For “Odette” survivors: P42.35 million worth of relief goods received, repacked at the Robredo People’s Council relief operations center in Katipunan; cash donations amount to P33.58 million

(December 30, 2021) –  In its two-week run, the Typhoon “Odette” Relief Operations Center of the Robredo People’s Council (RPC) in Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City received P42.35 million worth of assorted goods for the survivors of the super typhoon that slammed into parts of the Visayas and Mindanao a week before Christmas Day.

Responding to the call of Vice President Leni Robredo for help for families affected by “Odette”, nearly 5,000 volunteers worked in shifts, round-the-clock, at the relief hub, repacking sacks of rice, noodles, biscuits, canned goods, hygiene kits, face masks, and bottles of alcohol among others.

Those who donated cash through the Tanging Yaman Foundation were able to raise P33.58 million as of this morning, December 30.

It was this kind of oneness that Robredo highlighted in her message on Rizal Day, as the country commemorated the heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal.

“We are called today to live out the true meaning of being a Filipino, as heralded and written by Rizal: Filipinos who are united, who share in communal responsibility, and who always draw strength from one another; Filipinos who always hold on to hope because they respond with compassion to the needs of their countrymen,” the Vice President said.

While the repacking and receiving of relief goods at the Katipunan relief hub winded down today, the RPC, the umbrella organization of campaign volunteers, will continue to provide relief assistance to the families through its local partners on the ground.

The Vice President also plans to put up Angat Buhay villages, similar to the ones established in Marawi City, in areas like Dinagat Islands where hundreds of families lost their homes.

“We will start focusing on early recovery and rehabilitation particularly in terms of providing shelter repair materials,” Robredo said.

The Tanging Yaman Foundation is also open to receiving and repacking goods until the end of January.

Volunteers, meanwhile, were grateful to be part of this collective effort led by Robredo.

Dr. Eric Tan, a coordinator for the group Bikers 4 Leni, described the relief hub, originally the Leni-Kiko campaign volunteer headquarters, as a “well-oiled machine.”

For Tan, the sense of camaraderie, organization, and transparency he witnessed at the relief operations center was an indication of what Robredo can do on a bigger scale.

“If you can realize that she has been the most productive Vice President we’ve ever had, how much more when she’s  President? That’s the magic of a Leni Robredo presidency,” said Tan, who spent his day at the center loading sacks of rice on trucks along with other volunteers.

Bembette Ladip of the Theresians with Leni said she was “amazed” by how “very organized” everything was, which started from the registration where volunteers were assigned to the repacking station. A team leader also briefed the volunteers on the work to be done.

“The people were polite and respectful. It was truly a reflection of the leaders we’re supporting, and I am glad that my youngest had this experience as a first-time volunteer,” Ladip said.

On the relief hub’s first weekend, high school students Vrijit, 22, and Kurt, 17, stayed for as long as they could. Repacking relief goods was their way to help.

“Inispend ko talaga yung oras ko dito para makatulong kasi wala man kaming natulong na materyal na bagay. Ito na lang yung nilaan naming oras para dito,” said Kurt, who is part of Team Leni Robredo Marikina and has been active in their lugawan sessions.

With his mother, Mary Jane, 10-year-old Ivan dela Torre happily placed packs of noodles, biscuits, sardines, and other food items into separate bags for the typhoon survivors.

The older de la Torre said she and her friends volunteered at the relief hub to pay it forward, in exchange for the assistance Robredo has extended to their families. De la Torre’s husband has been working as a driver for the OVP since the pandemic started.

Other RPC volunteers from all over the country continue to help the typhoon survivors, from sharing relief goods and providing hot meals to evacuees.

Even on its last day, it was busy at the relief hub. Volunteers continued to repack relief goods which were dispatched to different typhoon-hit provinces.

In the morning, the first batch of relief goods packed in 169 balikbayan boxes; 30,000 liters of water; tarpaulins; and assorted medicines were loaded in the Manila Integrated Cargo Terminal (MICT). The relief goods will be delivered to Surigao, Siargao, and Dinagat Islands.

At press time, more batches of relief goods are scheduled to be dispatched from the relief operations center. [End]