1st Volunteer Summit on Disaster Response: Gathering of Angels

Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) participated in the 1st Volunteer Summit on Disaster Response: Gathering of Angels organized by the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) Philippines and Oplan Hatid Volunteer Group on 05 November 2014 at the Skydome of SM North EDSA in Quezon City.

November 8, 2015 marks the one year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, the most destructive storm to hit the Philippines. IAVE Philippines headed by its President Ma. Dolores T. Santiago, also GSP National Executive Director, and Oplan Hatid volunteers organized the summit to gather Yolanda volunteers and prepare them for future emergencies.

Girl Scouts, troop leaders, and professional staff from the National Headquarters, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon Regions comprised the delegation. Questions on how they, as children, could help in the post-disaster relief operation and stress debriefing were raised by some of the Girls.

The morning session focused on volunteering and post-disaster response by guest speakers and forum panelists: Dr. Eric Talens, Director of Ugnayan ng Pahinungod-Manila; Mr. Alfredo Li, CEO of Tzu Chi Foundation Philippines; James Deakin, Motoring Journalist and Oplan Hatid Volunteer; Mae Paner (a.k.a Juana Change); Maj. Diego Pilar of Philippine Air Force; Photographer Alex Baluyut; Abbey del Puerto of Citizens’ Network for Psychosocial Response; LCdr. Lily Rose Lastimado; Joe Bailey Guerrero, inventor of the T1D and T1 Advance water filtration; and Atty. Robby Consunji, President of the Land Rover Club of the Philippines who shared their success stories and lessons learned in the post-disaster relief operation for the Typhoon Yolanda victims.

Afternoon sessions included specific talk about what would happen if a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, dubbed by the experts as “The Big One”, hit Metro Manila and what preparations are being made by the government and volunteer organizations. Panelists for this session were Col. Geruncio Ilagan, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Tech. Asst. of General Manager; BGen. Marcelo Javier of the 15th Infantry Division, Army Reserve Command; and Sec. Gen. Gwendolyn T. Pang of Philippine Red Cross.

The forum ended with the launching of the Oplan Hatid book entitled “Angels on Wheels.”

IAVE Philippines is composed of volunteer managers, individuals, organizations and institutions that promote volunteerism as a way of life. OPLAN HATID, on the other hand, is a volunteer transport service for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.

GSP is a staunch supporter and partner of IAVE Philippines for many years now.