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Int’l sports bodies join aid drive for ‘Pablo’ victims

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The International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Council of Asia have joined the global assistance campaign to benefit the victims of Typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao.

Philippine Olympic chief Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. announced Monday that the two sports bodies have pledged $50,000 each (about P4.1 million combined) for the relief efforts for the victims of the typhoon that devastated the towns of Baganga and Cateel in Davao Oriental and New Bataan in Compostela Valley.

Cojuangco said the Philippine Olympic Committee also intends to build houses for the victims through the help of Gawad Kalinga.

“What I hope to do is put up a village with Gawad Kalinga,” said Cojuangco. “We’re planning to have a particular area, which is sports-oriented, for those who lost their homes.”

Gawad Kalinga officials told the Olympic body that the monetary support from the IOC and OCA could build 30 houses. A total of 204,464 families or 806,307 persons were affected by the typhoon.

Though the housing area hasn’t been identified yet, Cojuangco is looking to help build 100 units through the help of corporate donors and philanthropists.

“This is different, this is not for the athletes but an initiative to help those in need,” he said.

The IOC is the world governing body for sports while the OCA oversees the affairs of Asian nations in sports.

The United States government has also provided monetary aid for the relief efforts for Pablo victims along with Canada, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia, among others.

As of yesterday, the Department of Social Work and Development announced that financial support has already reached P1.5 billion.

Cojuangco said San Miguel Corp., the biggest food and beverage conglomerate in the country, has also offered to help.

“I think San Miguel will match this (IOC and OCA aid) and I will also ask some other friends to contribute here,” said the former two-time Tarlac congressman and uncle of President Aquino.


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