Soliman: Filipinos quickly responded via Facebook, YouTube, TwitterBy Cynthia D. Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Once again, Filipinos proved the power of social media when some 3,000 of them quickly heeded the call to pack relief goods for evacuees displaced by last week’s massive flooding.
“I am overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response of Filipinos from all walks of life to my call for volunteers through the social networking sites YouTube, Facebook and Twitter,” Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said, adding that the number of volunteers had swelled to 3,004 as of Monday.
The volunteers came from the private sector, faith-based groups and nongovernmental organizations, and included students and senior citizens, Soliman said. She added that the volunteers, who arrived in droves at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City, had so far repacked P34.18-million worth of relief goods for families affected by last week’s torrential rains and flooding.
Already, the DSWD had issued 102,455 family food packs amounting to P25.61 million in all the affected areas, Soliman said, adding that each pack contained three kilos of rice, five cans of sardines, four cans of corned beef and seven packs of instant noodles.
Most of the volunteers were students who took advantage of the week long suspension of classes. They came from Don Bosco College Alabang, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, Manila Tytana Colleges and the Genting Star Tourism Academy. Other volunteers came from the Motorcycle Riders Club of DSWD, the CRCP Riders Group, as well as the DSWD central office and NCR field office.
Senior citizens like Rosario Abad came with their friends from the Our Lady of Airways Parish and said that they’d been helping out since Tuesday last week. Soliman singled out the group along with volunteers from the Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police and Daughters of Charity, as being “regular” volunteers who had been helping the DSWD out since Typhoon “Ondoy” in September 2009.
At least 821 evacuation centers remained open to serve 76,683 families or 347,613 persons in the NCR, Regions I, III, IV-A and IV-B, while 10 DSWD teams have been deployed to Angono, Rodriguez, Cainta and San Mateo in Rizal, and in Biñan, Sta. Rosa, Bay, Sta. Cruz, San Pedro and Calamba City in Laguna, to assist families in the evacuation centers.
To ensure the orderly distribution of relief goods, evacuee families would be provided with Disaster Assistance Family Access Cards designed by the DSWD and issued by the local government units.
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