pilipino association of Workers and immigrants
To all our friends and family
please come and join us and bring items to
sell for our community garage sale
all proceeds will go to nafcon
typhoon relief effort
Saturday & Sunday
8am – 4pm
1426 Morril Ave
san jose ca 95132
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, Pacific Island Blood, a coalition of Bay Area Motorcycle Clubs will be hosting a donation drive at James Logan High School (1800 H. Street, Union City, CA 94587). The “rally” will be from 11am – 4pm. There will be food, merch tables, a raffle, as well as performances and martial arts demonstrations. PIB will be hosting a box drive, for which they will be accepting in-kind donations. Blankets, towels, canned foods, water, matches, candles, baby formula, powdered milk, and baby bottles are among the items requested for donation.
JLHS Filipino Heritage Studies and KAISAHAN will also be present to take monetary donations, 100% of which will be donated to NAFCON.
11/22 New York – Gabriela Presents Un-Natural Disasters: 5 Women’s Findings from an International Solidarity Mission in the Philippines.
Bay Area activists and talent come together for this pop-up talent showcase to benefit survivors of the typhoon in the hardest hit areas of the Philippines.
Featuring music performances by Native Elements and End The Suffering. Stand-up comic Kevin Camia. Special guest Freska Griarte of 99.7 NOW and Allan Manalo of Bindlestiff Studios.
Saturday November 23, 2013
1:00pm until 4:00pm
1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco State University
Sponsored by Chi Ro Omicron, Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center of San Mateo County, LBC, ABS-CBN and others.
Special thanks to Oscar Gonzales, Cindy Sacramento-Enriquez, Mary Nite, Andy V Galeon, Jeremy Jocson, Johnathan Ezekiel Winston Siu, Allan S. Manalo, Kevin Camia, Native Elements, Lorenzo BigLarr Santiago, Augustus Tagaro, and YOU!
110% of fund proceeds will be donated to NAFCON and material donations will be shipped via direct distribution to affected areas. $10 only!
Boba and the arts for a cause…
“Hope For Haiyan”
An Open Mic Fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan Victims
Hosted at Hiccups Tea House with Anakbayan Los Angeles, CSULB Pilipino American Coalition, Filipino Migrant Center and NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) folks!
10% of all purchases (food and drinks) will go straight to relief efforts aiding Typhoon Haiyan victims in the affected areas in the Philippines!
Come through! 7:30-9:30PM
If you can’t make it out, please make a donation to www.nafconusa.org to directly support relief efforts in the Philippines.
11/23 San Francisco – P.E.A.C.E. (Pilipinos for Education, Arts, Culture, & Empowerment) “REBUILD PHILIPPINES”
P.E.A.C.E. (Pilipinos for Education, Arts, Culture, & Empowerment) + NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) presents…
Next Saturday, November 23, 2013 | 12-5pm
City College of San Francisco: Student Union
50 Phelan Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112
This event hopes to bring the community together to build stronger bonds, empower our youth/young ones, inform ourselves a midst a media whirlwind and take care of our families across the ocean.
100% of the proceeds from this event will go directly to relief efforts on the ground to the affected communities in the Philippines.
GUEST SPEAKERS x LIVE PERFORMANCES by local hip-hop, r&b and spoken word artists. Local DJs, as well.
(Roster will announced on monday)
We’re encouraging everyone to bring some food to share-POTLUCK Style
This is a family friendly event. Activities for children 10 yrs and under during the event.
ENCOURAGE YOUR LOVED ONES TO COME & SUPPORT.
Artist Collective for Haiyan Relief
7:30pm in EST December 18
La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
74A East 4th Street, New York, New York 10003
La Mama e.t.c and Kinding Sindaw present Haiyan Relief
Featuring performances and Artwork auction to benefit the victims of Haiyan/Yolanda.
Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage
Maria Elena Anaya (Flamenco)
Saung Budaya Indonesian Dance group
10tecomai Yosakoi Dance project
(We will be updating the performers list constantly) Please keep checking.
All proceeds will go to NAFCONUSA #HaiyanRelief fund# nafconusa.org
for more info: email@example.com
11/20 New Jersey – Fundraiser for Typhoon Relief with Red Horse, San Miguel, Calamansi Cosmos, and Ube Cheesecake
We are all devastated by the news of the damage done by the typhoon in the Philippines. We will be donating 100% of sales from Red Horse and San Miguel Beers, our Calamansi Cosmo, and Ube Cheesecake from Blackbeard’s Dulceria. We will also be auctioning off a gift certificate for a 9 inch Ube Cheesecake.
Funds will be donated to http://nafconusa.org/
“In this state of calamity, there is an urgent call for support and assistance. In an effort to have a united and
concerted response, we encourage all supporters to coordinate with respective NAFCON chapters throughout the
United States to ensure that our actions are effective, sustainable and empowering of the local communities,
especially those that are the hardest hit, poorest and underserved.
At this time, NAFCON will assist in the direct transfer of MONETARY donations. Your donation will be sent
directly to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots
relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response
NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines.”
5:00pm until 1:00am in EST
140 Newark Ave, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
11/18 New Jersey – A fundraising event for the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines.
A fundraising event for the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Philippines. All proceeds will go to NAFCON who directly helps severe calamity victims.
Location: WPU, Student Center Cafe
7:00pm until 10:00pm in EST
11/20 Brooklyn – benefit show for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. Come show your support for the Filipino People ♥
This is a benefit show for the Typhoon Haiyan relief effort. Come show your support for the Filipino People ♥
100% of all proceeds will go to BALSA and Lingap GABRIELA, Philippines-based coalitions comprised of volunteer-led church organizations, schools, and disaster relief organizations that work with victims & survivors of calamity in the hardest hit areas by Typhoon Haiyan.
+ Caroline from Chairlift
+ DJ Juan Farrakhan
When: Wednesday, November 20th at 8PM
Where: 285 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
$7 in advance, $10 at the door
11/17 New York – New York University’s International Filipino Association presents Mr. Philippines 2013!
New York University’s International Filipino Association presents Mr. Philippines 2013!
**PROCEEDS from Mr. Philippines 2013 will benefit NAFCON USA’s Bayanihan Relief & Rehabilitation program. Learn more here: http://nafconusa.org/pro
This year, our theme is “Legacy” and we are looking for the timeless Filipino-American man who bridges his cultural roots with having a meaningful influence on the next generation of Filipino-Americans. Contestants are challenged to think about the dichotomy of the two identities and ask themselves: “What is my legacy?”
SUMPA NG KAWAYAN (THE BAMBOO CURSE) — Filipino poem (with translation) for the survivors of Yolanda
SUMPA NG KAWAYAN
Joi Barrios-Leblanc, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Women’s Desk
Matibay ang kawayan.
Iyan ang sumpa.
lumangoy at magpaanod
Pigilin ang hininga
at baka malanghap
ang bangkay na naaagnas.
Tiisin ang gutom ng sikmura
na kahit sa papuri,
ay hungkag na hungkag.
Kalimutan natin ang kasakiman
na sa kabundukan
at nagbabago sa daloy
ng hangin at dagat.
Kalimutan ang pangulo
na mainit ang ulo
at sa sariling pulong
walang pakundangang lumalabas.
Kalimutan ang ayuda
na higit na bumabagal,
sa ating paghihintay.
Yumuyuko at umiindayog
sa hangin ang kawayan.
Ngunit kami ay tao, tao lamang,
Balat at dugo, luha at buto.
Ipagpaumanhin ang galit
at pusong nagpupuyos.
Naghahanap kami ng katarungan
sa gitna ng dalamhati’t pagluluksa,
sa aming di matapos-tapos
na dalamhati’t pagluluksa.
THE BAMBOO CURSE
Resilience is the curse of the bamboo.
Suffer the storm,
swim through the floods.
Bear the stench of corpses
and the hunger
that does not go away
Forgett he greed
that levels mountains
and changes wind and seas.
Forget the president
who walks out,
Forget the aid
that crawls slower
as we wait.
The bamboo bends and sways
with the wind.
We are human, only human,
All flesh and tears and bone and blood.
Forgive us our anger
as we seek for justice
in our grief,
in our inconsolable grief.
 Nakabatayang tula na ito sa tekstong “Resilience is a Dirty Word” na sinulat ng dati kong estudyanteng si Soleil David.
 This poem was inspired by Soleil David’s piece “Resilience is a Dirty Word.”
Help Support Relief Efforts for Typhoon Haiyan
Please join the De Anza community in supporting the people of the Philippines who have been impacted by the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which hit and ravaged numerous provinces in the central Philippines on November 8. Haiyan’s 195 mph winds and huge storm surges killed thousands, displaced nearly 600,000 and affected 9.5 million people across the Philippines, according to the United Nations.
Nearly 4 million of those affected are thought to be children, according to international aid organization Save the Children. Officially, confirmed deaths stood at 2,357 on Thursday morning, Nov. 14, according to the Filipino government.
Make a Monetary Donation through NAFCON
The National Alliance for Fillipino Concerns (NAFCON) has provided an easy way to make a monetary donation online. Donate today.
For information about how the money will be distributed, read the Letter of Appeal from NAFCON Bayanihan Relief & Rehabilitation Program.
NAFCON has a well-respected track record in supporting disaster relief efforts since the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 and has been widely publicized as a top option for donations. NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members are active in 23 cities in the United States. Read about the relief efforts in Northern California.
Volunteer Opportunities on Campus
Also please consider volunteering time for much needed assistance. There will be upcoming events on campus in support of relief efforts. For more information about how to get involved, contact Associate Vice President of Instruction Rowena Tomaneng, a former volunteer with NAFCON USA, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408.864.8510.
Donate Support through NAFCON
San Jose – Know Your Roots Apparel Collaborates with NAFCON to Raise Funds for the Typhoon Relief Effort.
Check out the website at www.kyrapparel.com or click the image
ARTWORK by Elaine Villasper-Dizon
During the week of November 18 – 22, multiple school sites within the New Haven Unified School District, in Union City, will be holding a donation drive for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Spearheaded by the students of the Filipino Heritage Studies class at James Logan High School, the drive, entitled PROJECT HAIYAN, will culminate with a benefit event held on Friday, November 22 at Alvarado Elementary School from 7pm – 9pm.
The event will feature performances by local youth and artists, Filipino and mixed martial arts demonstrations, and updates about Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts. Merchandise and food will be sold with proceeds going towards NAFCON’s relief and rehabilitation efforts in the Philippines.
The event is free and open to all who wish to support the effort. Monetary donations will be accepted in exchange for admission. Filipino Advocates for Justice and PYC will be hosting a booth to take in-kind donations: non-perishable food, bottled water, towels, and blankets are among the list desired items.
Alvarado Elementary School is located at 31100 Fredi St., Union City, California 94587
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/173229059551816/
The community partners helping to host the event are KAISAHAN, PASE, and FAJ/PYC.
Please show your support and love for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Mix, mingle, and have a drink for a good cause!
Event: FBANC and NAFCON Typhoon Haiyan Relief Drive
Location: Drake Bar and Lounge, 508 4th St., San Francisco, CA 94107
Date: Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Time: 6-9PM pm
*FBANC has teamed up with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) (Terry Valen) to host a fundraiser for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. All donations will go to NAFCON, a volunteer-run Filipino-American alliance in 23 US cities. Since 2009, NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation program has responded to all major typhoons and other calamities that have hit the Philippines. 100% of the proceeds collected for relief go to those most affected and devastated, on the ground in the Philippines.
Well-known community leaders will be attending, including some as guest bartenders!
We look forward to seeing you there!
Queer and allies party to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. THIS Saturday, Nov 16th (10pm-2am).
WE LOVE THE PHILIPPINES AND WE KNOW YOU DO TOO. TOGETHER WE CAN LINK ARMS WITH THE SURVIVORS TO RE-BUILD, FIND HOPE AND EMPOWERMENT IN THE MIDST OF SEVERE DEVASTATION & GOVERNMENT NEGLECT. 100% OF OUR DONATIONS WILL REACH THE PEOPLE. #HaiyanRelief #TaskForceHaiyan #GABRIELAUSA
1924 Franklin Street (3rd Floor), Oakland
$5- 10+ Sliding Scale @ the door.
**PLEASE RSVP – Email or FB private message us if you are attending. You will need a special passcode to get into the building.**
Artwork, Photographs & Essays by Juan Alonso-Rodriguez, Seattle, WA – Contact: email@example.com
11/21 New York – Filipino American Museum Bayanihan Spirit to Raise Funds for Typhoon Relief Efforts
Please join us. Everyone is welcome!
Where: Corner of Powell and Post (Union Square)
Volunteers from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), a member of the broad formation “Bay Area Task Force Haiyan” invites you to a candle light vigil to honor the lives of our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who fell victim to Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda in the Philippines. This week vigils have taken place throughout the bay area.
We are humbled by the overwhelming support and sympathy we’ve received from every day people such as yourself. We would like to take this opportunity to gather together, mourn, pay our respects, and most importantly share how we can continue the long journey ahead and rebuild the lives and areas affected.
10,000 are feared dead in Leyte, and 300 more in Samar. We are still waiting for information from other provinces. Many remain missing, and it is estimated that 4 million people have been affected. We need to provide immediate relief for the families and individuals who have survived.
100% proceeds of the donation will go to the victims. For more information about NAFCON, please visit www.nafconusa.org. We will be collecting donation during the vigil.
Here is a glimpse of NAFCON at work, as we launch Task Force Haiyan.
Check out the facebook event page here > https://www.facebook.com/events/565684516842903/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
D.C. (area) – Taking the P*ss – Benefit for the Philippines
Marx Cafe has generously agreed to make this a benefit for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Proceeds of the bar will go to GABRIELA Washington, D.C., which has partnered with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) to accept online donations via nafconusa.org.
When: Friday, November 15, 2013
Time: 10:00 pm – 3:00 am
Where: Marx Cafe 3203 Mount Pleasant St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20010-2103
Rise Up! UCD Fil Am Typhoon Relief Efforts On November 8, the Philippines experienced the strongest storm ever to make landfall in history. With an estimated death toll of 10,000+ (in one province alone) and 10 million people directly affected by its path, Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan razed communities to the ground in Central Philippines, many of these towns, cities and provinces have yet to recover from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last month. In solidarity with the Filipino people, the UC Davis Filipino American community (or the Filamily, as we fondly call it) is coordinating a joint effort to raise money for the relief and rehabilitation of those directly affected by this tragedy.
A dollar goes a long way in the Philippines. All monetary donations will be sent through the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns or NAFCON, an organization that works closely with grassroots community organizations in the Philippines. Their Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation Program ensures that monetary donations go directly to the communities in need.
Our goal is currently at $1500 but we will continue to raise it to reflect the amount of support we receive. We shall also be sending our donations in increments to address both immediate and long-term needs. Everything will be documented through photos/videos and social media (follow the hashtag #UCDRiseUpPh).
We will also have a series of fundraising events in collaboration with other groups, so please keep an eye out!
This is a crucial time for our communities to come together to raise awareness of these natural disasters and mobilize relief efforts.
Your generous donations are very much appreciated!
Every penny counts
We are also accepting monetary and material donations at the Student Recruitment & Retention Center located in the Student Community Center.
Suggestions for material donations:
– Non-perishable food that DOES NOT require water, electricity or can openers.
– Basic medicine and first-aid kit supplies for surface wounds.- Bottled water. Currently, there is no drinkable water in affected areas.
– Candles and matches since there is no electricity. – Clothing
– Any other items that may be useful.
*This will be an ongoing effort so we will continue updating this gofundme and our social media pages.*
*This is a collaboration between Project: Bulosan, BRIDGE, FAHC, FILAH, Mga Kapatid, PASE, KPE and XPO.
API club at Tennyson High School in Hayward. They did a fundraiser with the money going to Gabriela USA/NAFCON. It’s actually via Jaynee Ruiz’s instagram. She’s from babae/Gabriela USA, and she’s a teacher here at THS.
PUSO (Pilipinos at UCSF student organization) and VSA (vietnamese student organization) will be hosting a fundraiser next THURSDAY 11/21/13 to raise money for relief efforts that have been going on for Typhoon Haiyan (please follow the link below to order). ALL PROFITS will go to NAFCON (National alliance for filipino concerns). For more information about how NAFCON is helping and about their organization please follow the link: http://nafconusa.org/
Typhoon Haiyan is considered to be the worst calamity and natural disaster that Philippines has ever faced with speeds as high as 195 mph and gust speed up to 235 mph with around 10,000 people are feared to be dead or displaced. Families affected by the storm are in drastic need of basic supplies, medical supplies, food, and clean water. Thus, Our goal is to provide support and relief.
So please come out and support our cause! Any donations are welcome and will definitely make a difference!
WAYS TO HELP:
2. Attend and donate at our fundraiser event on THURSDAY HSW Lobby 11/21/13 at :
**********PLACE YOUR ORDER HERE**********************
WE ARE ACCEPTING ORDERS UNTIL MONDAY 11/18/13 at 9AM.
After filling out the survey, you can pick up your order for your BBQ pork skewer, vegetable lumpia, and/or meat lumpia and drop off your donation on Thursday 11/21/13.
We are asking for recommended donations but you are free to choose what ever you want to donate to the cause!
3. Donate supplies:
Thank you for your support and time. Your donations do make the difference to those out there in need.
Also if you have not heard about what is going currently in regards to the storm please follow the link: http://
In the last few months the world has seen the powerful and devastating destruction that earthquakes and typhoons caused much of the Philippines coastal areas. This effort is not just to only fundraise aid to the people of the P.I. but to also rally ourselves here in the Bay Area to causes abroad and at home. We must remember we are a part of a global community. Neither seperate or alone. But connected by life. Let us give art, support, and love to one another. Let’s pass it around.- DandiggityShowcasing words and songs from a variety of talent from all over the Bay Area.Jason Bayani (Proletariat Bronze/The ReWrite)
Lorenz Dumuk (The ReWrite)
Kristen Sajonas (The ReWrite)
Amy DabalosHosted by: Dandiggity & Ruby VeridianoSounds by DJ Sig-O (Affinity Sounds)
$10 at the door All Ages
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Doors at 7:30pm. Show promptly at 8:30pm.
The Blackbird Tavern Annex
100% of the proceeds go to nafconusa.org
JASON BAYANI is a graduate of Saint Mary’s MFA program in Creative Writing. He is a Kundiman fellow and a veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene whose work has been published in Fourteen Hills, Muzzle Magazine, Mascara Review, the National Poetry Slam anthology, Rattapallax, Write Bloody’s classroom anthology–– Learn Then Burn, and other publications. As a member of 7 National Poetry Slam teams, he’s been a National Poetry Slam finalist and represented Oakland at the International World Poetry Slam. He is also one of the founding members of the Filipino American Spoken Word troupe, Proletariat Bronze, and has been an organizer for the Asian and Pacific Islander Poetry and Spoken Word Summit. His first book, “Amulet” was published in 2013 through Write Bloody Press and has garnered acclaim in literary magazines such as Zyzzyva and Glint. www.jasonbayani.com
RUBY VERIDIANO is a glamour girl off to change the world. A writer, speaker, and media personality, she was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in Sacramento, and has spent time in Italy, France, Atlanta, Oakland, and New York City, shaping her global perspective as an advocate and voice for Asian American women. Ruby is passionate about creating media that bridges entertainment with messages of positive social change, and is the founder of a writing empowerment program called “The Glamourbaby Diaries”.
Since 2002, Ruby has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, presenting her writings, lectures, workshops, and media projects at hundreds of venues including Cornell University, Columbia University, Morehouse College, the United Nations, De La Salle University Manila, and the American University of Paris, France, inspiring tomorrow’s leaders and visionaries. She has reached thousands of youth through her spoken word performance work with iLL-Literacy , an artist collective that she co-founded in 2002. Through her work with iLL-Literacy, she has shared the stage with the likes of Common, Mos Def, Goapele, and Saul Williams. Her movement to empower youth extends to her work with non-profit organizations such as Youthspeaks, Urban Word, LitWorld, and Book-In-A-Day. In 2008, she became a VJ for international music channel, MYX TV North America. In the same year, she published her first book, Miss Universe.
In 2010, she made it as a Top 3 Finalist for Alicia Keys’ head blogger search for her women’s empowerment website venture, “I Am A Superwoman” (IAAS.COM). During this time, Ruby was flown out to London to meet with Alicia Keys and attend the Black Ball, upon which she interviewed celebrities such as Christian Louboutin, Swizz Beatz, and Alicia Keys on the red carpet.
In 2011, she became the first LitCorps Ambassador for Global Literacy Organization LitWorld, where she spearheaded LitWorld’s girls literacy empowerment program in her home country of the Philippines. During the same year, she founded Meeting of the Minds, an initiative to connect the global youth Filipino diaspora to galvanize social change.
Currently, Ruby travels the University circuit to tour her program, Glamourbaby Diaries, and serves as a TV Host/Correspondent for global Filipino channel ABS-CBN.
11/16 Los Angeles – Pray for the Philippines – A Benefit Event for those Affected by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan
11/20 Daly City – Typhoon Relief Call for Action! Hosted by the Northern San Mateo County Taskforce Haiyan
Hello Northern San Mateo County community members,
Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, ravaged central Philippines this past weekend. More than 10,000 people in Leyte alone are estimated dead and thousands more elsewhere are missing. Countless are homeless and hungry throughout the archipelago and are in dire need of water, sanitation, food, and safe shelter.
On Wednesday, November 13th, Bay Area Taskforce Haiyan was launched by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) with different organizations to coordinate typhoon relief efforts in the Bay Area.
As part of this bigger network, we invite organizations and individuals to join the Northern San Mateo County Taskforce Haiyan with LAYA Migrant Youth for Change and Action, Migrante-San Mateo Organizing Committee, Westmoor High School, and NAFCON.
At this event we will discuss what Taskforce Haiyan is all about, how you or your organization can get involved in the relief efforts, and how we can further gather support from the larger community.
Event is open to all groups and individuals — teachers, youth, students, professionals, workers, church groups, unions, or any concerned resident of Northern San Mateo County, Filipino or Non-Filipino alike!
Hope to see you there!
Haiyan Relief Fundraiser
Friday, November 15, 2013
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Tapsilog Bistro, 819 W. Hamilton Ave., Campbell, CA 95008
*Light Appetizers hosted by the Jaurigue Law Group
Donations will be combined for the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief
JLG will donate an additional $10 for every donation received.
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a mass-based women’s organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect the Filipino diaspora to the women’s struggle in the Philippines. We are women of Philippine descent, including those who are migrants, immigrants and US-born. We recognize Filipino women of mixed heritage and adoptees. FiRE is a LGBTIQ-(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) friendly organization that is inclusive of transgender people of Philippine descent. For more information, please visit http://www.firenyc.org.
We are a proud member organization of GABRIELA-USA that is the first overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines. To learn more, please go to http://www.gabusa.org
FiRE is a member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. To learn more about BAYAN, please visit http://bayanusa.org/
We, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) & PSU Kaibigan Alumni Advisory Board, are keeping our hearts and minds with the Filipino people who are experiencing one of the world’s strongest and most devastating typhoons this year. In times of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, Filipinos in Portland and all over the world are all thinking of our loved ones and the millions who will be displaced because of the calamity.
Currently, the Philippines is bracing itself for Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Typhoon Yolanda), a category 5 super typhoon, which is expected to displace more than 25 million Filipinos. Families are packing up anything they can and are making their way to safety. The storm is expected to make landfall over Samar-Leyte area today (11/08/13) and continue until early tomorrow morning. It is expected to go through parts of the Philippines including Leyte, Northern Cebu, Capiz, and Semirara Island. Winds are expected to reach up to 195 mph, gusts of 235 mph and a diameter of 1,150 miles as it moves west over the country. This is one of the highest wind speeds ever recorded in a storm in world history.
This storm will not only affect the Philippines, but also Filipinos across the world as many OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who still have families back home are watching from afar. Even right here in Portland, community members are still trying to contact family and friends back home to check on their safety.
In this state of calamity, there is an urgent call for your support and assistance. Our fellow Filipinos need your prayers and your monetary donations. In the past month, we have been working with grassroots organizations in the parts of the Philippines that will be most impacted. Your donation will be sent directly to the poor and underserved who need our donations the most through organizations such as Visayas Primary Health Care Services (VPHCS), our partner organization on the ground in the Visayan region. We hope that you can join us in supporting our kababayans back home as they go through one of the toughest storms to hit the Philippines. Donations can be made through National Alliance for Filipino Concern’s (NAFCON) Paypal account at http://tinyurl.com/
It is as simple as skipping your morning coffee – that same amount can feed a family of four for at least three days in the Philippines.
Please contact Rossella De Leon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-915-7283 for any questions regarding this relief effort or ways to collaborate.
*** Please let us know by posting on this page if/once you make a donation through the link provided so that we can keep track of the total amount donated from Portland.
Join us as we raise funds for relief efforts in the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan. All proceeds will to go to NAFCON USA where 100% of funds raised will go directly to relief to where it is needed most. NAFCON USA will assist in the direct transfer of monetary donations to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines.
Come and share words and song on the mic. Share your thoughts, your grief, your anger, your inspiration, and your drive to rise up. In the midst of disaster, let’s emerge together in solidarity.
For more information or to sign up on the open mic ahead of time, please contact Megumi Yoshida.
Kilusan Pilipino at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA
If you are interested in donating to the Typhoon Haiyan relief fund, Kilusan Pilipino has a table outside of the DeRosa University Center. We will be here everyday from 11-2pm until December 5. Please stop by and show your support, we accept cash and card. every little bit counts! ❤️
Pictured below left to right Kevin Hernando, Rebecca Liu, Val Taylor, and Maurelle Bagus and photo credit goes to Leah Cruz
San Mateo Medical Center through Ms. Lorda Rumbaua of the Department of Resource Management has endorsed NAFCON
San Mateo Medical Center through Ms. Lorda Rumbaua of the Department of Resource Management has endorsed NAFCON and Careway Health Institute to all its staff for all monetary donations.
Union City – Sari Sari Underground taking in monetary donations to give to NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort
Make sure to check out Sari Sari Underground inside Island Pacific in Union City, they are taking in monetary donations to give to NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort
Sari Sari Underground
4122 Dyer Street
Union City, Ca 94560
November 13, 2013
Contact: Terrence Valen, 415-203-0696
Bay Area Community and Civic Leaders Launch
TASKFORCE HAIYAN to Coordinate Urgent Disaster Relief
San Francisco Supervisors John Avalos and Jane Kim to Co-Chair Collaborative Grassroots Response
San Francisco — In response to the growing and urgent need to step up relief efforts for the victims of
Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, civic leaders, community organizations, businesses, and faith groups
from throughout the Bay Area launch Taskforce Haiyan, to coordinate people-to-people grassroots
response to what is being touted as one of the strongest typhoons in recorded history. This local launch
is part of a US-wide effort led by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) to coordinate and
strengthen community-based relief efforts across the U.S.
WHO: Supervisors John Avalos and Jane Kim
Bay Area Families of Typhoon Haiyan Victims
Filipino and Faith-based Civic Leaders
WHAT: Launch of Bay Area Taskforce Haiyan
WHEN: Wednesday, November 13
TIME: 10:00 am
WHERE: Bayanihan Community Center: 1010 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Typhoon Haiyan, slammed through the Philippines when it made landfall on November 7, 2013. The
destruction caused by the storm quickly claimed over 10,000 lives in one city alone- Tacloban City in
the province of Leyte, Eastern Visayas. Many Bay Area families with families in affected areas are still
waiting to confirm whether their loved ones have survived.
NAFCON, a volunteer-run Filipino-American alliance in 23 US cities, calls on organizations, communities,
and residents of the Bay Area to join in the grassroots relief efforts. Since 2009, NAFCON’s Bayanihan
Relief and Rehabilitation program has responded to all major typhoons and other calamities that have hit
the Philippines. 100% of the proceeds collected for relief go to those most affected and devastated, on
the ground in the Philippines.
“These last few days have been very difficult for Filipino-Americans with loved ones back home. Haiyan is
the fourth major typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, and by far the most destructive. The devastation
of poverty-stricken communities is simply beyond our collective imagination,” states Terry Valen,
NAFCON President. “There is a need to increase our efforts. That’s why we are happy to join hands with
community, labor, business, and church groups across the Bay Area and the nation to form Taskforce
Haiyan, to increase and better coordinate the aid and relief to the most devastated areas in the country.”
Anakbayan Seattle extends our deepest gratitude to everyone that supported us yesterday as we sang and played music in the heart of downtown Seattle’s Westlake Center in effort to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines. Without your help, we would not have been able to raise nearly *$500 for the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns’ (NAFCON) Bayanihan Relief & Rehabilitation Program.
It was inspiring and uplifting to have been able to turn this idea around so quickly in less than 24 hours and mobilize the large group we had. A big thank you to the organizations of Filipino American Student Association of the University of Washington (UW FASA), the Pacific Islands Club of the University of Washington, and Pinay sa Seattle for joining the efforts.
Please stay tuned for local upcoming relief effort events and opportunities in Seattle or donate now at NAFCON USA. To learn more you can visit the website Disaster by Design | How the Natural Disasters in the Philippines are Worsened.
Our Chairperson, Jenilee Policarpio, also recorded a small message to share with the community.
Please join Anakbayan Seattle in coming together as a community to send love and healing to typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda survivors in the Philippines.
***NOVEMBER 13, 2013 AT 6:00PM @ RED SQUARE***
If you are not able to physically be at the vigil, please continue to keep the Philippines in your hearts as this will be a continuous relief process.
***For more information about why these natural disasters occur/how the Philippine government contributes
to worsening the immense damage the Philippines
has to endure please visit —> http://
***If you are interested in donating to fund disaster relief in the Philippines please visit: http://nafconusa.org/
***100% OF ALL FUNDS THAT ARE DONATED THROUGH NAFCON WILL GO TO DISASTER RELIEF***
Please share this event!
November 13th, 2013 is a call for International Solidarity with the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Please join us in a candlelight vigil honoring the lives lost and the people struggling to survive in wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan.
