PDRF, other groups seek to raise over P9 M
(The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF), a private sector group of corporations and NGOs formed in 2009 after Typhoon Ondoy, recently joined with the group of companies led by businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Landbank, Caritas, Gawad Kalinga, Filipino-American groups and others to raise over P9 million via a new crowdfunding platform, Brick by Brick (www.pdrf.org/brickbybrick), for the earthquake-devastated areas of Bohol and Cebu and war-torn Zamboanga.

The campaign to help out in the various disasters ends Dec. 5 with each P10 donation earning a brick on the wall on the website spelling out the names of the damaged cities and provinces.

A new page on the website will be devoted to raising funds for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda which slammed into Samar, Leyte and other provinces Friday.

TV 5 will host a telethon tonight, starting at 9 p.m., to raise money for Typhoon Yolanda victims.

Crowdfunding relies on donations from individuals and groups solicited mainly via the Internet to support a variety of causes, including responding to disasters.

Tribal DDB, one of the world’s top digital ad agencies, worked with PLDT and Smart to develop the Brick by Brick concept and website where donors from around the world can give money via PayPal, SmartMoney, PasaBayad or Pasaload to rebuild the devastated areas “brick by brick.”

Landbank, through its president and CEO Gilda Pico, has pledged P1 million to Brick by Brick.

In addition, Landbank is making available all of its 340 branches around the country to accept dollar and peso donations for the PDRF rebuilding effort under the following account numbers: 3404-0323-39 for dollar deposits and 3402-1037-51 for peso donations.

All funds raised will be turned over to various groups in the affected areas, including Gawad Kalinga, Caritas, local church organizations and local government units. The money will be used mainly for the rebuilding of houses, schools and churches.

To jumpstart the rebuilding effort, P2 million has been contributed by employees of PLDT through PLDT SVP Butch Jimenez. PLDT Smart Foundation and One Meralco Foundation have each pledged P1 million, while the First Pacific Group in Hong Kong will add $20,000.

Metro Pacific Foundation has allocated P1 million, while the Metro Pacific Tollways Group, Philex Foundation and Maynilad will each give P500,000. PLDT Global is also hoping to raise $7,000 from the call card top-up of its mostly overseas Filipino customers around the world.

Among the other donors to the crowdfunding effort are Loida Nicolas Lewis, former CEO of TLC Beatrice International, $5,000; Henry Howard, CEO of US Education Finance, one of the largest educational loan companies in the US, $5,000; Dennis Mendiola, founder of Chikka Text Messaging, P50,000; Steve Lobo, CEO of World Networking Services based in New York, $700; and several employees of Meralco, Smart and Digitel.

“Our brothers’ and sisters’ suffering is our burden too. We are called on to help those who cannot help themselves. I am glad that along with the government, PDRF is helping as well,” said Lewis.

Partners in the campaign include Western Union, the Commission for Overseas Filipinos, the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NAFFAA); NATTCO, the largest federation of cooperatives in the Philippines; and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of New York, which is making available its PayPal account to transmit donations to the PDRF.

NATTCO will encourage its 2.1 million members to donate to the cause. TV 5 International has promised to air an ad asking for donations for Brick by Brick.

“Brick by Brick is an innovative way to raise money to help disaster-stricken areas of the Philippines. We hope everyone, including other private companies, will join us in this campaign,” said Pangilinan, who is chairman of PDRF.

“The Philippines has been hit by a series of disasters – earthquakes in Bohol, fighting in Zamboanga and then the world’s strongest typhoon in the Visayas. But we are getting better at responding. PDRF is focused on helping people rebuild their lives and on long-term recovery. As an organization, we include members from different business groups and companies from many sectors of the economy. We welcome all those who want to help,” said Butch Meily, PDRF executive director.

“Landbank sees this contribution as a moral obligation to help our countrymen,” said Pico.

PDRF was started in 2009 by a number of private companies and NGOs, following the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy. Its other efforts have included the reforestation of the Marikina Watershed, support for the disaster mapping of Metro Manila, the installation of connectivity between PAGASA and the Office of Civil Defense, and the construction of schoolhouses in Marikina after Typhoon Ondoy.


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