In the meantime, the groups in the Kalayaan Centre are seeking your expressions of support (both financial and material) for the people of Leyte.
If you would like to make a donation, please contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604.215.1103.
PLEASE SEND YOUR DONATIONS TO:
Attention: Philippine Women Centre of B.C. 451 Powell Street, Vancouver, B.C., V6A 1G7 Please signify that your donation is for THE LEYTE DISASTER
Philippine Women Centre of B.C., Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance, Filipino Nurses Support Group, SIKLAB (Overseas Filipino workers’ organization), B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Sinag Bayan Cultural Collective
Please find below more information on the disaster
Filipino-Canadians gather donations for victims of Leyte disaster
For immediate release: February 19, 2006
A network of progressive Filipinos in Canada is gathering donations for the victims of the recent Leyte disaster that claimed an estimated 1,800 lives.
“As the progressive Filipino Canadian community in Canada we extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those 1,800 people killed in the mudslide in Guinsaugon, Leyte, Philippines,” said Cecilia Diocson, Chairperson of the National Alliance of Philippine Women in Canada (NAPWC).
“We call on Filipinos in Canada and other Canadians to gather what financial support they can to help in the relief and recovery efforts of this tragedy,” said Roderick Carreon, Chairperson of SIKLAB – Canada (Advance and Uphold the Rights of Overseas Filipino Workers).
Filipinos are the fourth largest visible minority group in Canada, numbering close to 400,000.
“This is a case of simple government neglect,” says Diocson. “Even the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said yesterday the landslide was a tragedy waiting to happen,” she added.
Diocson criticized Philippine President Gloria Macapgal-Arroyo’s anti-people policies that have aggravated and not solved the chronic economic crisis in the Philippines. She said more government spending is directed towards servicing the foreign debt than badly needed social and economic programs. An estimated 88% of the population lives in poverty. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the region has been the scene of natural disasters since 1749, when a volcano in the area erupted. Since 1991, four deadly landslides and floods have also struck the region and claimed thousands of lives.
“At the same time, we question claims by the Philippine government that the mudslide was mainly due to illegal logging,” states Carreon. “The real reason for the tragedy and others like it are the large-scale logging operations mostly by foreign-owned companies which have caused massive deforestation and environmental damage all over the Philippines,” he added.
Carreon pointed to government policies of liberalization that, “give foreign companies the right to plunder the nation’s natural resources at the people’s expense.”
The group is setting up a trust fund in the Vancouver area to accept donations to be coursed to the disaster area. Donations can be made out to the Philippine Women Centre of BC (please signify donations FOR LEYTE DISASTER), for donations of $25 or more can also be made to SAPED-PCDI c/o 451 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 1G7 and a tax receipt will be issued.
For more information, please contact:
VANCOUVER: Cecilia Diocson (NAPWC) or Ted Alcuitas (BC Commitee for Human Rights in the Philippines) at: 604-215-1103 or e-mail: email@example.com
MONTREAL: Roderick Carreon (SIKLAB – Quebec) at: 514-344-2709 or Joanne Vasquez (Philippine Women Centre of Quebec) at: 514-659-4300
TORONTO: Joy Sioson, Philippine Women Centre of Ontario or Yolyn Valenzuela (SIKLAB – Ontario) at: 416-878-8772 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org