Wednesday, Oct 23

From Tzu Chi with love: Buddhist group sends relief items to Zamboanga families

October 03, 2013 | Richard Bolisay

Sacks of rice are piled on top of one another to maximize the space given to Tzu Chi Foundation . These volunteers also ensure that they are neatly arranged to avoid spilling their contents. 【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines has donated a total of 4,000 sacks of rice, 3,000 thermal blankets, and several boxes of medicines to help the displaced families caught in the armed conflict between the military and rebels in Zamboanga. On October 3, the loading of relief items has taken place at Sangley Point, Cavite City, where the cargo ship, BRP Benguet LT507, is docked.

  • Lt. Rommel Rodriguez, one of the officers supervising the delivery, thanks Tzu Chi Foundation and other organizations for showing kindness in this time of social unrest.

 

Proving that distance is not a hindrance to helping people, Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines has donated sacks of rice, thermal blankets, and boxed of medicines to help the displaced families caught in the armed conflict in Zamboanga at present.

The Buddhist organization has deployed five trucks containing 4,000 sacks of rice, 3,000 thermal blankets, and several medicines for common illnesses, all of which have been loaded onto BRP Benguet LT507, a government-owned cargo ship headed for Zamboanga. Docked at Sangley Point, Cavite City, the ship will deliver the goods to aid the families. Each sack contains 20 kilos of rice.

From the warehouse of the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Tzu Chi volunteers have worked together to carry thousands of rice sacks needed for the loading. Ever since the foundation’s relief distribution activities have started, DSWD has offered its warehouse to the Buddhist group as a storage area for free.

On the other hand, the thermal blankets, which are made from recycled PET bottles, have been loaded onto a truck in Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Volunteers from Marikina have joined efforts to carry out the task.

On October 3, the loading of these relief items have finally taken place. Docked at Sangley Point, Cavite, BRP Benguet LT507 has opened its doors to accommodate the rice, blankets, and medicines from Tzu Chi. Twenty-six volunteers have persevered in transferring the relief items from the trucks to the ship from 6 pm to near midnight.

When asked about the current situation in Zamboanga, Lt. Rommel Rodriguez, one of the officers supervising the delivery, says that the armed forces are doing their best to contain the remaining groups of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the area. “Our priority is the safety of the civilians,” he mentions.

Lt. Rodriguez is very pleased with the generosity of Tzu Chi Foundation. “This is a huge help to the displaced families who need food and shelter at the moment. It’s encouraging to see that in times of crisis, people like you lend a hand to our less fortunate countrymen,” he adds.

“We should continue helping one another regardless of our differences. It’s a symbolism that we can do something collectively. Thank you very much for this,” Lt. Rodriguez ends, thanking Tzu Chi Foundation and other organizations, such as Red Cross, DSWD, and ABS-CBN, that have sent their donations.

According to Mark Louwie Ramos, a representative from the Public and Civil Affairs Unit, they wish they could accommodate everything sent to them, but unfortunately the ship has a limited capacity. “We cannot thank you enough for doing this for the people in Zamboanga,” Ramos says.

A few hours after the loading of relief items, the cargo ship will head straight for Zamboanga and is expected to arrive there in three to four days.

  • A Tzu Chi volunteer is given a sack of rice to carry on his shoulders. These sacks will then be loaded onto BRP Benguet LT507, a cargo ship headed for Zamboanga City. 【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • These Tzu Chi volunteers from Marikina are among the representatives from the Buddhist organization who help in unloading sacks of rice from a truck. That afternoon, there are four trucks that contain 1,000 sacks of Taiwan rice each.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • This Tzu Chi volunteer, with two sacks of rice over his head, walks towards the entrance of the ship. He and other volunteers take turns in carrying the sacks of rice and boxes of thermal blankets into the ship.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • Despite having insufficient manpower, Tzu Chi volunteers show perseverance and dedication to their work. In this photo, a volunteer is drenched in sweat as he carries sacks of rice.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • A Tzu Chi volunteer makes sure that the sacks of rice are evenly distributed and well placed in the small area allotted for the Buddhist group. A total of 4,000 sacks of rice are donated by Tzu Chi Foundation to help the displaced families in Zamboanga City. 【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • These volunteers from Tzu Chi Foundation are using a wheeled vehicle to transport sacks of rice more easily and efficiently.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • In addition to rice, Zamboanga beneficiaries will receive thermal blankets and medicines. In this photo, a Tzu Chi volunteer lend a hand in carrying a box of medicines.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • This volunteer carries a box of thermal blankets over his head. Since most of the displaced families in Zamboanga are living in tents and evacuation centers, these blankets will be very useful. 【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • The boxes of medicines and thermal blankets are going to be placed on top of the sacks of rice. In this photo, a Tzu Chi volunteer arranges them neatly before putting them in the designated area.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • A Tzu Chi volunteer is about to pass a box of relief items to his colleague. These boxes contain thermal blankets, which are made from recycled items, and medicines for the families affected by the armed conflict in Zamboanga. 【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • This male Tzu Chi volunteer checks the sacks of rice neatly stacked up in the corner. He counts them to make sure that nothing is missing from the 4,000 sacks that will be delivered to Zamboanga City.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers work together to finish the loading of relief items faster. Five trucks containing 4,000 sacks of rice, 3,000 thermal blankets, and medicines will be shipped to Zamboanga City to help the families caught in the battle between the military and armed rebels.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】

  • Knowing that these relief items will go a long way in helping their fellow Filipinos, these volunteers show dedication to their work as they carry a box of medicines.【Photo by Richard Bolisay】


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