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Crowd-sourced fund drive for ‘Yolanda’ survivors exceeds P9-M target

From its original target of P9 million, the crowd-sourced fund campaign for survivors of Typhoon Yolanda has already collected over P10.3 million since its launch two weeks ago, organizers announced on Friday, Nov. 22.

The campaign, dubbed “Brick by Brick”, was started on Nov. 9 by non-government organization Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF).

Led by its chair Manuel V. Pangilinan, PDRF has also commenced its latest global campaign for donations called HelpPH, which started on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

HelpPh, in partnership with international organizations, local NGOs, government agencies, and private companies, accepts donations via mobile load to help fund programs for relief and reconstruction.

“The unprecedented scale of the devastation inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda requires a global response. Through HelpPh, we are providing people all over the world the means to send help to those in greatest need through a few clicks on their mobile phones,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said the proceeds of the fund drive will go to typhoon-hit provinces like Samar and Leyte.

PDRF also has cancelled its original cut-off date on Dec. 3 for the Brick by Brick campaign.

“We have yet to set a cut-off date for donations, we encourage everyone in helping our countrymen badly affected by typhoon Yolanda,” said PDRF president Rene Meily.

Donations to Brick by Brick may be received via different payment channels such as PayPal, SmartMoney, and PasaBayad.

Meanwhile, Land Bank of the Philippines president and CEO Gilda Pico also announced during the press briefing that the bank is making available 340 branches nationwide to accept dollar and peso donations for the PDRF rebuilding effort, under the following account numbers: 3404-0323-39 for dollar accounts and 3402-1037-51 for peso donations under the account name Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation.

As for HelpPh, mobile phone users from over 40 countries can directly donate by sending airtime load to PDRF through BayadLoad, a mobile money service of Smart approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

To contribute to HelpPh, mobile phone subscribers overseas must key-in +63-999-7-000-000 (12 digits) as the beneficiary mobile number and then send their donation using the airtime top-up procedure of their specific mobile network operator. The maximum amount per day is $10. The fund-raising program will continue until Dec. 31, 2013.

The United Nations recently initiated a global effort to raise $310 million for the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. And one proven channel for international donations is through mobile phones as based on the successful text campaign after the Japan killer earthquake and tsunami last March 2011.

PDRF said it is firming up cooperative arrangements with organizations like the Philippine Red Cross, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Caritas Manila, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Gawad Kalinga, the United States Agency for International Development and the GSMA.


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