Meet up at Malcolm X Plaza at 5:30pm. The vigil will being promptly at 5:45.
Folks will be collecting donations to send to NAFCON: www.nafconusa.org
Let us gather as a community in solidarity. ISULONG!
San Mateo – Careway Health Institute Taking in Monetary Donations for the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief effort
San Mateo – Careway Health Institute Taking in Monetary Donations for the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief effort
Please Contact Rico Foz
1528 South El Camino Real, Suite 308, San Mateo, CA 94402
(650) 627-4685 or email@example.com
Home Elements Supply & Consulting 200 Serra Way Ste #34 Milpitas, CA 95035
Jocelyn Deona de Leon
monetary donations can be made now through 11/16 and continue from 12/3 to 12/14. call or visit for most current operating hours.
Proud to announce that proceeds of this event will go to NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief campaign to help victims of Philippine Calamities. See http://nafconusa.org/ for more info
You can check out their facebook event page here https://www.facebook.com/events/1379367855641676/?source=1
With the lack of government investment into Visayan livelihood, built environment and safety protocols, impoverished Filipino women have had to subsist at an atrocious level of poverty. Filipino women, at the helm of family structures, were not able to work and find the money to evacuate their families into safety or save up for emergencies such as these.
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and Fellowship for Filipino Migrants had a fundraiser at Allegretti’s Pizzaria. It was a successful event and we thank the owner (a family of ours) for opening their doors to have the venue at their restaurant. They also donated the food and drinks for the fundraising! Thanks to everyone who came and donated! And we are still accepting donations!
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD
For folks in Chicago area who wants to donate:
Address cheques to: Fellowship for Filipino Migrants or FFM
Drop off cash/cheques at: Allegretti’s Pizzeria, 933 E. Oakton St. Des Plaines
Mail your cheques to: 113 Washington Rd. Glenview, IL 60025
For material donations please contact:
For online donations go to: http://tinyurl.com/
Tselogs in Daly City Supports NAFCON Relief Efforts
NAFCON thanks Tselogs for supporting our relief efforts for typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines!
The images of the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan are heart wrenching. They are the gaping wounds of a Philippines that has been beaten again and again by natural and not-so-natural disasters. This time the world cannot turn away. It cannot deny the suffering of the Filipino people. We are moved and compelled to open our hearts and give, but time and time again we are faced with the dilemma of which organizations or groups to support.
For me, the answer to that question is clear. I will not give my money to giant NGOs with huge overhead costs, other foreign organizations, or militaries that swoop in on these communities for a week or a month or two and then leave. When I look at images on my computer screen or my television, my eyes focus and linger on the faces of people who are hungry, homeless, and hurt because of these calamities. I do not see the faces of transnational organizations or their CEOs.
My heart is with the people. I would like my money to go there aswell. This is why I will give my time, energy, and financial support to organizations like NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns) in the US that donates to BALSA (Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan- Peoples Cooperation for the People) in the Philippines. These relief efforts are led and conducted by all volunteer grass roots and community organizations–organizations that are committed not only to the immediate needsof the people for relief, but the much more difficult task of rebuilding,rehabilitating, and restoring these communities with dignity and compassion. These are peoples organizations thatare built by the people in the communities in which they live. They know the conditions, the struggles, and the aspirations of people in these communities because they are therewith them.
Participating in the International Solidarity Mission in Mindanao this summer, I was surprised to see so many people in communities devastated by Typhoon Pablo still living in tents or crumblingstructures with only a piece of tarpaulin to protect them from the elementseight months after the typhoon. It was shocking to see these tents and piecesof tarp emblazoned with the names of international relief organizations likethe Red Cross and UNICEF. It washard to accept that with the millions of dollars donated by people all over theworld, that these organizations along with many other transnational NGOs wereonly able to erect tent cities and distribute plastic coverings for homes andcalled it “relief.” They are no longer there in these communities. They have wiped their hands clean. They believe they have done their jobs. Hand in hand with the broken-ness of the Philippine government’s ability to respond to the needs of the people, these organizations failed to serve the people ofthe Philippines.
Thankfully, I was able to witness peoples organizations in action. I saw their rebuilding efforts in parts of Mindanao devastated by Typhoon Pablo.Their efforts were conducted quietly and humbly; they were ongoing eight months after the disaster. They were there for the long haul. One afternoon I was able to visit an evacuation center where people sought shelter because of militarization of their villages. The center was buzzing with activity as volunteers from peoples organizations were hard at work. I did not have to stay long to see the comprehensiveness of their work–from the cooking crew to the medical team to the psychosocial team for the children. The volunteers were tireless in their efforts to not only meet the immediate needs of the people,but to also find a way for them to return to their homes and live their lives peacefully once again.
These peoples organizations know that every child, woman, and man deserves to be fed, housed, and given medical care as soon as possible. But the difference is that they also know that the relief work only feeds, houses, and treats a person for that day or a few weeks. Their work cannot and will not stop there. They work for rehabilitation and rebuilding of communities. They will take a hammer and nails and wood to create new homes, hospitals, and schools, but they will also work at building a better system–one that responds to the needs of the people, one that fights for environmental justice, one that brings hope and courage for people to fight for what they need and deserve in the face of injustice.
Our people deserve more than pieces of tarp emblazoned with the names of international relief organizations or tent cities that are supposed to replace sturdy, livable homes. They deserve more than spoiled rice after it was withheld from them by the Philippine military. They deserve more than empty promises and poor governance.
And you–people from all over the globe with big hearts who donated for a whatever reason–maybe you have family members in Tacloban or you simply turned on the television and were moved by the images you saw, you deserve more than that, too. You deserve to know that the support you offer will be delivered to the people you so care for. You deserve to know that you have not only given someone a chance to fill their bellies with a healthy meal and sleep under a roof, but in supporting peoples organizations, you have also given people a chance to participate in the (re)building of a better, brighter community and world and the hope that they may thrive again.
Donate to support Typhoon Haiyan victims at http://nafconusa.org and support peoples organizations working for typhoon relief!
Written by Theresa De Leon Jaranilla – Chairperson for Anakbayan Los Angeles
Anakbayan USA is helping to fundraise for NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort.
Link to donate http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort
Also check out their website, beautifully designed http://relief.anakbayan.net/
Come join Anakbayan Silicon Valley (ABSV) as we commemorate the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) this Wednesday, which has been designated as the International Day of Solidarity for Victims of Typhoon Yolanda. It was possibly the strongest storm to ever make landfall, and the estimated death count to date is over 12,000, with over 4 million families affected.
The event will take place in front of MLK Library on the corner of E San Fernando St. and 4th St. in downtown San Jose, right by City Hall and San Jose State University campus.
We will have speakers and cultural performances, and will be fundraising during the event as well. 100% of funds donated will course through the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns‘s Bayanihan Relief efforts. For more information, please visit http://nafconusa.org/. If you are unable to attend, but would still like to donate, please visit http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort.
ABSV is a comprehensive youth organization that seeks to unite all youth in the struggle for genuine social change and liberation of the Philippines. By educating, organizing, and mobilizing the youth in Silicon Valley, ABSV fights for the rights of Filipinos in America and advances the Philippine struggle for national democracy. ABSV is a member organization of NAFCON.
Anakbayan stands in solidarity with those affected by the typhoon. We also realize that our work does not stop with relief efforts alone. While natural disasters are inevitable for the Philippines, systemic corruption in Philippine politics has exacerbated the effects of natural disasters. We believe that in addition to raising much-needed funds for our kababayan back home, we must also link arms and fight against such injustice. For more information, please visit http://
Also check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/219523028225100/?source=1
Taskforce Haiyan Northeast
Light a Candle with Us and Uphold the Bayanihan Spirit
When: Wednesday, November 13
Where: Bayanihan Community Center
40-21 69th Street
Woodside, NY 11377
You can donate online at nafconusa.org (click Help Victims of Philippine Calamities Donate button), and also donate by cash or check. Please make check payable to “NAFCON” and write “5K Run for Relief” in the memo.
For any questions or comments, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you so much for your support!
One of the biggest hip hop artists this year tweeted: “Over 10,000 people died as a result of the typhoon in the Philippians… If you want to help those affected go to nafconusa.org”. He then added later, “*Philippines…Points finger at auto correct and 6th grade teacher.”
NAFCON SoCal held a press conference for their fundraising efforts for the Typhoon Haiyan victims with major news stations – ABS-CBN, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, KCAL, KTLA, LA Times, and Press Telegram.
Please encourage your friends and family to donate to NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief at http://nafconusa.org/
Beautiful and kind hearted San Francisco tourists, visitors, employees and residents reaching out to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and donated to Nafcon Us.
Tomorrow, Monday November 11, a group of us will be at Powell and Market 11:30am until 3pm.
We will be singing Filipino songs and sharing the current situation. If you or someone you know will be in the area please feel free to stop by and donate. A dollar goes a long way! www.nafconusa.org
PAWIS – Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants, ABSV – Anakabyan Silicon Valley and PASU – Pilipino American Student Union posted up in front of the new Island Pacific in San Jose to outreach and raise funds for the NAFCON’s Bayanihan Relief Effort. We were able to take in cash donations and talk to people about the Bayanihan Relief Effort and how 100% of the donations will go to a trusted partner organizations in the Philippines.
PAWIS – Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants – http://www.pawissv.wordpress.com
ABSV – Anakbayan Silicon Valley – http://www.anakbayansv.com
PASU – Pilipino American Student Union – http://pasu.stanford.edu
Please donate to the NAFCON Bayanihan Relief Effort at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort
For Immediate Release
November 8, 2013
Contact: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President
NAFCON Ramps Up Relief Campaign as Super Typhoon Yolanda Ravages Central Philippines
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is appealing for increased donations for its Bayanihan Relief and Rehabilitation Campaign to assist communities in the Philippines affected by super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name “Haiyan”). On November 8th, one of the strongest typhoons in recent history pounded over provinces in the central part of the Philippines resulting in massive devastation of crops and homes and loss of electricity and communication lines. Around 10 million people who live in the central Philippine islands were most at risk of a direct hit of the super typhoon. Yolanda also lashed communities in Cebu and Bohol, two cities that have yet to recover from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last month.
“I was just in the Philippines this summer when another storm hit and caused a lot of damage and I’m really not sure if my family was prepared for something even stronger and more destructive. We are hoping that they are okay, but we haven’t heard from them since electricity and phone posts were toppled by typhoon winds and powerful stormwater surges,” says Julian Jaravata of Anakbayan Silicon Valley, member organization of NAFCON. Julian has relatives in Romblon, one of the islands in central Philippines hit by super typhoon Yolanda.
NAFCON is collecting monetary donations, ensuring the fastest way of getting aid to the Philippines for what is needed most. Donations can be made through NAFCON’s Paypal account at http://tinyurl.com/bayanihanreliefeffort. Checks can be made payable to “St. George Fontana,” and on the memo line, write: “NAFCON Bayanihan Relief” to clearly allocate it for this purpose.
NAFCON Bayanihan Disaster Relief Regional Coordinators can collect your donations or mail it to our local nonprofit partner, c/o Naida Castro at 17895 San Bernardino Avenue, Fontana, CA 92335-6155. Please, include your return address with your donation. For qualifying tax- deductible donations, please, email email@example.com for the necessary documentation. “Every year, NAFCON stays alert and ready to respond, knowing that calamities frequently threaten the livelihood of our kababayans (countrymen). The alliance knows overseas community support is important to relief efforts due to the Philippine government’s consistent inability to effectively assist victims and its culpability in contributing to the environmental injustices plaguing our country,” said Terrence Valen, NAFCON President.
For more information on regional collection centers and fundraising activities in your area, please contact NAFCON Bayanihan Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation regional coordinators nearest you or go to our website at www.nafconusa.org.
Northwest: Freedom Siyam; firstname.lastname@example.org; (206) 659–1896
Northeast: Michelle Saulon email@example.com (650) 808-5043
Midwest: Nerissa Allegretti firstname.lastname@example.org (224) 381-6888
Norcal: Ryan Leano email@example.com (626) 534-4971
Socal: Alex Montances firstname.lastname@example.org (253) 381-7444
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 06, 2012
Contact: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President
Typhoon Pablo Survivors Deserve Relief, Not Repression
Filipinos Demands Justice in response to recent killing of Cristina Morales Jose
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) demands for immediate investigation and subsequent prosecution of those responsible for the murder of Cristina Morales Jose, leader of a Typhoon Pablo survivors group Barug Katawhan, a councilor in her local town Baganga, and also a member of the progressive partylist Bayan Muna.
Jose was killed on March 4 in Davao Oriental, Philippines. According to human rights organization Karapatan in Southern Mindanao, she was killed by a motorcycle riding assassin as she was on her way home from a Barangay Council session.
According to Jose’s text message to fellow Barug Katawhan leaders, military and other local state forces threatened residents who joined the barricade that they will not be rationed food. The typhoon survivors were subjected to threat and intimidation by members of the Philippine Army. Before she was killed, Jose intended to travel to Davao City to file a complaint about the blacklisting of those who joined the protest and barricade of typhoon survivors.
“The Philippine government and its military is again the prime suspect in the gross violation of human rights. Typhoon Pablo survivors deserve compassion and support as they rebuild their livelihood not repression,” states NAFCON Midwest Coordinator Nerissa Allegretti, who visited Pablo-stricken communities early this year. “The demands of Barug Katawhan are legitimate. They have the right to food, shelter, and humanitarian aid. We condemn the repression of the typhoon survivors as they fight for these basic rights.”
In January, Jose was among those who exposed the food blockade and militarization of relief efforts by members of the Philippine Army in her town. In February, she joined more than 4,000 typhoon survivors in a 3-day barricade of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and demanded the release of 10,000 sacks of rice that was earlier promised to typhoon survivors. DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman threatened to press legal charges against leaders of various organizations involved in the barricade.
Since Typhoon Pablo hit Mindanao in December last year, NAFCON has coordinated relief in the United States to support our fellow sisters and brothers in Pablo-ravaged areas, raising relief donations and educating our local communities.
“We are not only disgusted by the Philippine government’s ineptness in preparing for these disasters and failure to distribute much-needed relief goods to affected communities. We are equally outraged that this spate of extra-judicial killings has intensified and directed not only towards the typhoon survivors but also progressive Party List members who exposed the government’s criminal neglect of its own people,” declares NAFCON President Terrence Valen.
“The hard-earned money we send back home must not be used for human rights violations, especially against those who are merely defending their basic right to land and life. We call on the Philippine government to immediately provide much-needed relief to typhoon survivors, pull out the military forces from the affected communities and stop large-scale mining by foreign and large corporations which aggravates the effects of environmental disasters,” ends Valen.###
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017
Reference: AV David, NAFCON Secretary General, email@example.com, 650-491-4561
U.S. Filipinos to Duterte: It is your duty to protect Filipinos abroad!
As it continues to organize the Filipino community to combat Trump’s racist and inhumane policies on Muslims, refugees, and immigrants, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) denounces Duterte’s statement that he would “not lift a finger” to help Filipinos deported from the US by the Trump administration. NAFCON demands that Duterte follow through on the proposal for the Philippines to welcome Muslim refugees, and that the Philippine government justly support its Filipino citizens abroad.
