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Malaysia's Filipino community sends relief aid to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan

While Malaysia has sent condolences to the government and people of the Philippines on the loss of lives due to Super Typhoon Haiyan, the Filipino community has started collecting relief items for survivors.

MALAYSIA: For tens of thousands of Filipinos working in Malaysia, this is the time of year that they usually start sending their boxes home in order for Christmas gifts to reach their loved ones before Christmas day.

But sadly this year, some of these boxes -- especially to islands worst-hit by the typhoon -- may not arrive in time.

Emily Yap of LBC Remittance Express said: "We have a lot of customers from Visayas islands and the problem now is that they cannot call their family... They cannot even SMS (them). The means of transport there, it is a bit difficult for us to go the that place, so it would be out of our delivery zone."

To help in the relief efforts, LBC -- a freight forwarding company in the Philippines -- has launched a campaign at over 60 of its branches worldwide to collect relief goods and donations that will be be delivered free-of-charge to their head office in Manila once a week.

Ysrael Laude, from LBC Mabuhay KL, said: "LBC are encouraging our fellow countrymen to send some donations so that we can give to our LBC foundation.

"Then the LBC foundation will be the one to distribute to the concerned departments in Philippines like the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), Red Cross and other NGOs."

To speed up delivery, Mr Laude hopes that airlines that operates daily flights to the Philippines -- like AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and Cebu Pacific Air -- can coordinate in the relief efforts to get these boxes quickly to those affected by the disaster.

Mr Laude added: "At least if they offer their services or even just a little space for us, at least we can send (relief goods) everyday."

While access to disaster-hit areas in the Philippines is a challenge, there is no telling whether these boxes will get to victims in Tacloban and nearby islands in time.

Still, there is no stopping the Filipino community and the Malaysian public to lend a helping hand, to provide moral support and courage for victims of typhoon through these difficult times. 

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