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Officer Isagani Mercado, whose parents are among those in Leyte struggling with the effects of typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, checks donations at the relief drive organized by the Colma Police Officers Association in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.  Colma Mayor Joanne del Rosario and Teresita Paynor, wife of Consul Gen. Marciano Paynor Jr. (in group picture) helped collect approximately 1,000 pounds of clothing and food items  November 21 at the Colma Target parking lot.  The items were transported to the LBC offices and shipped free by LBC to the Philippines.    R. GERRY PANGILINAN 

 

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MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX) announced that through the Company’s charitable shoe program, BOBS from SKECHERS, it will give more than 200,000 pairs of new shoes to support the children affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. This much-needed donation will mark the Company's sixth million-pair milestone since the BOBS brand launched in 2011.
 
Working with donation partner Soles 4 Souls, nine containers with an estimated 213,000 pairs will be delivered over the first two weeks of December through several established charity organizations.
 
“The BOBS program was established to help children in need around the world – be it those struggling to survive daily, or who find themselves in the path of natural disasters,” began Michael Greenberg. “But with Typhoon Haiyan, it hits home. We have a strong distribution partner in the Philippines who we have worked with for two decades, and I have heard from numerous members of our team in the U.S. that they have family in the region impacted by this disaster. With thousands of lives lost and more than a half million homeless, we understand the need for assistance – from food and water to protection for their feet. This is why we developed BOBS, and I hope that our shoes will help the thousands of children in need.”
 
The Typhoon Haiyan shoe donation is the firm's latest contribution to families affected by disaster; other recent events include donations for the survivors of Hurricane Sandy, the Oklahoma tornado and the Haiti earthquake. BOBS also regularly donates its product to more than 30 countries worldwide, from communities in need in the United States to families around the globe.
 
Designed for women, men and children, BOBS donates new shoes to children in need when consumers purchase BOBS. Those who want to make a difference can find BOBS styles in stores nationwide and markets around the world.
MINNETONKA, Minn.  – UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) United Health Foundation is partnering with Project HOPE, a U.S.-based charity, to help Filipinos affected by typhoon Haiyan receive urgent medical care and critical medical supplies. United Health Foundation has committed at least $750,000 to fund Project HOPE’s efforts through a donation as well as a dollar-for-dollar match of contributions by UnitedHealth Group employees.
 
Working in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, Project HOPE will deliver medical supplies, and assemble and deploy teams of volunteer nurses and physicians to disaster recovery sites in the Philippines to deliver critical medical care to people affected by the typhoon. United Health Foundation donations will directly fund the cost of delivering these teams to the Philippines.
 
“We are greatly saddened by the loss of life and immense destruction caused by typhoon Haiyan,” said Kate Rubin, vice president of Social Responsibility for UnitedHealth Group and president of United Health Foundation. “Given the scale of the disaster, there is an acute need for medical humanitarian assistance. By working with Project HOPE we will be able to help people get the necessary medical care, medicines and resources they need. Our hearts go out to the people of the Philippines.”
 
According to the Philippines government, more than 2,500 people lost their lives and an estimated 600,000 have been displaced from their homes as a result of typhoon Haiyan. It is the worst natural disaster in Philippines history.
 
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.  www.projecthope.org
 
About United Health Foundation 
Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the wellbeing of communities. After its establishment by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $210 million to improve health and health care. For additional information, please visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.
 
About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka,Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two business platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 80 million people worldwide. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com.
EMERYVILLE, Calif -Jamba Juice Company (NASDAQ:JMBA), a leading healthy, active lifestyle brand has announced the launch of a broad social media effort designed to garner aid and support for people in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The Company is encouraging both employees and Jamba customers to rally together by making donations online and has committed to matching contributions received.*
 
Jamba operates franchise store locations in the Philippines through its franchise partner Fresh Healthy Juice Boosters, Inc., an affiliate of Max’s Group of Companies, and has been actively monitoring the situation. In the days immediately following the storm, the Company confirmed that its Philippines franchisee’s Jamba employees are safe and out of danger. However, the storm severely impacted employees of other restaurants owned and operated by Jamba’s local franchisee.
 
“I am proud of the manner in which our associates have moved to action to support a valued member of the Jamba family as well as all the people in the Philippines who have been negatively affected by this horrific tragedy,” said Jamba Juice chairman, president and CEO, James D. White, adding that, “Jamba Juice is committed to making a positive impact in our communities during both good times and bad.”
 
*In support of Jamba’s international partners and the people of the Philippines, the Company has initiated a HOPE Philippines Disaster Relief campaign to raise $50,000 (approximately two million Philippine pesos) to support the American Red Cross’s relief efforts for the victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Consumers can join in the effort by making a donation through a newly established Jamba Crowdtilt fundraising page. For every dollar donated, Jamba will double the impact by matching contributions dollar for dollar for the first $25,000 donated in order to meet the minimum donation of goal $50,000. A link to Jamba’s Crowdtilt page has been made available on Jamba's Facebook page and Twitter account so users can easily share it through their own social networks of family and friends. Consumers can find the page at https://www.crowdtilt.com/campaigns/jamba-juice-supports-hope-philippines.
 
