Super Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Yolanda) was a category 5 typhoon that struck the Philippines on Friday, November 8th. With gusts of up to 305 kph (190 mph) Haiyan was one of the strongest recorded storms in the world, and the resulting storm surges brought massive death and devastation to the Central Philippines.
Global Call For Action
The United Nations recently initiated a global effort to raise US$301 million for the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. One proven channel for international donations is through mobile phones. According to a CNN Money report, a donations via text campaign raised US$25 million, four days after Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, while a donations drive for the survivors in the 2010 Haiti earthquake generated over US$150 Million.
"Let us all show our solidarity with the people of the Philippines at this time of need."
—UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Rising up to the challenge
In response to the needs of communities devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda in the Philippines, the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) has launched helpPH, a global campaign for donations via mobile phones to help fund relief and recovery programs in partnership with Philippine NGOs, international humanitarian organizations, government agencies and private corporations.
“The unprecedented scale of the devastation inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda requires a global response. Through HelpPh, we are providing people all over the world the means to send help to those in greatest need through a few clicks on their mobile phones,”
—PDRF chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Mobile Money for Aid
Mobile phone users in over 40 countries can now directly donate using their airtime load to helpPH through BayadLoad, a mobile money service of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Philippine Central Bank) for this purpose. Sending mechanics from overseas vary depending on the mobile network operators per country.
This fund-raising program will continue until December 31, 2013 to allow mobile subscribers in over 40 countries to donate mobile airtime up to $10 a day.
Funding for Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
Through Philippine and international partners, funds gathered will be directly channeled to immediate relief efforts and later, to long-term recovery programs in areas of the greatest need.
For this purpose, PDRF is working with organizations like the Philippine Red Cross, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Caritas Manila, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Gawad Kalinga, the United States Agency for International Development and the GSMA, the global association of the mobile phone industry.
Immediate relief operations will be prioritized for remote areas not reached by mainstream relief distribution. Corporate members will be tapped to provide transport, logistics and communications support to enabletimely coordination of relief efforts by government and relief agencies.
This includes “information as relief” to provide affected communities with news and information through mobile phones, the Internet, social media and satellite TV, as well as medical relief through on-the-ground missions, telemedicine and psycho-social therapy.
Initial partners for this effort include Alagang Kapatid Foundation, Caritas Manila, PLDT-Smart Foundation, Maynilad Water Services , Philippine Red Cross and TV5 network.
For shelter and resettlement, PDRF will work with various partners including Gawad Kalinga, Habitat for Humanity, One MERALCO Foundation and Philippine Contractors Association (PCA).
To provide education for displaced school children, PDRF will work with the Department of Education, the Central Visayas Institute Foundation and the GSMA.
Initial partners are the Philippine Business for Social Progress, ASA Philippines, CARD MRI, Microcredit Council of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines. PDRF is also holding discussions with the United Nations-International Labor Organization and Oxfam to pursue collaborative efforts in these areas.
About Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF)
PDRF was organized in 2009 following the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy and is made up of major private sector companies and leading NGOs. It is one of the three identified institutional conduits approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Red Cross.
Board of Trustees:
Manuel V. Pangilinan
Chairman, PLDT/Smart Communications, Inc.
Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
Archbishop of Manila
Founder, Gawad Kalinga
Gilda E. Pico
President and CEO, Land Bank of the Philippines
Dr. Carlo Arcilla
Professor and Director, National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines
Jose Ma. Lim
President and CEO, Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Napoleon L. Nazareno
President and CEO, PLDT/Smart Communications, Inc.
President and COO, DMCI
Director of Operations, Manila Water Company, Inc.
Rene “Butch” S. Meily
President, Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation
Rene “Butch” S. Meily
June Cheryl Cabal –Revilla
Chief Financial Officer
Atty. Maria Lourdes Rausa-Chan
Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel
Sycip Gorres Velayo & Company