How can we help Marawi? Shoutout to Filipino friends here and abroad

Last October 17 (Tuesday), President Duterte declared Marawi ‘liberated from terrorists’ after the reported death of Isilon Hapilon (Abu Sayyaf leader), and Omarkhayam Maute (Maute leader). According to reports, since the onset of Marawi battle last May 23, about 1,000 were killed, and about 400,000 displaced residents were affected due to the armed conflict.

Image result for Marawi armed conflict
Photo courtesy of GMA News
Marawi-evacuees
Photo courtesy of Philippine STAR
Image result for Marawi soldiers
Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN

 

Rebuild Marawi

We now come to face a more difficult situation. The post-war challenge is to rebuild Marawi.

Some say that it would take six (6) or more years to rehabilitate Marawi. Plans would entail rebuilding of establishments, roads, residential houses, among others. This greater bulk of work, we can entrust to the government.

But as an ordinary Filipino, what can you and I do to help our mga kababayan in Marawi rise again?

 

Through DSWD

As a public servant, I would like to share with you some modes through which the government enables us to extend help to the victims of armed conflict in Marawi. This is through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Last Sept. 27, I stumbled upon a post on a Facebook group that says DSWD is need of volunteers for packing relief items for people in Marawi. DSWD National Relief Operation Center (NROC) is in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Despite its long distance from my place (Caloocan City), the call to action captured me, and I did not hesitate to immediately connect with the contact person indicated in the post. Jaiza, 09176691207.

Screenshot_2017-10-20-22-03-07

I asked for further details on how we can volunteer in the relief operations. I said ‘we’ because I was already thinking of tagging along my partner Jikjik, mama, and some other interested friends.

Volunteers must be 18 years old and above; must come with proper clothes (i.e. closed-toe shoes, no sleeveless and shorts); schedule is from Monday to Saturday, 8AM-8PM.

I already marked Oct. 21 for the volunteering opportunity, however, I received an update from Jaiza last October 13, 2017: As of the moment, the repacking activity is postponed. We will keep you posted for the resumption. Thank you.

 

As of today, I haven’t received any update yet on the resumption. As soon as I get one, I’ll post it on this blog.

I published a teaser information on my Facebook timeline, and one OFW asked me how she can extend help, and what are the preferred relief items.

I called DSWD at tel. no. 851-2681. They told me that we can directly take our donations to the DSWD-NROC in Pasay City. Preferred items are sleeping mats, slippers, and food (which would not expire within at least six months).

For cash donations, I found the below information on Rappler, but also verified it with DSWD Central Office through tel. no. 355-2849.

 

DSWD Dollar Saving Account for Foreign Donation

Account Name: DSWD FOREIGN DONATION

Account Number: 3124-0055-81

Swift Code: TLBPPHMMXXX

Bank Address: Land Bank of the Philippines, Batasan Branch, Constitution Hills, Quezon City

 

Peso Current Account

Account Name: DSWD DONATION

Account Number: 3122-1011-84

Bank Address: Land Bank of the Philippines, Batasan Branch, Constitution Hills, Quezon City

 

Donors should notify the DSWD Finance Management Service or Cash Division of their donation through phone (355-2849 / fax: 931-8127) or email (finance@dswd.gov.ph / cash@dswd.gov.ph). Please send a screenshot/photo of validated deposit slip together with your information (name, nationality, and address), and INTENTION (e.g. for Marawi displaced residents).

The OFW who asked me (which was once my churchmate, now residing in USA) prefers to just send cash donation to my personal bank account and let me buy the stuff for kids in Marawi 🙂 You can do the same. It would be my pleasure to serve as your hands and feet for this. For my bank account details, you may email me at lunadanipog@gmail.com.

Share the word 🙂

You may start sharing this information with your family and friends, here and abroad! You may also rally the youth in your church or community to gather donations; better yet, if you have a means of transportation, you may allot a date for your group to personally go to DSWD-NROC in Pasay City to volunteer in the relief packing.

These are just some ways of showing our love for our kapwa Filipinos in Marawi. If you know other means, feel free to share through the comments section below, or start publishing information in your own social media platform or blog 🙂 The Facebook Live video version of this blog can be viewed here.

 

Pray

Of course, as we help Marawi rise from the ashes, it is high-time for all of us to join our hearts in prayer. Pray for the government, our leaders. Pray for Marawi. Let us pray and ask God/Allah to grant us peace and unity. Let us ask for renewed hope and strength as we collectively face the challenges of tomorrow. This is a time to rediscover our strength as one Filipino people, and reflect on God’s mercy and faithfulness to our nation.

I’d like you to join me in reflecting on this utopian hope written in the Bible:

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” ~ Revelations 31:3-4

Assalamualaikum! (Shalom!)


 

Related article: To rebuild Marawi

Inspirational video: Awit sa Marawi (sung by Esang de Torres) | Lyrics here

 

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SDGs and You

It is 2015 and many people are still perhaps somewhat clueless as to whether we have achieved or have in any way come closer to attaining the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

While nations may not have met all targets, the goals are a work in progress.

Now the world has adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) or known as the #GlobalGoals which breaks down the 8 MDGs into more specific goals. These are:

UNSustainableDevelopmentGoals_Brand-01

1 no poverty2 hunger3 good health4 education5 gender6 clean water7 energy8 work9 industry10 inequality11 sustainable cities12 consumption13 climate action14 water life15 land life16 peace17 partnerships Image source: www.un.org | Know more about each goal here.

17 goals with 169 targets can be quite overwhelming to meet for an organization or even a nation. But if we take one step at a time and work collectively, we can meet these goals.

While we act in our own little way, we should demand more from our governments. They need to prioritize the SDGs, put into place well researched policies and programs and ensure they are implemented.

There is no other way as if we don’t act now, we endanger our future. This is our hope for humanity.

Last September, I, together with other members of various civil society and non-government organizations and climate activists, was privileged to see the world premiere screening of “This Changes Everything”, a film adaptation of the same titled book by Naomi Klein. It is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change and poses the question, “What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?” Towards the end of the film, Klein said that those who are up there, drunk with greed and selfish desires in pursuit of the fraud ‘economic growth’, cannot be stopped unless they see a strong force of resistance from below—that’s us.

A similar idea was shared by Michelle Brown, a British academic and historian and a contributor for You’re History: How People Make a Difference, who said, “Once ordinary people become more socially and politically aware and active, it can become harder for their governments to be wantonly exploitative and corrupt – unless society becomes so cynical and blase about its politicians and their motives that it leaves them to get on with it without demanding better.”

I hope that cynicism won’t drown us, Filipinos. Instead, let hope arise and let our frustrations be converted into actions. We have much to offer and much to take care of, as we progress on several fronts.

Now we need to take the time to understand these SDGs and think of small ways on how we can contribute to the attainment of each goal. We must also try to think of innovative ways we can urge governments to implement the SDGs. It is through our actions, what is done at the grassroots level, that can bring about the achievements of the SDGs.

Be inspired by this video and join the people from all over the world to push for the #GlobalGoals.

What do you think about this? 🙂