Channel NewsAsia

SAF sends relief supplies to the Philippines, helps in evacuation

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) said it was sending S$120,000 worth of relief supplies -- including tents, groundsheets, medical supplies and blankets -- to the Philippines to help with the relief effort following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Armed Forces is sending S$120,000 worth of relief supplies to the Philippines to help with the relief effort following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

This is in addition to the S$200,000 contribution from the government announced earlier.

The supplies include tents, groundsheets, medical supplies, and blankets.

These will be transported over in two tranches by the Republic of Singapore Air Force using the C-130 aircraft.

The first tranche of supplies was handed over by Singapore's Defence Attaché to the Philippines, Colonel Luis Phay, to Assistant Secretary of the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development, Camilo G Gudmalin, in Tacloban on Wednesday morning.

The C-130 aircraft also evacuated civilians from Tacloban to Manila before returning to Singapore.

Non-governmental organisations are also stepping up efforts to provide help to the Philippines.

The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) said it has received over S$145,000 in public donations to its Typhoon Haiyan Relief Appeal.

Its public donations will also be matched dollar by dollar, for up to S$1 million by developer Oxley Holdings.

It is also preparing three medical missions, with the first team leaving on Wednesday.

Another team of volunteers will arrive in Cebu on Thursday morning to help with the distribution of relief items.

From Cebu, they hope to gain entry into one of the devastation-hit areas -- Tacloban.

Lim Theam Poh, SRC’s deputy secretary general, said: "We are not going to bring our own supplies from Singapore because logistically, it's quite a big job … (as) the roads are not really open (so) accessibility is a big question mark. So what we intend to do is do local purchases. That will cut down the movement time. And we are going to supply them with the essential things like food and non-food items."

Singapore's Mercy Relief is also sending a team to the city of Tacloban.

They will procure relief supplies from the neighbouring, less affected areas.

Mercy Relief said it will focus for now on providing acute emergency relief. It is also appealing for donations to help in the relief and recovery efforts.

The Philippine Bayanihan Society Singapore has been accepting in-kind donations to send over to the Philippines.

Administration and Finance Head Cristy Vicentina said the centre is accepting canned goods, towels and soap but not used clothes or medicines due to restrictions in sending in-kind donations to the Philippines.

The 'Blessings To All' Mosque Committee, representing all mosques in Singapore, will be organising a special fund raising effort in aid of victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Donation boxes will be placed at all 69 mosques on Friday, October 15, for one week.

Maybank Singapore is also facilitating relief efforts by refunding service fees for those who wish to send money back to the Philippines.

Transactions that qualify will be online funds transfer to the Philippines, as well as payments to Philippines-issued Visa or Mastercard credit cards via Maybank online banking, from November 13 to 17. 

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna