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18 December 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur warns the public against individuals and organizations who are illegally soliciting funds for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). “We have received information from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that there are individuals and groups who are illegally soliciting funds for the benefit of the typhoon victims. These individuals are presenting themselves as alleged members of a reputable charitable institution to get money from unsuspecting donors,” Embassy Charge d’Affaires Medardo Macaraig said. Two Filipino women were caught by Thai police for falsely soliciting donations in a gasoline station in Udon Thani. They were posing as volunteer of a charitable organization, and were found to have fake stickers, a list of donations and some cash when taken under custody. “While we have not heard of any cases here in Malaysia, we would like to warn our Filipino community members and our Malaysian friends to do some research on the charitable organization before making any donation. It is also best that donations be coursed through reputable Filipino or Malaysian charitable organizations to ensure that their money or in-kind donations reach their intended recipients,” he added. Efforts are now ongoing towards rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas affected by the typhoon, with the Philippine Government releasing its Rehabilitation Assistance on Yolanda in a briefing held on December 18 before the diplomatic corps and development partners at the DFA. In his speech during the briefing, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said that the plan aims to ensuring that the communities that rise again do so stronger, better, and more resilient than before. “This is also why recovery and reconstruction will be done in cumulative, overlapping phases to meet immediate needs, and to make the transition not just towards full normalcy, but to an improved state,” the President said. END