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[box type=”default” size=”large”] Cites urgent need to continue support for livelihood projects [/box]

Dr. Ernestina delos Santos-Mac, president of the Philippine-American Foundation, Inc. (PAFI) which is also known as Filamcco Foundation, is appealing anew to kind hearts to donate funds for ongoing projects benefiting victims of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban City and nearby towns in Leyte Province.

It is recalled that typhoon Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons to slam Planet Earth, devastated wide areas in Leyte and Samar provinces on Nov. 8, 2013, destroying thousands of houses and infrastructures, uprooting thousands of coconut and fruit trees and damaging farm crops. The accompanying storm surge killed at least 8,000 people.

PAFI headed by Mac was one of the Filipino-American groups in the US that heeded the appeal for help and launched fund campaigns for the victims.

PAFI’s fund drive netted more than $120,000 which was directly distributed by the foundation to the victims in Tacloban City, two nearby Leyte towns and one Samar town.

A substantial amount was turned over to groups undertaking long-term projects for the victims. One such group, which is headed by Sister Eloisa David, launched livelihood projects for farmers in Leyte Province whose coconut trees were uprooted by the typhoon.

Doctor Mac visited the projects in January, this year and was elated to find out that the intended beneficiaries were already benefiting from them.

She said, “My visit to Tacloban was very productive, and I am happy to report that everything is in place. I was awed by the livelihood programs established by Sister Eloisa.”

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Mac also met some of the typhoon victims in Tacloban who were recipients of building materials from the Filamcco Foundation. She said the victims were grateful for the construction materials they had received, but at the same time they appealed for more assistance.

She noted that the victims’ destroyed houses are not yet fully repaired.

She said her visit proved that the funds donated to the foundation and directly given to the beneficiaries had indeed contributed to the efforts at helping the Yolanda victims recover from their losses.

Mac said, however, that there is an urgent need to continue supporting the projects, and that’s the reason, “I am appealing again to kind Filipinos and Filipino Americans for donations for the Yolanda victims.”

She announced that as a seed fund for the re-launched fund drive, she is donating $2,000 from her own resources.

She observed that due to the waning interest in helping the victims, assistance to them is gradually diminishing.     

Sister David’s projects being supported by Filamcco Foundation are the following:

1. A two-hectare farm in Barangay Dumarag in Pastrana which is being managed by the Dumapa Farmers Association. Landowner Elliot Aures is allowing the farmers to use his land for free as he wants to do his share in rebuilding their village which was flattened by typhoon Yolanda, association secretary Baby Sabulao said.

2. Planting of coconut trees in Barangay Divisoria, Alang-alang. Some 150 coconut seedlings had been planted by concerned citizens who call themselves as “St. Benedict’s Army of Volunteers,” Barangay Chairman Joel M. Regato told Doctor Mac.  Regato said that the goal is to plant coconut trees in vacant spaces in the barangay.

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3. The Arado Foundation’s Farmers Association in Barangay Lingayon, Alang-alang. This is a program for capability building, education and skills training for the youths.

4. Birthing clinic in Barangay Lingayon, Alang-alang. David said the clinic benefits families who cannot afford to pay the high cost of delivering a baby in a hospital.