“We would like to remind President Duterte that Filipino immigrants abroad, regardless of immigration status, must be served by the Philippine government. He himself has said before that he plans to improve the Philippines so that leaving the country would be a choice, and not a need for survival. He knows full well that Filipinos are forced to leave because of unemployment and poverty,” says AV David, NAFCON Secretary General.
Over the past weekend, thousands across the United States took it to dozens of airports across the country to protest Trump’s executive order banning immigration from 7 predominantly Muslim countries and suspending the entry of refugees. Filipinos participated in these actions, standing in solidarity will the Muslim, immigrant, and refugee communities. During his campaign, Trump included the Philippines in his “terrorist” nation list and even called Filipinos “animals”, so it would be no surprise if he also banned immigration from the Philippines.
“While we welcome Duterte’s pronouncements that he will consider offering sanctuary to refugees affected by Trump’s Muslim ban, we challenge him to see the same humanity in Filipinos abroad. Many are already sharing heightened experiences of racial discrimination, fear of deportation, and lack of support,” continues David. Out of the over 4 million Filipinos the US, 1 million are undocumented and Philippine officials in Washington DC recently reported that more than 300,000 could be facing deportation due to Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.
NAFCON has long called for Consulates in the US to provide free legal services and “Know Your Rights” trainings to the Filipino community as vital resources. The group also scores the Philippine government for failing to stop the execution of Jakatia Pawa, a Filipina domestic helper in Kuwait, last week.
Michael Tayag of Migrante Northern California also draws connection to Duterte’s strong pronouncements criticizing the unequal relations between the Philippines and the United States, as exemplified in his latest tirade stating that the Mamasapano fiasco that killed 67 Filipinos is CIA operation and sending notice to the US military not to build permanent weapon depot in the Philippines. “He knows that US big businesses and the US government have exacerbated the conditions that push Filipinos abroad in the first place. Rather than turning away Filipinos who have been victimized by these unequal relations that Duterte himself has called out in the past, he should fulfill his promises to assert Philippine national sovereignty and defend Filipino citizens abroad,” says Tayag.
“The Philippine government must provide timely and sufficient services to Filipinos abroad. Ultimately, it must create conditions in the Philippines, such as ending contractualization and creating industries, to ensure that Filipinos can find work domestically and would not need to leave the country to feed their families,” ends David.
January 5, 2017
For Immediate Release
Reference: AV David, NAFCON Alliance Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAFCON Calls for Donations for Typhoon Nina Victims
This past Christmas, Typhoon Nina (Nock-Ten) hit the central eastern Philippines, affecting over 400,000 families or 2 million people in four regions of the country. Three people have been reported dead and 21 are missing. More than 240,000 houses were damaged while the estimated damage to agriculture was $2.4M and to infrastructure $20.6M. Several provinces and towns were declared under state of calamity.
NAFCON appeals to our community here in the U.S. for support for Typhoon Nina victims whose holiday meant evacuation and loss of livelihood and homes as their communities were ravaged by typhoon. We are collecting cash donations only (not in-kind) as this has been the fastest and most efficient way to send our support.
Our local partner organization Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) is on the ground conducting a 3-month emergency assistance project. Immediate needs identified include food and shelter materials. Every dollar would go a long way to help those in need. $62 equates to a relief pack for one family, which includes the following:
- 25 kgs rice
- 1 kg mung beans
- 1.5 kg dried fish
- 12 tins sardines
- 2 liters cooking oil
- 1 sleeping mat
- 1 blanket
- 1 hygiene kit
- 1 water container
- 5 meters plastic sheet
For the month of January, NAFCON’s Bayanihan Disaster Relief funds will be allocated for Nina victims. Monetary donations can be made online or by sending a check. To donate and for more information, visit http://nafconusa.org/typhoon-relief-info/. Please feel free to contact NAFCON at email@example.com.
- CDRC Report (As of Jan 2, 2017)
- CDRC Appeal for Support for Nina Victims
- CDRC Budget for Emergency Assistance for 13,618 Families
December 19, 2016
For Immediate Release
Reference: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President, firstname.lastname@example.orgOn IMD 2016, NAFCON Supports Migrante and Grassroots Movement of Migrants, Readies Filipinos in the US for impacts of Trump Administration in 2017 and beyond
On International Migrants Day 2016, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) vows to continue the struggle to protect and advance the rights and welfare of Filipinos across the U.S., alongside all peoples who have continued to struggle this year but feel increasingly at risk from an incoming Trump administration.
The close to 1 million undocumented Filipinos and 12 million undocumented immigrants from around the world in the U.S. were directly threatened this year by then presidential candidate Donald Trump who promised to deport them all and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as soon as he takes office. He also personally attacked women, Muslim, LGBTQ, black and people of color communities in his campaign, and this has already unmasked the sexism, racism, Islamophobia and homophobia in this country, leaving our communities increasingly polarized, while he mobilized millions of voters dissatisfied with the worsening economic situation to target and scapegoat these communities and elect him as president. Unfortunately, both here in the U.S. and around the world, Trump will only exacerbate these problems, and we must ready ourselves for the challenge ahead. NAFCON vows to continue to stand firm with grassroots movements for change in the U.S. and will mobilize all of its resources and strength to defend our community and build grassroots power to turn the tide on this “right turn” in U.S. politics.
As exploitation, forced migration, and wars of aggression increasingly rage on all over the world, particularly in Syria and across the Middle East, the displacement of migrants and the current refugee crisis is at a critical stage. NAFCON, together with the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), participated in a September UN Forum in New York on the Massive Movement of Migrants and Refugees, which is aiming for a 2018 global compact for “safe, orderly and regular migration.” IMA has stated that, “While such will answer some concerns of migrants, it will not resolve the larger economic, political and social issues of migration. It may even be used to further restrict borders and legitimize the criminalization of undocumented migrants.” Both internationally and here in the U.S., we can expect that both the UN and Trump’s policies on migrants and refugees will continue to expose them to scapegoating, discrimination, harsh enforcement measures, and continued exploitation. But through grassroots organizing and mobilization with IMA, we can build the international movement of migrants and refugees to offer more concrete and lasting solutions to this mounting crisis.
NAFCON also congratulates the international grassroots organization of Migrante on its 20th anniversary this December 18th. With almost 10 overseas chapters and affiliates of Migrante in the U.S., overseas Filipinos are bonding together to tackle the issues of forced migration, wage theft, trafficking, discrimination, and exploitation faced by Filipino migrant workers here and across the globe. On Migrante’s 20th anniversary, NAFCON stands together with Migrante International chapters all over the world to demand that the ongoing Peace Talks address the root causes of forced migration and end the bankrupt Labor Export Policy of the Philippines.
NAFCON has waged powerful campaigns in 2016 to support peace and development in our homeland, the rights and welfare of our kababayans (fellow Filipinos) in the U.S., and the struggles for justice of indigenous, immigrant, people of color, and working class communities. With our ongoing relief, rehabilitation, and development programs promoting Environmental Justice for the Philippines, we have engaged in solidarity, relief, and medical missions and successfully completed and documented one of our first water systems in the Talaingod region of Mindanao. We have continued to wage campaigns in support of trafficking and wage theft victims across the country, helping them to organize and advocate for justice, adjust their status, reunite with their families, and recover millions of dollars in unpaid wages. From supporting both the Lakbay Lumad Tour across the US and Gabriela’s powerful mobilization to stop the “Mail Order Family” NBC show, NAFCON connected the struggles of our kababayan in the Philippines and in the US to the struggles of indigenous people like the Sioux Tribe at Standing Rock, and immigrant and black communities across the country against mass incarceration, deportation, and police racism, violence, and killings. We also engaged Filipinos in the US to participate in the May 2016 Philippine elections and contribute to the Migrants’ Agenda, and we continue to mobilize them through the Kababayan4Change platform for true justice and lasting change in the Philippines. We will continue to build our grassroots power through waging even more powerful campaigns in the years ahead, with the over 4 million Filipinos in the U.S. and in solidarity with all struggling peoples thoughout the United States.
In 2017, we call on all our kababayans to join us, as we support grassroots organizing and build NAFCON into an even more powerful alliance. We are currently launching educational forums, and we will immediately share resources from our successful work across 23 different cities such as “Know Your Rights” information for all immigrants and workers. Join us in mobilizations across the country on inauguration day, January 20th to raise the calls and demands from Filipino migrant, workers’ rights, and other progressive groups. We will defend our communities and advance our rights and welfare in this country, in the Philippines, and around the world no matter who is in office, and we know that when we work together and stay grounded in our communities, we will find the solutions and build the power we all need. On this 2016 International Migrants Day, we recommit ourselves to building the grassroots movement of migrants, refugees and people’s struggles with our kababayans and with all people demanding and fighting for change, progress and peace, in the Philippines, US, and around the world.
Attached: Photos from various International Migrants Day gatherings in cities across the US
For Immediate Release
November 19, 2016
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, email@example.com
NAFCON Condemns the Burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) joins our kababayan (fellow Filipinos) worldwide in condemning the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery). The rushed, secretive burial of Marcos is a betrayal of justice for the tens of thousands of Filipinos who fell victim to the brutal dictatorship and the millions who fought courageously for Marcos’ ouster.
There is no justification for allowing Marcos to be honored as a hero. Marcos destroyed the Philippine economy, plundered an estimated $10 billion from the nation’s coffers, instituted the Labor Export Policy as a stop-gap mechanism for appeasing widespread unemployment, and perpetrated wide-scale torture, abductions, illegal detention, extrajudicial killings, and other grave violations of human rights against the Filipino people. The hero’s burial serves to erase this history instead of honoring the memories of the people brutalized by the dictatorship.
NAFCON finds it equally reprehensible that no presidential administration since after the fall of the dictatorship–from that of Corazon Aquino up to and including current President Rodrigo Duterte–has ensured the indemnification of victims of the Marcos dictatorship nor compelled the Marcos family to return the billions of dollars in wealth that they stole.
The legacy of the Marcos dictatorship has impacted the life of virtually every member of NAFCON. Our members include survivors of imprisonment and torture; people who fled the repression of the Marcos regime; and families forced by the Labor Export Policy to migrate abroad in search of work and a decent livelihood. Our members also include those who joined the People Power uprising and fought to end the dictatorship, as well as those who continue to work against the vestiges of the dictatorship.
NAFCON is a national alliance of more than 30 organizations in more than 20 cities across the United States that has been fighting for Filipinos here in the US and in our homeland on issues such as wage theft, labor trafficking, the displacement, militarization, and killing of indigenous communities like the Lumad in Mindanao, and for environmental justice and the victims of the intensifying typhoons. We see our work today as advancing the legacy of People Power to ensure that an undemocratic dictatorship NEVER emerges again and we make the changes we need to create a Philippines where Filipinos can live with dignity and justice in our homeland and wherever we choose to go. We stand with all peace-loving people to make sure that the Filipino People Power legacy is what is celebrated as heroic and that Marcos is not enshrined as a hero in our national history.
From the Philippines to North Dakota, Raise the People’s Struggles and Build International Solidarity!
NAFCON Statement on the 3rd Anniversary of Haiyan
November 14, 2016
November 8, 2016 marked the 3-year anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan. NAFCON draws a connection between the struggle of disaster victims and indigenous peoples in the Philippines and that of indigenous communities 7,000 miles away at Standing Rock, North Dakota. As Haiyan survivors continue to recover from the devastation of the Super Typhoon and demand appropriate aid from their government, and as the water protectors at Standing Rock stand their ground even in the face of militarized attacks, we must understand the root causes of these natural and manmade disasters and forge people’s solidarity for environmental justice and human rights.
The destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan was an inevitable ramification of the global climate crisis and a portent of more devastation yet to come if we do not address it. The combination of mining, deforestation, and constantly eroded topsoil lead to poorly functioning watersheds and destroy the natural environmental barriers that would otherwise offset the destruction caused by calamities like Haiyan. The largest resource extraction companies in the Philippines, most of which are owned by foreign corporations, are allowed by the Philippine government to operate largely without restrictions. They are the main contributors to the conditions that exacerbated the effects of Haiyan, as well as the increasing severity, frequency, and length of tropical storms through global and ocean warming. Three years after the typhoon, several hundred thousand survivors who lost their lives, homes, and livelihoods have yet to receive aid, and only 1% of targeted permanent shelters for victims have been built. In response, the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan have formed the powerful grassroots network known as People’s Surge to demand accountability for the government’s neglect, lack of disaster preparedness, and inadequate regulation of extractive industries.
Impacts of foreign plunder of land have also long been felt by indigenous and Moro (Muslim) communities in the Philippines. Militarization brought by business and government “development” interests displaces and threatens the livelihoods of these national minorities. They recently launched an alliance called Sandugo (“blood compact” in Filipino) to support one another in their quest for self-determination. They vow to resist corporate greed, local fascism and foreign domination. Just on October 19th, local police led a violent dispersal of Sandugo protesters at the US Embassy in Manila as the national minority groups expressed support for Philippine President Duterte’s plan to implement an independent foreign policy.
Meanwhile, the movement centered at the Standing Rock Reservation to recognize Native Americans’ basic rights to safe water and the protection of their ancestral lands continues to gain momentum. It aims to mobilize international support and solidarity not only to prevent the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers from being poisoned by the planned “Dakota Access Pipeline” (DAPL), but also to protect their sacred sites and uplift Indigenous Peoples’ demand for the right to self-determination. Filipino organizations such as Anakbayan East Bay and New York and Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP and PCHRP) crossed the country to learn from and contribute to the #NoDAPL movement, bringing supplies and aid last month. “We witnessed powerful non-violent tactics of direct action. The Dakota, other IP’s from across ‘Turtle Island’ and the Pacific Islands, and non-Indigenous water protectors used their bodies and other means to deter the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed at the Standing Rock Reservation and other points along the pipeline whose proposed endpoint is in southern Illinois,” said Matt Cumings of PCHRP. Lauren Johnson, also with PCHRP, added, “Clashes between militarized law enforcement and the peaceful water protectors have been well-documented nationally and even internationally. Make no mistake: The escalation of violence by the police and national guard at Standing Rock are clearly acts of continued colonization.”
The life-threatening tactics employed by local and state police in concert with the US National Guard at Standing Rock are clearly linked to the militarized police response against Sandugo protesters in Manila. Indeed, the violent and unjust colonization of Indigenous Peoples’ ancestral lands and resources, perpetuated by the US and Philippine governments, is blatant. Yet indigenous communities at Standing Rock and the Philippines are also linked in their legacy of anti-colonial struggle and their noble and just fight for the self-determination of all oppressed peoples.
In light of recent events, it is more important than ever that we are united. President-elect Donald J. Trump has chosen climate change denier Myron Ebell to lead the transition of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ebell has vowed to dismantle the already-insufficient environmental regulations that seek to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation. American industries are some of the greatest contributors to climate change and calamities in vulnerable third-world nations. Ebell’s short-sighted and unscientific proposals would truly be catastrophic, and we cannot allow them to be implemented.
