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27 May 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Member organizations of the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition (PHC) gathered at the Manor Country Club in Rockville, Maryland on the evening of Friday, 20 May 2016, for a special appreciation dinner.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and his wife, Madame Maria Victoria, graced the event as special guests of honor.

Since its inception in February 2014, PHC as a volunteer organization has been committed to its mission of assisting in the rebuilding and recovery of communities affected by natural disasters.

Several months after super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck the Philippines, PHC devoted time and resources to the disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts directed to Philippine communities devastated by the calamity.

Together with its member organizations, all of which are Filipino-American community groups, PHC has been a strong partner of the Philippine Embassy in projects for the Yolanda cause such as the After the Storm benefit concert in 2014 and Reflection Forums held in 2014 and 2015.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia expressed his appreciation for, and at the same time, commended the individual member organizations of PHC for their hard work and dedication to help disaster-stricken communities not only in the Philippines but also in Nepal following the earthquake in April 2015. He likewise recognized the PHC for accomplishing the feat of uniting diverse groups into one effective coalition.

“With Dr. Jun Rasul and Vicky Navarro, representing the innovative and noble medical and nursing professions, at the helm, the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition succeeded in bringing individual organizations together to work not only on providing immediate relief but also on the long-term rehabilitation of Haiyan-affected communities,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

In view of the emerging concerns posed by climate change not only in the United States but all over the world, Ambassador Cuisia encouraged PHC to take on the new challenge of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Instead of intervening after a calamity, the PHC can initiate projects in the pre-calamity phase.  Establishing a proactive posture requires cooperation with Philippine and US agencies. I therefore urge the PHC to broaden its network to include governmental institutions,” Ambassador Cuisia exhorted the Coalition.

PHC's member organizations have implemented numerous projects on Yolanda rebuilding efforts in the past two years, including building repairs, evacuation center construction, maternal and child health promotion and protection, human trafficking prevention, capacity building activities, scholarship fund drives, medical missions, and educational seminars. ###