Redwood City, Calif. – Metro Manila resident Josephine Cruz’s plea was loud and clear over ABS CBN’s flagship radio AM station, DZMM (630 kHz in Metro Manila). Trapped in her house with her 83-year-old grandmother and 11 of her family members, she frantically cried, “Please rescue my family!” As flood waters continued to rise in Metropolitan Manila as a result of torrential rains brought about by Typhoon Gener (international name: Saola), similar pleas for help also came through the air. By Tuesday morning, 60 people have perished, while thousands continue to be transported to evacuation centers. ABS CBN Foundation International announces the reactivation of Sagip Kapamilya, a disaster rescue, relief and rehabilitation program, as the rescue operations are now a race against time.
What began as a typical, seasonal monsoon for the 12 million residents of the Philippine capital quickly became a deadly deluge of torrential rains that caused the overflow of dams and rivers. The overflowing La Mesa Dam swelled rivers in the cities of Quezon City, Malabon, Valenzuela and Caloocan which surround the metropolis. More than 5,0000 residents along the Markina River were immediately relocated as water levels over-indexed by 10 percent above critical levels. By yesterday evening, 50 percent of Metropolitan Manila was under water and more than 30 percent of the capital was under waist- or neck-deep waters, earning its horrifying monicker, “waterworld.”
As of August 7 (Manila time), Sagip Kapamilya’s rescue operations has reached 12,552 residents. Sagip Kapamilya staff and volunteers are responding to the emergency needs of people inside the evacuation centers. Special attention is being given to children, expectant mothers and the elderly. The immediate needs in the centers include a steady supply of rice; canned goods and other non-perishable food items; clothes for adults, children and infants; blankets and mats; first aid and medicine.
The collective donation of overseas Filipinos has always been the single largest and most reliable source of support for Sagip Kapamilya. “We humbly call on all overseas Filipinos and our friends to assist in any way to help Filipinos affected by the recent floods in Metropolitan Manila,” says J. Robbie Fabian, President of ABS CBN Foundation International. “Because the needs are immediate we encourage gifts of cash at this time. Our commitment is to remit the donations within 24 to 48 hours of accepting them so items of greatest need can be purchased immediately on the ground.”
ABS CBN Foundation International remits 100% of all donations to Sagip Kapamilya in Manila for use in the rescue, relief and long-term rehabilitation of communities affected by natural disasters. All donations in the U.S. are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by U.S. laws.
Donations of checks or money orders can be sent to ABS CBN Foundation International at 150 Shoreline Drive, Redwood City, CA 94065. Contributions also be made online at www.abscbnfoundation.org.