Preparation is Key to Survival as LGU Dupax Del Norte Hurdles Typhoon Ompong

October 12, 2018 – About a month after Typhoon Ompong made landfall in the region, citizens of Dupax Del Norte in Nueva Vizcaya province recall how fortunate they were that they followed preparations made by field office staff and their local government unit (LGU) that minimized the extent of damage to their lives and livelihood.

Ms. Sheila Mie Naboa, one of those who were evacuated from Barangay Lamo, said that they were provided with all their necessities from the time they arrived in the evacuation center up until they were allowed to go home.

“Bilang evacuee, hindi nagkulang ang DSWD sa pagbibigay ng aming mga kailangan dahil pagkalipat [pa lamang] namin sa evacuation center ng Biyernes [September 15] ng mga alas dos ng hapon ay may pagkain na [kaming] pwedeng iluto. [Bago kami umuwi ay may binigay pang] relief goods para may makain kami dahil hindi kami nakapagtrabaho ng dalawang araw dahil sa bagyo,” Ms. Naboa recalled.

A total of 178 families including 554 individuals were pre-emptively evacuated before the landfall of the storm on September 15 to seven (7) evacuation centers throughout the municipality while 300 family food packs were prepositioned by the field office to the area as augmentation to the existing relief goods of the municipality.

Dimple Mauricio, the Municipal Link for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and team leader of the field office’s Municipal Action Team (MAT) in the area, said that the team joined staff from the LGU in going to different areas within the municipality to identify families at risk.

The team had to convince families to evacuate and though some initially hesitated from leaving their houses, they eventually relented given the premise of a safer place where they can stay during the storm.

“Puspusan ang ginawang paghahanap ng LGU at ng barangay kasama na tayo upang hindi na maranasan ang sinapit natin sa mga nakaraang bagyo. Nagsagawa tayo ng evacuation para sa kaligtasan ng mga tao lalo na sa mga lugar na laging nababaha,” Ms. Mauricio added.

No casualties were reported in the area and only minimal damages to houses were seen, a testament to the shrewd preparation made by the MAT team in cooperation with the LGU and the cooperation of the town’s people to the conduct of the evacuation endeavor. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit

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MAT Baggao, Cagayan Intensifies Response Operations, Helps in the Validation of Damaged Houses

Baggao, Cagayan – The absence of electricity and the intense heat of the sun didn’t stop the Municipal Action Team (MAT) who yesterday joined the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in conducting assessment of damaged houses caused by Typhoon Ompong in this town.

The four-member MAT joined a team that also included staff coming from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The team was split into 4 teams that set up command posts in barangays’ Poblacion, Bagunut, Tallang and San Jose for efficiency in the assessment of houses.

Mr. Christian C. Nicolas, the MAT team leader and Municipal Link for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the municipality, said that cooperation between members of the MAT made the assessment of houses easier to accomplish.

“Nagtutulungan kami bilang isang grupo (MAT) para mabigyan ng serbisyo ang mga higit na nangangailangan,” Mr. Nicolas added.

Baggao, Cagayan was the hardest-hit area by the aforementioned typhoon, making landfall in the municipality at 1:40 AM of September 15, 2018 and leaving a trail of 1,964 totally damaged houses and 12,091 partially-damaged houses according to initial reports coming from the local government unit.

This figure is being assessed for veracity by the assessment team.

The field office was able to preposition a total of 300 family food packs before the landfall of Typhoon Ompong while augmenting an additional 3,300 food packs after the storm.

Field office staff continue to do response operations in the area, earlier setting up a communication service allowing locals free call and internet service while they await the restoration of electricity in the area, which was pegged to be completely restored by November. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit, DSWD Field Office II

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Further Aid Given for Typhoon Ompong Relief Operations

Tuguegarao City – The Samahang Magbubukid sa Lambak ng Cagayan, Inc. in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region 02 donated a total of P329,110.00 to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) last September 24, 2018 as additional help for Typhoon Ompong-affected families in the region.

