DUBAI // Filipinos in the UAE are preparing to ship boxes of relief supplies to help flood victims stranded in their homes and temporary shelters across Manila and its suburbs.
About 60 per cent of Manila, home to 12 million people, remained flooded yesterday.
Nineteen people have been reported killed since Tuesday, raising the death toll to 72.
At least 850,000 people have been stranded or displaced by the floods. Food, water, clothes and medicine are being distributed to those marooned inside flooded homes and at temporary shelters.
In the UAE, LBC, a Philippine courier company, has offered to ship relief material from the Filipino community to Manila for free.
On Tuesday, FilCom, which represents 81 Filipino groups in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, sent an initial donation of Dh10,000 to the Philippine Red Cross. Alan Bacason, the organisation's president, said each group was being urged to contribute in cash or in kind.
The Alpha Phi Omega fraternity plans to collect cash and relief goods from among its 200 members this week, said its president Raul Corporal.
When tropical storm Washi hit the country last year, the group sent nine boxes to Manila, which were shipped to Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines.
Then, LBC shipped about 200 boxes of new clothes blankets, canned goods and flip-flops. Its staff expect their phones to be busy this weekend.
"A woman from Silicon Oasis came to collect two boxes today," said Roldan Vergara, LBC's area head.
"She plans to conduct a collection drive in her company."
The courier company can pick up the boxes from apartment blocks and various drop-off points.
Donors can also send cash to the Philippine Red Cross, broadcast companies GMA-7 or ABS-CBN, and non-government organisations.
"There were concerns about a ban on charity donations from the UAE to the Philippines," said Mr Bacason. "We have confirmed from Al Rostamani Exchange that there is none."
* With additional reporting by Reuters