By Regiem-Melech H. Ocampo
SILANG, Cavite, Philippines – For its annual gift giving activity, the principal of the Adventist University of the Philippines Academy decided that its efforts should go to help victims of Yolanda.
Yolanda is what we in the Philippines call Hurricane Haiyan, the super typhoon that hit hard in other areas of the country early this month.
Principal Ardel Sarmiento arranged for students to collect goods by homeroom, starting on Nov. 15 and the first batch of volunteers departed on Nov. 21.
All the goods gathered by the Academy were brought to the National Service Training Program’s Department of the Adventist University of the Philippines and the ₱12,400 cash donation, which is about $280 USD, was converted to 12 sacks of rice.
The goods were carried along with other items from various churches around the province of Cavite, where the Academy is located. Lt. Dan Alfanoso led the work of the relief team, which was composed of Adventist volunteers from the Adventist University of the Philippines, rescue teams and churches.
Ormoc, a hard hit city in the province of Leyte, is the primary target of the relief work.
The team, including people from the Academy, will be working with the Philippine Coast Guard, Metro Manila Development Agency, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Local Government Unit of Palo, Leyte.
Carolina Sarsadiaz, a rescue work coordinator from Cavite, said the operation will last as long as there is a need. Volunteers will alternate, with groups staying up to a week at a time in Ormoc, depending on the conviction and capacity of the volunteers.
The team is to offer medical services, relief operation and disaster counseling.