The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur warned Filipinos in Malaysia to be wary of donating to dubious groups masquerading as charity organizations for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).
“We have received information from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that there are individuals and groups who are illegally soliciting funds for the benefit of the typhoon victims,” Medardo Macaraig, the embassy’s charge d’affaires, said in a statement.
The individuals are apparently presenting themselves as members of reputable charitable institutions “to get money from unsuspecting donors.”
Two Filipino women were caught by Thai police for falsely soliciting donations in a gasoline station in Udon Thani.
They were posing as volunteer of a charitable organization, and were found to have fake stickers, a list of donations and some cash when taken under custody.
“While we have not heard of any cases here in Malaysia, we would like to warn our Filipino community members and our Malaysian friends to do some research on the charitable organization before making any donation,” Macaraig said.
“It is also best that donations be coursed through reputable Filipino or Malaysian charitable organizations to ensure that their money or in-kind donations reach their intended recipients,” he added.
Typhoon Yolanda struck central Visayas on November 8 and destroyed billions worth of public and private infrastructures. More than 6,100 people also perished because of the typhoon.
The international community—governments and individuals—raised billions worth of dollars in cash and in-kind donations.
Efforts are now ongoing towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas affected by the typhoon, with the Philippine government releasing its Rehabilitation Assistance on Yolanda in a briefing held on December 18 before the diplomatic corps and development partners at the DFA.
In his speech during the briefing, Philippine President Benigno Aquino 3rd said the plan aims to ensure that the communities that rise again do so stronger, better and more resilient than before. BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON