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23 October 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy has commended the Filipino-American Community in the Metropolitan Washington area for the work it has done to support the ongoing rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts in communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“The Filipino-American Community should serve as model for our kababayans here in the United States,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said during the presentation by the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition (PHC) of $100,000 in grants for various projects that would benefit typhoon-affected communities in the Visayas.

“If the Filipino-American Community would work as one, like what all of you did here in DC, we could achieve much more,” Ambassador Cuisia said as he paid tribute to the PHC for “demonstrating what could be accomplished by a united Filipino-American Community.”

Ambassador Cuisia was referring to the successful "After the Storm" concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in June that was staged by the US-Philippines Society, together with the Embassy and the PHC, to raise funds for typhoon victims in the Central Philippines.

Executive Director Hank Hendrickson of the US-Philippines Society said the more than $350,000 raised from the concert is being channeled to support various initiatives of reputable NGOs in the Philippines that are involved in Haiyan-related rebuilding and rehabilitation work.

“The PHC leadership and member groups were critical to the success of the Kennedy Center fund-raiser," Hendrickson said, adding that the Society has already distributed funds for projects such as school repairs, rural health and maternal units and livelihood and shelter assistance. “The PHC awardees will add to these efforts.”

The PHC, which is co-chaired by Filipino community leaders Dr. Abraham Rasul Jr. and Victoria Navarro, brought together more than 20 DC-based Filipino-American organizations that responded to the request of Ambassador Cuisia for  Typhoon Haiyan to work together to support relief and recovery efforts.

“On November 8, we will remember the millions of Filipinos who saw death and destruction when Typhoon Haiyan struck the Central Philippines last year,” Rasul said.

“We will remember the suffering of those who lost family members and friends, homes and livelihood,” Rasul added. “These are somber reminders of the work that needs to be done to rebuild their lives and provide for a hopeful future.”

In ceremonies at the Romulo Hall of the Embassy on Monday, the PHC awarded $100,000 in grants to the following organizations to support Haiyan rebuilding and recovery efforts:

The University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society of America (UPMASA) for the rebuilding of the Hilantagaan Elementary School; the Philippine Medical Association of Metro DC (PMAMDC) for the repair and renovation of the San Sebastian multipurpose covered court; the Filipino Family Fund for PREDA Foundation’s efforts to protect children, especially orphans from human traffickers; Answering the Cry of the Poor (ANCOP) for the Palo Rebuilding Project and Butterfly Homes;

The World Bank Group-IMF Filipino Staff Association (WBIFA) for the land preparation and establishment of contour farming as livelihood recovery and rebuilding for small farmers in Matag-ob, Leyte; the Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) for Project Revive: Rebuilding Visayas with Vibrant Ecology, Medical Mission and Iskolar ng Bayan Scholarship Fund Drive;

The Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC (PNAMDC) for supporting orphans for the prevention of human trafficking; The Philippine Association of Metropolitan Washington Engineers (PAMWE) and Feed the Hungry for the construction of schoolhouse and evacuation center; and the Philippines Nurses Association of America Foundation (PNAAF) for reducing maternal and infant mortality in typhoon-devastates municipalities of Samar using multi-sectoral collaboration for community capacity development.

“PHC’s work in community rebuilding and rehabilitation goes beyond the Haiyan devastation,” Navarro said, adding that fund donors will receive an initial report and end of project report from PHC based on the reports and onsite verification of organization fund recipients.

“With the success of our initial efforts, PHC will  continue to  respond to  future  natural  or man-made  disasters  and  be  a model  for  Filipino-American communities in other consular regions,”  Navarro said.###