Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Philippines aid worker to visit Wellington

Philippines aid and development worker to visit Wellington

When Typhoon Fengshen slammed into the Philippines in June, a longstanding local organisation whose director is visiting New Zealand next month, was at the forefront of recovery.

Developers Foundation, a community development organisation working in poor and isolated rural communities on Panay Island in western Visayas region, went from development work with 33,000 people a year to overnight helping a similar number with emergency assistance in the wake of the typhoon.

Co-director, Tet Golamco Naraval, is in Wellington from December 3 – 7 to lead a workshop at the biennial International Development Studies Network (Devnet) conference. Tet brings fresh, first-hand perspectives on the impact of natural disasters on poor countries and the resilience required for recovery after the television cameras have stopped rolling and disaster relief funds have slowed.

Panay Island was one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Fengshen whose 140km/hr winds slammed without warning into the Philippines overnight June 21, killing an estimated 1300 people including 700 passengers of MV Princess of the Stars ferry. Flash floods and landslides compounded the disaster. Overnight, Developers Foundation headquarters become a disaster management centre, operating from the first storey of the mud-soaked building. For two months, staff worked with local and international organisations on relief and rehabilitation work, first making reconnaissance trips to cut-off outlying areas, distributing emergency relief and later rebuilding homes.

New Zealand international aid organisation Christian World Service (CWS) sent funds to Developers Foundation within of days of the typhoon. CWS has a long-standing relationship with Developers Foundation and is sponsoring Tet’s visit. CWS is the development, justice and aid agency of New Zealand churches

Developers Foundation works with rural communities on projects like access road and school building, hooking up remote areas to electricity, funding drinking water projects, trade and income generation training, and environmental management including large-scale mangrove planting and coastal clean-ups.

Typhoons like Fengshen and other natural disasters are not uncommon in the Philippines. Politically, its citizens have lost two recent presidents around allegations of massive corruption. On the southern island of Mindanao, rebels are fighting for a separate Islamic state within the mainly Catholic country which has cost 120,000 lives. The Philippines has large national debt and tens of millions of people live in poverty. More than 10% of Philippinos work overseas and remittances are a significant source of support. The Philippines has the highest birth rate in Asia. Forecasters say the population could double within three decades.

Between 20,000 and 25,000 Philippinos live in New Zealand. In 2006, Philippine visitors to New Zealand increased by 16 percent, the largest percentage increase from South East Asia. When President Arroyo visited in May 2007, a number of substantive outcomes were achieved, including two new bilateral arrangements.

Tet Naraval will be in New Zealand from November 29 and in Wellington from December 3 - 8.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election