Winnipeg aid to Philippines

$65,000 and climbing

WINNIPEG – Winnipeggers are continuing to send donations to aid victims of the recent Ondoy and Pepeng typhoons in the Philippines. As of press time (October 15), the Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund Committee has received over $65,000 in cash and scores of boxes of relief goods.

“This amount is still going to go up because we are still getting donations from other groups who are still finalizing their collection reports at this time,” said Fred De Villa, co-chair of the committee.

(photos by J.P Sumbillo & Tau Gamma Phi - Winnipeg)
De Villa added that the total cash donations given to the committee up to October 15th would be given to the Canadian Red Cross and directed towards helping typhoon victims in the Philippines.

“After the cut-off date, the [committee] will still accept cash donations… and will be giving them to the Canadian Red Cross as they come,” added De Villa.

Local fund raising efforts got a boost from corporate institutions as well. E-Care Contact Centers, a consumer finance call centre on Main Street donated $9,579.50 on October 15. Employees decided to forgo their customary payday 50- 50 raffle and instead passed the hat to collect money to aid typhoon victims. The staff, an estimated 80% of which is Filipino, raised almost $3,000, which was matched by the company’s Benevolent Committee. E-Care’s management team contributed a further $4,000.

Non-monetary donations

The Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund Committee also received a large amount of non-monetary donations in the form of used clothes, blankets and canned goods. The Canadian Red Cross cannot accept non-monetary donations, but a local company has stepped up to handle the shipping.

Gary and Aida Montierro, owners of UMAC Express Cargo, offered the services of their door-to-door cargo service to ship the boxes.

Volunteers packed the first shipment of these donations into cardboard boxes donated by local businessman Oscar Surla during the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Members of the Tau Gamma Fraternity, Winnipeg Chapter, then moved the heavy boxes from Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) to the UMAC warehouse with the help of a large truck provided by volunteer Elmer de Guzman.

 “The first batch of 43 large boxes plus 77 small boxes were shipped to the Philippines over the weekend through UMAC… and they are expected to reach the recipients in about four weeks from the dispatch date (Oct. 12),” said Lito Taruc, co-chair of the Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund Committee.

According to Taruc, UMAC will deliver the boxes to DZRH Operation Tulong, which will deploy the relief goods to affected areas in Rizal province, Pasig City, Marikina City and to the provincial governments of Laguna, Bulacan, Isabela, and Pangasinan.

According to De Villa, “We thank Gary and Aida Montierro because we know this is a very busy time for their type of business but they still offered to help… the first 10 big boxes [were shipped] free-of-charge, the next 33 big boxes went out with a 35% discount and the 77 smaller boxes were all free-of-charge.”

De Villa added, “The money paid for the discounted cost of shipment was not from the current typhoon cash donations but from the savings fund of the Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund Committee.”

As of press time, over 100 boxes of relief goods are still being stored at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba.

“These will be sent via UMAC again but we need to raise the money to cover the cost of shipment,” said De Villa.

Co-chairs Fred De Villa and Lito Taruc, with their fellow members of the Fil-Can Disaster Relief Fund Committee, former Honorary Consul General Dr. Roland Guzman, Nap Ebora, Perla Javate and Pastor Fred Sebastian, wish to thank all the individuals, organizations, and businesses who are selflessly donating their time, money, services and relief goods to the fundraising campaign.

“Many thanks to all the nameless volunteers who encouraged their fellow workers to raise funds in their workplaces… students who initiated fund-raising in schools… and community groups that organized their own fundraisers…” said De Villa.

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