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Donations for typhoon survivors continue

MANILA, Philippines - Nearly one month after Super Typhoon Yolanda, generous donations and support for typhoon victims have still not ceased.

Japanese firm SMK Electronics (Phils.) Corp. donated 9.8 tons of relief goods, which arrived on three big trucks at the hangar of the Philippine Air Force’s 600th Air Base Wing in Clark Freeport, Pampanga yesterday.

The relief goods, comprised of 4,000 food packs, water, medicine and candles, were airlifted by a C-130 from Villamor Air Base.

SMK is one of the leading exporters in Clark and has been increasing its export volume by 25 percent since its operations started. It recently bared plans to expand operations and employ additional 1,200 workers in the next three years.

Meanwhile, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) canceled its Christmas party and donated the budget for it to Yolanda survivors, CDC president Arthur Tugade said.

Sources said the allocation for the CDC Christmas party was P1 million.

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Earlier, CDC vice president for operations Franco Alejo Madlangbayan also turned over 12 checks worth P1.2 million to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the agency’s relief operation in Eastern Visayas.

The National Food Authority (NFA), for its part, issued 713,307 bags of rice to agencies conducting relief operations for victims of calamities across the country.

Most of the rice stocks, or 597,707 bags, were given to Yolanda victims and were coursed through the DSWD, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Philippine Red Cross, local government units, the World Food Program, and private charitable institutions.

Other rice stocks were given to the victims of other typhoons that hit the country, the strong earthquake that struck Bohol and Cebu, the recent standoff in Zamboanga City, and the standoff in Malaysia.

The NFA management set up a special assistance account to receive cash donations for NFA employees affected by Yolanda and the strong earthquake. As of Nov. 29, P1,035,685.25 had been remitted to the special account.

The NFA management also cancelled the food agency’s Christmas party to donate the budget to affected NFA employees.

Cash-for-work

In a related development, the DSWD said it is now identifying families in Eastern Visayas that will receive cash-for-work (CFW) assistance from the government after the agency transitions from relief packs distribution to livelihood assistance by January 2014.

“We are now identifying those families who will be given CFW. With the cash that they will receive in exchange for rendering community work, they will be able to buy their own food and other necessities,” Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said.

The CFW program will be implemented for a maximum of 15 days.

The DSWD is also still studying possible livelihood activities that have shorter gestation period and will be more sustainable to be included under the CFW program.  – Ding Cervantes, Evelyn Macairan, Rainier Allan Ronda

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