By Emmie Joaquin
The Philippines needs help. This is the time when we all must focus on how we can help our fellow Filipinos who, weeks after the earthquake and super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), still suffer and will continue to need support. We must help.
This is not the time to criticize the Philippine government – whether the Philippine president is media savvy or not should be the least of our worries. We have bigger and more pressing concerns now. In the midst of a sea of corpses, houses and buildings reduced to rubble leaving countless citizens not only homeless but hungry and in need of urgent medical attention, we can’t just sit and be complacent as if nothing has happened in the country of our birth. As of press time, close to 9.5 million Filipinos have been displaced by the devastation caused by Yolanda. And the number of victims grows every minute as reports from the other outlying areas are brought to public attention.
If the Philippine government is slow in delivering aid to the needy, we have no control over that. I am just thankful that foreign governments who are sending their relief teams are putting pressure on the Philippine government to get its act together to alleviate the suffering of the Filipinos in the afflicted areas. I am also grateful that there is global awareness of our country’s need and people around the world have dug deeply into their pockets to donate cash and goods to help our people.
In Winnipeg, massive fund-raising campaigns and relief efforts are underway. Again, this is no time to condemn or grandstand – there should be no competition with regards to which group can raise more donations than the other. No one can dictate to any of us to whom we should entrust our donations. There is a long list of reputable relief organizations that are now deploying relief efforts in the Philippines. Choose which one you trust the most and give. Just give.