Helping the victims-A A +A
Saturday, October 19, 2013
WE USED to read about earthquakes in newspapers: Dec. 26, 2004 in the Indian Ocean, with 230,000 killed; Jan. 12, 2010 in Haiti, with 316,000 killed; and March 11, 2011 in Japan, with 15,883 deaths.
We know that the Philippines is located in the Pacific "Ring of Fire." This fact became more real to us with the 6.9-magnitude quake last year in waters near Negros Island that killed about 100 people.
On Oct. 15, 2013, Cebu and Bohol was hit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake, and we realized no one is safe from the wrath of nature. Just a few hours after the major tremor, photos had come out insocial network ing sites, showing the damage on infrastructure, especially centuries-old churches. The body count started to pile up as reports filtered from remote towns and barangays especially in Bohol.
As I am writing this, the number of dead is nearing 200, and 3,017,814 people have been affected in 32 municipalities and seven cities in Central Visayas. From postings in Facebook, people remain shaken with the aftershocks that have not ceased.
In New Zealand where I currently reside, the deadliest peacetime disaster occurred on Feb. 22, 2011. The Christchurch earthquake killed 185 people, including Filipino nurses. The damage to property was estimated at NZ$ 40 billion that would take 50-100 years to recover.
One mechanism that had been put in place since 1945 is the Earthquake Commission, a government entity that provides insurance to owners of residential properties in New Zealand. This gave financial help to affected households.
If there was a positive result of the earthquake, it was the solidarity of people in raising money to help the victims. Sports events, musical concerts including one featuring the Foo Fighters and community hall activities not only brought material help, but more importantly, emotional support to families.
Cebuanos have, in times of adversity, showed their best qualities in helping those in need. It is the same this time. As the national government, local government units and humanitarian institutions attend to their tasks, the private sector and the artists are doing their share as well.
In so short a time, a benefit concert called Bangon SugBohol will happen on Sunday Oct. 20, 2013 from 2 pm onwards in the Ayala Terrace. Even the program has been put in place: 2-4 pm – bands, 4-8 pm - theater artists, dance artists, choirs, and 8-10 pm –bands.
I was told that the organizers are inviting the public to attend and support the event by giving donations, either in cash or in kind with auditing firms keeping tab so these will go to deserving beneficiaries.
Kudos to Cebu Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Rotary Club of Cebu Fuente, Rotary Club of Mandaue, Island Souvenirs Group, Ayala Group of Companies, Cebu City Tourism Commission, Cebu Music Festival and Unified Artists, among many others.
We are certain that Filipinos abroad are helping out as well. In New Zealand, the Katilingbang Bisaya sa New Zealand is doing its part, along with other groups.
Let’s pull our resources together, so the people of Cebu and Bohol will rise out of the rubbles.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2013.