By Ben Cal
In a spontaneous display of compassion, kind hearted citizens from the cross section of society have responded to the urgent call of the Philippine Army to help the thousands of unfortunate victims of tropical storm “Sendong” donating tons of relief goods the past four days.
Army chief Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista was overwhelmed by the influx of donations which, he said, confirms the Bayanihan spirit of Filipinos is alive.
He said the Army will coordinate with the local government units in the area for the distribution of the relief goods.
Surging floodwaters triggered by Sendong’s fury brought havoc to a wide area in northern Mindanao, particularly Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City and some parts of the Visayas, specifically Dumaguete City.
Maj. Harold M. Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said that after learning the initiative of the Philippine Army’s massive relief efforts for the victims of Sendong, people voluntarily joined the disaster relief efforts.
At present, the Civil-Military Operations Group in Fort Bonifacio has 55 tons of used clothing donated by the Filipino community in Dubai, along with 5,000 bottles of water and a truck of relief goods from the Ateneo School of Government and from the office of Senator Francis Pangilinan.
In the 4th Infantry Division, soldiers were mobilized to repack the relief goods from Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Also, 78 sacks of assorted used clothing, 14 boxes of noodles, 11 boxes of sardines, and two sacks of rice are awaiting distribution from the 8th Infantry Division.
Cabunoc said different non-government organizations and individuals have also expressed their commitment to help the victims of Sendong.
Cabunoc added that the voluntary collection of the one day meal subsistence allowance is already underway.