On the 3rd anniversary of Super Typhoon Haiyan, NAFCON is proud to stand with our partner organizations and people’s movement in the Philippines and with the Standing Rock Indigenous People’s Struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Our community-based initiatives — including sustainable water pumps, relief and rehabilitation efforts, medical missions, and people’s development — empower local communities to preserve their local knowledge and indigenous cultures while continuing to resist their displacement and erasure as peoples in their struggle for self-determination. With our arms linked in international solidarity, let us take united action for a world in which the rights of indigenous peoples, women, peasants, workers, and migrants are respected; in which military and police are not used as tools to repress the people in their calls for social and environmental justice; and in which all people have access to decent livelihoods, food, and clean air and water.
In August 2016, two members of the Disaster Support Network for the Philippines (DSNP), myself and Jaki Joanino, participated in a week long program integrating with communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. This trip was hosted by the Leyte Center for Development (LCDe), one of the organizations that NAFCON supported during the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan through the Consortium for People’s Development. Based in the South San Francisco Bay Area of California, DSNP is the last standing formation of Taskforce Haiyan, an initiative that NAFCON helped to establish in response to the massive devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. We transitioned from being South Bay Taskforce Haiyan to DSNP in recognition of the impacted communities’ long-term path to recovery and our group’s commitment to providing support in this path.
To inform DSNP’s continuing work, we coordinated with LCDe to facilitate a program that would provide important context for addressing the persisting needs of those affected by Haiyan and subsequent disasters. LCDe commands important leadership in the Eastern Visayas region with respect to community-based disaster risk management (CBDM) work and we were fortunate to witness this work throughout our trip. LCDe prioritizes working with communities in far-flung areas reach and have higher incidences of poverty. These communities were dramatically impacted by Typhoon Haiyan and suffer damages that continue to this day. A majority relies on farming and fishing for their livelihood, but due to extreme weather events brought on by climate change, struggles to produce an income from these industries that can sustain their communities. When we visited farmers discussed how they noticed extreme weather patterns that affected the growing of food that they would be able to sell for income as well as feed to their families. At the time, they were experiencing a drought that lasted the duration of our stay. Moreover, coconut trees, which played an important role in the region’s economy, were decimated by Haiyan. It will take ten years for new trees to grow and reach the same level of production that farmers had seen before the storm. That is, given other disasters do not damage the ones that are currently growing. The Eastern Visayas region as a whole is now the poorest in the Philippines.
Following the CBDM model, LCDe strives to work with communities to build infrastructure which will better support themselves, emphasizing the need for communities to build people’s organizations that can manage the resources provided to them. As part of our itinerary, we had the opportunity to observe a two-day disaster risk reduction training facilitated by LCDe staff to community members in Barangay Rubas of Jaro, Leyte. During the training, participants identified potential hazards that their community was vulnerable to, including typhoons, floods, landslides, sickness, and even armed conflict, and assessed their possible impacts. The following day, based on the prior day’s discussion, community members evaluated their capacity to prepare themselves as well as respond should a disaster occur. Topics discussed ranged from possible evacuation routes to creating a calendar that could anticipate when disasters would happen. At the conclusion of the training, community members reported back on their discussions which would then form the backbone of a disaster risk reduction plan. As next steps, LCDe will work with the residents of Rubas to host a community drill and establish a Disaster Preparedness Committee. These steps will pave the way for the people of Rubas to build their leadership in a way that will bring them closer to how they hope their community to be in spite of disasters.
In light of the work DSNP hopes to further build, it was critical for us to see what it means to provide people-to-people support on the ground in areas that are vulnerable to disasters of an increasingly larger scale. Communities such as those we visited face the brunt of consequences brought on by environmental degradation and exploitation which is often compounded by government neglect and corruption rampant in the Philippines. LCDe’s work addresses this further marginalization of these communities and continues to build upon the support that many of us contributed when Haiyan initially hit. They work not only to be the first responders when disasters strike, but also increasing the capacity of communities themselves to be resilient in the face of what disasters and environmental injustice may bring.
By Julian Jaravata
Our successful mission to the remote villages in Talaingod, Davao Del Norte had finished and we convened at the International Conference for People’s Rights in the Philippines (ICPRP) to link with human rights activists around the globe to continue our efforts in pursuing justice for the lumad and people of the Philippines. The colorful reportbacks from all the International Solidarity Missions tied the suffering of the lumad we visited to those across the islands to the effects of the Philippine government and multinational corporations’ militarization and harassment while the people’s determined resistance was highlighted as the key to seeking lasting peace.
On our way to the workshop sessions, I received another jolt of reality. Text alerts poured in asking if some of the international delegates could attend the parangal (wake) and burial of a lumad leader who had been shot. A group of us boarded a rented jeepney and headed to the banana plantations of Sitio Kahusayan, Barangay Manuel Guianga in Davao City.
When we arrived, we were guided by children of the community through the seemingly endless rows of banana trees. Grieving members of the community lined the dirt roads leading to the house of Hermie Alegre. Hermie was a beloved leader whom community members would go to for advice and who stood strong in the battle to win back their land from Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a man claiming he is the appointed son of God and founded his own religious sect – Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name. His self-aggrandizement apparently doesn’t stop with the names he’s chosen.
According to community members, Quiboloy has a direct hand in the Bagobo lands of the lumad in Kahusayan shrinking from 800 hectares to a mere 2 hectares. These ancestral lands were supposedly protected by the Philippine Department of Natural Resources but were sold off by individuals from the community under false pretexts to Quiboloy’s followers and complex laws on ancestral domain have limited what the Bagobo have been able to claim are theirs.
Hermie was on his way home on a motorcycle with Danny Diarog, a Bagobo tribal chieftain of Kahusayan, from a meeting with the National Commission on Indigenous People. Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and killed Hermie and left Danny critically injured. What would I think if a landlord drove my community from their ancestral lands, built miles of fence to cut my community off from the main road and enlisted the military to shoot at us when going near the fence, and threatened us with lawsuits and imprisonment for not selling our lands? This is exactly what Quiboloy has done, and thus it makes perfect sense for the community to point to him in the assassination plot of Hermie and Danny. Quiboloy’s publicly known friendship with former Davao City mayor and now Philippine President – Rodrigo Duterte has sealed the deal for him to act with impunity.
We parted ways with the Bagobo back in July and today the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the revolutionary forces represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines have achieved unprecedented headway. As I continue to support and promote the peace talks as one means to resolve the social, economic and political root problems of the lumad and the rest of the Filipino people, my time with the people of Talaingod and Kahusayan along with the voices of the people’s struggle at ICPRP ring clear in my mind – at the final call, the people’s resistance will be the determining factor for the people’s victory. Meaning to say, we cannot wait and rely on the government to clear the way for our liberation. We have to take the fight into our own hands and be an active part in tearing down the system that is drowning us and build a new society where we put people’s needs, in balance with the earth’s ecosystems, at the forefront.
Contributed by Bev Tang – member of GABRIELA Los Angeles and International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines fighting for #JustPeacePh
Nov 9, 2016
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Beyond the Ballot, Organize and Unite Our Communities!NAFCON on the 2016 US Elections
Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. Using hate speech, he has fashioned himself as an unorthodox presidential candidate, who despite lack of political experience would bring something new to the White House. His election reflects the American people’s yearning for a shift from the status quo, including rising prices, fewer jobs, lack of affordable housing, and debilitating student debt. While many Americans believe there was no choice but to participate in “choosing between the lesser of two evils,” the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) fervently asserts that it is not Trump, Clinton, or any individual president who can herald genuine change of the economic and political crisis facing the US, but the people united in action. NAFCON calls on Filipinos in the US to continue organizing our community and building stronger solidarity with all peoples toward a movement for genuine change both in the United States and around the world.
We saw an unprecedented number of deportations under the outgoing Obama administration. With the failed grand promise of comprehensive immigration reform, Obama’s development into “Deporter-in-Chief” shows that defending the rights and welfare of immigrants cannot rest on one individual. Trump’s election to office gives no indication that the attacks on immigrants will subside. Trump has slandered immigrants, including Filipinos in the US as uncontrollable “animals” who must be kept out. Clinton and Trump offered no real solutions to the $19 trillion US debt and the worsening economic stagnation since the 2008 financial crash that continues to devastate the US middle- and working-classes.
Similarly, NAFCON predicts that Trump will continue to protect and defend American economic interests in the Philippines, which the US has long viewed as an abundant source of exploitable natural resources and cheap labor. For instance, multinational mining corporations persist in displacing indigenous communities and destroying the environment in order to exploit Philippine minerals. Further, aid agreements such as Obama’s Partnership for Growth (PFG) Initiative unduly influences Philippine legislation to soften trade requirements by weakening protections for Filipino businesses and workers. The US and its trading partners have even aggressively pushed the Philippines to lift Constitutional limitations on foreign investment in domestic industries so that the Philippines can join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
During his campaign, Trump unfoundedly labeled Muslim countries and the Philippines as “terrorist nations,” and NAFCON expects that Trump will continue the long history of US instigation and complicity in wars around the world. For example, the US has maintained military influence in the Philippines, in line with the “Asia Pacific Pivot” authored by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and implemented by the Obama administration. Unequal military agreements between the US and the Philippines like the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) help ensure ongoing US military presence and impunity in the Philippines. To prevent further US military-related fiascos like the Mamasapano carnage, the murder of Jennifer Laude, and the destruction of the Tubbataha Reef, we must stand staunchly against US military, economic, and political intervention in the Philippines and other countries.
Being presented with only two top presidential candidates whose funding, media coverage and Wall Street support dwarfed that of any other candidates, demonstrates just how undemocratic the US electoral system is. The ultimate decision brought Americans to choose between Clinton, a staunch advocate and player in expanding US militarism and aggressive wars globally, and Trump, an inimitable billionaire who scapegoats and demeans immigrants, workers, women, and racial, ethnic and religious groups.
NAFCON vows to advance its campaigns for workers’ and immigrant rights, for environmental justice, and for Philippine national sovereignty. Let us link arms in solidarity with each other to intensify our campaigns to stop deportations, protect human trafficking survivors, end police brutality and impunity, demand rightful wages for workers, and uphold indigenous peoples’ self-determination. Only we the people united in action can create the just, equitable society we need!
Bay Area Filipinos and Supporters Assess 100 Days of Duterte, Vow to Continue Engagement on Platform for Change
REFERENCE: Michael Tayag, NAFCON NorCal Regional Coordinator; email@example.com, (760) 831-8789
Bay Area Filipinos and Supporters Assess 100 Days of Duterte, Vow to Continue Engagement on Platform for Change
San Francisco, CA – On Saturday, October 8, marking Rodrigo Duterte’s 100th day as President of the Philippines, over 100 Filipinos and supporters from throughout the Bay Area convened to discuss both positive and negative political developments under the new administration, one that has definitively differentiated itself from traditional Philippine politics.
Terry Valen, President of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), called attendees to examine developments in the Philippines with a critical eye, beyond Duterte’s sensational rhetoric and media representation. Valen stated, “The purpose of today’s forum is not to decide whether or not we will endorse Duterte as a politician. Instead, we must focus on analyzing the substantive policies enacted and actions taken by his administration, and ensure that these align with the fundamental interests of the Filipino people and their demand for change.”
Valen and Princess Bustos of Migrante Northern California presented an overview assessment of the administration against the 15 Points of the People’s Agenda for Nationalist and Progressive Change (People’s Agenda), developed by hundreds of cause-oriented groups, institutions and individuals in the Philippines in June 2016, prior to Duterte’s inauguration.
Some community members expressed that the Duterte administration has positively exceeded expectations in his first 100 days. For example, Adnan Alonto of the Brotherhood for Duterte USA saw greater public safety and an improved business climate in the Philippines. He also lauded the resumption of peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Bangsamoro groups, as well as the Philippines’ “resoluteness in pursuing an independent foreign policy…for the first time in a long time.”
Similarly, Bustos stated, “In the peace talks with the NDFP, Duterte has already accomplished more in his first 100 days compared to Aquino’s entire six-year term. We hope the peace talks and the assertion of Philippine national sovereignty in light of ongoing U.S. military intervention pave the way for meaningful change, pro-people reforms and nationalist development in the Philippines.” In addition, she praised Duterte’s administration for the repatriation of hundreds of overseas Filipino workers stranded in Saudi Arabia and the suspension of at least ten mining corporations notorious for their violations of environmental, land, and human rights policies.
Despite these and other cited reforms, attendees expressed serious concerns, highlighting intensifying contradictions within the government. For instance, Valen explained, “Although 1,500 indigenous Lumads who evacuated their ancestral lands due to military harassment have been able to return safely, the human rights organization KARAPATAN has also documented at least 16 political killings and 9 cases of illegal arrest and detention of activists. While Duterte has successfully exposed the enormity of the Philippine drug problem and its links to officials at various levels of government, we denounce the rapid rise in killings of suspected drug users and pushers, and Duterte’s public statements condoning and even encouraging these killings without respect for life or due process. The Philippine government can solve the drug problem only by comprehensively addressing the economic, political, and social issues of the people, especially the poor and marginalized.”
Following discussion and cultural performances, attendees planned local outreach, education, and organizing activities to garner support for #Kababayan4Change, an international platform to unite Filipinos on their collective demands to tangibly improve their lives and working conditions at home and abroad through the People’s Agenda. NAFCON, Migrante, the National Ecumenical Forum for Filipino Concerns (NEFFCON) and local organizations and individuals drafted several plans for follow-up activities.
Migrante Northern California Spokesperson Bernadette Herrera concluded, “Through the #Kababayan4Change platform, we must continue to build a global movement of Filipinos, especially given Filipinos’ demonstrated desire to break away from the corruption and inutility of previous administrations. Let us organize to ensure Filipinos chart our own path to just and lasting peace without foreign intervention. Ultimately, it is not up to the president or any one person, but the masses of the Filipino people united in purpose and action that will ensure genuine change for the better in our homeland.”
- Featured Image – caption: “Community members unite on the People’s Agenda”
- Link to high-quality photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bwqg6nZSr2aIQlFhaFY2T0JZQXM?usp=sharing
- Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/nafconusa/videos/1193414640715425/
For Immediate Release
October 8, 2016
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAFCON On Philippine President Duterte’s First 100 Days
The overwhelming victory for the Philippine Presidency of Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who promised to break from traditional corrupt politics and eradicate criminality in the nation, is an indication of the Filipino people’s deep desire for change. NAFCON’s Agenda for Empowerment, Sustainability, and Peace outlined the concrete demands that Filipinos in the United States wanted to see from the Duterte administration as meaningful changes for the Filipino people. This assessment of Duterte’s first 100 days in office pertain to two of NAFCON’s major campaigns: Environmental Justice for the Philippines and Dignity and Justice for Filipino Im/migrants.
Economic sovereignty, independent foreign policy are keys to environmental justice
NAFCON launched its Environmental Justice for the Philippines (EJforPH) campaign in 2014 shortly after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the central Philippines. In addition to a timely response during a strong typhoon or disaster, this campaign allows community members to be proactive in protecting communities against further destruction of natural resources and fighting for greater access to sustainable livelihood and agriculture in the Philippines. As such, our concrete demand was for Duterte to stand against the incursion of multinational mining corporations and foreign ownership of national industries.
