Monday, October 05, 2009

Ayala Land Inc should brief their employees before participating in relief operations

It was unfortunate that Martin Cervantes shot off his mouth and unfairly criticized Red Cross Chairman Dick Gordon at the height of relief operations of typhoon Ondoy.  It was even more unfortunate that a prominent blogger and arm chair humanitarian chose to amplify Martin's online angst through his Facebook page.

Clearly, these two people did more harm than good to the humanitarian organization when they raised a ruckus over something which had a clear explanation from the start.

Anne Torres, a staffer of the Philippine National Red Cross, held back the distribution of goods because there were not enough relief good packages to go around.  Martin Cervantes misunderstood this and blogged that Dick Gordon was the reason for the delay in the distribution of relief goods.  With an axe to grind against Gordon, Manuel Quezon III posted Martin Cervantes' tirade against Gordon on his facebook account and so spread the word that Gordon had caused the delay.

Both of these persons, who seem to know nothing about relief operations as it happens on the ground, neglected to get themselves educated with the real protocols of distributing relief goods.

And for their education, here is an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Do-gooders’ do’s, don’t’s
By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:23:00 10/05/2009

Filed Under: Relief & Aid Organisations, Disasters (general), Ondoy, Corporate social responsibility

MANILA, Philippines—Good Samaritans who initiate relief operations in disaster-stricken communities must keep in mind a few important things to ensure that their efforts will make the most impact on the people who need them, a disaster response executive said.

The Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), a nongovernment organization involved in large-scale disaster-risk reduction and emergency-relief work, recently shared some do’s and don’t’s it learned over the years.

“In extending emergency relief, there’s a lot of science to it, too,” said Alberto Lim, president of the CNDR and executive director of the Makati Business Club.

“There are many do-gooders who come into a community then end up being chased out. You don’t just dump goods on disaster-stricken areas. The last thing you want to happen is to cause riots or [a situation in which] the barangay captain opens a sari-sari store. These things happen all the time. Sometimes you end up with another disaster,” Lim said.

Through the years, the CNDR has developed a practical handbook for relief work, striving to make operations more effective, while ensuring accountability to donors.

The following are some of CNDR’s tips.

• Do the groundwork first. Get the number of individuals and families affected, as well as the number of fatalities, the injured or those ill, and of houses damaged or destroyed. Also gather data on crop damage, condition of critical facilities and estimated cost of damage.

• Identify the worst hit and least served communities.

• Coordinate with the Department of Social Work and Development and the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

• Identify targets and prepare assistance based on immediate needs, usually medicine and rescue. Consult with other NGOs so that efforts don’t overlap and “over-serve” certain communities.

• In preparing food assistance, try to give families what can cover their basic caloric needs for one week. Avoid giving foodstuffs that are low in nutrients like noodles. A standard package that can sustain a family of five for a week includes eight kilos of rice, half a kilo of fish (or dried fish), half a kilo of mongo, three cans of sardines or corned beef (or any food containing protein), some salt and sugar, and water.

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