The group was led by Ms. Rubelita S. Bancod, the Division Manager of NIA’s Administrative and Finance Division, who mentioned how glad they are that their group can make a difference with the donation they made.

“We want to be involved with relief operations and this (donation) is one way that we will be able to help,” Ms. Bancod mentioned.

OIC-Regional Director Lucia S. Alan personally welcomed the group along with OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Administration, Mr. Celso Arao, Jr.

OIC-Alan said that the amount will be used immediately and instructed the Disaster Response and Management Division (DRMD) to process the needed documents to use the amount for response measures.

As of today, the field office has a standby fund totalling P10,208,531.04 and a stockpile valued at P4,200,000.00 ready for distribution and use for relief operations. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit, DSWD Field Office II

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Ang Kwentong Pagsibol ng Isang Solo Parent

Mr. Pedro T. Balingao resides in Barangay Ragan Norte, in the Municipality of Delfin Albano, Isabela. He grew up in a community where tenant farming is the way of life. The tradition of being a farm laborer is passed from one generation to another. He embraced the tradition and also became one. He now realizes that his seasonal income does not suffice the growing needs of his five children. His income amounting to P150.00 barely covers the basic need of his family. Fate even tested his resilience as his wife went abroad and hasn’t heard from her since. He even incurred debts just to send his wife abroad that in turn left him alone with the burden of paying all these said debts. For five years, he struggled financially and emotionally as a solo parent. Juggling both the role of bringing food on the table and providing maternal care.

When Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) was introduced in their community, he grabbed the opportunity and became a member of Aquarius SLP Association. Upon receiving the Seed Capital Fund (SCF) amounting to P10, 000.00, he invested it to start his own hollow block manufacturing business. It was his long-time dream to run his own enterprise for him to maximize his skill and earn more. He was able to purchase raw materials such as cement, gravel, sand and the like. He also acquired two units of hollow block moulder. He started producing an average of 400 pieces of hollow blocks per week. Through his perseverance, he effectively utilized his resources and to date doubled his production up to 1,000 pieces of hollow blocks per weekly cycle of production. During the start of his enterprise he earned an average gross income of P3,000.00 per week. Now, his project generates up to P10,000.00 gross income per week which draws an average net income of P5,000.00 per week. It translates to an additional average monthly income of P20,000.00. The enterprise also provided income for others as he hires delivery service earning P1.00 per one hollow block.

He now currently operates his own hollow block manufacturing shop. As proof of his hard labor, he was able to generate savings and used it to build a more comfortable house for his children. The steady income helped him send his five children to school and provide them with decent meal. The financial assurance that the project brings sheds hope for his children’s future. As he learned the value of savings in SLP, he now religiously sets aside a portion of his income for future diversification of his project. In his own little way, he gives back to the community by creating employment as he hires delivery service which in turn contributes to the local economic growth.

Despite life’s adversities, he remained optimistic and focused his energy on making the lives of his children better. His positivity radiates on his warm smile with no traces of resentment and regret.  “Hindi ako sinukuan ng DSWD at sinuportahan pa nila ang aking kabuhayan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapahiram ng puhunan mula sa SLP, upang sa ganon ay makasabay ako sa hamon ng buhay,” Mr. Balingao said. ### By: Melisen A. Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer

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A Sewer’s Dream

Traces of hardships are visibly seen on the hands of Ms. Iris U. Viola, a sewer and a mother of two. Through the years, countless needles, rolls of threads and yards of fabric were her constant companion to get by. Although she has minimal skill on sewing she strived to make a living out of it since the family’s main source of livelihood is seasonal in nature. She faced difficulty in covering the needs of her family ever since her children entered formal schooling. In times when she couldn’t rely on sewing, she recalled that just to bring home a kilo of rice, she even tried to scavenge roots crops, make a snack out of it and sold it. They don’t own fishing gears to maximize what the sea can offer. Her husband only practices “maki-daklis”, a local term for percentage basis income on fishing.

