Shattering the silence: An open letter to the Philippine writing community

From the moment that sports blogger Jaemark Tordecilla brought to the light of public attention the fact that Alfred “Krip” A. Yuson had plagiarized an article by GMA News Online sportswriter Rey Joble, entire portions of which appeared in a piece under Yuson’s name in the April 2011 issue of Rogue magazine, we, members of the Philippine reading public, have followed the issue avidly and with great concern as to its resolution.

Our interest is rooted primarily in the fact of Yuson’s prominent position in the cultural matrix. As Tordecilla pointed out in his exposé, Yuson is a Hall of Fame awardee of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, arguably the most prestigious literary distinction in the country. In addition, he has authored and/or edited several publications in different genres, has won recognition for his work at home and abroad, evaluates the output of other writers for the purpose of competitions and workshops—not least among them the annual Silliman University National Writers Workshop, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—teaches with the Department of English at Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), and helped found organizations like the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC) and the Manila Critics Circle (MCC). Finally, many of the texts that he has produced have found their way into the classroom as standard readings, which likely secures a place for him in the canon of Philippine literature.

It need hardly be said that Yuson’s stature as a writer, teacher, and gatekeeper affords him not only great power, but also a commensurate degree of responsibility. We believe that he has shown himself undeserving of the one and unequal to the other by virtue of how Yuson has thus far dealt with the matter in Tordecilla’s blog and in his own weekly The Philippine Star column. In these responses, rather than simply acknowledging the offense and apologizing for it, he offers up excuses—his advanced age, deadline pressure, and exhaustion, among others—deployed in rhetoric that belies his claims to contrition.

Moreover, Yuson seeks to confuse the issue by invoking the fraught relations between author and editor, in spite of the fact that his engagement with these relations, as well as with the concept of plagiarism, lacks the self-reflexivity, rigor, and intelligence required in order for it be tenable or acceptable. That he would resort to such subterfuge and at the same time admit that he had deliberately omitted any indicators that he had lifted material from Joble, like reportorial credits and purportedly “clunky” quotation marks, is breath-taking in its audacity and impunity. Surely integrity ought not to be incinerated upon the altar of aesthetics.

It is in this regard that we commend GMA News Online for its decision not to renew Yuson’s contract as editor at large. It is in the same regard that we profess ourselves disturbed and outraged by the deafening silence with which the writing establishment has met this controversy. The plagiarism of Yuson does not involve him alone: to the extent that he is representative of—because deeply imbricated in—the larger world of Philippine letters, his act also necessarily implicates the figures and structures that make up that world. The prevalent reluctance, nay, refusal among Yuson’s peers to openly condemn him would seem to indicate cowardice at best, and complicity at worst. Neither speaks well of our writers, journalists, scholars, and institutions—and may even be symptomatic of a more deeply entrenched cancer of corruption in our cultural sector.

What is certain is this: allowing the scandal to fester in a season of indifference would be tantamount to a virtual relinquishment of any moral authority and credibility that the Philippine writing community may have.

In view of the foregoing, we, the undersigned:

Condemn the act of plagiarism that Yuson committed. We reiterate what is generally accepted knowledge in journalism and the academe: plagiarism consists of misrepresenting the work of others as one’s own, and is considered a heinous violation of ethical standards. Furthermore, when one lifts information or material from a source without the appropriate quotation marks, formatting, and documentation, one has already committed plagiarism, and no amount of laziness, carelessness, or forgetfulness can be admitted as an exculpatory factor. We also denounce Yuson’s attempts to evade accountability for his actions by forwarding arguments that, as the Center of Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) has pointed out, tend toward the legitimization of plagiarism. Finally, we decry Yuson’s callous and cavalier treatment of Rey Joble and the effort that he put into his work as a sportswriter.

Challenge the members of the Philippine writing community to make an unequivocal stand against Yuson’s plagiarism. At the very least, we expect Rogue magazine and The Philippine Star to emulate GMA News Online in its commitment to integrity. Associate Justice Maria Lourdes P. Sereno, in her dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court decision to exonerate her colleague Mariano del Castillo from charges of plagiarism, argues that when entities involved in the intellectual life of a culture uphold guidelines against plagiarism, these bodies “are not making themselves out to be error-free, but rather, they are exerting themselves to improve the level of honesty in the original works generated in their institution”. It is true that valuable questions have been raised about the very notion of originality from various fields of inquiry, but we contend that the specificity of the situation at hand calls for no such questions, and would invest it with more profundity than it deserves.

Enjoin the institutions of Philippine letters to cooperate in order to educate their constituents and the wider public about plagiarism. Contrary to Yuson, plagiarism is not a “blooming buzzword” but a chronic problem, which many a teacher will no doubt confirm. Recognizing and avoiding plagiarism is a matter of acquiring particular skills, which, as this incident would seem to illustrate, are not taught as well or as widely as they ought to be. The need for these skills will become especially urgent as our society becomes increasingly knowledge-based. We presume to suggest that Ateneo de Manila University, unfortunately entangled as it has become in various plagiarism disputes, take the initiative in bringing students, teachers, writers, readers, and institutions together to work through this admittedly complex matter. Regardless of who takes the lead, however, Yuson’s offense constitutes a teachable moment for us all, and should not be allowed to pass from our cultural memory unremarked and ignored for the sake of a spurious harmony.

