With a population of 480,000, Marikina is one of the 16 cities that constitute metropolitan Manila. On September 26 last year, it was devastated by typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy). The foundation decided to concentrate its relief effort in Marikina and employed over 5,000 residents in a ‘work relief program’, under which they were paid to clean up the mud and debris left by the typhoon. They made a major contribution in returning the city to normal. The foundation’s work so moved the residents that more than 1,000 have started training to become certified Tzu Chi volunteers. In addition, this month the city government unanimously passed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the foundation to allow its volunteers to promote recycling across the city.
On November 21, the mayor of Marikina, Del De Guzman, led a team of 36 people, including city representatives and officials from its education department, to Hualien to show the MOA to Master Cheng Yen and express their thanks for all the foundation’s work in their city. They were accompanied by 12 volunteers from the Philippines, including the director of the foundation’s branch in the country, Li Weisong, and his predecessor. “I want to express our thanks to Master Cheng Yen and all the Tzu Chi Foundation,” said De Guzman. “After the Typhoon Ketsana struck the city last September 29, you have helped the city of Marikina and especially its poor people to rebuild their lives.” Eduardo Lopez, director of the city’s education bureau, said that all the 126 high and middle schools in the city would put into practice Tzu Chi’s recycling philosophy and hoped to turn Marikina into a model city in the Philippines. Master Cheng Yen thanked the volunteers in the Philippines for looking after the delegation and their hard work in education and training. She reminded the volunteers to continue spreading the foundation’s humanitarian spirit.
Marikina Mayor Gives MOA to Tzu Chi
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