Monday, 5 October 2009

Victims turned volunteers pouring in Malacanang Sagip Bayan Relief Center

Thirty (30) typhoon Ondoy victims who were earlier relief recipients of Malacanang's Operation Sagip Bayan Center poured in today to help in the packing of goods at the Kalayaan Hall upon hearing over radio and television that more volunteers are needed to repack donations

Earlier, the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) through Secretary Hermogenes Esperon appealed for more volunteers when relief goods from donors continuously poured in since yesterday.

The newly-arrived thirty new volunteers will replace those who have been helping at the Center since early this week. PMS officials said most of the volunteers who were recruited early this week after the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy were students who need to go back to school starting tomorrow.

PMS Assistant Secretary Willy Oca who was at the Center early this morning to sound out PMS Chief Esperon's call for more volunteers said it was heartening to see victims who were earlier recipients of relief goods from Malacanang's Sagip Bayan in Kalayaan turning in to become volunteers.

The thirty newly arrived volunteers are from Barangay 845 of Pandacan, Manila. They were the first batch of relief good recipients when the Center opened last Tuesday, September 29, 2009.

Virginia Rotao, 58 years old, of 1933 Sampaguita St., Bgy. 845, Pandacan, Manila, said she volunteered to help victims like her.

"Nung narining namin na kailangan ng mga volunteers para mag-repack ng mga relief goods ay nagpunta kami dito para matulungan naman iyong mga iba," says Rotao.

She said her presence at the Center is not only in gratitude for the help she earlier received from the Sagip Bayan operations but it is common for Filipinos to help one another in time of crisis.

Aside from the thirty volunteers from Pandacan, Manila, a group from the Young Pinoy organization - Smokey Mountain Chapter from the first district of Tondo, also arrived early morning to volunteer.

According to them they are volunteering to be able to share in the helping hand being offered by the Malacanang Sagip Bayan operations to typhoon Ondoy victims.

The Malacañang Sagip Bayan Relief Operations Center was established by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Monday night, September 29, 2009, to give immediate help to victims of typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila.

The 24-hour Center repacks relief goods and distributes these to the different evacuation centers located in the metropolis.

Aside from the Center, President Arroyo has also transformed part of Mabini Hall and the Ceremonial Hall into an evacuation center. (PND)

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