(SGD.) Karen Connie Abalos (SGD.) Mark Angeles (SGD.) Genevieve Aquino
Planet Philippines; Illustrado Magazine; University of the Philippines Manila Kilometer64 Poetry Collective University of the Philippines Los Baños
(SGD.) Reginald S. Arceo (SGD.) Philip Jorge P. Bacani (SGD.) Noel Sales Barcelona
Alumnus, De La Salle University-Manila Lawyer Editor-in-Chief, INANG BAYAN
(SGD.) Johnalene Baylon (SGD.) Brian Brotarlo (SGD.) Manuel Buencamino
Writer Writer Opinion columnist, Business Mirror
(SGD.) Karl Bustamante (SGD.) Asia Flores Chan (SGD.) Liberty Chee
Editor, Marshall Cavendish International Singapore Alumna, De La Salle University-Manila Graduate Student, National University of Singapore
(SGD.) Charles Edric Co (SGD.) Adam David (SGD.) Cocoy Dayao
Alumnus, De La Salle University-Manila Writer Editor-in-Chief, The Pro Pinoy Project
(SGD.) Christa I. De La Cruz (SGD.) Erica Clariz C. De Los Reyes (SGD.) Karlitos Brian Decena
Graduate student, University of the Philippines Diliman Alumna member, Heights; Fellow, 6th Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) National Writers Workshop Journalism student, University of the Philippines Diliman; Contributor, Firequinito.com
(SGD.) Johann Espiritu (SGD.) Elise Estrella (SGD.) Anna Razel Estrella
Alumnus, De La Salle University-Manila Private citizen Alumna, De La Salle University-Manila
(SGD.) Jesser Eullo (SGD.) Katrina Fernando (SGD.) Karen Mae Frondozo
Faculty member, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas Copy editor Graduate student, University of the Philippines Diliman
(SGD.) Russell Stanley Geronimo (SGD.) Lolito Go (SGD.) Ronald F. Gue
Alumnus, De La Salle University-Manila; Fellow, 48th Silliman University National Writers Workshop Kilometer64 Poetry Collective Alumnus, De La Salle University-Manila
(SGD.) Marie Rose G. Henson (SGD.) Ken Ishikawa (SGD.) Leonides C. Katigbak  II
Alumna, De La Salle University-Manila Private citizen Fellow, 6th Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) National Writers Workshop
(SGD.) Jabin Landayan (SGD.) Gomi Lao (SGD.) Dean Lozarie
Teacher Creative Director Journalism student, University of the Philippines Diliman
(SGD.) Aleck E. Maramag (SGD.) Alessandra Rose F. Miguel (SGD.) Francis T. J. Ochoa
Alumna, De La Salle University; Fellow, 48th Silliman University National Writers Workshop Alumna member, Thomasian Writers Guild; Fellow, 6th Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) National Writers Workshop Assistant Sports Editor, Philippine Daily Inquirer
(SGD.) Jonathan Corpus Ong (SGD.) Wilfredo B. Prilles, Jr. (SGD.) Nikki Erwin C. Ramirez
Alumnus, Ateneo de Manila University; Sociologist, University of Cambridge City Planning and Development Coordinator (CPDC), Naga City Co-founder, NullPointer.ph
(SGD.) Marck Ronald Rimorin (SGD.) Del Camille Robles (SGD.) Orlando Roncesvalles
Writer; Blogger Alumna, De La Salle University-Manila Blogger, FOO Law and Economics
(SGD.) Gerry Rubio (SGD.) Joanna Ruiz (SGD.) Faith Salazar
Publication Consultant, The CSC Statesman, Catanduanes State Colleges Editor, Ateneo de Manila University ISBX Philippines
(SGD.) Jaime Oscar M. Salazar (SGD.) Maria Teresa M. Salazar (SGD.) Chris de Pio Sanchez
Graduate student, University of the Philippines Diliman Alumna, De La Salle University-Manila Consultant
(SGD.) Vincenz Serrano (SGD.) Nik Skalomenos (SGD.) Angela Stuart-Santiago
Ateneo de Manila University Private Citizen Writer; Blogger
(SGD.) Jamila C. Sule (SGD.) Ergoe Tinio (SGD.) Martin Tinio
Teacher, On-Um.org; De La Salle University-Dasmariñas Marketing Associate, Adarna House Analyst
(SGD.) Jaemark Tordecilla (SGD.) Xenia-Chloe H.  Villanueva
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism UP Quill; Fellow, 6th Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP) National Writers Workshop

April 28, 2011
Philippines

[NOTE: The signatures for this open letter were solicited from 9:00 PM (GMT +8) on April 26 until 5:00 PM (GMT +8) on April 28.]

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[via Interlineal]

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Live blog of Youth 2010: Bumoto Para sa Pagbabago

Note (Added 02 February 2010): It has come to my attention that portions of this post are being cited as though they were verbatim statements from the candidates. Let me emphasize that this is a live blog, not a transcript. The contents of this post only reflect my understanding of the candidates’ statements while they were being broadcast, and I can therefore make no claims to accuracy or exactitude, even as I have striven to act in good faith.

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Presidential Youth Forum
De La Salle University-Manila
29 January 2010, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
As broadcast on ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC)

2:10 PM

On the Scene with Twink Macaraig is currently ongoing. An inset video shows the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium of DLSU-M. Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada and Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) candidate Vetallano Acosta appear to be absent.

Part 1

2:17 PM

Ted Failon formally opens the youth presidential forum.

Noynoy Aquino, JC de los Reyes, Dick Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, Nick Perlas, Gibo Teodoro, Eddie Villanueva, and Manny Villar are introduced in turn.

Estrada is absent, as he has a prior commitment. No mention of Acosta is made.

Mechanics: Representatives of each candidate drew lots for the issues that will be discussed. Selected students will then pose the questions, and each candidate has two minutes to respond.

Question: What is good governance, and how will you implement it if you become president?

Villanueva: Good governance consists of moral leadership. Honesty, transparency, and accountability should be implemented. The budget should be properly spent. According to the World Bank, 40% of the budget goes to corruption, this should be stopped at all costs. Good governance means leadership by example, starting with the president of the Philippines. Good governance involves preparing the youth for the future, in enabling them to transform the country and make it great again.

Question: What was your most noteworthy achievement as Olongapo councilor as regards women empowerment and gender inequality?

De Los Reyes: I fought the reproductive health code, because I believe that the premise is wrong. We are not overpopulated. The code contemplates contraceptives, which are bad for women. Men should respect women. Condoms promote infidelity and promiscuity. Maternal health is being used as a reason to forward depopulation activities. Let us fight graft and corruption so that all Filipinos can have fullness of life.

Question: As former NDCC chairman, what steps do you think the government should take to improve its readiness regarding disaster response?

Teodoro: The first step is to enact the Disaster Risk Management Bill. The Philippines is a victim of climate change. Resources, education, and information must be available. Economic fundamentals must be in place. We must be strict in terms of land zoning and adhere to geohazard mapping. We should also focus on mitigation. Strictly implement the Solid Waste Management Act, the Clean Air Act, and other laws. It boils down to two things: government leadership and citizen participation.

Question: What is your opinion re economy’s dependence on the call center industry?

Perlas: The call center industry is not enough. Wealth is not being distributed equitably. We need to focus on employment-intensive sectors, especially agriculture. 35% of all people employed are in agriculture. 70% of the poor are connected to agriculture and live in the rural areas. If we transform our methods of agriculture away from chemical-intensive (and capital-intensive) farming, we can raise the employment rate. We can also improve eco-tourism, we have a very beautiful country.

Question: Should we extend elementary or high school by one more year?

Gordon: We need to have good teachers. We need to increase their salaries. I want a salary of PhP40,000.00 per month for teachers—they presently earn Php12,000.00 to PhP15,000.00. The entire curriculum of the school can be put on Amazon Kindles. In order to make this possible, we can generate funds from responsible mining, or charging a tax on text messages, say PhP0.50 per message. We should also clamp down on corruption and smuggling. It’s just a matter of deciding if we really want to improve the educational system.

Question: What can you do to help our SMEs to make them more globally competitive?

Madrigal: I was watching Obama’s State of the Union address. Like him, I want to fight big interests, such as MNCs and neoliberal policies that oppress the people. The income of the top 20 corporations is equal to the income of 10 million Filipino families. The main thrust of my administration would be to provide more capital for businesses. We must fight corruption, big corporations, cartels, smugglers, cowards, and liars.

Question: Do you agree with the Reproductive Health Bill? How will you explain and implement this bill to the people, given that your family is known to be very religious?

Aquino: One of my fellow presidentiables said earlier that we don’t have a population problem, but we should also recognize that we lack the capacity to meet everyone’s needs at present. We can’t even set up enough classrooms. We advocate responsible parenthood. Parents should realize they have to be responsible for feeding, clothing, and educating their children. Church and state are separate. We call on the church to participate in the values formation of everyone. The government cannot dictate how big families should be, but it has a duty to remind parents to manage their families properly. I am not a co-author of the RH Bill, and there are provisions there that I cannot support. But I do agree that there are serious issues that need to be addressed.

Question: Would you sign the RH Bill into law? If not, what will you propose in its place?

Villar: I am against the RH Bill, and I doubt it will be passed in the time we have left in the Senate. The government shouldn’t dictate what people should do with their families. The problem isn’t the population, it’s the management of the economy. Past administrations have been unable to make the economy strong, so population control is a stop-gap measure. I don’t believe the RH Bill should be signed into law. It’s high time that we use leadership competence as a standard by which we elect a President. We have been managed in a very incompetent manner for the past 15 years. Our nation can be great, 92 million people can make it great.

Part 2

2:51 PM

Mechanics: A panel of students from DLSU-M will ask two questions of each candidate, who has one minute per question to respond.

Question: What is your opinion on divorce?

De Los Reyes: I would veto any attempt to legislate divorce. This is a violation of the Constitution, the Family Code, the institution of marriage.

Question: What do you think about teaching sex education in schools?

De Los Reyes: I don’t think this is appropriate. Parents should be the ones handling sex education. Teaching anatomy and physiology is all right, but I am against the discussion of sexual acts and contraceptives

Failon: Where should students go to get sex education, if not the schools?

De Los Reyes: I think a young person has intrinsic knowledge of what happens. It’s dangerous for teachers to handle this. The Department of Education modules on sex are derived from foreign materials, not indigenous ones.

Question: Was it coincidental that you resigned your post as Defense Secretary days before the Ampatuan massacre? How were the Ampatuans able to arm themselves during your watch?

Teodoro: I would’ve resigned earlier, except that Ondoy happened. The Ampatuans did not get their arms during my time. It’s impossible to stockpile that amount of weaponry in just two years.

Failon: How are you sure?

Teodoro: Only 10% of the Ampatuan bullets came from the government arsenal. I have been lobbying the AFP to investigate the matter.

Question: You must have disagreed with a few of Arroyo’s policies while you were a Cabinet member. If you become President, which of Arroyo’s programs will you reverse or otherwise discontinue?

Teodoro: I cannot make any disclosures due to national security concerns. But let me say that I don’t favor giving an area autonomy if it is not ready. We need to establish accountability.

Question: What do you think of using the Filipino language in schools?

Perlas: We are a multi-linguistic country. In the early stages of childhood, the native language of the region should be taught. As the child grows, he should be taught Filipino and English. We need to communicate with each other, and with the world. But it’s important that the child speaks the language of his region. My philosophy is child-centered education. We should adjust our methodology depending on the capacity of the child.

Question: What is your opinion on the OFW phenomenon?

Perlas: Filipinos leave the country simply because there are no jobs locally. We need to set up a massive employment program in agriculture, tourism, and other industries. We should be able to show the world that we can generate enough jobs and provide a dignified livelihood for everyone. We are entrepreneurial and creative, and I think it can be done.

Question: How will you address the issue of contractual employment?

Aquino: My platform emphasizes education. We need to improve the capabilities of our countrymen. I would prefer to do away with contractualization, but at the same time, I cannot just do that because so many businesses have already left the country as it is. Extreme positions are unproductive, we need to find a happy compromise.

Question: You claimed that you would not steal. What have you done as a legislator to ensure that government employees are penalized for stealing or being corrupt?

Aquino: I was at all the impeachment proceedings. I have made a point of scrutinizing the budget carefully. I invite you to look at my record.

Question: Do you agree that there should be a bill controlling campaign expenses?

Villar: We now have a law for that. With regard to limiting campaign expenses, we should not limit candidates without famous relatives from trying to make themselves known. No matter how many advertisements I air, I don’t think I can match the stature of a pedigreed candidate.

Failon: What about candidates without money?

Villar: If you are in business and you have no money, perhaps that says you’re not a good manager. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t prevent candidates from reaching out to the people.

Question: You said you would protect the poor. What can the rich and the middle class expect from your leadership?

Villar: The only way to help the poor is to improve the economy. Our ambition is to have “high tide”. If the bottom 20% of the population improves their lot in life, everyone will be lifted up as well.

Question: The idea of discipline is often compared to dictatorship. What can you say about this? Are Filipinos ready for a disciplinarian president?

Gordon: Filipinos are not ready for dictatorship. They are ready for Dick Gordon. What we need is firm and fair leadership. Strong leadership that will fight corruption and level the playing field. A leader should lift the standard of values in the country. Animo La Salle, animo Ateneo, animo UP, animo Philippines! I want the Filipino to be proud, to be able to show what he’s got.

Question: How will you decongest Metro Manila?

Gordon: We need to develop good infrastructures for Subic, Clark, and Manila. We need to provide incentives for people to go to the countryside. Infrastructures and national development go hand-in-hand, and you can do that anywhere and everywhere in the country. All you need is a good leader.

Question: If you become President and had to choose between what the constitution says and what the church says, what would you choose?

Villanueva: If secular and religious laws contradict each other, I will follow religious law. To paraphrase President Manuel L. Quezon, my loyalty to my family and friends ends where my loyalty to my God and my country begins.

Failon: Couldn’t you be impeached for doing that?

Villanueva: The preamble of the Constitution invokes God. We have corruption, deterioration, and immorality because we have forgotten God. Moral bankruptcy is the biggest problem today.

Question: To what extent should the church influence government policy?

Villanueva: The Constitutional provision on the separation of Church and state is there only to prevent the establishment of a state religion.

Question: Why do you think you are a strong candidate for President?

Madrigal: Filipinos are looking for change. Corruption changed when Erap was thrown out and Gloria came in. My platform is very specific. A major concern is sovereignty. We should protect ourselves first before catering to foreign interests.

Failon: What made you think you are a strong candidate?

Madrigal: I’m not just for reform, but reform that generates capital and opportunities for Filipinos.

Failon: Do you believe in surveys?

Madrigal: I don’t. Surveys are influenced by the wealthy.

Question: How would you address job discrimination against those who graduated from schools that are not well-known?

Madrigal: We must level the playing field by giving everyone quality education. I agree with Gordon that all students should be given books.

Failon: Students, how do you find the answers of the candidates so far?

(An awkward silence pervades the room. Failon repeats the question, to no effect.)

Interlude

3:29 PM

ANC cuts away to Twink Macaraig and Leloy Claudio, a noted debater and a lecturer at Ateneo de Manila University. Claudio believes that the format is problematic, and that the candidates’ answers are not as specific as they could be. Macaraig adds that there were many broadsides.

Both Claudio and Macaraig agree that the stand of De Los Reyes on sex education is questionable.

Part 3

3:36 PM

Mechanics: All the candidates will answer just one question. Each has one minute to respond, and follow-up questions or rebuttals may be made by other candidates.

