For celebrities, giving Yolanda-hit areas aid not yet Over
More than 100 days after typhoon Yolanda struck Samar and left a huge area of Visayas destroyed, help continues to pour in from many countries and sectors of society.
Public figures like celebrities are just some of those who continue to help typhoon survivors rebuild their lives:
Actor Dingdong Dantes is currently waiting for DepEd’s go signal to build a disaster-resilient elementary school in the town of Estancia, Iloilo. He is also eyeing long-term help through YesPinoy Foundation as it provides scholarships to those deserving in the area.
ABS-CBN News broadcaster Karen Davila is supporting the ‘Build Forward’ project of non-profit housing organisation Habitat for Humanity Philippines. Their goal is to encourage young architecture students to come up with disaster-resilient designs for schools and homes to be used by Habitat for Humanity for rebuilding efforts in Visayas. Registration for interested individuals has been extended to 28 February.
Habitat for Humanity also tapped Lea Salonga, Rachelle Ann Go and many other artists alongside conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra for the tribute concert ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ last January. As of the latest tally, the concert was able to raise Php24m that will be used by Habitat for Humanity to build shelters for Yolanda survivors.
Marian Rivera is an ambassador of the ‘Adopt-A-Bangka’ campaign backed by grassroots-based Back to Sea Project that aims to bring back fishermen their means of livelihood. On Tuesday, she, alongside fellow campaigners, delivered 100 boats for Bantayan Island fisherfolk. Actor and current Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto also supported this project.
Sexy stars Derek Ramsey and Anne Curtis were in Tacloban City last week to support teachers through PLDT’s Gabay Guro event ‘Pahalipay Ha Leyte.’ Derek and Anne along with other celebrities and performers staged a variety show for teachers in the city. Gabay Guro continues to conduct teacher trainings and help rebuild damaged schools in Leyte.
Many other famous names are joining in the continued support for Yolanda survivors, and some of these are based internationally. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will soon hold its 11th Annual Match Against Poverty and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) football players will be joining the match.
The match at Bern, Switzerland on 4 March will feature retired football greats Zinédine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luís Figo, Fabio Cannavaro, Patrick Vieira, Ronald de Boer, Steve McManaman, Jamie Carragher, Jens Lehmann, Gaizka Mendieta, Paulo Ferreira, Juliano Belletti and Pavel Nedvěd. The renowned former football referee Pierluigi Collina will also be in the match.
Fellow football star David Beckham was also in Tacloban City last week to visit Unicef sites. Before leaving, he said ‘I want to show people around the world how their generous donations have had an enormous impact on children and their families and how thankful people here are for their kindness.’
As support persists around the world, many are turning their eyes to the government and asking for more help for typhoon survivors. Malacañang has recently been receiving criticism from groups claiming it hasn’t done enough for the survivors and victims. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda however defended the Palace, saying it is committed in the reconstruction efforts in Visayas.
One of the initiatives that will help in the government’s rehabilitation efforts has been spearheaded by the Department of Finance (DOF) with the help of the Asian Development Bank. DOF plans to establish a Yolanda Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) that aims to provide reconstruction assistance in Yolanda-affected areas with the goal of ‘building back better.’
National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said MDTF will make its use of resources transparent and will ensure that all standards are complied.