Aids, volunteers continue to pour in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 13:47

Donations and volunteers continue to pour in Zamboanga in these critical times.

Councilor Myra Paz V. Abubakar said that resources have been coming in from different organizations -government, private, local or foreign.

“As of September 14, we already have 25 evacuation centers in the city, the biggest of which is in the Joaquin Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex,” said Abubakar. “Relief operations done by government and non-government organizations continue.”

The USAID, according to Abubakar is by far the biggest outside donor. “USAID gave us 10,000 noodles, 10,000 styro cups, blankets, pails, toiletries, mats, portalets and the like,” she said.

“The fishing companies had provided us with fish. Local caterers like Cecille’s, Chinitos, Zamboanga Seafood and many others have also been continuous in providing food,” Abubakar said.

In addition to food, supply, and medicine, organizations provide round-the-clock service for evacuees. They cook and deliver food, provide medical services, and just about anything needed. The JCI Zamboanga, Rotary Club, and the Zamboanga Archdiocese, to name a few, are providing 24/7 service to evacuees.

“Schools and universities have put up kitchens in some evacuation centers,” she added.

Food was not only prepared for the affected families, but also for soldiers and policemen there.

Meanwhile, DSWD Information Officer Jayson Elias said the Tzu Chi Foundation has provided 14 metric tons of potable water distributed to service facilities in evacuation centers. He said help coming from many sources are overwhelming.

But the evacuees are not simply waiting to be served. In the centers, they help cook and serve food for thousands of fellow displaced persons. Everybody works, helping one another. Many lack sleep.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman earlier praised the spirit of the Zamboanguenos, citing that this same spirit will lead the city towards victory even in difficult times such as this. “Magtatagumpay ang mga Zamboangueno,” she said.

For her part, fourth year college student Jenny Rojas helps DSWD repack relief goods like used clothing, sanitary napkins, noodles, and the like at the command center at the Women Center.

“Kahapon lang po ako nagsimulang mag-volunteer, pero itutuloy ko po ito. Kung walang klase at nasa bahay lang ako, mas mabuti po kung tutulong na lang ako. Kawawa na po talaga ang mga tao,” Jenny said.

Abubakar says food and supplies are sufficient even as the number of affected persons is over 62,000. Abubakar is very thankful for the help, but is concerned that donors’ resources may soon be depleted.

One of the victims, Ronnie Cario,  lost his home and property to a fire in Sta. Catalina. “Wala na ko’y maulian (I have no home),” he wept. But in spite of this very sad experience, he firmly believes that the crisis will end soon.

“Hapit na siguro mahuman kining gubut, daghan tag mga tangke ug perting isuga sa atong mga sundalo (Maybe the end to this violence is near. We have many tanks, and we have many brave soldiers),” he said. In spite of what he had lost, Ronnie is hopeful. -See more at: