In the Philippines, clouds of a different colour

… It’s often said that Filipinos habitually elect bad leaders because of our short memories of the past. But as temperatures and sea levels rise, resources grow more scarce and population increases, the effects of corruption and irresponsible planning promise a difficult future. It seems unlikely that our present politicians can lead us against such inevitabilities.

When the news cycle moves on from Haiyan and returns to the Senate investigation, the spotlight will again fall on familiar faces: Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was once the lap-bulldog of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Senator Jinggoy Estrada is the son of former president Joseph Estrada, who was ousted and convicted of plunder. Senator Bong Revilla, a popular actor, is the son of a former senator and movie legend. They, along with dozens of other politicians and officials, must now answer to accusations that they plundered public funds earmarked for reconstruction and development.

Alas, for Filipinos, this is an old, familiar story. Just as deadly typhoons are an annual reality.

To the international community, I urge you to donate what you can through reputable channels. And to the millions of Filipinos at home and abroad, let’s use this tragedy as a reminder to take our leaders to task. What’s at stake is nothing less than our future.

— Miguel Syjuco



    Cash or Check Donations

    Please send cash or check donations to the PRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine Red Cross. We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

    We now accept cash donations for the Philippine Red Cross at any 7-11 store or Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop nationwide.

    Bank Deposit

    Bank accounts for Donations

    Banco De Oro
    Peso: 00-453-0018647
    Dollar: 10-453-0039482

    Peso: 151-3-041631228
    Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2

    Philippine National Bank
    Peso: 3752 8350 0034
    Dollar: 3752 8350 0042

    Unionbank of the Philippines
    Peso: 1015 4000 0201
    Dollar: 1315 4000 0090

    All Check/Cash for the account of Philippine Red Cross (Swift Codes)

    Banco De Oro

    Bank of the Philippine Islands


    Philippine National Bank

    Unionbank of the Philippines

    For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.