The Duterte administration has shown political will in stopping the destruction of the environment by mining companies and US militarization. We especially commend the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for its mining audit that upheld the suspension of at least 10 big mining companies known for their violations of environmental, land, and human rights policies. We also laud President Duterte for taking a stand against foreign militarism, which has time and again destroyed the Philippine environment as in the cases of the damage of the Tubbataha Reef and hazardous waste dumps in former US bases in Clark and Subic. In his first 100 days, Duterte has consistently pronounced his plans to end Philippine-US military exercises and review the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that essentially turns the countryside into military bases and war zones at risk of environmental degradation.
However, we express alarm and demand justice for the killings of 5 environmental defenders during Duterte’s first 100 days. We also disapprove of two mining companies that passed the DENR audit — Philex mining, which caused one of the worst mine spills in Philippine history but did not adequately compensate affected communities, and Taganito Mining, notorious for massive environmental degradation and grave human rights violations in Surigao del Norte. These companies must be held accountable and the affected peasant and indigenous communities sufficiently rehabilitated.
Local livelihood and self-reliant economy will end forced migration, drug menace
As a staunch advocate of Filipino migrants’ rights and welfare, NAFCON called on President Duterte to institute reforms in several government agencies mandated to serve and defend our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) but failed to do so due to corruption and neglect by previous regimes. His administration positively responded by moving to exempt returning OFWs from the overseas employment certificate (OEC) requirement as directed by the new Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA). Just recently, he ordered the repatriation of more than 100 OFWs who were victims of massive layoffs and were stranded for many years in the economically depressed Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He warmly welcomed and promised them immediate relief as family reintegration and livelihood programs commenced. As someone who pledged to make OFW concerns a top priority, Duterte still has a long way to go in terms of permanently abolishing exorbitant fees charged from OFWs, completely eradicating corruption in the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), POEA, and other government institutions, as well as fully and effectively reaching out to millions of OFWs experiencing economic trouble, discrimination, and exploitation in foreign land, but he is definitely off to a very good start.
But we also remember Mary Jane Veloso — a mother and OFW who was framed for carrying drugs in her desperation to provide her family a better future by seeking opportunities abroad. Related to this is President Duterte’s fierce anti-drug war, which has gained the attention of the international community over the past months due to reported fatal police encounters, vigilante killings, and other unexplained violence that have already claimed over 3,000 lives. When a country’s economics is dominated by local elite and foreign interests, the impoverished people suffer and are driven to look for relief elsewhere, be it in drugs or jobs overseas. While NAFCON supports campaigns against forces that drive Filipinos into further poverty and destitution such as illegal drug trade and the governing narcopolitics, we also stand against state-sponsored violence and impunity, and we do not find the two advocacies conflicting. In fact, we believe that only in upholding the rule of law can we reclaim the country from grave crimes and abuses, the same way that only in upholding social justice can we free Mary Jane from the threats of death row. We call on Duterte to truly unite with the people and respect due process, while addressing the deep causes of drug abuse in the Philippines and fulfilling his promises to end contractualization, bring forth the creation of national industries to sustain local jobs, and consequently end the government’s labor export program.
The fight for environmental justice and to end forced migration is a fight for just and lasting peace
In his first 100 days, the Duterte administration’s strong political will and sincerity in resuming the peace talks with the revolutionary movement represented by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) is worthy of commendation. Currently in the second round of peace talks in Oslo, both parties are discussing the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER), which addresses the issue of both jobs and the environment.
Article 4, Section 17 of the CASER calls for “economic growth within the framework of sustainable development,” proposing “equitable access to the development and use of the country’s natural resources, not only for the present generation but for the future generation as well.” It becomes evident that the peace talks between the Philippine government and the NDF are at the center of resolving many of the problems that Filipinos face. NAFCON believes that foreign militarism, environmental plunder and the trafficking and exploitation of Filipinos abroad are all results of lopsided foreign policies characteristic of previous administrations, the same policies that left the country with a backward, import-dependent, export-oriented agrarian economy with no thriving local industries to sustain homegrown jobs for the people. Fortunately, these are the same crises that CASER aims to resolve. We find no more worthwhile advocacy to pursue than resolving the problem of environmental degradation and forced migration while pushing for just and lasting peace where environmental and economic sustainability is possible.
NAFCON’s migrants’ agenda aim to promote the rights and welfare of the Filipino people, both at home and overseas. After Duterte’s 100 days in office, we reaffirm our support for his policies and actions that advance the migrants’ agenda and benefit the Filipino people. At the same time, we continue to offer constructive solutions to his administration’s shortcomings. We believe that it is through both support and critical accountability that the best interests of the Filipino people will be upheld, sharpened, and won. We reiterate our challenge to President Duterte after his 100th day in office: Listen to the Filipino people! Heed their aspirations for an independent, democratic, just and peaceful Philippines, where every Filipino migrant will truly aspire to return home.
NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States.
Download a printable copy of this statement: nafcon-on-dutertes-first-100-days.
October 3, 2016
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, email@example.com
NAFCON Celebrates Victory with NBC’s Cancellation of Racist “Mail Order Family” TV Show
On Friday, September 30, NBC Entertainment executives announced that they will not move forward with the pitch for Mail Order Family after backlash and criticism from Filipino Americans and the larger Asian-American community. NBC’s Mail Order Family was supposed to be a half-hour comedy about a widower who orders a mail order bride from the Philippines to raise his pre-teen daughters. GABRIELA USA, NAFCON, and Migrante were some of the first Filipino American organizations to respond to this racist and offensive pitch for a TV show by organizing a Change.org petition that garnered 9,000+ signatures in a day and a protest action at the NBC Universal headquarters in Los Angeles. The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) considers NBC’s decision to stop the project a huge victory for Filipino Americans, survivors of human trafficking, and the entire community.
NAFCON urges NBC Entertainment to focus on not just providing entertainment for its consumers, but to more deeply understand the diversity and the context of the communities they serve and represent in their shows. According to the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment, over 6,000 Filipinos leave the country every day to find work abroad and provide for their families because they have no livelihood in their home country.
“Can the NBC writers and executives even begin to understand the sacrifice, hardship, and challenges that Filipino immigrants and migrants experience around the world? Filipino migrants face some of the worst forms of discrimination, labor exploitation, human trafficking, injury, and even death,” stated Terrie Cervas, of Gabriela USA. Human trafficking and forced migration are very serious problems that are rooted in poverty that many Filipino migrants (most of whom are women) face every day. The forced migration and suffering of Filipino women is not a source of entertainment or cheap laughs.
This is not the first time Filipinos have endured negative portrayals based on racial stereotypes in mainstream media. In the mid-1990s, Filipinas were mentioned as mail-order brides in an episode of Frasier. In 2007, the validity of Filipino doctors was belittled and denigrated in an episode of the American sitcom Desperate Housewives. Further, Filipina housekeepers were “comically” portrayed as sex entertainers in the British comedy show Harry & Paul as well as on the David Letterman Show and Torchwood in 2008.
NAFCON calls on NBC to publicly apologize to the Filipino community, to meet with our representatives and to partner together to educate its company and the larger entertainment industry to better understand and support Filipino migrants and survivors of human trafficking. NAFCON plans to hold community fora with other Asian American advocacy organizations, impacted communities and our supporters, to continue the dialogue about the issue of representation in the media, and the real lived experiences of migrants and trafficking survivors. Through the #Kababayan4Change platform, NAFCON will continue to unite with Filipino organizations and individuals in the U.S. in advocating for progressive reforms in the Philippines, including addressing the poverty, joblessness, landlessness, and corruption that compel many migrants and survivors of human trafficking to look for economic opportunities abroad in the first place.
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, firstname.lastname@example.org
NAFCON sees our work as not only honoring and upholding the legacy of the anti-fascist People Power movement, from the legacy of Andres Bonifacio, and the fighting legacy of the Filipino farmworkers (whom we celebrated at last year’s 50th anniversary commemoration of the Delano grape strike), to all of the struggles we continue to wage today to fight for our kababayan here and in our homeland.
We see our work today as also advancing that legacy to ensure that an undemocratic dictatorship NEVER emerges again and we make the changes we need to create a Philippines for Filipinos who live with dignity and justice in our homeland and wherever we choose to go. We stand with all peace-loving people to make sure that the Filipino People Power legacy is what is celebrated as heroic, and Marcos is never enshrined in our national history or honored for the insult, injury, and inhumanity he inflicted on the Philippines.
NAFCON is a national alliance of more than 30 organizations in more than 20 cities across the United States that has been fighting for Filipinos here in the US and in our homeland on issues such as wage theft, labor trafficking, the displacement, militarization, and killing of indigenous communities like the Lumad in Mindanao, and for environmental justice and the victims of the intensifying typhoons, sending millions in grassroots relief to our kabayan in the Philippines.
More than 80 people from the US just returned from the Philippines where they visited water projects, communities where we sent grassroots relief donations, and where local communities are organizing themselves and building grassroots power to protect and defend their communities, ancestral domain, and our national patrimony – for Filipinos FIRST!
These communities and the work of grassroots People’s organizations are the hope and change we need for our country, even while we have a President that is pursuing peace and promises change. We invite you to join us as we advance our platform as Kababayan for Change (K4C) to truly establish democracy, independence, and social justice in the Philippines.
It is our vigilance, our organizing, our struggle, and our strength that will create the meaningful change and just and lasting peace that the people are clamoring for. It is the same vigilance, organizing, struggle, and strength that will guarantee:
Never again to martial law! Never again to fascist dictatorship!
Reference: Terry Valen, NAFCON President, email@example.com
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) in the United States denounces in the strongest possible terms the recent inflammatory insult made by Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump at a rally in Portland, Maine last Thursday.
In his consistent fueling of anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia during his entire presidential campaign, Trump labeled Muslim countries in the Middle East and the Philippines as “terrorist nations,” warning that any and all immigration from these countries poses a threat to the security of the U.S. He also slandered immigrants from our homelands as “animals” that the U.S. could not predict or control, so they must be kept out.
NAFCON considers Trump’s statements as a reprehensible attack to the Filipino migrant workers and the entire migrant community in the United States, from Muslim and non-Muslim countries alike. With more than four million Filipinos comprising the second largest Asian American group in the U.S., Filipinos have long been integral to the development of the U.S. since the first migrant workers from the Philippines set foot on the west coast aboard Spanish vessels as early as the 16th century. Along with other migrant communities and the colonial history of the U.S. and the Philippines, countless contributions have been made by Filipino workers and their families to the growth of the U.S. in various fields – agriculture and industry, health and wellness, performance arts and humanities, science and technology, public service and social movements, mass media, and even security and defense.
With all the contributions by the Filipino American community today including the descendants of the first Filipino immigrants, the United States recognizes and now even celebrates Filipino American History Month every October as mandated by U.S. legislature. To imply that immigration from the Philippines and countries alike may pose a threat to the economy and security of the nation is a slap in the face to the rich legacy and importance of Filipinos and all migrant communities in the U.S.
With the remnants of colonial legacies and the impact of globalization, over 6,000 Filipinos are systematically pushed out of the Philippines every single day. Dire poverty and the demand for cheap labor in the first world will continue to force people to migrate to the U.S. Hearing Trump’s pronouncements of myopic nationalism, founded on bigotry, NAFCON believes that he is uninformed about the systemic neoliberal policies that continue to take resources from countries like the Philippines. He only sees immigrants as competitors for jobs in the country when in fact, it is corporate America’s pre-programmed, state-sanctioned exploitation of the countries of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, including the Philippine Islands, that deprives its citizens of their own resources and capability to develop a self-sustaining economy. Our communities and people are drowning in deep poverty and are ultimately forced to seek jobs abroad in a desperate move to survive. Trump clumsily lumps immigrants and terrorism together as threats to his nation’s security, when in fact, it is the U.S.’ corporate greed for oil and other raw materials and their consistent wars of aggression that historically inflame terror attacks and human rights violations in the Middle East and the Third World in collaboration with fascist regimes in those regions. Trump, a known owner of an international conglomerate, together with other U.S. politicians posing as anti-terrorism advocates, is the epitome of imperialist hypocrisy – trying to prevent wars from reaching the U.S. shores by blaming the very ghosts that they themselves created in the homelands of so many other peoples. There is no greater threat to American humanity and the world than the possible rise of the 1%, caricatured in the likes of Trump, to the U.S. presidency.
Migrant communities must continue to challenge the immigration system that serves and follows the needs and dictates of the 1%. The inconsistent and piecemeal immigration reforms we’ve experienced have time and again treated Filipino migrant workers as mere tools who can be readily used, disposed, and deported after extracting maximum profits from their blood, sweat and tears. Even under the current administration that promised to push for comprehensive, pro-worker, and pro-family immigration policies, Filipino migrant workers still suffer from abuses such as inhumane working conditions, wage theft, trafficking, and threats of deportation, not to mention racial discrimination and indefinite separation from families, especially among the undocumented. Consistent with his track record of having deported over 2.5 million immigrants, more than any of his predecessors, Barack Obama’s final year as President has begun with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency launching indiscriminate raids and the detentions and orders of deportation of over 120 individuals, mostly from Hispanic communities on the east coast. This is contradictory to his own promise of a just pathway for legalization of undocumented immigrants who have sacrificed their lives and families to keep the economy of the country afloat for years. With Trump’s promotion of hate and fear against immigrants, and being one step closer to becoming the chief executive of the land, we fear that the vulnerability, exploitation, and oppression of Filipino and all migrants in the U.S. will reach a whole new level if he gets elected.
The history of the immigrant workers’ movement in the U.S. is a testament to the fact that immigrants can not depend on the promise of reforms by politicians who are backed by anti-immigrant corporations, let alone politicians who are corporate exploiters themselves. With the general elections nearing, it should be recalled that our protection and rights are never solely won through battles in congress or the legislature – it is imperative that we build our formidable strength as a united immigrant community to resist attacks that belittle and oppress us. NAFCON calls on the Filipino American community to link arms with fellow immigrants and people from across different communities and show the nation that the political power to achieve pro-people reforms are in the hands of nobody but the people. Only through collective action and unity amid diversity can we make America – a nation of native people, immigrants, genders, races, and creeds – truly great.
By Aurora Victoria David, Fr. Esteban DeLeon, Janet Basilan Gardose, Wayne Jopanda
With his no-nonsense style and salt of the earth demeanor, Rodrigo Duterte captured the hearts, minds, and votes of 39% of the 55 million Filipino people —including 72% of around 432,000 overseas Filipinos voters — who participated in the May 2016 election. Duterte represented a fresh break in the tired, elitist, and corrupt politics of past governments. He built his campaign around the progressive social ordinances and crackdown on drugs he implemented as Mayor of Davao City and promised “Change” on the national scale.
The Filipino people have not pinned their hopes for change on President Duterte alone. A budding movement seeks to unite Filipinos in the homeland and in the global diaspora to act to eradicate poverty, create genuine economic opportunities and development, and achieve the lasting change that we desire.
