Voices of Travel

SKÃ…L PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR THE PHILIPPINES

Along with everyone around the world, Skål International is devastated by the horrendous loss of life and damage suffered by the Filipino people as a result of super typhoon Haiyan. While international aid agencies and governments rush to supply much needed medical and humanitarian aid, Skål International stresses the need for planning to immediately start on the rebuilding of the infrastructure, both at a local as well as national level.

“Our experience with the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami was that while aid poured into the affected areas it was the rebuilding of infrastructure after the immediate ‘first aid’ that was so badly needed,” states SkÃ¥l International World President, Karine Coulanges (pictured). “We have already been in contact with our senior SkÃ¥l personnel in the Philippines who advise that the capital Manila escaped serious damage, however cities across the central Philippines took the brunt of the wind and sea serge damage.”

Skål International Manila President & International Councillor for the Philippines, Patria Chiong is in contact with Manila based Skål personnel and endeavouring to make personal contact with clubs in Bacalod, Cebu and Makati to check on their members and their families, as well as establish the damage to the travel and tourism plant in the regions. An update is also being prepared on the travel and tourism infrastructure that has not been damaged or affected so the word can go out to the industry that certain regions in the Philippines are open for business and ready and waiting to attract much needed tourist dollars.

In terms of action Skål International has set up a Philippines Relief fund so its 18,000 members from 85 countries along with friends and colleagues in the travel and tourism industry can contribute. The fund will be established to offer financial assistance to one of more special projects in the affected regions. Skål International in association with Skål Philippines will select local projects and work with an on ground NGO to ensure oversight of the expenditure sees 100% of the funds invested into the project. The Skål International account for the Philippines Appeal is: Bank: BBVA, Holder: Skål International (Philippines appeal), Account number: 0182 0481 61 0201658720, SWIFT Code: BBVAESMM, IBAN: ES93 0182 0481 6102 0165 8720. For donations by credit card, contact yolanda.sanchez@skal.org .

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