Group distributes P11 million worth of medical supplies-A A +A
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
ALMOST P11 million worth of medical supplies were distributed yesterday to different health facilities in the three towns of Bantayan Island that were devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
Members of the Young Pioneer Disaster Response (YPDR), an international non-government organization, delivered the medical supplies to the Bantayan District Hospital and to barangay health centers in the towns of Sta. Fe and Madridejos.
Bantayan Island only has one district hospital.
The medical supplies, worth $250,000 or P10.9 million, were donated by CarePoint Health of Hudson County in New Jersey, United States. Laura Scalet, YPDR and Samu Fundacion medical coordinator, approached CarePoint to ask for the donation.
Twenty members of YPDR have been living in Bantayan since Dec. 7, nearly a month after super typhoon Yolanda (international name, Haiyan) made landfall in the island.
Bantayan Mayor Christopher Ian Escario expressed gratitude to CarePoint and YPDR for the assistance.
Christopher White, president of YPDR, said Madridejos Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente helped them ship the donation to Bantayan Island. The shipment left the US on March 7 and arrived in Cebu City a week ago.
White said 30 percent of the donation was given to the Bantayan District Hospital.
Yesterday’s delivery was led YPDR chief operating officer Marshall Mayer, media coordinator Katlyn Murray and Capt. Joseph Ferris, director.
White said YPDR began with a group of friends who wanted to help rehabilitate Bantayan after Yolanda.
The group, now registered in the US and in the Philippines, attracted 200 international volunteers at one time. It helped Sam Fundacion conduct medical missions in Bantayan.
It also helped the Polish Humanitarian Action (PHA) repair houses and classrooms that were damaged by Yolanda.
Maria Lukowska said PHA, where she is coordinator, built 912 houses and is planning to construct more in Bantayan.
YPDR also partnered with the University of San Carlos for the design of typhoon-resilient houses.
Next week, PHA and YPDR will break ground for the construction of three classroom buildings in a high school in Sta. Fe.
YPDR also gave carpentry trainings to about 105 people in the island. It also implemented programs related to water sanitation, hygiene, livelihood and marine life restoration.
Some of the members of YPDR left their jobs to help in the rehabilitation of Bantayan Island.
“We don’t just go and have a beer on the beach. We help,” White said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Escario appealed to media commentators to stop sowing intrigues about the use of donations for Yolanda survivors. He said intrigues would accomplish nothing but discourage donors and hurt Yolanda survivors.
According to the Shelter Cluster, more than 103,000 households in 16 local governments in northern Cebu, including Bantayan Island, were affected by Yolanda. These areas lost P4.1 billion worth of crops, infrastructure and livelihood opportunities.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 11, 2014.