This was the overall sentiment of volunteers who arrived in droves at the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in Pasay City to help repack relief goods for distribution to the thousands of families affected by monsoon rains and floods. NROC is the national warehouse of the DSWD where relief goods are stored and re-packed before they are distributed to areas affected by disasters.
As of August 10, some 290 volunteers including 118 government interns and encoders from Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program have responded to DSWD’s call for volunteers.
Mostly students who took advantage of the week-long suspension of classes in all levels, the volunteers claimed “we are happy doing this knowing that in our own small way, we are able to help people in need,” said Luzminda, an 18 year-old student from Don Bosco College Alabang. “This is also our way of giving back the blessings we have enjoyed,” chorused her classmates. The 12 students are all scholars.
Aside from Don Bosco College, the other student-volunteers are from De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, Manila Tytana Colleges in Macapagal Boulevard, and culinary students from Genting Star Tourism Academy.
Senior citizens like Rosario Abad also made time to go to NROC, along with her friends from the Our Lady of Airways Parish. “Nandito na kami mula pa noong Martes, nang marinig namin ang panawagan ni Secretary Dinky Soliman na kailangan pa ng mga volunteers na tutulong magrepack ng relief goods,” (We have been here since Tuesday when we heard Secretary Dinky Soliman’s appeal for volunteers to help in the repacking of relief goods.”)
“Kahit na mga senior citizens na kami, maari pa kaming tumulong para sa mga kababayan nating nasalanta ng baha” (Even if we are already senior citizens, we can still help our countrymen devastated by the floods), ‘Nanay’ Rosario added.
On the other hand, some members of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity also expressed their desire to help. “We would also like to counter the negative image of fraternities associated with violent hazing initiation rites, and that we do engage in humanitarian activities,” John, one of the fraternity members explained.
The DSWD said that some of these groups and individuals, such as the Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, Our Lady of Airways parishioners and the Daughters of Charity from Paranaque, are ‘regular’ volunteers, helping out since typhoon ‘Ondoy’ in September 2009.
Other volunteers are the Motorcycle Riders Club of DSWD, CRCP Riders Group, and employees from DSWD Central Office and NCR Field Office.
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman expressed her gratitude to all the volunteers, as she reiterated her appeal for more volunteers.
“Since we are repacking a lot of relief items, we need more help and are asking for more volunteers. We have enough stockpiled resources and funds from our Disaster Relief Fund” Secretary Soliman emphasized.
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