FILIPINIANA | CURRENT AFFAIRS

Filipinos lend aid to Qld flood victims

Michelle Baltazar

Filipino-Australians rush to give their support to kababayans affected by the devastating floods in Queensland, with volunteers on the ready to send donations coming from all over NSW and other states.

The Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, Inc (APCO, Inc), a non-profit umbrella body representing more than 40 organisations and individual members, held a general meeting this month to coordinate their relief efforts.

Cen Amores, APCO’s president, said that they are liaising closely with Mauro Somodio, who is spearheading the efforts in the region and is the founder of the Filipino Australian Foundation of Queensland (FAFQ).

Floods in Brisbane Source: Govt images
Floods in Brisbane Source: Govt images

Amores said that instead of a short-term fund raising effort lasting a few weeks, APCO will endeavour to help the flood victims in a long-term rehabilitation program, through APCO’s Humanitarian Emergency And Livelihood (HEAL) project.

In a separate initiative, another community advocate, Emma de Vera, has volunteered the offices of Revesby Press, a Sydney-based Filipino-owned printing group, as a drop-off point for donations such as canned goods, wearable clothes and blankets. De Vera has obtained the support of packaging delivery company LBC, which is donating boxes for the flood relief, similar to the assistance the group provided during Typhoon Ondoy.

APCO has already directed its members to send similar donations to the same venue, if convenient.

Other community leaders and various community newspapers have helped spread the word, including Neria Soliman, long-time community leader and renowned Filipino-Australian chef; and Josie Musa, press relations officer (PRO) of Bicol Community, Inc.

Proposals on how to raise more funds are pouring in, including concerts, dance nights and fundraising shows.

The Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal has raised more than $80 million to date, but a Red Cross spokesperson told Sydney Morning Herald this week that funds raised should be around the $100 million mark, suggesting more needs to be done.

As of this week, the floods’ death toll has reached 18, with more than a dozen people still missing due to the disaster.

Cash donations can be sent to:

Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Account Name: Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, Inc
BSB No: 062070
Account No: 1025034

Alternatively, you may send your donations by cheque to:

Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, Inc
PO Box 2056
BERALA NSW 2141

(APCO Inc. will send a receipt to confirm donations.)

For canned goods and other donations:
What: Queensland Flood Appeal
Require: Used clothing (wearable), tinned foods, blankets
Drop off point: Revesby Press
Unit 3/50 George St., Granville NSW 2142
Contact : Mari/Emma – 97600933
(Mon-Fri during work hours, call Mari/Emma for weekend drop-offs).

Blacktown Drop-Off: 1/43 Torrance Cres., Quakers Hill NSW; Contact: Millie: (02) 9837 2028

Reporting by Michelle Baltazar

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