Group urges public to donate usable clothes to evacuees
MANILA, Philippines – As relief donations continued to pour in for affected communities in Batangas, a disaster management organization reminded the public to be mindful of the clothes they donate to families displaced by the ongoing Taal Volcano eruption.
The reminder came after photos of evacuees wearing school and work uniforms – all donations – made rounds on social media. (READ: Batangas gov't: More than 160,000 evacuees as Taal Volcano still rumbles)
Some netizens applauded how evacuees rocked the inappropriate clothes they received, and commended their seeming' resillience and ability to find humor in the midst of a crisis.
But while others found the photos funny, the Citizens' Disaster Response Center used the occasion to remind the public to donate clothes that evacuees need and could still use. (WATCH: Taal evacuees rummage for clothes that fit)
"Let us treat the survivors with dignity," the disaster management group said in a statement on Friday, January 17. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help communities affected by Taal Volcano eruption)
The group also called on those accepting and distributing relief to sort the donations before distribution and ensure that the clothes are appropriate for those who will receive them.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also discouraged the donation of used clothing to disaster survivors.
The nearly 54-year-old Republic Act No. 4653 prohibits the importation of used clothing and rags.
This is done to avoid health hazards which may be transmitted through used clothing and also to support the local garment industry.
According to the Batangas Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC), 37,355 families or 162,728 individuals were staying in various evacuation centers – excluding those who decided to stay with their relatives and friends. – Rappler.com