ILOILO CITY: A German newspaper in Bavaria has responded to the call of international relief assistance to survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in badly hit areas in Panay Island.
Initiated by Prima Sonntag newspaper, which is based in Schaeffenburg, and its reporter Daniela Pfad, some residents of Bavaria and Switzerland who read the announcement in the newspaper donated money to help in the relief and rehabilitation efforts of a couple residing in Iloilo City.
German Heinz Dieter Bender, his Filipino wife Socorro Cansancio Bender and their son Florian Benedict distributed relief goods to displaced families in Passi City, Iloilo City, Kalibo, Aklan and Sitio Nagpana, Baran-gay Lipata, Barotac Viejo.
Together with some friends and volunteers, they distributed rice, salt, coffee, canned goods, noodles, biscuits, nails to help reconstruct the houses and toiletries such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and nails.
Bender said their two daughters—Venus who is based in Germany and Annabel who is based in Zurich, Switzerland—campaigned for donations with the help of Venus’ friend Daniela of Prima Sonntag. The money was remitted to the Philippines and added to the Bender fund to buy relief goods.
Bender said another relief drive will be conducted on December 28 in Estancia, Iloilo.
Socorro Bender went to Passi City to personally hand their family’s donation even before the assistance from Prima Sonntag arrived.
Bender said he is happy that a small group aid in Germany and Switzerland responded to the call to help the typhoon survivors. His wife Socorro is from Leon, Iloilo and they are happy to help in the humanitarian effort to save lives and help the victims back to mainstream society.
The regional disaster risk reduction and management council of Western Visayas reported that a total of 619,823 families or 2,812,095 people were left homeless because of the Yolanda devastation in the region.
A total of 242,957 houses were totally damaged while 253,345 houses were partially damaged. A total of P9.6 billion in infrastructures, agriculture and fisheries were wiped out and 215 persons died, 461 injured and 20 missing as of end of November 2013. The province of Iloilo suffered the most of damages in the region.