Dear Friends, confreres, benefactors, donors and volunteers,
Preparation for large relief operation has begun full blast. Hundreds of volunteers, mostly our students are the University of San Carlos, came to help in the repacking. We have ordered many tons of rice, many boxes of noodles, purified water, coffee, milk, kitchen utensils, blankets and others. We are now using the facilities of the University of San Carlos. They are the only ones that could provide space for processing relief goods. The University has been very, very generous to our cause. Target beneficiaries are the areas of Tacloban, Ormoc and nearby areas and northern Cebu including Bantayan island. We aim at distributing 10,000 packages of goods in simultaneous with medical mission and psycho-social debriefings after which we will proceed with the second stage of distributing building materials and livelihood programs.
We have already sent two truck loads of goods to northern Cebu as part of our first dispatch. Volunteer nurses went with the group. Water filtration machines requested by our hospital in Tacloban are already on the way.
Donations from all over the world have been so generous - the SVDs, friends of SVDs, Filipino communities abroad, friends of Filipinos abroad, charitable institutions from all walks of life, regardless of race and religion. In fact, we are now partnering with Indonesia based Muslim Aid Foundation and Bangkok based Asian Resource Foundation (ARF). Donations were in forms of cash but material goods are also on the way.
We are getting hopeful news from many parts of typhoon victim areas. Relief goods are now penetrating far flung barangays, lawlessness in Leyte are now stabilized, most roads are cleared and dead bodies given decent burials. But the overall situation remains very difficult. Most relief goods packages distributed are only good for a day or two. There is no electricity and drinking water is very scarce. The only functioning hospital in Tacloban is the SVD hospital but without electricity and so lacking in medicine, water, doctors, and other medical personnel. In the past three days they lost nine lives of what could have been otherwise saved.
In the meantime, our efforts are gaining momentum. We have been to Bohol just very recently and volunteers are very willing to move on to Yolanda victims.
In the name of the beneficiaries, we thank you sincerely for all your donations!
Typhoon Yolanda Relief Team
noted: Fr. Jingjong Rocha SVD