The day after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook Surigao in the evening of Friday, the 10th of February, the Club’s diligent Community Service team went to work. The Rotary network was put to good use once again, as it always is in times of calamity, to bring clubs and Rotarians together for the task of getting much needed help to people in dire need.
Tapping Rotary connections nurtured through years as BATS coordinator, COS Ron Dotaro got in touch with D3620’s PDG Toto Cupin of RC Cebu West, who connected him to AG Ted Amores, who in turn informed him that the most urgent of the needs that cried out to be met was potable water.
Pres. David Ackerman and Community Service Dir. Chris Ferareza, tapping into the Club’s disaster relief fund, immediately set aside P50,000 for the purchase of drinking water.
By a providential turn, Ron found out that the president of RC Surigao City--Pres. Richie Fortus—is in the business of bottled water distribution, so the task of sourcing the precious commodity was instantly solved. On top of that, Pres. Richie offered a 20% discount, thus allowing us to get 1,000 bottles.
That weekend was a busy one for Dir. Chris, who also chairs the Disaster Relief Committee, as he coordinated things from Manila. On Sunday, Surigao Mayor Ernesto Matugas phoned Pres. David to personally thank him and the Club for the donation, emphasizing that it was doubly appreciated because it was unsolicited.
The water was turned over to Mayor Matugas and the Department of Social Welfare on Monday, February 13, with Rotarians from RC Surigao City, RC Midtown Jewels, RC Metro Surigao and RC Central Surigao in attendance. (The reason the goods were given to DSWD instead of to the Rotary Clubs is that there is a standing directive to have donors course all donations in kind to the DSWD for a more orderly accounting and distribution.)
For his part, Pres. David immediately sent out SMS and viber appeals to RCM members for cash donations; as of press time, P168,000 had been raised. The amount is being considered for use for a suitable rehabilitation project in the quake-hit area.
We thank the 33 Rotarians who responded to the appeal for help: Pres. David Ackerman, PP Joe Alejandro, Dir. Boy Arteche, Dir. Louie Aseoche, Cesar Cruz, PE Jun Jun Dayrit, Mon Diokno, Dir. Chris Ferareza, Louie & Tisa Fernandez, Eddie Galvez, Ramon Garcia, Ric Gindap, Wilfred Gui, Butch & Armi Jimenez, PDG Robert & Yvonne Kuan, Sec. Peter & Pam Manzano, PP Conrad Marty, PND Bimbo Mills, David & Renalyn Nithyananthan, PP Reggie & Sue Ann Nolido, Manny Padiernos, Dir. Jun & Wilma Palafox, PP Tito Panlilio, PN Fred & Menchu Pascual, Dir. Porsche Peña, Ed Rojas, PP Carlo Rufino, Philip Soliven, Wilson Tan, Sonny & Terry Tambunting, PP Roland Young, Sam Young, and Dir. Dick Upton/John Robert Powers.
Since we have moved from relief to rehabilitation, which requires a more substantial financial outlay, we hope more Rotarians will add to the P168K so far raised.