Almost four months after Typhoon Odette, the central and southern parts of the Philippines are faced with another mishap when Tropical Storm Agaton (internationally named Megi) had left almost 307,500 people displaced.
Heavy rainfall had left Maguindanao flooded for two weeks since April 7, 2022. This has caused a tremendous impact on the health and livelihood of families living in all 14 barangays in Mamasapano—especially in accessing and maintaining hygiene and health protection.
In photo: Barangay Lusay, Mamasapano (Photo courtesy of Mamasapano Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Office)
With funding support from the European Union Humanitarian Aid, the REACH project launched an emergency kit distribution last April 21 to support almost 1,250 flood-affected families in Maguindanao. The distribution was facilitated by Action Against Hunger and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
Many of the participating families rely on agriculture as their main source of income. Now that crops have been damaged by the flooding, they worry that the lack of sustainable income will deprive them of access to their health and hygiene needs.
Working closely with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office (MDRRMO) and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) of Mamasapano, we identified persons with disabilities to be prioritized in the said distribution. A total of 250 families were able to receive hygiene kits.
The selection of PWDs was advised by the MDRRMO and MSWDO due to the group’s increased vulnerability to health risks brought about by the flooding. In Mamasapano alone, more than 4,000 families are reportedly affected by the storm.
One of the goals of REACH is to establish a safe and inclusive environment for conflict and disaster-affected communities while focusing on those who are most vulnerable to these threats.
To make this a reality, a series of Protection Trainings were conducted last July 2021 where 60 participants from the municipalities of Masiu, Bayang, Butig, and Lumba Bayabao in Lanao del Sur attended.
Identified Protection Monitors will be mainstreaming protection in the implementation of programs in the communities. They will also help in the identification and monitoring of protection issues, as well as advocating referral pathways on gender-based violence and child protection.
Each municipality developed its Protection Activity Plan. The plans included activities such as mobile legal missions, psychosocial support (PSS) sessions, identification, and monitoring of protection cases & referrals.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/1629209468052.jpeg540720Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2021-10-11 04:37:432021-10-11 04:53:32REACH 2 conducts Protection Training and Monitors to support Lanao del Sur LGUs in establish inclusive and accessible services
DATU PIANG, MAGUINDANAO — Action Against Hunger Philippines, through the REACH 2 project, provided 410 shelter kits to conflict and flooding-affected families in Barangay Montay, Datu Piang on the 23rd of September 2021.
Our team worked closely with the local government of Datu Piang together with the barangay council in managing the distribution. The kits were composed of mosquito nets, mats, and blankets. A hygiene promotion session was also conducted to refresh the participating families’ knowledge on proper hygiene and sanitation practices.
During the first quarter of 2021, heavy rainfall had left several Maguindanao towns flooded, affecting areas such as Sultan sa Barongis, Datu Salibo, Datu Piang, Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, and Rajah Buayan. This, unfortunately, was not a new occurrence for them since several areas of the province were already prone to flooding. Maguindanao yet again experienced massive flooding which started last September 8, 2021. This caused tremendous impacts on the lives of people repeatedly displaced due to this hazard, making access to adequate protection and dignified living more difficult for those in already vulnerable circumstances. For example, women and girls who are displaced are faced with compromised access to personal security and dignity, making them extremely at-risk.
In photo: Heavy rains in Maguindanao had caused streets to be submerged in several inches of rainwater last September 8, 2021.
In some cases, opportunities to build back their lives and move forward are impeded because of recurring conflicts in the area. This situation causes internally displaced individuals (IDPs) to have limited access to quality water, sanitation & hygiene facilities (WASH) as well poses potential health risks.
In photo: Residents are faced with recurring flooding in Barangays Dalug Balt, Lumigues Sogud, and Cormatan from Masiu.
With funding from the European Union, REACH 2 aims to establish a protected environment for conflict and disaster-affected communities in Mindanao as one of the project’s key humanitarian objectives.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/PH_A1BP_2021Sep23_Al-King-Dilangalen_Shelter-Kit-Distribution-in-Datu-Piang-Maguindanao-1.jpg720960Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2021-10-02 08:16:092021-11-02 13:59:34Over 400 households in Datu Piang affected by the recurring Maguindanao displacement receive shelter kits from REACH 2
MINDANAO — A total of 605 displaced families in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao received cash assistance amounting to 5,000 and 3,400 last August 18 to 20, 2021 during our Cash-for-Food payout, an activity under REACH Mindanao’s food security and livelihood (FSL) program.
