|Photos courtesy of World Vision Australia|
For many of us fortunate and with the Christmas season coming in a few weeks time, it is better to give and help to them in many ways.
Some Tips on How we can start to help the Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda survivors:
- Look for a charitable institution of your choice – You need to make a research on the institutions where your funds and goods will be donated. There are a number of charitable institutions from private non-government organizations, government offices to international aid and relief agencies working on the ground to help the affected and displace survivors. You can select from the list of the agencies or institution that are unconditionally providing humanitarian aid.
- Volunteering – Time is well spent if working totally for such worthy cause. If you have free time you can visit their headquarters or offices these agencies and be involved with them like repacking the goods, endorsing a campaign or effort and others. This is a win-win situation for all.
- How much can you give on donations? – Some people ask these a lot and some personal finance articles say about 10 percent of your monthly income but it depends on how much you can really give. It doesn’t matter how small or big it is as long it is coming from the heart.
- Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR has now become common norm for large companies or big businesses with their intent of lending a helping hand to those in need through community involvement and example of which is raising money for local charities / worthy causes, encouraging employees to do community service, supporting local events or sustainable livelihood / skills for the survivors, rebuilding efforts of the areas affected etc.
- On Taxes –In a recent statement by BIR Chief Kim Henares on news report that relief goods will be spared from tax as long as it is coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or accredited private foundations. For businesses owners or corporation that have the intentions of helping are given the privilege that Gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable under the law.
- Beware of Scammers – there are opportunist out there looking to profit on the dire situation right now. So be alert and vigilant of these types scam sprouting around. Report them to law enforcement authorities to dissuade them from taking advantage of this situation.
The post-disaster situation in Visayas reminds me of what we have seen and experienced in the mid-1990s when I was in my teens in Pampanga. We were severely affected by heavy floodwaters and seen people affected by the Mt. Pinatubo’s lahar. From the small baranggay of Cabalantian in the town of Bacolor was totally destroyed. Homes were ravaged and the survivors are walking bare feet with clothes on their backs towards our town of San Fernando pleading for food, water and a place to stay temporarily on that cold drenched day of October 1995. The baranggay is just a few kilometers from us. It is like the same situation where survivors are pleading desperately for help on the aftermath of Yolanda.
To the International Disaster Response Teams that have already penetrated the areas affected by this devastation and people from all walks of life who shared their time, money and effort, government relief workers, non-government aid workers, our own servicemen and the military personnel of the 22 nations who offered, heeded and extended their hands to the plea of the Filipinos in times of crisis and desperate need. We thank them for their efforts on these relief aid and rehabilitation work.
For now it is “Pay it forward” and let’s start working on for the common goal of helping the survivors / kababayans who are affected with this disaster.
CRB Benedict Baluyut, is a certified real estate professional (Real Estate Broker) a regular member of Registered Financial Planner - Philippines. He writes from time to time with Registered Financial Planner Column at Business Mirror. Catch his Facebook page Pinoymoneyvantage | Follow him at Twitter | Google + or visit his official blog at http://www.pinoymoneyvantage.net.