Tzu Chi Foundation and Private Companies Pool Resources to Help in Typhoon Odette Efforts

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Tsu Chi Foundation Philippines have already done a lot in the past. Master Cheng Yen founded it in 1996 to inspire people, to put compassion into action. They initially had 30 housewives saving 2 cents from their groceries, but now has a seat in the UN. Tsu Chi reached the Philippines in 1994, and now has volunteers in different areas in the country. Tsu Chi and Master Chung Yen has had the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Presidential Award -Kaanib ng Bayan and more. For now they are doing charity efforts, to provide medical assistance, disaster relief, educational program, livelihood and vocational training. They have worked previously in the restoration of a Tacloban Church, Typhoon Yolanda work and response. 

This year, Typhoon Odette Ravaged the country, making 9 landfalls in Visayas and Mindanao, taking out electricity, water supple, and now they're working with people on ground in Cebu, Bohol and Leyte and with the government units so they could help where there are most affected. This involves isolated towns, coastal ones, where thousands of people are in dire need. Children, mothers, people are going out on streets to beg for food, shelter, so they could survive. They now live in tents and makeshift shelters in the same area where the typhoon hit them as well. Cebu, Ormoc and Palo Leyte Volunteers are serving hot meals and water, Manila is also sending help including blankets, water supply, gen sets. Tzu Chi are calling for donations of water, food and funds. They need construction materials, GI sheets, nails, to protect them from the weather. They are also in need of communications, logistics and support. 

Digital Pilipinas convenor and Geiser Maclang Founder Amor Maclang says "Thank you for all those who came this morning, we all were caught off guard with what happened with Typhoon Odette. One of the reasons of why we're asking for your help to support Tsu Chi Foundation. A few years ago, we were invited to Taiwan wherein I had the pleasure of meeting the founder. A lot of our advocacy areas are in Bicol, Leyte, CAR, and Zamboanga. Digital Pilipinas is working with Tsu Chi Foundation to help scale harness technology, help them move money, to bring help where it's needed the most. They are very transparent. We need leader volunteers for education, environment, and work with the CSR arm of Globe, fintech and payments, beyond just making a donation through digital wallets, repurposing donated electrical appliances and sell them to put profits in Tsu Chi and help people. We need help in logistics, the devastation is massive. We will be calling for meetings, to update you of what's happening on ground. You will hear how you can best help in this crisis. We will have January 2 and 3 some rice donations, we need volunteers to arrange that, work together. Thank you to our friends from the private industry who are here, I wish everyone, the rest of our country have a better Christmas."

If you would like to help, donations can be course through these channels:

Yoly Crisanto of Globe CSR says "This is a test for resiliency, and we need to make things better. Communication is key. The challenge is to respond and build things better next time. When Ondoy struck, Marikina valley was under water, we had to build towers higher after that. We need our cell sites to withstand even greater winds than ever before. We build cell sites that can do that, to hopefully invest and pour out more, and there's no donor fatigue in the country. We should never be in this position again, we need to have more resilient measures. We will be there to help, we need to put together our resources, to help coastal communities, to battle the pandemic and climate change. There is a challenge for everyone, and hopefully we can build on our network. The government is very open, the NDRMMC, the LGU's, Siargao, Cebu, Davao, we need to have a concerted efforts, not just work after the Typhoon and say it's done. Let us understand that we need to put new antennas when the roads are blocked, it's hard to work in disaster response. The power lines are down, you can only repair if there is power. That's the reality on ground and it's a concerted effort. We are doing everything we can right now, every single minute counts before, after disaster happens. It's not easy. I'm appealing to everyone to hopefully get back and be connected again after that strong typhoon."

Tsu Chi Foundation has been doing in environmental protection, we have done it in Taiwan. It's something we can replicate in the Philippines, to make sure we don't experience these climate change caused disasters.

Nauman Mustafa of says "I've experienced the Typhoon while I was in the BPO sector at that time. People have come together and there are many companies who want to do this. We decided to put our own business partners to have their proceeds be given to those who need it most. I am a firm believer that we should help others. We are here to support Tsu Chi, we'll ask our partners to also support the foundation in our capacity. We just have to take this challenge an fight with it."

There were tons more from the private sector, it was really nice to see them connecting and trying to help in their way, so please help if you can in your own capacity.

"When the poor cannot come out, the blessed ones should go in and help." -Master Yeng Chen


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