Leaders of various Fil-Am groups representing domestic workers, immigrant advocates, attorneys, students, faith leaders and veterans from across the US rallied in front of the White House. Photo contributed by Eric Lachica
MANILA -- The Filipino-American community in the United States has urged President Barack Obama to finally grant the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for the Philippines.
The group Relief 2 Recovery said all forms of humanitarian aid to the Philippines should continue even five months after super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).
The Philippines made the request following the onslaught of Yolanda, which left more than 6,000 dead.
More bodies are being recovered until now as requests for humanitarian assistance continue.
“In the municipality of Santa Fe on Bantayan Island, 60% of the families needed new homes after the typhoon, and 30% of families had homes that were partially damaged,” noted Lisa Shultz, founder of Peace Project, which is part of the Relief 2 Recovery group.
“I just returned last week from there and in the few areas nearest to tourist locations, only about 15-20% have received or were receiving funds to repair or replace their homes. But in most of the areas on the island, there is very little aid and I estimate that number drops to 5-10%. This means most of those affected are still without new homes,” she said.
A TPS is granted to foreign nationals in the US when the conditions in their home countries prevent them from returning.
The group is requesting that the TPS, which has been with the Homeland Security since March, be approved when President Barack Obama visits the Philippines.
Obama will arrive in the Philippines on Monday, with the end view of signing bilateral deals ranging from security to trade.