Before the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) was introduced in their community, Ms. Iris’s family had no steady income. They relied on tenant farming as their main source of livelihood, earning a percentage basis income of P3,000.00 a month. She also did occasional sewing as a side line job and kept a small sari-sari store to augment their seasonal income. Unfortunately, she couldn’t depend on these said ventures since she had minimal skill on sewing and her sari-sari store had limited items.

SLP shed light on the aspiration of a mother to further her skills. In 2016, she grabbed the opportunity for skills upgrading and enrolled at Aparri Polytechnic Institute together with three SLP members from Buguey. The intervention capacitated her on the technical know-how on Dressmaking. It also provided Ms. Iris with physical asset as she received starter kit for the operation of her enterprise.

She earns an average of P400.00 a day on sewing and repair services on a regular basis. On peak days, she earns as much as P700 a day. This venture translates to a monthly additional income of P13, 200.00 for the family. On days were demand is high, she hires seasonal workers and provides them a percentage basis income. She employs at most three mothers from her neighborhood.

At present, through the gains from her sewing business, Ms. Iris was able to diversify the sources of her income. She was able to expand her sari-sari store to include a purified water refill, bottled drinks and a loading station. She also acquired one unit of freezer for her sari-sari store. Moreover, she also ventured on hog raising. Her hardships on her ventures paid off as she sees the fruits of her labor becoming a reality. The family was able to build their dream house. It may not be that big but it is now concrete, more comfortable and sturdy compared to the previous one. Greater than this economic gains, she finds fulfillment in being able to provide alternative income for other mothers like her. In her own little way her enterprise is making a difference to the community.

There is no single formula for success, her attitude towards life and the positive outlook that she emanates became her driving force to effectively grow her enterprise. She is more than thankful for the opportunity that SLP provided. “Nagbalin nga katulungak ti negosyok nga panagdait nga impaay iti SLP, maited kun iti kasapulan iti anak ku ken kaasi ni Apo gumin-awa met panagbiyag mi (Naging katuwang ko ang negosyong pananahi na hatid ng SLP sa pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng aking mga anak at sa awa ng Diyos guminhawa naman ang aming buhay),” she said. ### By: Melisen A. Taquiqui, SLP Social Marketing Officer

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DSWD Field Staff Nagbahagi ng Family Food Packs sa GID Area sa Kabila ng Malakas na Buhos ng Ulan

Cabarroguis, Quirino – Nagbahagi ng Family Food Packs ang Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) sa mga residenteng nasalanta ng Bagyong Ompong sa Sitio Potia, Brgy. Dibibi.

Sakay ng isang dump truck, matagumpay na nakarating ang Municipal Action Team (MAT) ng Cabarroguis kasama ang ilang opisyal ng lokal na pamahalan sa Sitio Potia.

Ang naturang sitio ay isa sa mga itinuturing na Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA) na pinaninirahan ng mga Indigenous People (IP).

“Agyaman kami ti adu sir, madam ta uray rabiin ken madama bagyo ket niranta da kami nga inikkan ti relief goods. Ti ammuk mabisinan kami tatta rabii ta han kami nakasagana (Kami ay nagpapasalamat na sinadya ninyo kami dito para bigyang ng relief goods. Ang alam namin magugutom kami ngayong gabi dahil hindi kami nakapaghanda),” pahayag ni Marites F. Miguel, isa sa mga residente ng Sitio Potia.

Bagaman gabi na at malakas ang buhos ng ulan, hindi ito inalintana ng mga field staff ng DSWD upang mapuntahan at mahatiran ng tulong ang mga residenteng nasalanta ng bagyo.

