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Senate workers donate P267,000 to ‘Yolanda’ victims

Various employees’ groups in the Senate have raised P267,000 in cash donations for the victims of supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

The donation will be used to help fishermen in Iloilo.

Members and officials of the workers’ groups handed their cash donations to Senate President Franklin Drilon in a symbolic turnover Thursday at a Christmas lunch hosted by the lawmaker.

The groups included the Senate Union, the Senate Welfare Fund and Senate Employees’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative, among others. They started passing around the hat when Drilon made the call for assistance to the typhoon victims.

Drilon who is from Iloilo said he was proud of the Senate workers for foregoing their traditional Christmas party in favor of supporting the livelihood program for fisher folk which he initiated.

The Senate leader said that while Yolanda caused massive damage in Leyte and Samar, some 11 towns near the coast in Iloilo were also wiped out as a result of the powerful storm.

“You could imagine the thousands of motor bangcas (boats) destroyed,” Drilon said before the turnover ceremony.

During a visit to the province last December 12 to 13, the senator noted how the locals there begged for a source of livelihood since it is much harder to replace their source of income than the homes that Yolanda flattened.

He said that the quarter of a million pesos donated by the Senate employees would be enough to construct 13 motorized boats at a cost of P20,000 each.

The money, Drilon said, would be forwarded to the Negrense Volunteers for Change, a non-government organization that will make the five-horsepower fishing boats.

Drilon has pledged a total of 200 fishing boats under the livelihood program, 10 of which were brought to Iloilo during his recent visit there. “I will continue to do this until we reach 200,” he said.