NUJP seeks help for journalists displaced by Nona
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines — The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) is appealing for help for community journalists hit by Typhoon Nona, which mainly battered the country’s eastern seaboard Wednesday.
“Another deadly storm has passed and among those hit hard are our media colleagues who are now unable to do their job of reporting in their communities in Northern Samar,” said NUJP chair Joseph Alwyn Alburo.
“Reports are just coming in through our brave local officers and members that some community media practitioners in severely hit areas have lost their homes and were hit by severe flooding,” Alburo added.
“Most of them are torn in doing their jobs covering the disaster despite their plight even though their stations and publications are also inoperable, affecting their community who could not get information when they need it most,” he further said.
In the face of this distress, the NUJP launched Wednesday evening the “Tabang (Help) Media” campaign, which was first launched four years ago in the wake of Typhoon Sendong in northern Mindanao, which also affected the families of scores of media practitioners.
The same campaign was launched last year after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged eastern Visayas, which also devastated the homes and livelihood of many journalists in the region.
As of Thursday afternoon, a rapid needs assessment has shown that the families of the journalists require immediate assistance for food and water supply, and some 12 of them need to rebuild the roofs of their houses.
Most of the families are based in Catarman town.
Eladio Perfecto, chair of the NUJP chapter in northern Samar, said the operation of many, if not all, radio stations in the area have been “bogged down” by the wrath of ‘Nona.’
Alburo said the NUJP has already sent initial cash assistance to northern Samar colleagues. The frequency of cash transfers has been hampered by the 12 noon cut-off for banks in Catarman.
“And so again, we are appealing to your kindness and compassion to help our colleagues in the community media who are in great need of any assistance that you can share — either in cash or in kind,” Alburo said.
“We are accepting donations in cash and in kind, specifically clothes, hygiene products, first aid kits, medicines (paracetamol, loperamide, antibiotics and the like), potable water, sleeping mats and even batteries and power banks,” he added.
Cash and check donations may be deposited to the Tabang Media Bank Account (Acct. Name: National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Metrobank Kamuning Branch; Acct. Number 229-7229-507-458; Swift code MBTCPHMM).
Donations in kind may be sent to the NUJP National Headquarters on the 4th floor of the FSS Building at 89 Scout Castor St., Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City. A drop box is placed at the building’s lobby.
“We would appreciate it if you can spread the word to the media community about our Tabang Media Campaign because no help is more than enough and it will certainly allow our fellow community journalists to survive, move forward and do their most important job —to help inform the communities they serve in rising above this latest crisis,” Alburo appealed. SFM
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