The Philippines is the fourth most disaster-stricken country in the world pegged by a study conducted by the Geneva-based United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). Our geographical setting makes the country a perfect target for tropical cyclones since we are situated above the equator. The warm waters that surround us are the reason why there are recurrent tropical cyclones in the country.
In Philippine history, there has been several occurrences of super typhoons which struck massive devastation. Typhoon Frank that struck Western Visayas in 2008, which took the lives of 1,371 people; Typhoon Pablo that hit Mindanao in 2012 that took 1,067 lives and the deadliest Philippine typhoon of modern era, Typhoon Yolanda that destroyed Eastern Visayas in 2013 that claimed the lives of more than 6,300 civilians.
Hence, it is not new for us to experience these scenarios. Over the past decade, we have received more and more relief donations from other countries, foreign entities and also non-government organizations world wide. Internally, there are also several agencies that offer aide to our calamity-stricken countrymen.
Last September 15, 2018, Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) wreaked havoc in the country. It affected the provinces in Northern Luzon, specifically in Cagayan Province. According to the Cagayan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, 10,528 houses were totally damaged while 65,408 of them were partially damaged. The town of Aparri has the highest recorded number of damaged houses reaching up to 9,075.
The recent typhoon left the people in Aparri, Cagayan fearful of what may come next; hopeless that their main source of livelihood—agriculture was washed away and destroyed; and homeless since their roofs went flying off together with the strong winds that Ompong carried.
In response to this pressing issue, the University of the Philippines Visayas, together with the UPV Graduate Students in Fisheries Association (GRASFA) initiated a fundraiser to help the students of Cagayan State University-Aparri, one of their partner institutions in Cagayan Province.
The project entitled: “UP, Magbubungaa Tayo!” aims to raise funds to provide roofs or roof materials to the constituents of CSU that were greatly affected by the typhoon. This fundraiser is an act to pay it forward, to give back to our countrymen and to help them rebuild their lives.
Now is the time, that we as one Filipino nation, help each other to rise from this catastrophe. It is time to look back at all the times our fellow countrymen helped us to get back on our feet and it is now our time to give back. The spirit of bayanihan lives in each and every one of us; ingrained in our very being.
For donations, you may deposit through:
Bank: Philippine National Bank – Miagao Branch
Account Name: University of the Philippines Visayas Foundation, Inc.
Current Account Number: 311370001585