The Philippine Migrant Worker Community
Filipinos overseas, including those in the United States are no strangers to the toxic effects of the fundamental problems that plague the Philippines. Crushing poverty and a lack of viable opportunities in the Philippines forces Filipino workers to migrate and be separated from their families. The development of the Philippine economy remains sluggish and tied to the dictates of First World countries through lopsided and unfair “Free Trade Agreements.” Job lay-offs, outsourcing, decreased security, and contractualization are experienced by the majority while a wealthy few become richer. The Labor Export Policy (LEP), designed during the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship, systematically exports Filipinos to foreign countries for low-paying jobs with little to no benefits or socio-economic security. After four decades of the LEP, more than 10.2 million Filipinos reside overseas and an estimated 6,000 leave the Philippines every day in search of better work opportunities (POEA/Migrante).
Duterte’s First 100 Days
The first 100 days of a new president’s administration is crucial. It can set the tone and pace for the rest of the term. For Duterte, it should be no different.
In the weeks after his electoral victory and leading up to his inauguration, President Duterte made a pronouncement that working abroad should become “optional and not a necessity”. Trafficked Filipino workers, many of whom are now living in the shadows as undocumented immigrants in the United State, know all too well the significance of making Duterte’s pronouncement a tangible reality.
#Kababayan4Change was launched in the US with Filipino migrants presenting their aspirations for change, embodied in the People’s Agenda, to representatives of the Philippine Embassy in DC. #Kababayan4Change is overseas Filipinos rising for increased involvement, voice and representation in the politics and policies of the homeland.
#Kababayan4Change is a wide-reaching platform that seeks concrete, decisive actions towards comprehensive reforms during the first 100 days of the Duterte Government. Initiated by Migrante International, the platform calls for implementation of a national industrialization program and genuine land reform to end the current and unsustainable import-dependent and export-oriented economy of the Philippines. Having homegrown business owned and operated in the Philippines creates more job opportunity and reverses the trend of Filipinos having to leave the comfort and safety of the homeland for better economic prospects.
Through #Kababayan4Change, overseas Filipinos are joining with progressive organizations, sectoral groups, indigenous peoples and the struggling majority in demanding an economic transformation that makes it unnecessary for Filipinos to seek work abroad to survive. The movement calls on us to collectively and completely address the socio-economic roots of armed conflicts, social injustices and forced migrations for a just and lasting peace in the homeland.
Priorities for Change: The People’s Agenda
#Kababayan4Change supports and promotes “The People’s Agenda,” an actionable plan for change that was the outcome of a series of multi-sectoral consultations, primary data gathering, and regional conferences. The People’s Agenda 15-point Program for Nationalist and Progressive Change contains recommendations in five key areas: economics, social policy, national sovereignty and foreign policy, peace and human rights, government and corruption. The People’s Agenda was personally delivered by leaders from progressive organizations to the Presidential Palace, and received by President Duterte himself hours after his inauguration into office.
The Agenda implores President Duterte to uphold and prioritize the following policy recommendations:
1. Uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity
2. Respect human rights and give full play to democracy
3. Reassert the economic sovereignty and conserve the national patrimony.
4. Carry out national industrialization as the lead factor of economic development and as the key to solving unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment.
5. Implement land reform as a matter democratic right and social justice, as the foundation of economic development and as a method of liberating the landless tillers, releasing capital, promoting rural development and creating a domestic market.
6. Improve the wage and living conditions of the workers, protect and promote all possible means of livelihood and raise the people’s standard of living.
7. Expand social services, especially in education, health and housing, and improve the public utilities.
8. Stop plunder and all forms of graft and corruption and punish the perpetrators; end the pork barrel system and channel government funds to economic development, infrastructure development and expansion of social services.
9. Reduce military expenditures and channel the savings to economic development and social services.
10. Promote a patriotic, democratic, scientific and progressive system of education and culture.
11. Uphold gender equality in all fields of social activity and combat gender/sexual discrimination.
12. Ensure wise utilization of natural resources and protection of the environment.
13. Respect the rights of national minorities to self-determination and development.
14. Resume GPH peace negotiations with the NDFP and complete those with the MILF.
15. Pursue an independent policy and develop closest cooperation with all neighboring countries for the purpose of international solidarity, peace and development.
Join the Movement for Change!
For genuine and lasting change to occur, the Filipino people in the Philippines, United States and the world must demand that the People’s Agenda becomes a reality. Genuine change for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), migrant workers and their families will only be achieved if the Duterte administration ends the Labor Export Policy and radically changes the socioeconomic context of the Filipino People. Our goal is to keep families intact and not break them apart. Together, we can collectively advocate to make migration from the Philippines a true choice and not the only choice for a better life.
Together, we can build this growing movement for true justice and lasting change.
We invite you to join the #Kababayan4Change movement!
Aurora Victoria David is the Secretary General of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. Fr. Esteban DeLeon is the Pastor of Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Virginia Beach. Janet Basilan Gardose is the Vice-Chairperson of GABRIELA USA. Wayne Jopanda is the Chairperson of Migrante Washington D.C. As leaders in the Filipino American community, the Co-Authors have tirelessly worked to address poverty and injustice in the Philippines and called for Filipinos in the U.S. to advocate for genuine change in the Philippines.
Filipino Migrants’ Agenda for Empowerment, Sustainability, and Peace
Prepared by NAFCON USA, June 2016
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) USA formally congratulates Philippine President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte on his recent victory in the May 2016 Philippine elections. With vigilant groups like NAFCON closely watching every step of the process, no amount of corruption, cheating or electoral fraud by the Philippine political elite or wealthy oligarchs can ever again stop the Filipino people from exercising their democratic rights to choose their own leaders and government. Filipino Americans look forward to a new day for the Philippines, hopefully starting with the administration of Rodrigo Duterte, where there can be positive changes and new opportunities for everyday Filipinos to thrive and improve their quality of life. Filipino American groups like NAFCON understand that it is not only the role of one new President to change Philippine society; it is also the role of every Filipino, no matter where they are, to work for peace, justice, and equity at home and abroad.
Formed in 2003, NAFCON is a multi-issue alliance that serves to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos in America, the Philippines, and around the world by fighting for social and economic justice, freedom and democracy. For nearly 13 years, NAFCON has successfully waged numerous campaigns for the Philippines to be a true democracy, sovereign and free from foreign influence, for an accountable government, and for justice for victims of exploitation, trafficking, neglect, and human rights violations.
The Filipino people elected Duterte because of his track record of pro-people policies and actions during his time as the Mayor of Davao. Some of those actions include protecting the environment from large scale mining and logging, advancing indigenous peoples’ rights to life and ancestral land, and engaging in diplomatic relations with sovereignty movements and movements for self-determination, like CPP-NDF, MILF, and MNLF. NAFCON will continue to advocate so that President Duterte can continue implementing pro-people policies with the support of the majority of Filipinos, who are fed up with the corrupt and elite rule of landlord and corporate families in the Philippines. Based on over a decade of impactful work with tens of thousands of Filipinos and supporters of the Filipino community across the U.S., NAFCON offers this document, “Filipino Migrants’ Agenda for Empowerment, Sustainability, and Peace” as our platform of the main issues and priorities that many Filipino immigrants, migrants, workers and families in America are tackling and which need the attention of the new administration and its consular offices abroad.
Support Filipino Workers and Their Families in the Philippines and Abroad:
Despite the importance of overseas Filipinos’ remittances to the Philippine economy and the exorbitant fees they pay to work abroad, overseas Filipinos who face abuse and exploitation can not access sufficient, timely legal and social services from their government. The Philippine government should protect the rights of its citizens abroad by combatting and repealing anti-migrant laws and policies, and enacting a genuine and pro-migrant Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Charter that would expand benefits and services for migrant workers and families. Philippine Consulate/Embassy posts (particularly labor attaches, OWWA reps and other migration-related positions) should be assigned to pro-migrant advocates and these assignments should be done in consultation with local organizations of Filipino migrants to ensure that migrants’ welfare is of the utmost priority for those serving in these overseas posts.
Eliminate Human Trafficking and the Labor Export Policy:
With 6,000+ Filipinos forced to leave the Philippines every day due to joblessness, landlessness, and government corruption in their home country, the next administration should establish a sustainable job generation and reintegration program based on national industrialization. It should stop all forms of illegal recruitment and human trafficking, and pursue justice and indemnification for victims of human and labor rights violations, especially women and minors.
Eradicate Government Corruption and the Pork Barrel System:
In the wake of the Pork Barrel scandal, it is essential that the new administration vigilantly bring to light the serious epidemic of graft and corruption in Philippine government at all levels, including the misuse of funds intended for overseas Filipino workers. It should convict political officials and co-conspirators for plundering the Filipino people and perpetuating their poverty.
Provide Effective Education and Health Services:
Scrap the K-12 system that forces families into deeper debt to pay for the increased cost of education. Due to the lack of job development and national industrialization in the Philippines, current technical courses only train Filipinos to take employment abroad. The new administration should steer away from the privatization of social services, so that the needs of the poor majority of the people with regard to education and health services will be addressed.
Implement Genuine Agrarian Reform:
Rather than maintaining the current agricultural economy dependent on export, the new administration should protect Filipino peasants and farmers from being forced off the land they till, which provides livelihood for themselves and their families.
Pursue Justice for Victims of Environmental Calamities:
Given the government’s historical insufficient and inhumane response to Typhoon Haiyan and other calamities, the new administration must provide immediate relief and long-term rehabilitation to communities impacted by environmental disaster. It should hold corrupt government officials accountable for failing to provide timely financial and material aid (including money and goods donated from around the world) to victims.
Protect the Environment and End Exploitation of Our Natural Resources:
The destruction of the environment and climate change have been exacerbated by the greed of foreign and local businesses that extract the trillions of dollars’ worth of natural resources in the Philippines. The new administration must stand against the incursion of multinational mining corporations and the foreign ownership of national industries. Scrapping the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 would be a positive first step.
Hold the Aquino Administration Accountable for the Kidapawan Massacre, Mamasapano Carnage, and other Crimes Against the People:
Under the Aquino Administration and its policies which favored neoliberal economic policies and U.S. military interests over national sovereignty, communities in the Philippines, especially indigenous communities, have become increasingly militarized. The new administration must hold government entities and personnel accountable for crimes against the Filipino people.
Stand Against State-Sponsored Human Rights Violations and Impunity:
Filipino citizens have been criminalized, harassed and even murdered for exercising their democratic rights. There must be government accountability and justice for the Filipino people, and an end to the culture of impunity with which the military and paramilitary forces operate.
Resume the Peace Process:
Peace negotiations have been delayed and unilaterally terminated by previous administrations, preventing the genuine resolution of the ongoing civil war in the Philippines. We applaud the efforts of the incoming administration to begin preliminary discussions with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that lay the groundwork for renewed peace negotiations between the GPH and NDFP. The new administration must resume the peace process and ensure that international human rights laws and previous agreements signed by both parties are observed and implemented. We support the release of political prisoners by the Duterte administration as a gesture of goodwill and stand against wrongful convictions under prior regimes.
Uphold the Rights of National Minorities:
Local and foreign corporations, supported by Philippine domestic policies, have depleted the natural resources and destroyed the culture of the indigenous peoples and the Bangsamoro people. The new administration must stand true to its promise to defend them against big mining companies and paramilitary forces, support their safe return to the communities they were forced to evacuate from, and ultimately respect their rights to their ancestral land and for self-determination.
Stand for National Sovereignty:
We support the new administration’s pronouncement to uphold an independent foreign policy meant “not to please anybody but the Filipino interest.” A good start would be to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which have given the U.S. military access to our land, water, people and resources, resulting in the deaths of Filipinos like Jennifer Laude. We also welcome the diplomacy President-Elect Duterte vowed to utilize to resolve the West Philippine Sea conflict with China.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) is hopeful that the Philippine government under President-Elect Duterte can move forward a Progressive and Pro-people agenda that allows for genuine socio-economic and political reforms benefitting the majority of the Filipino people. Filipino American communities and NAFCON will continue to be at the forefront of protecting the rights and welfare of Filipinos in the Philippines, the United States and around the world, by engaging the Philippine government and holding it accountable to our platform of progressive measures for Filipino migrants around the world. In the end, the Filipino people will continue to push for genuine social change, peace, justice and progress in their homeland, wherever we may be.
Download this document: NAFCON Filipino Migrants Agenda for Empowerment Sustainability and Peace.
June 20, 2016
Contact: Annie Sayo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridging Solidarity, Ending Hate
It is with deep sorrow and sadness that the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) delivers this statement. We send our condolences to the families, loved ones, friends and communities of all the 49 human beings in Orlando, FL whose lives were stolen on June 12, 2016. NAFCON gives unwavering support and stands in staunch solidarity with the people and communities of Orlando.
On June 12, 2016, an attack that killed 49 LGBTQ (Including: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, Queer and Gender Non-Conforming) people of color, many from the Latina/o and black communities in one of the largest mass shootings in the U.S. We are profoundly disheartened as we remember that exactly one year ago, the nation celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling which granted same-sex marriage throughout the country. Members of the LGBTQ working class and people of color community believe the struggle for genuine liberation is far from over as we are now seeing. It is a significant time to humanize conversations and take action on LGBTQ issues to also counter the US culture of hatred, violent massacres, and dehumanizing foreign policy.
“As we pause to reflect, we must remember that violence is propagated not just in the execution of hate crimes, such as the one in Orlando, but in the everyday injuries and aggressions that insult, discriminate, and make one group less than. In restoring our sense of safety, all of us have a role to play in standing up against injustices and coming together as community, in solidarity,” says Maribel Martínez, Director Santa Clara County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the first office of its kind in the nation.
U.S. history is rooted in a system built on hate, fear and discrimination, leading to state-sanctioned violence and hate crimes on im/migrants, workers, people of color and the LGBTQ communities across the US. We now witness the socio-economic and political structures that neglect to protect marginalized communities from this culture and system of violence. Im/migrants and refugees from war-torn and impoverished nations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean are forced to migrate, as many of our brothers and sisters from Orlando were forced to do. All were in search for freedom and a better life, fleeing structural poverty, environmental devastation, conflict and war, as many in our Filipino community are forced to do as well.
In an interview with Darnell L. Moore, Lillian Rivera, Director of Advocacy and Capacity Building says, “The economic situation in Puerto Rico is such that there are people leaving in huge numbers and the prime place they are going to is Orlando. Lots of people we lost are quite possible going towards searching for economic stability for their families because of the economic situation in the islands with some dreams in the US to find freedom and safety around their queer identities.”
While mainstream media outlets pour blame and instigate hate between the LGBTQ and Muslim communities, let us be reminded of foreign policies that manufactured international terrorism. The same corporations and leaders of this country that are now revisiting gun policies are some of the same leaders who created of these destructive weapons also known as assault rifles, which are designed to efficiently kill as many people as possible.
The attack in Orlando is very much personal to the LGBTQ community as well as it is political. The nature of all forms of violence has been exhausting for the LGBTQ community. Many suffer layers of violence initially in the family unit, work place and other institutions in society, instilling a self-taught feeling of survival mode at all times. “Coming out is a constant practice as we enter new environments throughout life, and it never becomes an easy task. The LGTBQ community has to be mindful about who we are, who we share that with, and when it is safe to do so,” says Annie Sayo, NAFCON Treasurer.