Failon: Has Arroyo done anything she should answer for after her term? If yes, what should she be held accountable for and how?

Villar: Members of the Nacionalista Party have undertaken investigations on the various issues surrounding the present administration. I will not lift a finger to help her if she is charged. We have a system in place to handle any proceedings that must be undertaken. But I will not lift a finger to help her. I will not lift a finger to help President Arroyo answer any charges made against her.

Aquino: Yes. I pledge to resolve all the issues. To ignore them is to say that we are not changing the current order of things. She has destroyed so many institutions. That said, her rights should still be protected. My father always said that protecting the rights of one’s enemies is the true test of democracy.

De Los Reyes: Yes. The NBN-ZTE controvery, the fertilizer fund scam, the extra-judicial killings, and other issues all occurred during Arroyo’s term. These should be investigated. Due process should be observed.

Perlas: Arroyo had a hand in so many problems. If I am elected, then yes, I will have her investigated. What are the geopolitical imperatives behind her actions, especially those involving China? These need to be clarified. I will create a commission involving civil society groups. We need to activate a different kind of people’s power.

Teodoro: I am a party-mate of Arroyo. It’s not right for me to answer this question. If I participate in any charges against her, I will be suspect. Anyone can charge her. Let justice be done. I can try to be popular and say I will investigate her. But whichever way I answer, I have no credibility.

Madrigal: A resounding yes. Yes, for plunder. She stole the mandate of the people and participated in so many scandals and human-rights violations. If the Ampatuan massacre had happened during my watch, I would’ve fired my Secretary of Defense, my Secretary of Interior. I am the only Senator to be water-cannoned by Gloria’s people. By what means? We need to have a fair Secretary of Justice, not a Secretary of Injustice. We need an Ombudsman who cannot be bought.

Villanueva: The collective wisdom of the people is clear. I want to emphasize her gross misgovernance. Instead of allocating funds for education, health, and social services. We need to overhaul the justice system. The rule of law shall prevail. Absolute transparency should be ensured. Within my first 100 days or my first year, all the scandals will be brought to light.

Gordon: Of course there should be accountability. If there is a need to charge her, then she should be charged. But I have bigger fish to fry—the country has so many problems that a leader should focus on. Within six months or one year, all cases should be investigated, and let the axe fall where it may.

Failon: Any challenges to Teodoro?

Gordon: I don’t think we should editorialize. I just want to be careful. It’s hard to pander to popular opinion. We should show all the issues so that the people can come to the proper conclusions.

Villanueva: It’s important that we give our countrymen justice. Let the truth come out. We should have absolute transparency and accountability.

Madrigal: One question for Secretary Teodoro: who has a larger claim on you, the people or Arroyo?

Teodoro: Kindness should be repaid with kindness. Utang na loob does not extend to evil deeds. Justice should prevail above all.

Part 4

4:14 PM

Failon reads out some comments from Twitter and the ANC chat room.

Each candidate has one minute to make a closing statement.

Aquino: A leader should have a clear, consistent stand on all issues. There are so many things wrong with this administration, for example, and it important to know who has constantly opposed its actions. We need to recognize those who are truly in favor of reform.

De Los Reyes: There is a need for us to review our history and have a fresh start. The computer of the Philippines already has so many viruses, so to speak. Jesus was radical, we need a radical approach.

Gordon: In the 1950s, we were prominent in Asia. Corruption kills. It is time to fight corruption in order to elevate the people. We need people to eradicate corruption and create jobs, like in Subic.

Madrigal: I believe I have proven my sincerity. Country first before personal gain. People have said so many things against me because I fight corruption. I will endure all brickbats just to make sure that justice is served. I challenge all my fellow Senators to publish on their web sites the insertions that they benefited from.

Perlas: Our country is in danger. Traditional politicians have brought us down. We cannot achieve change if we elect traditional politicians. If the same old thoughts, habits, and connections remain in office, nothing will change. We need to think the impossible, which is just the future waiting to happen.

Teodoro: Our country faces both danger and opportunity. The Philippines is one of the richest in the world in terms of natural resources and people. We need unity and progressive policies. On another note, I am glad we have forums like these. Citizen participation is needed to ensure that democracy is successful.

Villanueva: Education is one of our biggest problems. (Assorted quotations from the Bible, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Edmund Burke follow.)

Villar: I pledge before you and God, I have stolen nothing from the government. I have only aspired to make things better. If you want to know more, visit my web site. Everything I have needed to answer, I have already answered. We must also bear in mind that, when choosing a President, he must have the proven ability to get things done.

Youth 2010: Bumoto Para sa Pagbabago ends. The candidates begin to interact and pose for photographs.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s latest directives (English translation)

For the benefit of non-Filipino donors, what follows below is my own translation of the latest directives of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regarding the Typhoon Ondoy (International Code Name: Ketsana) disaster.

The most important thing to take note of: Donations must be addressed to or coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) so that they will not be taxed or confiscated.

PGMA’s Latest Directives
Bahay Pangarap, Malacañang Park
29 September 2009

My fellow Filipinos, thank you very much for your generosity and good will toward the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

In order to ensure the continuous and orderly flow of aid to those in need, please be informed that your government is taking the following steps:

First, a price control task force has been set up to prevent and penalize the overpricing of medicines. This exploitative practice is strictly prohibited.

Second, those involved in anomalous or fraudulent transactions for donations coursed through banks will be caught and punished.

Third, donations of food and other goods from abroad will not be taxed or confiscated by the Bureau of Customs, provided these are consigned to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Fourth, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has instructed all embassies and consulates to expedite the processing of documents required for donations coming from abroad, provided these are consigned to the DSWD.

Fifth, remittance service providers are requested to waive transaction fees for cash donations that are coursed to the DSWD through them.

It is only fitting that the government facilitate the delivery of aid to those in need, as well as ensure that they suffer no further. Anyone who seeks to impede such actions will be subject to severe punishment, including imprisonment.

Thank you once again to all who are helping.

An alternative translation may be found on Filipino Voices.

Helplines and hotlines for Typhoon Ondoy victims

Last major update: September 29, 2009, 3:01 AM. This post will no longer be updated. In the interest of promoting focused and efficient aid, I will contribute to this database instead.

For official situation reports on Ondoy, please refer to this page on the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) web site.

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The effects of tropical storm Ondoy (international code name Ketsana) have been devastating. Some photographs and/or videos of the havoc that Ondoy caused may be viewed here, here, and here. According to National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Situation Report No. 11 on Ondoy (PDF), dated September 28, 2009, 9PM, these are some of the latest figures:

  • Casualties: 141
  • Missing: 37
  • Injured: 5
  • Families affected: 90,223 (453,033 persons)
  • Evacuees in evacuation centers: 23,147 families (115,990 persons)
  • Evacuees outside evacuation centers: 7,791 families (36,421)
  • Damage to infrastructure: PhP1,440,710,000.00 (≈ U.S.$30,014,791.67 at an exchange rate of PhP48.00 = U.S.$1.00)
  • Damage to agriculture: PhP882,524,884.00 (≈ U.S.$18,385,935.08 at an exchange rate of PhP48.00 = U.S.$1.00)

Flood waters have not receded in several areas, and many people have yet to be rescued. The following areas in the Philippines have been declared as being in a state of national calamity:

  • The entire National Capital Region (NCR)
  • CAR: Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Benguet
  • Region I: Pangasinan, La Union, and Ilocos Sur
  • Region II: Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya
  • Region III: Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, and Bataan
  • Region IV-A: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Rizal
  • Region IV-B: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Marinduque
  • Region V: Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur

Please refer and/or contribute to the following so that aid operations can be more efficient:

Sahana Disaster Management System is in need of IT volunteers. The system will be extremely helpful in case of future disasters. Send a message to sahana@kahelos.org.

Courtesy of ABS-CBN News Online, assorted updates and advisories may be found here, and a list of class suspensions and cancelled events may be found here.

The succeeding information has been compiled from various sources, and I am particularly indebted to Manolo Quezon, Charo Limaco, Bryan Ong, and Dementia, among many others on Twitter, Plurk, and the general blogosphere.

Unless otherwise specified, all landline numbers are for Metro Manila and therefore require no dialing prefix if you are in that area. If you are outside Metro Manila, add 02 before the number, e.g., 02 XXX XXXX. If you are outside the Philippines, add 632 before the number, e.g., 632 XXX XXXX.

For mobile numbers, callers outside the Philippines should add 63 and drop the 0, e.g., 63XXX XXX XXXX instead of 0XXX XXX XXXX.

Emergency/Rescue Operations

Private citizens who would like to lend their motor boats, please call these numbers:

  • 912 5668
  • 911 1406
  • 912 2665
  • 911 5061

For those who can lend 4×4 trucks, please send them to Greenhills Shoppng Center Unimart Grocery to await deployment. Call this number for more information:

  • 0920 9072902

Honda Cars and Nissan Pangasinan offer towing services anywhere within the Metro Manila area.

  • Hotline: 0922 850 4452
  • Maricel: 0922 445 2242
  • Arnold:  0922 899 7959

ABS-CBN Typhoon Ondoy Hotline

  • 416 3641

Bureau of Fire Protection

  • 729 5166
  • 410 6254
  • 413 8859
  • 407 1230
  • Region III (Central Luzon): (045) 963 4376

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

All numbers are 24-hour hotlines.

  • Disaster Relief Operations, Monitoring, and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD-NCR: 488 3199
  • Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), DSWD-NCR: 733 8635
  • Disaster Relief Operations, Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD-Central Office: 931 8101 to 05, local 506 or 951 7119

GMA Kapuso Hotline

  • 9811950 to 59

Jam 88.3

  • 631 8803
  • Text JAM<space>883<space>your message to 2968

Meralco

  • 16211
  • 0917 559 2824
  • 0920 929 2824

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)

  • 136
  • 896 6000

National Capital Region Police Office (For rubber boat requests)

  • 838 3203
  • 838 3354

National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC)

Emergency Numbers

  • 912 5668
  • 911 1406
  • 912 2665

Help Hotlines

  • 911 5061
  • 734 2118
  • 734 2120

Office of Senator Dick Gordon

  • 0917 899 7898
  • 0938 444 BOYS (2697)

Office of Senator Manny Villar (For rescue dump trucks)

  • 0917 422 6800
  • 0917 241 4864
  • 0927 675 1981

Petron/San Miguel Corporation (For rescue helicopters)

  • Lydia Ragasa: 0917 814 0655

Philippine Coast Guard

  • 527 6136

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)

  • 143
  • 527 0000

http://www.GMANews.tv on Facebook

Relief Operations

If you are looking for a relief operations site in your immediate area, you may also check here or here. A handy map of donation drop-off points is available here.

Government Agencies, Socio-civic Groups, and Media Outfits

AKBAYAN

To donate or volunteer, call:

  • 433 6933
  • 433 6831

Aquino-Roxas relief operations/Tulong Bayan

Jiggy Cruz sounded the call for relief goods collection and distribution on September 26 (Saturday) on Twitter.

Tulong Bayan hotlines for donations and volunteers are:

  • 913 7122
  • 913 6254
  • 913 3306
  • 0908 657 9998
  • 0939 363 3436

Donations can be brought to:

  • Balay, Expo Centro, EDSA corner Gen. MacArthur St., Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
  • White Space, 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati, City (care of Monique Villonco)

Ayala Foundation

Online donations may be coursed through the foundation.

Barangay San Antonio (Parañaque)

The barangay hall, which is located near Parañaque City Hall, will serve as a drop-off point. The address is Sta. Lucia St. corner San Pablo St., San Antonio Valley 1, Parañaque.

Caritas Manila

  • 563 9298
  • 563 9308

Relief goods can be sent to Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandacan, Manila (near Nagtahan Bridge).

Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF)–Ortigas

Please drop off donations at Room 402, St. Francis Square Bldg., Julia Vargas Ave., cor. Bank Drive, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Couples for Christ (CFC)

  • 727 0682 to 87
  • 0919 363 4036
  • 0922 866 7191
  • 0922 254 2819

The CFC Center along Ortigas Avenue is now accepting donations in cash or in kind.

For those who wish to donate through bank deposit, you may do so via the  Bank of the Philippines (BPI):

  • Account Name: Couples for Christ Global Missions Inc.
  • Account Number 3103-3055-85.

Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC)

  • 929 9820
  • 929 9822

Relief goods for typhoon victims may be delivered to 72-A Times St., West Triangle, Quezon City.

Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR)

Per Noynoy Aquino, cash donations may deposited with the CNDR. The bank details are as follows:

  • Account Number: 0031 0654 02
  • Branch: Bank of the Philippine Islands Ayala-Paseo

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Each drop-off point for donations has its own contact persons.

Drop-off point 1

National Resource Operations Center, Chapel Road, Pasay City

  • Francia Favian: 852 8081/0918 930 2356

Drop-off point 2

Disaster Resource Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), DSWD Central Office, Quezon City

  • Rey Martija or Imee Rose Castillo: 951 7119/951 2435
  • Assistant Secretary Vilma Cabrera: 0918 9345625

Drop-off point 3

DSWD-NCR Office,  San Rafael corner Legarda Streets, Quiapo, Manila.

  • Director Thelsa P. Biolna or Director Delia Bauan: 734 8622/734 8642

Gawad Kalinga

A list of needed relief goods, as well as drop-off centers, is available here.

The guidelines for cash/check donations follow below:

Donations within the Philippines

  • Gawad Kalinga Philippine Peso Current Account 3101 0977 56 – BPI EDSA Greenhills
  • Gawad Kalinga US$ Savings Account 3104 0162 34 (Swift code: BOPIPHMM) – BPI EDSA Greenhills

Should you need receipts, please fax your deposit slip to Delfin Mangona, Operation GK Walang Iwanan at 726 7405.  Kindly indicate name of donor and contact number.

Donations outside the Philippines

For donations outside the Philippines, you can choose from the following :

ANCOP USA

You can send your checks to ANCOP USA, PO Box 10095, Torrance, CA 90505. Or go to http://www.ancopusa.org if you prefer to do it online via credit card.

AYALA FOUNDATION USA

You can issue checks payable to Ayala Foundation USA with project noted (Gawad Kalinga Ondoy Relief) and send to :

Ayala Foundation USA
255 Shoreline Drive, Suite 428
Redwood City, CA 94065
Tel. no. 1-650-598-3126
Fax No. 1-650-508-8898
Email info@af-usa.org

Or you can donate to Ayala Foundation USA via credit card by visiting this link.

In “choosing organization to receive the donation”, please choose “Gawad Kalinga-Community Infrastructure Program” for now.  By September 29, (Tuesday), you will be able to choose “Gawad Kalinga-Relief”.

DONATE ONLINE AT http://www.gk1world.com

Click on this link.  This facility can accept donations from all over the world.

GMA Kapuso Foundation

  • 981 1950 to 59
  • 982 7777, locals 9901/9904/9905

The foundation will accept cash/check, credit card, and in-kind donations. The office address is: 2/F GMA Kapuso Center, Samar St. cor. 11th Jamboree St. Diliman, Quezon City.

Hillsborough Village Chapel

Water, blankets, shoes, and clothes may be sent to Hillsborough Village Chapel in Muntinlupa City. These will go to families whose houses were washed out in the nearby sitios.

Kabataan Partylist

  • 0926 667 7163
  • kabataanpartylist@gmail.com

Drop off donations or volunteer at 118-B Sct. Rallos St., Quezon City.

Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC)

  • 670 0666
  • 832 6117

MBC radio stations DZRH, 101.1 Yes! FM, and 90.7 Love Radio are accepting donations, such as bread, canned goods, clothes, and water. The drop-off point is at the MBC Building, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City (beside Star City).

Marika Bouncers Cooperative

The c-op will accept donations starting September 28 (Monday), at 10 AM. Its office is located at 95 Malaya St., Malanday, Marikina.

Move for Chiz

Volunteers are asked to report to Bay Park Tent along Roxas Blvd in Manila. It is beside Max’s Restaurant and Diamond Hotel. They may also proceed to  Gilas Minipark on Unang Hakbang St., Gilas, Quezon City.

MusikLokal Luzon Relief

  • Warren Habaluyas: 0929 871 3488
  • luzonrelief@gmail.com

Starting September 28 (Monday), donations can be brought to Renaissance Fitness Center, 2/F, Bramante Building, Renaissance Towers Ortigas, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City, from 9AM to 7PM.

Office of Senator Kiko Pangilinan

  • Vina Vargas: 0917 808 1247

Donations may be sent to AGS Building Annex, 446 EDSA Guadalupe Viejo, Makati.

Office of the President

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has opened Malacañang to victims of Ondoy, according to this report. Heroes Hall will serve as the emergency center.

Operation Rainbow

  • Zac Faelnar Camara: 468 7991

Operation Rainbow in Ayala Alabang Village accepts canned goods, ready-to-eat food, bottled water, ready-to-drink milk and juice, clothing, and blankets.

Our Lady of Pentecost Parish

  • 434 2397
  • 929 0665

Per Gabe Mercado, donations are very much welcome. The Parish is located at 12 F. Dela Rosa corner C. Salvador Sts., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Peace Retreat Movement

Please leave all donations at the Peace Retreat Movement (PRM) office: 2/F Room 72L, Christ the King (HS) Building on September 30 (Wednesday), by 12NN.

Relief Efforts for Pasig

  • 0916 494 5000
  • 0917 527 3616

Volunteers may proceed to Valle Verde 1 Village Park.

Relief Operations Center

  • Ares: 0917 855 4935
  • Rachel: 0918 924 1636

A relief operations center has been established at AGS Annex, #446 EDSA, Guadalupe Viejo (after PET Tower). Please call for more details.

Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

Rescued animals may be brought to the shelter located on Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue.

Philippine Army Officers Ladies Club (PAOLC)

Relief items may be delivered to the GHQ gym at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, or to the Philippine Army Gym at Fort Bonifacio.

Philippine Daily Inquirer

  • Megi Garcia: 897 8808 local 260

Donations in kind, such as instant noodles, canned goods, formula milk, blankets and clothes, are urgently needed.

These may be brought to the Inquirer office at 1098 Chino Roces Ave. corner Mascardo and Yague Streets, Makati City, or to any of its classified ads branches, or to any McDonald’s branch within Metro Manila.

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)

Contact the nearest chapter to find out how you can help.

To donate via SMS, please follow the instructions below:

  • SMS: Text RED<space>AMOUNT  to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart)
  • G-CASH (Globe subscribers only): Text DONATE<space>AMOUNT<space>4-digit M-PIN<space>REDCROSS to 2882.

As of this update, Globe and Smart have waived transaction fees for donations.

For cash, check, or in-kind donations, the guidelines are below. Please note that LBC and i-Remit Singapore will be waiving transaction fees for donations.

Cash or check

Please send cash or check donations to the PNRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine National Red Cross.  We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

Bank Deposit

Account Name:  The Phil. Nat’l. Red Cross

Metrobank

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.: 151-3-041-63122-8
Dollar Acct.: 151-2-151-00218-2
Type of Acct. : SAVINGS
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Port Area Branch
Peso Acct.:  4991-0010-99
Type of Account: CURRENT

Bank of the Philippine Islands

UN Branch
Dollar Acct.: 8114-0030-94
Type of Account: SAVINGS
Swift Code:  BOPI PH MM

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip to +63 2 527 0575 or +63 2 404 0979 with your name, address, and contact number.

Credit Card

Please fax the following information to 632 404 09 79 or 632 527 0575:

  • Name of cardholder
  • Billing address
  • Contact numbers (landline and mobile)
  • Credit card number
  • Expiration date
  • CCV2/ CVC2 (last three digits on the back of the credit card)
  • Amount to be donated

In-Kind Donations

Local

Please send in-kind local donations to The Philippine National Red Cross–National Headquarters in Manila.  We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

International

  1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PNRC
  2. A letter of acceptance from PNRC shall be sent back to the donor
  3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation; (b) copy of packing list; and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to: The Philippine National Red Cross–National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Corazon Alma de Leon, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 2803, Philippines.

The PNRC does not accept rotten, damaged, expired or decayed goods.  Though we appreciate your generosity, the PNRC also discourages donations of old clothes as we have more than enough to go around.

Urgent needs

  • Food items: Rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, iodized salt, cooking oil, monggo beans, and potable water
  • Medicines: Paracetamol, antibiotics, analgesic, oral rehydration salts, multivitamins, and medications to treat diarrhea
  • Non-food items: Bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, laundry soap, and shelter materials for house repair

For Mindanao-based donors without Paypal accounts, please get in touch with blogger Mindanaoan. Your donations will be forwarded to the Red Cross.

Radio Veritas

  • 925 7931 to 40

Relief goods can be brought to Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower, West Ave. corner EDSA, Quezon City.

Sagip Kapamilya

  • 413 2667
  • 416 0387

The address of Sagip Kapamilya is No. 13 Examiner Street, Quezon City. Please look for Ms. Girlie Aragon

Cash/check donations may be deposited in the Sagip Kapamilya account:

  • Bank: Banco de Oro, Mother Ignacia branch
  • Acct name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
  • Acct no.: 5630020111

Santuario de San Antonio Parish

Relief goods of all kinds are accepted. The parish is located along McKinley Road, in Forbes Park, Makati. Please contact JJ Yulo or Mike Yuson.

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan Task Force Noah

Please drop off donations at Cervini Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

TXTPower

TXTPower urges its members, supporters and friends abroad to make donations via Paypal.

One may also donate via SmartMoney (5577-5144-1866-7103) or G-Cash 0917-9751092.  All donations coursed through TXTPower will be sent to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Victory

Victory Fort was the first to open its doors to families affected by Typhoon Ondoy last weekend.

Other Victory centers are now engaged in relief operations as well. For a complete list, please see this page.

World Vision Philippines

The donor service hotlines are:

  • 372 7777
  • 0917 866 4824
  • Pam Millora: 0917 8623209

Donors and volunteers may go to World Vision Philippines headquarters at 389 Quezon Avenue corner West 6th St., Quezon City.

For cash and check donations, see the bank details as provided by Juan Miguel Lago on Twitter here and here.

Additional contact information:

  • 374 7618 to 28
  • 374 7660 (Fax)
  • wv_phil@wvi.org

Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Assumption College San Lorenzo (Makati)

Please drop donations off at the guardhouse.

Assumption College Antipolo

Assumption Antipolo is also accepting donations. The school is located along Sumulong Highway, Antipolo, Rizal.

Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU)

The campus is now an open shelter and will take in refugees. Call 917 895 2792. Donations may also be dropped off at the MVP lobby.

Ateneo Grade School (AGS)

Rice, noodles, sardines, and drinking water are badly needed for Ondoy flood victims.

Please bring your donations to the AGS Social Involvement Office ASAP. Volunteers also needed to sort and pack food bags.

You may sign up at the GS Campus Ministry Office from 8am to 5pm on September 30 (Wednesday) and October 1 (Thursday).

Ateneo Law School

  • 899 7691 to 96

Donations and volunteers are needed. Ateneo Law School is located at 20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

De La Salle Santiago Zóbel (DLSZ)

  • Angie Brazan: 09178597602

Starting September 28, 2009 (Monday), from 8AM to 6PM, DLSZ Typhoon Ondoy Relief Goods Collection Center will be accepting donations in kind. Monetary donations are also welcome. Please make cheques payable to De La Salle Zobel. Cash donations are discouraged.

Donors may pass through Gate 7 (Molave St.) to drop off donations at the Collection Center found at the Ground Floor of Gym 5 (Lower Grades area).

Teacher, staff, student, and parent volunteers to man the Collection Center are needed. Please text your contact details to Ms. Angie should you wish to volunteer.

De La Salle University Medical Center (DLSUMC)

  • 844 7832
  • (046) 416 4531

Donations of canned goods, blankets, clothes, and water will be accepted. DLSUMC is located at Congressional Avenue, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

La Salle Greenhills

Donations can be dropped off at Gate 2 of the LSGH campus starting 9AM on September 27, 2009 (Sunday).

Per ageofbrillig, LSGH also has a booth for donations at Unimart in Greenhills Shopping Center.

Playschool International

Relief goods may be dropped off at Playschool International, 46 Ghana Street, Better Living, Parañaque. No cash, please.

Saint Pedro Poveda College

  • Social Action Center: 631 8756 local 121

Poveda is now accepting donations of relief goods.

San Beda College of Arts and Sciences Student Council

The student council is accepting donations in cash or in kind. San Beda College is located at 638 Mendiola St., San Miguel, Manila.

Southville International School and Colleges

  • 825 6374
  • 820 8702
  • 820 8703
  • 829 1675

Southville is accepting donations of canned goods, packed noodles, clothes, drinking water, etc. at the Luxembourg Campus, which is located at Luxembourg St. corner Tropical Ave., BF Homes International, Las Piñas City.

University of Asia and the Pacific

UA&P is accepting donations. Donation booths are at Study Hall A.

You may also get in touch with Dae Lee, the Executive Vice President of the Student Exective Board at 0917 832 3533. Donations and volunteers are needed.

University of the Philippines Sigma Alpha Nu Sorority (Manila)

  • 0917 885 7188
  • 0917 665 9948

The sorority is collecting food, water and toiletries. You may drop them off at Unit 12-O One Adriatico Place, Ermita, Manila.

University of the Philippines Diliman College of Arts and Letters

  • 0929 6454102

CAL is accepting donations in cash and in kind.

University of the Philippines Diliman University Student Council

  • Titus: 0917 800 1909
  • Jose: 0927 305 6607
  • Tin: 0915 490 6106

The council is is collecting food, clothing, and/or cash.

University of the Philippines Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs

  • 928 2947

The office is accepting donations of relief goods.

Xavier School

Please bring donations to the Multipurpose Center (MPC), Xavier School, 64 Xavier Street, Greenhills, San Juan.

Commercial Establishments

7-11

All stores will serve as drop-off sites for donations.

Alabang Town Center

Please drop off donated goods with the concierge. For inquiries, please call 842 2782 or 772 1860.

ARANÁZ

Donations of any kind for Payatas communities affected by Ondoy will be accepted at ARANÁZ stores in Rockwell and Greenbelt.

Binalot (Greenbelt 1 branch)

  • Tetchie Bundalian:0922 857 3277

Brainbeam Events, Inc.

Relief goods may be dropped off at the Brainbeam office: 2/F MB Aguirre Cornerhouse Building, 15 Pres. Ave corner Elizalde St., BF Homes, Parañaque (across the old Caltex in BF).

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Canned goods, water, clothes, blankets, towels, medicine, and emergency supplies will be accepted in branches on behalf of the victims of Typhoon Ondoy starting September 28 (Monday) until Friday.

Fantastik! Manila

  • 729 0530
  • 501 7405

Please send donations to 5729 Calasanz St., Barangay Olympia, Makati City.

Jollibee

All stores will serve as drop-off sites for donations.

Luca

Donations can be sent via Luca branches in The Powerplant Mall, Shangri-La Mall, or Eastwood City.

Mail and More

Donations for the victims of Typhoon Ondoy are accepted at all Mail and More outlets. The complete list of all outlets nationwide is available here.

Manor Superclub

Relief items will be accepted starting September 27 (Sunday) at 10AM. Manor Superclub is located in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.

Ministop (Ibarra branch)

Food (non-perishable goods only), clothing, medicines, beds, pillows, blankets, and other emergency supplies can be dropped off at the Ministop store located on España cor. Blumentritt, Sampaloc, Manila.

Moonshine

Donations for victims in Marikina and Cainta can be sent to Moonshine in The Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati.

