GABNET CALLS FOR PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE AID FOR THE PHILIPPINES IN THE AFTERMATH OF TYPHOON KETSANA

Posted on September 29, 2009

0


**** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  ****

September 28, 2009

Jollene Levid, Gabnet Secretary-General

secgen@gabnet.org

Tel: 323-356-4748

URGENT ALERT: GABNET CALLS FOR PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE AID FOR THE PHILIPPINES IN THE AFTERMATH OF TYPHOON KETSANA

The images are worst, though familiar: muddy water lapping at rooftops, streets vanished under rampaging currents; men and women carrying children wading in thigh-high water; the dead already in rigor dug up from the brackish mud of a typhoon and flood aftermath. They are palimpsest recalling other floods, other disasters: Leyte where a thousand died; Bicol were hundreds perished. Each year, 20 typhoons visit the Philippines and each year, the archipelago lies in its path unprepared, all 7,000 islands of the country. This week’s typhoon was the worst, dumping a month’s amount of rain in six hours over the MetroManila area. GabNet calls on all its members, alumni and allies to respond with donations of goods and cash, to help the afflicted, because much like what has happened before, the government of the Philippines, this time under de-facto president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is useless and must ask for help overseas, nevermind that this country is the world’s fifth largest producer of gold and whose filthy rich one per cent of the population total their wealth in billions of dollars and are listed among Forbes wealthiest people in the world.. The devastation has been unimaginable. As a resident of Marikina Valley which went under water said, it was as though the sea flowed over the land. We cannot but help respond to this calamity and try to alleviate somehow the suffering of the poor and propertyless, who bear as always the brunt of the disaster. Nevertheless, we cannot help but be angered by the continuing indifference of the Philippine government to the palpable climate change occurring in and over the Philippines, with typhoons gaining strength each year and the devastation turning worse and worse. Along with help, both in-kind and cash, we send our demand for the Philippine government and all other relevant entities to take seriously the impact of climate change on the country. Where are the dams? Where are the canals? Where are the dikes and levies? How many rivers are being dredged? Why aren’t limits imposed on population density for specific areas? Why is government so enthralled by such irrational infrastructure projects as a broadband network? Or placing Radio Frequency Identification chips on automobiles so they can be tracked? Where is the priority? If the country is to survive, it will have to take seriously the threats posed by multinational corporations that damage the environment irreparably, the mining enterprises which strip the mountains, the loggers who make forests disappear and the forces that deny women reproductive rights, despite the already critical stress on resources because of a swollen population. We are angry, knowing full well that the images we see today are but the latest in a long series of similar images of people damaged as much by the indifference of the rich and the government as by the recurrent season of typhoons. GabNet asks all concerned and charitable people to give generously.

Checks can be issued to our fiscal sponsor, A.J. Muste (write tax ID/EIN: 237-37-9088 on memo line) and mailed to one of our addresses:

GABRIELA Network PO Box 403, Times Square Station New York, NY 10108

or

GABRIELA Network P.O. Box 3032 Cerritos, CA 90703-3032

Goods may also be dropped off to the locations below:

Los Angeles: IMIX Bookstore 5052 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041 or call 510-502-6522 (Amanda Martin)

San Diego: UC San Diego Women’s Center, Student Center West Bldg. 290 or call 858-688-2385 (Emelyn de la Pena)

Orange County: call 949-412-1122 (Mona Navarro)

New York: please call 718-779-5840

Suggested items: Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans and potable water

Medicine: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins and medications to treat diarrheal diseases

Baby items: formula, blankets, clothing, diapers, baby food

Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and Laundry soap

Beyond this, we ask that you stand firmly with us in the demand for proactive governance in the Philippines – one that will consider the lives of the Filipino people primary over the profit of corporations and over the power madness and greed of puppet politicians. A government that does not concern itself with the survival of its people is simply a tyranny.

The need is great; please give generously.

–###

Advertisements
Posted in: Uncategorized