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The national democratic peasant alliance, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas is now organizing efforts in Sorsogon to help the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte:
“Unite and help!” These are the words of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) secretary general, Antonio Flores as he speaks infront of the volunteers who gathered from different parts of Sorsogon in the eve of the relief operations for the victims of super-typhoon Yolanda. All the way from Manila, Oplan Sagip Kanayunan (OSK) established one of its relief center in Sorsogon City. The OSK started after the typhoon Ondoy in 2009 and has been continuously extending relief and rehabilitation missions to peasant communities ravaged by disasters. Now, Sagip Kanayunan’s relief operations has been non-stop across the country.
The OSK gathered together 100 volunteers in the said province through the help of the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka sa Sorsogon (SAMASOR).
“I was overwhelmed by the determination of the Sorsoguenos to nail the target of 2000 packs of relief goods for the typhoon victims,” says Flores.
“The OSK will welcome and join the caravan of Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayan (BALSA) carrying more than 15,000 relief packs. We will head Matnog port enroute to Samar and Leyte for the relief distribution for our fellow Visayans,” Flores adds.
The farmes, fishers, and other toiling sectors in Sorsogon gave their time in the relief center, carrying nothing but their genuine desire to help—“We don’t have anything to donate here but our time and labor. Even for just a bit we are able to help those who lost everything in Visayas,” says a mother while repacking rice in the relief center. The OSK building was overflowing with donations from different individuals willing to give through different kinds of help.
The relief center has been operating for almost 24hours everyday in Bibincahan, Sorsogon City since November 18. The spokesperson of SAMASOR, Romeo Janaban also said that: “This is a big opportunity for the people to be united and answer the call of help of the victims. Especiallly now that the government’s incompetence has been exposed, pushing Aquino to declare a system failure.” Flores retorts that “The more reason for us to sieze the initiative now because we, the farmers have nothing to expect from the corrupt haciendero government of Aquino.” The worst hit Eastern Visayas region, wherein landlessness is prevalent, ranks the third poorest region in the Philippines as of 2013.