WASHINGTON DC – About a hundred Filipino organizations based in Washington DC protested the Philippine government’s directives that restrict and impose taxes on relief aid for disaster victims.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON-US) organized the mobilization in front of the Philippine Embassy on October 25, 2009.
NAFCON-US said the mobilization was part of its community action component to their annual national conference which carried the theme “Strengthen and Broaden the Rights and Welfare of Filipinos in the US.”
Placard-bearing protesters marched around the perimeter of the Philippine Embassy.
“This October 25th mobilization is a significant moment in US Filipino American History and Filipinos organizing our communities here in the US, in that not since the height of the anti-martial law movement in the 1980s, have Filipinos in such large numbers gathered in front of the Philippine Embassy in the nation’s capital to demand justice,” NAFCON-US president, Fr. Ben Alforque said.
Outpouring of support
Filipinos based in the US immediately responded to the call to help Pinoys affected by typhoon Ondoy.
NAFCON-US’s BAYANihan campaign received over US$15,000 monetary aid and collected hundreds of balikbayan boxes of donated items.
“In this time of urgent need for the vast majority of Filipinos impacted by Ondoy and other natural disasters, NAFCON-US appeals to supporters in the US to join us in our demand that GMA rescind her directives taxing and restricting disaster relief. The lives of the Filipino people should be her first consideration, not government profit,” NAFCON-US said in a statement.