia and Alberta, which are coursed through the Canadian Red Cross, would effectively multiply by three.

Meanwhile, close to CAD 300,000 (approximately P3.7 million) has been raised by various Filipino-Canadian organizations in Western Canada in support of relief efforts for victims of super typhoon Yolanda.

The amount was raised mostly through telethons, benefits concerts and dinners organized quickly organized in response to reports of widespread devastation, particularly in Eastern Visayas, the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver said.

In one event alone, called “Celebrity Tributes for Typhoon Haiyan Victims,” held in Surrey, British Columbia last November 21, nearly CAD 100,000 in pledges and direct donations was raised through the joint efforts of Filipino community leaders, performers, and businessmen, many of whom are ethnic East Indians.

“It is truly heart-warming to see the community, both Filipino and non-Filipino, coming together so quickly and so generously to give aid and comfort to our countrymen,” Consul General Ferrer said.

Among the first groups to respond to the crisis was the Reyfort Media Group, led by ex-Olympian and now businessman and community leader Reynaldo Fortaleza, which staged a telethon and raised nearly CAD 50,000 only after two days of calling and receiving pledges.

Another telethon, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Emergency Relief Telethon, raised nearly as much after two days, while a Filipino community organization in Victoria reported making more than CAD11,000 in one night alone.

The Consulate General said more than 20 other fund-raising activities, including concerts, dinners, banquets, prayer rallies, mass collections, a walkathon, a bowling tournament, car wash collections, drop boxes, and others have been scheduled all over Metro Vancouver and Calgary, Alberta province.

On Sunday, BC Premier Christy Clark attended a morning mass at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Surrey to express her sympathy and solidarity with the Filipino community.

The Canadian federal government had earlier committed to double all contributions to this cause coursed through registered Canadian charity organizations in Canada, “dollar-for-dollar,” aside from pledging CAD 5 million in direct assistance.

The Consulate is actively working with a number of the abovementioned groups and assisting other entities/organizations authorized to raise and receive funds/donations in support of relief operations for the victims of typhoon Haiyan.

Consul General Ferrer has met with leaders and members of the Filipino community across BC and Alberta and has spoken at various gatherings in support of the victims and communities affected by super typhoon Haiyan.

He has also spoken at local TV and radio networks (such as CTV News in Victoria, CBC TV and Radio in Vancouver, TFC and Balitang Canada in Vancouver and Edmonton) and encouraged support/assistance, among others.

To avail of the matching typhoon Haiyan relief fund provided by the Canadian government, as well as the support from the governments of BC and Alberta, Consul General Ferrer encourages people to course their donations through registered charity organizations in Canada, such as the Canadian Red Cross.

GPH Website

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