AN APPEAL FOR HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE FOR VICTIMS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA

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Dear friends and colleagues,

Fraternal greetings!

The national leadership and mass membership of Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a national federation of small fisherfolk organizations in the Philippines humbly submit this collective appeal for humanitarian aid and assistance in behalf of millions of poor victims of the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that devastated the archipelago last week.

The super typhoon, the strongest storm to make a landfall this year, and according to experts, the most powerful in recorded history have already claimed more than 1,700 lives and more than 2,400 were still missing according to a report released by the Philippine national disaster agency.

Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) according to another media report may have claimed not less than 10,000 lives, many of them are small fishermen along coastal areas of 36 provinces extremely devastated by the typhoon which is stronger and fatal than hurricane Katrina that put several states in the United States in great shamble and disorder several years ago.

Prior to typhoon Yolanda, the situation of the people in Eastern Visayas, the most devastated region is deplorable. Region VIII which compromises the provinces of Samar and Leyte ranks the 3rd poorest region in the Philippines as of 2013. Another region hit, Western Visayas that include Negros, Panay and Guimaras islands, has a poverty incidence of 24.7 % and unemployment rate of 27.8 percent.

Meanwhile, the environmental catastrophe and the chaotic social situation in Eastern Visayas and other affected communities stemmed from the poor disaster preparedness  and climate change mitigation program of the national government. On the other hand, the natural defense capacity of the region and other affected areas were diminished and destroyed by various government projects like eco-tourism projects, export-oriented industries, large-scale reclamation and massive black sand mining.

In Eastern Visayas, black sand mining all over Samar and Leyte ( about 117 black sand mining applications are now pending before the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources) have destroyed the natural defense barriers of the region against storm surge and climate change. Aside from magnetite mining, the seemingly unstoppable big time operations of corporate owned  logging syndicates further led to environmental deterioration and disarray of the region.

Many poor fishermen, including members of Pamalakaya in typhoon devastated provinces were either feared dead, missing or extremely displaced by typhoon Yolanda.

We are still in the process of getting in touch with our local organizations in Leyte and Eastern Samar, Northern Cebu, Northern Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz and Antique, Northern Negros, Coron and Busuanga in Palawan, Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental and Masbate provinces for proper coordination with regards to relief and rehabilitation campaign in typhoon stricken communities.

We reiterate our humbly appeal for international aid and assistance to effectively address the situation, provide the immediate needs of affected people and pursue a genuine rehabilitation program for the fisherfolk and other victims of typhoon Yolanda.

The 43 member organizations of Pamalakaya assure our fraternal friends and supporters that the resources intended for  victims of typhoon Yolanda will directly benefit the calamity stricken sectors and communities and will contribute to the immediate and strategic rehabilitation of devastated fishing communities in Eastern Visayas and 34 other provinces.

For your donations please send them to:

Pamalakaya-Pilipinas

National Office

No. 56, K-9th Street

West Kamias

Quezon City, Philippines

Contact No: 0632-426-9442

Email address: gerryalbert2013@gmail.com

For cash donations please send them to

Bank Account Name: PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas

Bank Account Number: 004453-0019-68

Bank Branch: BPI West Baler Branch, Quezon City

Swift Code: BOPIPHMM

In anticipation to your warm and welcome response, our heartfelt and fraternal thanks.

Sincerely yours,

SALVADOR FRANCE

Vice Chairperson

PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas

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