PP Don Shields from Rotary Club of Geelong Central, Australia, whose spouse is our club member, has visited Philippines and on December 24th, 2019 endorsed our club a monetary donation in the amount of PHP 34,100 (approximately AUD 1,000) to support our club activities, chiefly the gift giving event scheduled on December 27, 2019. He also brought his district flag and lapel pin (Rotary District 9780 Australia) to be endorsed to our district 3810.
We also discussed about DIK (Donations In Kind) project. Originated by his club Geelong Central (read the story) early 1980’s, Rotary Clubs in Australia have formed DIK project and shipped out a lot of liquidated hospital beds & equipment, playgrounds, school desks & chairs, etc. in Australia to countries such as Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Fiji, PNG, Kenya and Tanzania, where these material donations are needed.
The DIK shipping costs have been covered by the profits from Rotary clubs’ Sunday Market Food Van in Australia.
DIK has sent only one shipping container to the Philippines, many years ago, where it was impounded for high import duty/tax.
RIMM has sought for ways to obtain waiver of duty/tax for such donations. DSWD (Department of Social Welfare Development) has waiver but it was later found that only the waiver applies to food & OTC drugs (the regulation was made for emergency relief purposes after the typhoon Haiyan struck Visaya region). RIMM, as of December, 2019, has not been able to found any ways to have waiver on the donations in kind in the Philippines.
PP Don Shields even offered his personal fund of up to AUD2,000 to cover import duties but RIMM’s research estimates that the import duties might be much greater and DIK to the Philippines have not come to fruition yet, while DIK Australia had actually pulled out some used playgrounds and prepared a shipping container so that it can arrive to the Philippines port before Christmas time.
As time is running out at port of origin in Australia and we have not been able to solve tax/ duty issues at this moment, it will most likely be allocated elsewhere.
However, PP Don Shields will try shipping small volume via Balikbayan box in the near future.