The cash assistance is intended to support families who are at risk of facing food insecurity due to experienced protracted displacement. Local government units and agencies are already responding to these vulnerable communities, but because there are certain areas that would be deemed more susceptible to conflicts, calamities, and now the COVID-19 pandemic, these additional threats exacerbate the living conditions of internally displaced people. The situation they face can also further limit their financial resources, therefore making it more difficult to provide enough healthy and nutritious food for the entire family.
This household head successfully claims the Php5,000 during the cash payout for Datu Piang participating families. (Photo by Juhaina Ebus for Action Against Hunger)
Aside from the mentioned amount, each participating family also received a small allowance to cover the household representative’s travel expenses going to the payout center. Among the initial recipients of the cash support, 375 families were home-based internally displaced persons residing in Masiu, Lanao del Sur while the remaining 230 families resided in flood-affected areas of Datu Piang, Maguindanao. The goal of the cash assistance is to help affected families to meet the minimum food consumption necessary for each member.
IDPs in Masiu are no longer strangers to ongoing conflict and disasters. The Municipality of Datu Piang on the other hand is reportedly considered as a “catch basin” of several rivers coming from neighboring provinces. This makes the area more prone to flooding which can be easily triggered by heavy rainfall.
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Our field teams conducted the initial Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) and Social Preparation orientations among our #PBAMindanao2021 Project participants living in the transitory sites of Masepla, Asinan, Buggoc and Rio Hondo last July 21-23, 2021.
The livelihood assistance is in support vulnerable communities in Mindanao after community immobility and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the living condition of many residents, particularly those who were protractedly displaced following the Zamboanga siege back in 2013.
Our ‘Multi-Sectoral Lifesaving Assistance To People Most Vulnerable To The Covid-19 Pandemic, Conflict, and Disasters’ or Program Based Approach (PBA) Mindanao 2021 Project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) The project aims to protect, assist, and advocate for displaced people, indigenous peoples, vulnerable population, and marginalized communities particularly vulnerable to conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/F7AM-Jul22-FS-MPCT-Activity-Orientation-and-Social-Prep-ZM2.jpg401867Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2021-08-03 04:21:342021-08-03 04:21:34PBA Mindanao 2021 starts cash assistance program for COVID-affected IDPs in Zamboanga
Sixty-seven-year-old Carlos Tesorero had one word in mind when asked how he felt when he saw what was left of his home – painful. Carlos, or “Tatay Carlos” as they called him, had a house along the shore of Barangay Guinsaanan in the Municipality of Baras, Catanduanes.
On the morning of November 2, 2020, a day after Typhoon Rolly made landfall, he, along with the other families living near the sea, returned and saw that the typhoon’s strong winds and heavy rains had completely destroyed their houses. “After the storm had passed, at around eight in the morning we went back to check our houses, and everything was gone… It was painful,” said Tatay Carlos. Hollow blocks, scraps of wood, metal, and scattered belongings were all that was left of their homes.
“After the storm had passed, at around eight in the morning we went back to check our houses and everything was gone… It was painful.”
In photo: Action Against Hunger staff visit the wreckage of houses in Barangay Guinsaanan where the houses of Carlos Tesorero and his neighbors once stood. It is now categorized as a ‘no-build zone’.
The residents of Barangay Guinsaanan were no strangers to such weather conditions, especially for those residing along the shore. In fact, in less than two weeks, the province had experienced the impacts of three typhoons – from Quinta to Rolly to Ulysses. Amongst the three, it was Super Typhoon Rolly that greatly affected their homes and livelihoods.
Tatay Carlos worked as a tour guide since 2015. He would accompany tourists to Binurong Point, one of the top tourist destinations in the province and about an hour’s hike from his barangay. Back then, he would get two visitors in a normal week, earning him 200 to 300 pesos. During summers, there would be more tourists and he would get twice the amount of visitors. This all changed when the lockdown was implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were okay before. But when the pandemic happened, it was hard because I had absolutely no income,” Tatay Carlos shares.
