For Immediate Release
November 25, 2013
Portland Task Force Launches for Philippine Relief
On Friday, November 22, 2013, the Portland Emergency Relief Task Force for the Philippines formally launched to continue concerted relief efforts for the victims of the super typhoon that ravaged the Central Philippines on November 8, 2013.
The task force, nicknamed PDX Relief, consists of Filipino American organizations, elected officials, multi-racial, and inter-faith, non-profit organizations, business leaders, and representatives of colleges and universities in the Portland area joined together in response to the severe damage of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines. Commissioner Amanda Fritz of the city of Portland and Representative Joseph Gallegos of District 30 in the Oregon State Legislature have also signed up to be members of PDX Relief as impressive proof of their civic engagement and concern for global humanitarianism.
PDX Relief Task Force has formed to 1) provide information about relief efforts in the Philippines, 2) provide concerned citizens and groups with a calendar for relief events and donation centers in the Portland and surrounding areas, and 3) provide local residence with a way to offer and sustain hope for calamities and disaster relief in the long term.
Portland community members, Filipinos and otherwise, have responded in great numbers by donating time, money, and material support in response to the disaster of the super typhoon that hit the Central Philippines and left thousands dead and millions of Filipinos displaced. Although relief is streaming into the affected region, the task force will undertake sustained donation drives with the understanding that rehabilitation for the Philippines will be a long term project for the country and global citizens concerned with getting the victims of the disaster back on their feet.
Members of the task force held a morning press conference at a filled Asian Reporter headquarters to address the need for the continued relief for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and future calamities. Filipino American leaders such as Enrico Tadeo, Chairman of the Council of Filipino American Associations of Oregon and SW Washington opened the morning stating that we need to come together because, “It is not just a matter of I lost my phone or my Ipad, it is a matter of life and death”. Angelica Lim of Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines spoke about the havoc of the typhoon in the Philippines and the inspiring way in which Filipinos in Portland have come together in a time of great sadness. She stated that as a community “we should start thinking about long term relief and we need to start holding our government accountable for these unnatural disasters”. Kayse Jama, Executive Director of Center for Intercultural Organizing, and Elizabeth Swager, Director, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign also spoke on behalf multicultural and special interest groups who are joining PDX Relief, seeing the significance of solidarity in these difficult times of calamity. Jama moved the room as he spoke of our global community being intertwined, stating that, “We have to work together, rebuilding houses is the easiest part of it, building the hearts and the minds are much harder.”
As PDX Relief continues to gain momentum and grow as an alliance, the task force will stay focused on sustaining the goal of long-term relief to the Philippines. This historic formation of concerned residents of Portland is a testament to the need for solidarity during times of crisis and devastation. The formation also serves as an example that relief is to be understood not just as a response to immediate need, but also a continual effort to ensure the lives of people in the Philippines are supported throughout the aftermath of devastation. Through solidarity within the broad based alliance,PDX Relief hopes to create a foundation for systematic action for long-term relief, rehabilitation, and rebuilding of not only infrastructures but also communities.
If you are interested in joining the PDX Relief, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit their wordpress at: pdxrelief.wordpress.com to keep informed on relief effort updates and local events in the Portland area.