Calamity response team formed in honor of slain missionary-A A +A
Saturday, August 11, 2012
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Alay Bayan Luson Inc. (ABI Luson) has formed the Willem Geertman Brigade (WGB) to serve in times of calamity.
The WGB is named after the ABI Luson’s late executive director Wilhelmus Geertman, a Dutch national killed last July 3.
Geertman was an environment champion and genuine land reform and human rights advocate.
The brigade is tasked to do Damage, Needs, and Capacity Assessment (DNCAs), resource generations like campaigning for donations, packing up of relief goods and relief delivery operations (RDO).
The ABI Luson urged volunteers to join the WGB not only for the pressing need to address the situation in Central Luzon and other nearby provinces but also to take part on the service centers’ other emergency response campaigns.
The ABi Luson issued an urgent appeal to the broad citizens in and out of Central Luzon to come to the aid of the survivors of the flashfloods in Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Pangasinan.
Ranilo Margallo, ABI Luson’s Campaign and Advocacy officer said that as torrential rains pummeled large areas of Luzon, adding more to the agony to the already marginalized communities, the number of victims increased in the said provinces.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) the southwest monsoon drawn by typhoon ‘Gener’ has left at least four dead in Central Luzon.
The residents near the Ipo and Angat dams in Bulacan; Ambuklao and Binga dams in Benguet, San Roque in Pangasinan and Magat dam in Isabela were alerted for the likely increase in the water level downstream as heavy downpour in the afternoon last August 8 prompted dam officials to increase the opening of gates in several Luzon reservoirs worsening the flood situation in the provinces of Central Luzon.
In August 9, 2012 a total of 792 villages in the region were affected: Pampanga with 302 Barangays in 18 municipalities; Bulacan with 151 Barangays in 19 municipalities; Bataan with 165 barangays in 10 municipalities; Tarlac with 29 barangays in six municipalities, Nueva Ecija with 64 barangays in seven municipalities; and Zambales with 138 barangays in all its municipalities.
The NDRRMC also reported that flashfloods in the region affected a total of 290,633 families or 1,179,600 persons. At least 25 houses were totally damaged and 401 partially damaged.
Margallo said that, “As always in the case, the poor peasants particularly the indigenous peoples, women and children are most vulnerable to the onslaught of natural and man-made disasters. They are less capacitated to deal with disasters because of their poverty and the government hardly provides them with the means to overcome disasters.
Margallo explained that Alay Bayan-Luson Inc. with SEC Registration CN201109243 is a non-stock and non-profit NGO established in 2000 as a Central Luzon center for the promotion of Community-Based Disaster Management program. Since 2000 ABI has developed as its main programs and services: disaster preparedness and mitigation program, emergency response program and rehabilitation program.
Margallo said affected families immediately need food, bathing soap, sanitary napkin, laundry soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and diapers.
Other necessities include new sets of underwear, clothing particularly infant clothes and pregnant women’s clothes, blankets, mats and water containers.
The ABI Luson said donations and help may be sent through their office at 54 Rue de Paree, L&S Subdivision, Barangay Telebastagan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines. Cash or monetary donations may be deposited to the Alay Bayan-Luson, Inc. with account number: 052-3-05251627-3 at Metrobank, Angeles City.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 11, 2012.