Consumers who are unable to make a personal donation at this time can still make a difference by spreading the word to family and friends to help Jamba Juice reach and exceed its fundraising goal. - .(BUSINESS WIRE
'While world continues mobilizing relief aid, U.S. Filipinos must be critical of government response to prevent future and unnecessary suffering and loss of life.'
- Terry Valen, NAFCon
 
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By National Alliance for Filipino Concerns
 
TEN days after Super-typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines the official death toll has reached 3,633 and is expected to rise.  Government officials in Leyte, where Tacloban city is located, reported more than 10,000 deaths in the one island alone.
 
Given that Typhoon Haiyan is considered one of the largest storms in recorded history loss of life was expected. However, despite the strength of the storm, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) believes the government should be held accountable for failing to take necessary steps that could have prevented greater loss of life and preserved conditions for sustainability after the storm hit.  The alliance encourages both Filipinos and the international community to pressure the Philippine government to address the following concerns to better prepare the country and its people for future calamities..
 
 “There was no government presence in Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit areas, several days after Typhoon Haiyan struck," NAFCON president Terrence Valen cites one example of where the government fell short. "The government only arrived on scene after foreign journalists released images of the complete destruction on primetime television. Why was it that foreign reporters arrived before government relief?”
 
A week into the tragedy tens of thousands of people all over the Philippines in affected areas still had no access to emergency medical care, food and clean drinking water.  Despite knowing the massive magnitude of the storm days before it hit, the president declared a “state of national calamity” four days later.
 
After being engaged in yearly relief efforts since Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, NAFCON has consistently criticized the government for its inadequate relief measures in hopes that more would be done to alleviate the suffering of calamity victims and prevent future unnecessary loss of life.
 
Protect the environment to protect the people from future calamities
 
The Philippine government should change its policies that allow for massive environmental destruction. The “World Disaster Report 2012” which identified the Philippines as the third most disaster prone country in the world explained, “Environmental degradation is a significant factor that reduces the adaptive capacity of societies to deal with disaster risk in many countries around the globe.” 
 
For decades the Philippine government has enacted policies prioritizing large-scale mining and logging. The effect is the clearing of thousands of hectares of forest land to accommodate multinational corporations, real estate companies and other businesses. Practices such as these have led to massive environmental destruction of many natural buffers against calamities.
 
“In the Philippines, it is not the calamity alone that causes many of the deaths. It is also the flooding and landslides that occur in areas that no longer have trees to keep the soil in place. There are literally whole communities that were able to withstand storms before but are now buried due to the impacts of excessive mining and logging,” said Pastor Jeanelle Ablola, member of NAFCON’s Bay Area Taskforce Haiyan.  “This disaster cannot be viewed as simply due to a bad storm or an act of God, this disaster is man-made. It’s our spiritual obligation to name these sins in order for humanity to turn away from them.” 
 
NAFCON calls on the government to address systemic corruption epitomized by the pork barrel system. In the months leading up to the tragedy, the Philippine government was embroiled in a scandal where trillions of Philippine taxpayer pesos were found to be embezzled by numerous government officials through the creation of fake non-governmental organizations and sham local development projects. The uncovering of the scandal sparked a broad united national movement calling for an end to what is known as the “Pork Barrel System.” Many in congress succumbed to the pressure by giving up their access to pork barrel funds. However, President Aquino, who has the largest personal allocation of pork barrel funds at P1.4 trillion ($32.053 billion) remained steadfast in keeping his share. Meanwhile, the government clearly did not allocate enough resources to disaster response and relief and may have even diverted these resources into the pork barrel system.
 
“At a time when the international community is sending millions in aid to support the Filipino people, the president should respond by immediately re-allocating all pork barrel funds, a mainstay of Philippine corruption, to aid the Filipino people who are in so much need right now,” said Bernadette Herrera, domestic worker and NAFCON organizer.
 
The prioritization of land and resources for corporations and the rampant corruption in Philippine government has not led to any genuine development to benefit the Filipino people. The “World Disaster Report 2012” also cited the fact that at least a third of the population in the Philippines live below the poverty line.  The widespread condition of poverty in the country lends to the increased vulnerability of the people to the negative effects of calamities.
 
The Philippines is often described as a poor beggar sitting on top of a pot of gold because although the people of the Philippines are extremely poor, the country itself is abundant in natural resources such as gold, copper, oil, arable land and many others.
 
“In regards to the suffering caused by calamities, the Filipino people are victims several times over at the hands of the Philippine government,” Herrera continued “First they suffer because the government has prioritized the use of land for foreign corporations which displaces them and destroys natural buffers against things such as landslides. Then they suffer because the wealth of the country which should be used to benefit its people is pocketed by the same landlord and business families and politicians leaving the Filipino people without the benefit of economic development. This leaves millions living in substandard housing with poor infrastructure and thus much more susceptible to the ill effects of typhoons and other natural disasters.”  
 
In addition to worsening the ill effects of calamities, it is these conditions that also explain why millions of Filipinos must go abroad in the search of livelihood. “One reason why NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation program is successful in gathering donations is because there are so many Filipinos in the U.S. who are supporting their families back home and have a deep concern for our home country. Filipino migrants here in the U.S. know first-hand the importance of family, community and grassroots efforts to help our loved ones back home because the Philippine government cannot be trusted,” closed Valen.
 
For more information on NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation program, go to www.nafconusa.org.###
 
  http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/15/world/asia/typhoon-haiyan/index.html
  http://www.ehs.unu.edu/article/read/worldriskreport-2012