Tag Archive | "Baco"

Unity Towards Security


Almost five months after being devastated by Typhoon Nona, traces of destruction are still apparent in some places in Baco, Oriental Mindoro. As one of the municipalities that were severely damaged by the typhoon, the citizens of Baco determinedly continues to rise against the challenges brought about by these types of disasters.

In Barangay Lantuyang, a predominantly Mangyan Alangan community, Nori Veron Maliglig recalls that most of the community scatters to different places to evacuate the area during calamities.

Located right beside the Karayrayan River, many of the residents of Barangay Lantuyang, especially those in the lower areas are in danger from flooding. And because most of the Mangyan houses are made of light materials, strong winds and rains easily damage and destroy their homes.

In the midst of these threats, the community have decided to construct an evacuation center with the funding of the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS). As one of the core poverty alleviation programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, it aims to empower communities to choose and implement projects that address their most pressing needs.

Tagalog turned Mangyan

Nori Veron Maliglig, a sixty-year-old resident of Barangay Lantuyang, is one of the volunteers of KALAHI-CIDSS who persevered for the success of the implementation of the project.

Together with the other volunteers, she diligently worked and showed her care for the residents of the barangay despite being the only Tagalog in a community of Mangyans.

She settled in Baragay Lantuyang forty years ago and has embraced the Mangyans and their culture and now has a family with two children. “Tagalog ako na naging Mangyan (I am a Tagalog who became a Mangyan)”, she laughingly said.

Since this was a first for the community, the Mangyans were hesitant in claiming the job of the Warehouse Keeper, worried that they would have to pay for anything that will go missing from the warehouse.

“Ako naman po ay naaawa na yun na lamang ang wala kaya nilakasan ko ang loob ko na ako ay tumayo bilang bodegera (I felt sorry that it was still vacant so I gathered my courage and became the warehouse keeper)”, said Nanay Veron.

photo

Almost there. Nanay Veron smiles in front of the nearly completed evacuation center.

Not just another charity

The community of Barangay Lantuyang is no stranger to outsiders offering help, especially charities; NGOs, NGAs and private corporations often visit and promise infrastructure and development. Most of which were never completed.

From all the false promises emanated their mistrust of all programs and agencies that reach out to their community.

Because of this, the whole community was at first hesitant in accepting the KALAHI-CIDSS program. According to Nanay Veron, “Noong umpisa, hindi sila naniniwala. Baka mahirapan lang sila pero wala din (At first they did not believe. Maybe it would just burden them but result to nothing)”.

But she tried to persuade them to give the program a chance. “Tignan muna natin (let’s see first)”, she told them.

Seeing the project slowly being completed, “Sinabi ng mga mangyan na pinalakas ko ang loob nila (The mangyans said that I gave them courage)”, said Nanay Veron.

When the community has finally united with one goal in mind, the challenges however numerous and daunting were faced with determination.

The land where the evacuation center was planned to be built was owned by priests. So in groups, the volunteers and community members visited the Bishop numerous times to ask for his approval.

His fear and his mistrust was the same as the community.

With the help of Father Victor Florida, SVD, commonly known by the Mangyans as “Father Jun Jun”, the volunteers and the community tirelessly visited the Bishop to explain the process of KALAHI-CIDSS though at first he remained doubtful. He needed assurance that the program will not be same as the previous projects given to Barangay Lantuyang.

After months of meetings, he consulted the issue with the priests of Oriental Mindoro and finally gave his permission to use the land.

Soon, given the chance and proper training the volunteers were already doing things on their own.

They initiated the relocation of an electric post situated at the construction site by talking with the local energy provider.

Whenever needed, the Procurement Team head, Sawi Villar, can even go alone to Calapan City to talk to suppliers and for canvasing.

As a fairly distant Barangay, transportation can be a challenge for the volunteers. For this, they contribute some of their extra earnings from harvests.

They also had a contribution for the pig used in the pansula, a ritual before the start of the construction to ward off evil spirits.

However, their determination was further tested. During Typhoon Nona, a part of the roof of their warehouse was blown away, leaving all their materials under the rain and the rising water of the river.

Some of their cement got wet rendering them unusable, but the volunteers never lost hope.

Laborers and volunteers were already working on the building while relief goods were being distributed to the residents of the Barangay. Almost all of the community members were also very willing to work have a bayanihan for the completion of their evacuation center.

“Ibinuhos ko na ang aking kalooban jan, ako ay hindi umaabsent at palaging nagbabantay (I poured my soul there, I was never absent and I always look after the materials)”, says Nanay Veron.

Beyond beliefs, beyond religion

The residents of Barangay Lantuyang are now eager to implement projects for the development of their barangay. They plan to propose for a protection dike or a day care center in the following cycles of the KALAHI CIDSS.

During the blessing of their evacuation center on April 28, 2016, Father Jun Jun told the residents to care for the building saying, “panatilihhin nating buo, panatilihin nating maayos, panatilihin nating malinis dahil sa panahon na kailangang kailangan natin na syay nandyan (Let us keep it whole, let us keep it in good condition, let us keep it clean because when the time comes that we will need it, it will be there)”.

In his message, Father Jun Jun also emphasized the importance of the community’s solidarity. “Sa tuwing magpapaalala ako sa mga taga Lantuyang, sinasabi ko na ang pagkakaiba iba ng ating mga pananampalataya ay sana hindi maging hadlang, sana ito ang maging daan para sama sama kayong gumawa (Whenever I remind the residents of Lantuyang, I tell them that, may the differences in religion not be a hindrance, it should be a way for you to work together)”

The community of Barangay Lantuyang, diverse in beliefs and religion, with their initial success in the construction of the evacuation center, was reminded that only with unity will they achieve change and development.

photo 3

Father Jun Jun leads the blessing of the evacuation center

photo 2

The evacuation center of Barangay Lantuyang

 

 

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DSWD MiMaRoPa Advisory on Typhoon Nona


Malate, Manila – As of 3PM today, the onslaught of Typhoon Nona left the region of MiMaRoPa with 108,681 affected families or 493,081 persons in 51 municipalities and more than 82,000 damaged housing units (53,974 partially damaged and 28,313 totally damaged).

There are still 73 evacuation centers open managed by the local government units in Pinamalayan (36), Baco (20), Calapan (10), and Pola (7); all in the province of Oriental Mindoro serving 3,436 families or 16, 206 persons.

As of this writing, a total of 11,032 food packs were served in the provinces of Mindoro, Romblon and Marinduque amounting to Php4,460,322.80 cost assistance from the Department. In addition, 2,600 food packs and 50 laminated sacks are being deployed from the National Relief Operations Center (NROC) going to Oriental Mindoro.

Number of casualties now at 15 dead, 302 injured and 2 missing.

DSWD MiMaRoPa closely monitors affected areas and ensures distribution of food packs to affected families. ###

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