LGBTQ-run club establishments, which are places of sanctuary, validation, safety and camaraderie for the LGBTQ community, have steadily declined in the last decade. In the midst of US elections, we must remember that the heart of the matter driving conversations on gun laws is the personal lives of the 49 human beings who were best friends, lovers, mothers, im/migrants, fathers, sons, daughters, people of color and of Latina/o descent celebrating freedom.
In a few days, June 26 will mark the 47th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 where our LGBTQ brothers and sisters fought against the harassment and violent strikes by police officers. Many have already started gathering for PRIDE celebration throughout the U.S for it is in the month of June that the LGBTQ community joins in celebration of advancements that have been made in our community through political struggle.
For all the 49 sheroes and heroes of Pulse nightclub, may your souls continue dancing to our music of freedom, and may your souls rest in eternal peace through power and justice. We commemorate you today, and will celebrate you through our future progress and ensure your last moments of fighting for your life was not in vain. In loving memory, we stand in silence only for a moment but more importantly, we will shout for you until the echoes of our cries reach our ultimate goal of freedom. In your names, we call on all communities to remember to resist the attempts of pitting vulnerable communities against each other and to act with love and commitment to bridge solidarity across religions, sexualities, races, ethnicities and beliefs to end hate.
For Immediate Release
June 15, 2016
Contact: Terrence Valen, NAFCON President, email@example.com
Two weeks before his inauguration, Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte follows through with his campaign promise to continue the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which were stalled for four years under the Aquino administration. A 3-day exploratory meeting is currently taking place in Oslo, Norway between the NDFP representatives and Duterte’s incoming peace advisers. The two parties are discussing draft documents on the release of political prisoners, an interim ceasefire, and a plan to accelerate the peace negotiations that are anticipated to be signed as official agreements as early as next month after Duterte assumes office. Filipino Americans fervently welcome and support these initiatives in tackling the Filipino people’s urgent issues.
Poverty, landlessness, and joblessness have long plagued the Philippines. Yet the Philippine government has historically made no genuine effort to address the root causes of these issues. It has merely instituted band-aid solutions such as the Labor Export Policy, which forces Filipinos to migrate and look for work abroad due to the lack of jobs and opportunities in their home country. Without the political will to resist international trade agreements and policies benefiting only the multinational corporations that exploit the natural resources of the country, the Philippine government cannot enact real change. Without nationalist and pro-people values informing the work of legislators and government officials, politicians will continue to treat government as a cash cow instead of a vehicle to provide services to the Filipino people.
Filipinos have unceasingly been forced to seek accountability from the Philippine government. We saw this in Kidapawan last April, where thousands of farmers and indigenous Lumad starving from drought protested for the release of calamity relief only to be met by bullets by government forces. The outpouring of support and donations of sacks of rice from Filipinos around the world, including celebrities like Robin Padilla, Nora Aunor, Monique Wilson, and Aiza Siguerra, highlight the strong collective spirit of the Filipino people on the one hand and the detestable lack of services they receive from their own government on the other.
It is in this context that Filipino Americans view the resumption of the peace talks — to truly address the causes of the Filipino people’s suffering. NAFCON strongly supports and advocates for the resumption of peace talks and release of political prisoners as first steps in fulfilling the people’s clamor for a just and equitable Philippines. We welcome Duterte’s actions to seriously follow through with his pronouncements, and we urge him to honor the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and other previously signed agreements with the NDFP, and to ultimately reach a comprehensive and detailed agreement with the NDFP that would resolve the root causes of societal ills in the Philippines.
NAFCON calls upon all peace-loving Filipinos, Filipino Americans, and allies to launch public forums on the people’s priorities for the next presidential administration and to engage in actions in support of genuine peace talks and the release of political prisoners as an act of goodwill.
To learn more about the peace talks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further reference: http://kodao.org/2016/06/14/ndfp-and-duterte-peace-teams-begin-informal-meet/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2016
Contact: Alex Montances, NAFCON Southern California
(562) 438-9515, email@example.com
Filipinos in Los Angeles March to “Break Free from Fossil Fuels”
On May 14, 2016, Filipino Americans joined over 2,000 people in a “Break Free from Fossil Fuel” march in Downtown Los Angeles. The march was part of a global mass action by environmentalists around the world to protest the fossil fuel industry and pressure governments and societies around the world to transition to 100% renewable energy. The march began at Los Angeles City Hall with local leaders and musical performances, then continued to the front of Southern California Gas Company headquarters, one of the largest fossil fuel companies and polluters in California.
Filipinos from the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) Southern California and Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) joined the A3PCON Environmental Justice committee in a larger Asian Pacific islander contingent during the march. NAFCON members marched, waved Philippine flags, and carried signs highlighting the effects of climate change and environmental degradation in the Philippines. Dr. Absalon Galat, member of the Filipino American Health Workers Association (FAHWA), stated why he attended the rally, “As health workers we see the effects of climate change and fossil fuels every day. I am a doctor in the San Fernando valley where everyday, after the San Fernando gas leak at Porter Ranch, people are coming in all the time with nosebleeds, dizziness and runny nose. This is the effect I have seen here in the U.S.” Thousands of families in Porter Ranch, CA were poisoned and suffered medical ailments due to a large methane gas leak by the SoCal Gas company that lasted over 4 months. Filipino Americans and many communities are seeing the negative impacts of fossil fuel companies on health and welfare of families.
Fossil fuels and climate change has led to an increasing amount of storms, typhoons, and severe weather all across the Asia Pacific region. Jewelle Dela Cruz, KBKN Southern California regional coordinator, also attended the march and said, “We are here to make sure that the voices of the communities of the most vulnerable and oppressed people are heard in this space, represented, and advocated for.” Dela Cruz commented on climate change in the Philippines, “As Filipinos, we have seen first-hand the effects of climate change, particularly the effects of large corporations that produce a lot of CO2. That affects third world countries like the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan was a result of not just natural disasters but man-made disasters through corporate interests and profits causing third world countries to suffer from changes in the climate.” Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines was one of the largest storms in recorded history that killed over 6,000 people, destroyed millions of dollars in agriculture and infrastructure, and displaced thousands of families.
Many large governments, multinational corporations and military aid have also decimated indigenous communities and natural resources across the globe. In the resource-rich island of Mindanao, Philippines, the forests, mountains, and indigenous Lumad tribes are also threatened. Andrew Esposo, chairperson of Anakbayan Los Angeles and member of NAFCON, stated, “We are here marching to declare an end to U.S. military aid to the Philippines. Because the U.S. military aid that is sent in millions of dollars is aiding the Armed Forces of the Philippines to go to the indigenous lands in Mindanao, to destroy and take the land in order to secure it for multinational corporations like mining and logging companies.” Recently, dozens of Lumad indigenous leaders have been assaulted, harassed and killed by the private security forces of mining companies and Philippine military agents. The Philippine military has sided with many American and European mining and logging firms in violently displacing Lumad tribes for profit and corruption.
Filipino Americans are joining in coalition with the larger environmental justice movement for environmental change and human rights. Esposo highlighted why Filipino Americans should care–“We here as Filipino youth understand that our heritage and our history lies in the rights of the ancestral lands of the Lumads and our communities in the Philippines. As Filipino Americans we pay our taxes. It should go to social services, to youth and students for education, not wars, corporate profit, and human rights violations.” The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns will continue conducting mass actions and movement building to defend the environment while at the same time protecting human rights of indigenous people and other marginalized communities.
For more information on NAFCON’s stand on environmental justice visit nafconusa.org.
NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States. For information, visit nafconusa.org.
For Immediate Release
May 3, 2016
Contact: Melanie Dulfo – firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-715-6391
1 Year Later: The Continuing Struggle to Free Mary Jane and End Human Trafficking
NAFCON Highlights Human Trafficking Issue on May Day, 2016
In commemoration of International Workers Day, NAFCON remembers the victory that halted, although temporarily, the execution of Filipina drug trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso.
On April 29, 2015, Filipinos and allies across the world celebrated as the news broke that the execution of Mary Jane Veloso was stayed by the Indonesian government. Mary Jane, a mother of two and overseas Filipino worker, was detained last year by the Indonesian government for allegedly smuggling drugs into Indonesia. However, Mary Jane had been trafficked. She was recruited by a family friend to work in Malaysia, but was sent to Indonesia, instead; and unbeknownst to her, she had been given a suitcase lined with heroin. She was arrested and set to be executed on April 29, 2015. But because of the clamor of Migrante International, the international alliance of Filipino migrant organizations, the Filipino people, Indonesian migrant groups, and supporters worldwide, the Indonesian government stayed the execution.
“Mary Jane is not a lone case. Thousands of Filipinos have had to survive trafficking because of the labor export policy of the Philippines, a model used by the Philippines state as a band-aid solution to the country’s poverty and unemployment issues. What’s more, the Philippine state has actually profited from the labor export program through taxes and fees that Filipino overseas workers pay, in order to work abroad,” states Melanie Dulfo, NAFCON Northeast Coordinator.
The fight for Filipino migrants and Mary Jane’s freedom continues. Join Filipino workers and immigrants on a series of activities to protest the forced migration of Filipinos and the complicity of the Philippine government in profiting from migrants. On May 1st, the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) mobilized on International Workers Day all over the US, to fight for worker and immigrant rights.
On May 7th, 2016, join NAFCON Northeast and Asiamerica Mission to End Modern Slavery (AMEMS) at the Second Summit on Human Trafficking: Communities Mobilizing Against Modern-day Slavery at St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst, New York, to discuss the conditions that migrant workers face, including widespread labor trafficking. Survivors of labor trafficking will be sharing their stories and successes, as part of a community-based network of support with AMEMS. RSVP to the summit and become part of this free event.
With rapidly worsening inequality and exploitation under globalization and forced migration, NAFCON also acknowledges that these conditions are seen in other Asian countries, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. “Labor trafficking and violations of worker’s rights intensified in the last decade. French youth and workers have been protesting against the new anti-labor reforms in Holland due to proposed anti-labor reforms. A new trade union law was being readied by Cambodia’s government which would severely curtail workers’ rights to union representation. The demand to increase minimum wage and improve workers’ conditions are seen in the United States and other countries,” says NAFCON Treasurer Annie Sayo.
End Forced Migration!
Stop Human Trafficking!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2016
CONTACT: Alex Montances, NAFCON Southern California
(562) 438-9515; email@example.com
Walk-a-thon Fundraiser with Filipino Indigenous Leaders Held on Earth Day
On Saturday, April 23, 2016, the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and community organizations from across Southern California hosted a walk-a-thon fundraiser called “Lakad 5k for the Lumad” at La Cañada United Methodist Church in La Cañada-Flintridge, California. Held in celebration of Earth Day, Lakad (Tagalog for “Walk”) raised $6,500 to build a sustainable water system for the Lumad indigenous community of Talaingod, Mindanao, Philippines. The event gathered over 200 participants and featured several Lumad leaders currently on the “Lakbay Lumad USA” nationwide speaking tour to advocate for indigenous rights and environmental justice in the Philippines.
Last year on Earth Day, NAFCON launched the “Adopt A Community” Program which supports communities in the Philippines by strengthening their capacity to survive and develop in the face of environmental challenges. This year, NAFCON’s goal is to raise $10,000 to rebuild a water system for Lumad Indigenous people in Dulyan, Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. The current project will provide a sufficient and sustainable water supply for the entire community and greatly improve health conditions for the people there.
“As the current project of NAFCON’s ‘Adopt A Community’ program, this water system will bring clean water to 300 members of the Talaingod-Manobo tribe who have very little access to water and are struggling to protect their ancestral land from militarization and multinational logging and mining companies. It’s great to see so many families, students, churches, and community members supportive of the cause,” stated Ryan Leano, NAFCON Southern California Coordinating Staff Member.
NAFCON joined millions of people around the world to commemorate “Earth Day” which is traditionally held on April 22. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and today, 46 years later, the environmental justice movement carries that legacy forward with grassroots organizing against the discriminatory environmental impacts of pollution, fossil fuel consumption, and the destruction of forests and natural ecosystems. NAFCON joined in solidarity with frontline communities most harmed by the climate crisis, including those in the Philippines. Together they are working to solve problems on the ground as well as demand systemic change and investment in true alternatives from those most responsible for the climate crisis–First World governments and multinational corporations.
The Philippines is not new to environmental calamities, both natural and man-made. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan was estimated to have killed up to 10,000 Filipinos, left thousands homeless, and destroyed billions of pesos in agriculture and local infrastructure. The lack of preparation and slow response by the Philippine government, coupled with political corruption and hoarding of relief supplies, only worsened the situation of communities affected by the storm.
Since 2009, NAFCON has raised over $1 million to provide relief for victims of calamities in the Philippines such as Typhoon Ondoy, Pablo, Sendong, and Yolanda (Haiyan). Even though providing direct grassroots relief after calamities is critical, NAFCON believes it is equally important to be proactive and address the underlying issues that greatly increase the vulnerability of communities to typhoons such as poverty, lack of infrastructure, and corporate pollution and environmental destabilization.
On April 1, 2016, on the verge of starvation due to months of drought caused by El Niño, nearly 6,000 farmers and their supporters in Cotabato, Philippines demanded emergency food assistance from the Philippine government. Desperate to feed their families, they barricaded a major highway and vowed to stay there until the government released 15,000 sacks of rice and calamity assistance. Instead, the Philippine National Police (PNP) violently dispersed the thousands of farmers by indiscriminately firing at them leaving at least 2 dead, 87 missing, and 116 injured. Thus, the greatest calamities and threat to the Philippine environment and to the Filipino people are not “natural” but are man-made.
The Philippines is facing unprecedented destruction and pollution of its natural environment. Less than one million hectares of tropical rain forests in the Philippines remain, compared to 30 million hectares in 1950. At least one billion cubic meters of prime topsoil are eroded every year. Thirty percent of the rivers have died. The effects of large typhoons and flooding has massively worsened in the past 20 years. The natural barriers that once buffered communities from storms have been destroyed by inhumane government policies catering to profit-driven corporations, such as the Mining Act of 1995, which opened the country to large-scale foreign mining corporations.
“Lakad: 5K for the Lumad” was one of many events in the Lumad leaders’ nationwide tour “Lakbay Lumad USA,” which is raising awareness about their courageous struggle against political violence, destruction of their ancestral land, large-scale extraction of natural resources, forced displacement, and how this repression is linked to U.S. foreign policy and multinational corporate interests in the region. NAFCON will continue to stand for human rights and environmental justice around the world.
For more information on NAFCON’s stand on environmental justice and its “Adopt A Community” Program, visit nafconusa.org.
NAFCON is a national multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations and individuals in the United States serving to protect the rights and welfare of Filipinos by fighting for social, economic, and racial justice and equality. At present, NAFCON members encompass over 23 cities in the United States. For information, visit nafconusa.org.
Lakad 5k Walkathon was held at La Cañada United Methodist Church
The Lumad are protecting their ancestral land from militarization, logging, and mining.
Over 200 participated in the Lakad 5k for the Lumad.