Myron’s Place

Myron’s Place in Greenbelt 5, Makati City, will accept relief goods.

Papemelroti

You may drop off relief goods, such as canned goods, milk, bottled water, and used clothes at any of the following Papemelroti branches:

  • 91 Roces Avenue
  • Ali Mall Cubao
  • SM City North EDSA
  • SM Fairview
  • SM Megamall
  • Glorietta 3
  • SM Centerpoint
  • SM Southmall

No cash will be accepted.

Petron

All Petron gas stations will serve as collection points for relief goods.

The Powerplant Mall

Donations will be forwarded to the ABS-CBN Foundation. Please drop them off at the adminstration office, P1 level.

Redkimono

Redkimono will accept canned goods, bottled water, clothing for all ages, basic household items. You may find the contact information for the branch nearest you here.

Recreational Outdoor eXchange

  • 856 4638 to 39
  • rox.cs@primergrp.com

ROX will accept relief goods for Typhoon Ondoy victims. The store address is B1 ROX Building, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Shell

All Shell gas stations will serve as collection points for relief goods.

SMART

Donations may be dropped off at the following SMART branches:

  • SM Fairview
  • SM North EDSA
  • Gateway Mall Cubao
  • Ali Mall Cubao
  • SM Megamall
  • SM Muntinlupa

Starbucks

All Starbucks stores are now accepting blankets, rice, bottled water, and instant noodles for the victims of Ondoy. These will be used to support The Ateneo Taskforce Ondoy.

TeamManila

TeamManila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods for distribution by Radio Veritas.

Total

All Total gas stations will serve as collection points for relief goods.

Unimart (Greenhills Shopping Center)

  • 721 0592
  • 721 1717

All cash and in-kind donations will be forwarded to La Salle Greenhills.

Vivere Suites

  • 771 7777
  • 771 0158

Vivere Suites will accept relief goods. The hotel is located at 5102 Bridgeway Ave., cor. Asean Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

Private Citizens

Karen Ang

  • 0920 952 0900

Donations may be dropped off at 3 Kagandahan corner Kabutihan Streets, Kawilihan Village, Pasig. They will be forwarded to the Philippine National Red Cross.

Anne

  • 0915 285 4240

Relief goods from donors in southern Metro Manila are accepted.

Bianca

  • 412 3861
  • 0927 8436002

She will pick up donations from Greenhills/San Juan area. Donate food, medicine, or clothing.

Joseph Castillo

  • 0908 236 8999
  • (032) 211 7111

He will send a 20-foot container to Manila and is looking for donations from Cebuanos. Please get in touch with him.

Kelly and Jodge

Relief goods will be accepted at Colonade Residences, Legaspi St. corner C. Palanca St., Makati City.

RJ Ledesma and friends

  • 0917-8131601

Please call to have your donations (relief goods only) picked up.

Gerald Lim and friends

  • 0918 979 1229
  • 0917 797 4098
  • 0932 699 1794

Donations on wheels! If you have donations to give, but no means of transport, please get in touch.

Colleen Manabat (Heartrio Prints)

She will accept donations of bottled water, canned goods, blankets, clothes, medicines from 9 AM to 6PM. Please drop them off at Stall 2, MGY Building, 2444 Sto. Entierro St., Sto. Cristo, Angeles City. She will forward the donations to Sagip Kapamilya (ABS-CBN Foundation).

Miriam Quiambao

Donations may be dropped off starting September 28 (Monday) at One Orchard Road Building in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City. Send a message via Twitter for more details.

Erica Paredes

  • 0917 474 1930

Donate bread, packed juice, sandwich fillings, and the like. You can help her make them, deliver your own sandwiches to her house, or help her distribute. Call for more details.

Omel Santos

  • 501 7405
  • 729 0530

Drop off donations at 5729 Calasanz St., Barangay Olympia, Makati City or call for pick up.

An Xiao

Artist An Xiao has set up a Kickstarter account to make it easy for anyone with an Amazon account to make a donation. She hopes to raise U.S.$500 by September 30 (Wednesday), 8:49AM EDT.

Vivere Suites 5102 Ridgeway Avenue, Fil-Invest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Contact (+632-7717777) for inquiries or drop off at concierge area. Will accept relief goods.

Taxes on book imports lifted!

From The Philippine Star: “President Arroyo ordered yesterday the Department of Finance to scrap the taxes imposed on imported books and reading material.

*

Manuel L. Quezon III: “New Media has (again) proven its political and social clout with the breaking of the book blockade.”

Book associations appeal to GMA to withdraw book tax

The following letter appeared as a full-page ad in the print edition of The Philippine Star today, and is reproduced here verbatim:

OPEN LETTER TO HER EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO

Dear Madame President,

We, the members of different Book Associations in the counry are appealing for your help in withdrawing the Department of Finance Order 17-09 which imposes duty on the importation of books.

We believe that said Order is not to the best interest of the country. It violates the Florence Agreement, an international treaty. It also violates R.A. 8047 or the Book Publishing Industry Development Act.

The imposition of duty on book importations, no matter how minimal, will increase the cost to our readers, whic in turn will fundamentally affet the quality of education, literacy and over-all access to information and knowledge. Our young need to be educated and become literate to a high degree to be competitive in the emerging world market. This requires world-class and world-wide access to information and knowledge through books.

The Florence Agreement, of which the Philippines is a signatory since 1952, has for its main objectives the free flow of information among contracting states. The Florence Agreement Guide also expressly states that “Under the Agreement, books, newspapers, periodicals, and many other categories of printed matter are granted duty-free entry”.

The Book Publishing Industry Development Act has also expressly provided in Section 12 for the tax-and-duty free importation of books and raw materials for book publishing. However, the DOF has chosen to interpret this provision to mean that only books used for book publishing are duty free. We certainly disagree. This Section 12 really refers to both importation of books and importation of raw materials such as paper and machinery needed and used for book publishing.

Madame President, we are joining writers, authors and readers in the clamor for the continued duty-free importation of books. Please help us and our countrymen.

Sincerely yours,

(Sgd.) LIRIO P. SANDOVAL
President
Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP)

(Sgd.) ATTY. JOSE AGATON SIBAL
President
Philippine Educational Publishers’ Association (PEPA)

(Sgd.) JENNIFER G. JAVIER
President
Publishers Representatives’ Organization of the Philippines (PROP)

(Sgd.) LINO DAGUS
President
Assocation of Booksellers for the Academe & Professions

(Sgd.) JOSE PAOLO M. SIBAL
President
Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc. (PBAI)

(Sgd.) RUBEN DE JESUS
President
Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY)

“No to the Philippine Book Blockade”

Begun by Maia Dumdum last 08 May 2009, this is an online petition “fueled by disgust over the recent book blockade in the Philippines”. As of this time, 812 signatures have been collected. Once the number hits 1,000, the petition will be forwarded, along with a letter, to Senator Miriam Defensor-Santago. Dumdum has already posted part of the draft that she has prepared.

If you have not signed the petition yet, please do so.