Tatay Carlos and his fellow tour guides looked for alternative sources of income. He went on to extract and sell dried coconut meat taro leaves, papayas, or other crops, earning just enough to get by. Unfortunately, most of the crops and coconut trees were damaged after the consecutive typhoons. He then started to collect dried wood and would sell them for firewood. He would earn enough to buy his food for the day. Tatay Carlos said he tried to apply for manual labor jobs like construction but was unsuccessful. “No one was accepting me because I was old, unlike the others,” he lamented. “I guess this is how it is when you get older, it’s more difficult to get a job.”
In photo: Tatay Carlos happily smiles with his cat named ‘Jasper’ who is his current companion inside his temporary home.
In photo: Tatay Carlos happily smiles with his pet inside his temporary home.
After the typhoons, the sea level had risen significantly, making the land where his home once stood into a no-build zone. Like the other families who lived there, Tatay Carlos now has to start from scratch. Fortunately, he was allowed to reside in a small building that was previously used as a barangay hall for the meantime.
With all that he has been through, what saddens Tatay Carlos is going through these ordeals alone. His wife, daughter, and grandchild visited a relative in Bulacan last year, but because of travel restrictions and financial constraints, they have not been able to return to Catanduanes since then. “If there was no pandemic, they would want to go back here,” he said. He tries to keep in contact with them regularly, but their conversations are often limited due to weak cellular phone reception.
Despite living alone, he continues to be in good spirits by regularly talking to his neighbors. Tatay Carlos also enjoys the company of a white kitten which he keeps as a pet. He spends his day going to the sea to catch fish for his own consumption since these are usually too small to sell. Some days, he checks if there are any crops to be harvested and sold. Tatay Carlos’ daily food is augmented by relief packs from various organizations. Mineral water is sold in the barangay, but since he has no income, he would get drinking water from the deep well.
In photo: Inside Tatay Carlos’ temporary home, his beddings on one side and the relief goods he received on the other.
Tatay Carlos works hard each day in order to provide for himself and perhaps earn extra income to save. “What we really need is money,” he says with a weak laugh. “We received noodles and canned goods as relief, so food is all set. We got some soap too, but those ran out quickly. I have to admit, sometimes I loan items from the sari-sari store items like cooking oil or laundry soap, and I pay them back once I manage to sell some of the firewood I collect,” he adds further.
He was excited when he found out that he was selected to be a beneficiary for Action Against Hunger’s multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA). On January 27, Tatay Carlos was one of the 60 beneficiaries from Barangay Guinsaanan who received cash assistance amounting to 5,200 pesos. The MPCA was conducted as part of Action Against Hunger’s Emergency Assistance to Typhoon Affected Communities in Catanduanes and Albay, which is co-implemented by CARE Philippines. The project is made possible through the funding of the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID-BHA). The project is expected to reach a total of 14,500 people through MPCA alone. The goal of the program is to enable the most vulnerable households affected by Typhoon Rolly to meet immediate food and basic humanitarian needs.
“My number one dream is to have a house of our own again,”
With the assistance he received, Tatay Carlos remains hopeful and positive. “My number one dream is to have a house of my own again,” he shares. The makeshift house he is currently residing in is being sold at 30,000 pesos and he hopes to earn and save enough money so he can buy the lot someday. He also adds that one of his priorities as well as to have his daughter graduate as this was his dream for himself when he was younger. “Even though she now has a child of her own, I want my daughter to finish her studies,” he says.
In photo: Tatay Carlos at the Multipurpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) payout orientation at Barangay Guinsaanan, Baras. (Photo by Joyce Sandajan for Action Against Hunger)
Despite losing both his home and livelihood, Tatay Carlos smiles as he shares the many ways he tries to make ends meet on a daily basis. Knowing he has to start from nothing pains him but says he is thankful that there are people who are willing to extend kindness through various forms. He may have been through a lot the past year, but his family and the support from his community keep him going.
https://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/PH_B2AK_2021Jan25_Joyce-Sandajan_Guinsaanan_Carlos-Tesorero-5-scaled.jpg19202560Adminhttps://actionagainsthunger.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/logo_text_orig_white-1.pngAdmin2021-02-24 13:29:522021-10-13 03:19:04Story from the Field: Making Ends Meet
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