“Matatawag itong serbisyong publiko kung isasantabi mo ang kapakanan ng iyong pamilya para sa ikakabuti ng mga mas nangangailangang mga tao. Sakripisyong hindi matatawaran sa mga ngiting naidudulot nito na sumisilay sa bawat taong naabutan ng mga tulong mo,” sabi ni Ruth L. Taccad, Social Welfare Assistant ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program sa naturang lugar.

“Ang mga ngiti at pasasalamat mula sa ating mga benepisyaryo na napagsilbihan natin ay nagbibigay ng hindi maipaliwanag na kasiyahan na tanging mga lingkod bayan lamang ang makakaramdam,” dagdag pa nito.

Sa kabuuan, 800 Family Food Packs ang naibigay sa mga nasalanta ng Bagyong Ompong sa Cabarroguis, Quirino. ### By: Margaret G. Arao, Listahanan Information Officer

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Field Workers Go Through Treacherous Tracks to Give Aid to Typhoon-affected Families

Sto. Nino, Cagayan – Days of sunlight allowed field workers in this town to finally reach Barangay Lipatan, which was unreachable for days because heavy rains made the river that connects the town to the barangay dangerous for boats to cross.

Members of the Municipal Action Team (MAT) of Sto. Nino had to load family food packs into boats that had to cross the river just to reach the intended recipients.

Upon reaching the other side, the team had to climb a muddy steep with the assistance from residents of the barangay.

The team tapped the assistance of residents to help them transfer the family food packs from the boat to the top of the steep that leads to the barangay.

The team also had to load the family food packs to carabao-drawn carts before reaching the destination.

Ms. Lanie Claire Aquino, the Municipal Link for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the municipality, said that while the trek was tough and risky, the team was determined to reach a place where food and other basic necessities have become scarce in the days following the typhoon’s exit from the land.

“Medyo mahirap yung daan lalo na yung bangka na sasakyan para mahatid yung mga relief goods kasi medyo mataas pa yung tubig pero kailangan dahil nangangailangan mga tao na nabigyan ng food packs,” Ms. Aquino said.

She also said that seeing how glad the people were with the assistance that they received was worth all the hardship that they endured.

“Sulit ang pagod kapag nakikita mong may mga taong masaya sa tulong na iyong ibinibigay,” Ms. Aquino added.

There was a total of 233 families composed of 922 individuals affected by the typhoon in the municipality.

The field office prepositioned a total of 300 family food packs before the storm and an additional 500 after the typhoon as augmentation for the municipality. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit

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Additional Relief Assistance Arrive in the Municipality of Enrile, Cagayan

Enrile, Cagayan – Members of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02’s (DSWD FO2) Municipal Action Team (MAT) was able to reach Sitio Naruang in Barangay Lanna, the farthest place in the area and one of the hardest places to reach in the municipality to distribute additional family food packs to Typhoon Ompong-affected families.

Mr. Danny Celso D. Quilang, Project Development Officer (PDO) II of the field office’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), led the team that went to the area to distribute a total of 33 food packs to the residence.

“Malayo yung lugar pero kinaya naman ng ating sasakyan at sa pagtutulungan na rin ng ating MAT at ng LGU (Local Government Unit). Masayo tayo na nabigyan na natin sila ng assistance kasi talagang kailangan nila ito.” Mr. Quilang said.

Lola Irene Galindon, 73, one of the residents of Sitio Naruang, was elated with the assistance given as her family had been living with scarce resources for a couple of days since the onslaught of the typhoon.

“Maski ararayu yaw sitio mi, magayayak kami nga inyan nga nakakadek nga unfun nga nagafu kang DSWD (Even though our place is far, we are glad that DSWD was able to reach it to give us assistance),” Lola Irene said.

The field office prepositioned 300 family food packs to the municipality before the landfall of Typhoon Ompong last September 15, 2018 and also augmented an additional 500 food packs after the storm.

To date, 22 barangays of Enrile were affected by the typhoon which includes 9,850 families or 36,856 individuals. ### By: Chester Carlo M. Trinidad, Social Marketing Unit

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