4 April 2015
The chairperson of People Surge – a broad alliance of Typhoon Haiyan victims, survivors, organizations and individuals joined together in the common goal of helping victims and minimizing the risk from similar calamities in the future – is scheduled to visit the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany from April 8 to May 8, to drum up support and solidarity with the rehabilitation efforts of people’s organizations, communities and NGOs in the provinces of Samar and Leyte that suffered most from the typhoon.
Dr. Efleda Bautista, will be meeting with development agencies, solidarity groups, relief and rehabilitation NGOs, Filipino migrant organizations and political parties during her tour of the three European countries.
“Dr. Efleda ‘ Laidz’ Bautista’s Europe visit will primarily be to express gratitude in behalf of the communities and people’s organizations in Samar and Leyte that have received support from European agencies and groups, and the Filipino community, in their effort to rebuild their lives two years after the deadly typhoon and to explore ideas from Europe on how communities can strenghthen their climate resiliency,” explains Rev. Cesar Taguba, chair of Migrante Europe and coordinator of the Bautista’s Europe visit.
She will also drum up support and solidarity from European friends the initiatives of communities and people’s organizations under People Surge to push for the genuine rehabilitation and justice for the victims, Reverend Taguba added.
Taguba emphasized that two years since the tragic disaster that claimed the lives of more than 7,000 persons (from government figures) and countless others missing, the communities affected have yet to completely recover from the disaster, and benefit from a supposed rehabilitation plan from the Philippine government.
“Along with the call for justice for the Haiyan victims and communities is the people’s demand for the Aquino government to account for its criminal responsibility for the death, destruction and the missing” Taguba stated.
In the Netherlands, Dr. Bautista is expected to meet with the twelve “Giro 555” development agencies that have pulled together their resources to respond to the cry for relief and rehabilitation of the Haiyan victims. The people of the Netherlands responded to the call of “Giro 555” and raised more than 30 million euros for the victims. She will also meet with other Dutch development agencies and the Filipino community. The Filipino community in the Netherlands, likewise, mobilized itself with a campaign to complement the help extended by the Dutch people.
In Germany, Dr. Bautista will meet with solidarity groups and express gratitude for the support of the German people for the rehabilitation efforts in typhoon Haiyan-devastated areas. German humanitarian relief organizations were among the first to reach the Haiyan victims and extend relief. They also extended about 144 million euros in relief and rehabilitation efforts.
In Belgium, she will meet with a consortium of Belgian development and solidarity groups that have been active not only in relief and rehabilitation work in the Philippines but also in community development, anti-mining and income-generating projects.
Dr. Bautista is a native and resident of Tacloban, Leyte, and herself a victim of typhoon Haiyan. She holds a doctorate degree in Education from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Germany. She was a teacher and dean of the graduate school in two educational institutions in Leyte. She is active in several people’s organizations in the Philippines and is chairperson of the Leyte Center for Development, an NGO doing extensive work with rural, clan/family and youth communities in the region particularly on conservation, waste management, coastal clean-up, anti-mining and recycling based income-generating-projects.
In September 2014, Dr. Bautista participated as a “global ambassador” of the Philippines at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.#