PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

#RememberingHaiyan Diaries: 'BUILD BACK BETTER'

GIGGLING SURVIVOR FINDS HER NEW 'HOME' BEAUTIFUL 

NOV 13 ---When asked about the thousands of people who lost relatives and loved ones, Rigaton admitted she felt sorry for them and also for the many other victims who say they had yet to receive aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. “We feel sad for those who lost their loved ones. Sometimes I watch people on TV who say they have not yet received money. What will they do if they don’t get assistance?” Rigaton said. She cited her children as a reason why she retains her optimistic and jovial attitude. “I don’t want to lose my children. I would prefer that I die rather than my children or my grandchildren,” Rigaton said. “I am happy because my family is still here with me. We may be able to eat only a little, but it’s OK, as long as we don’t get sick. Right?” she said simply as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. READ STORY FROM BEGINNING TO END...

(ALSO News Feature) #RememberHaiyan Diaries: ‘Build Back Better’  

NOV 7 ---A “shelter kit” consists of 12 CGI sheets (yero). 8 pieces of coco lumber, roofing nails, plain sheet, ridge cap and sealant. To help spur the building of houses, carpentry training workshops are done among the residents and those who acquire skills could get paid in “cash-for-work” schemes. Build back better The shelter programs of many international and national NGOs and even that of the government carry the label “build back better”. It is actually an international battlecry for shelter programs after big humanitarian disasters and is governed by seven principles. The UN agency OCHA explains the challenges to the “build back better” program, the biggest of which is the lack of adequate funding. READ PICTORIAL STORY IN FULL ....

ALSO Bulletin Column: Resilient? by BuildBackBetter author, Tonyo Cruz 

NOV 13 ---PHOTO: Tonyo Cruz @tonyocruz Blogger | Advocate | Social Media Strategist | Manila Bulletin Columnist | TweetUpMNL Co-Founder | TXTPower Co-Founder Manila, PHILIPPINES tonyocruz.com. --For the past years, we Filipinos have called ourselves resilient and pliant, akin to bamboo, especially in the aftermath of disasters like the powerful Bohol earthquake of October, 2013, and super-typhoon Yolanda of November, 2013. But aren’t all the world’s peoples resilient? Isn’t this a universal trait of people, regardless of race, color, and nationality? We are as gutsy as others who meet similar disasters like the people of Aceh who survived a tsunami, the people of Japan who endured a nuclear meltdown, and the people of Haiti whose country was violently shaken by an earthquake. This belief in “resilience” – encouraged in Metro Manila and supported by government, NGOs, aid agencies, international organizations, and media – just does not sound right. * CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Featue Pictorial: Tacloban City, One Year After Haiyan  
(Pictures of Commemoration, Hope and Recovery ) 

NOV 9 ---PHOTO: The mass grave of typhoon Yolanda victims at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brgy. Diit, Tacloban City. We will always remember. We have shown you Tacloban City in pictures 7 months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) struck the city on November 8, 2013. We’ve also shared images from around the city and nearby towns 9 months after the typhoon. Now, as my fellow Taclobanons commemorate the first Yolanda Anniversary, I want to share these 50 photos which I took around Tacloban on November 8, 2014. VIEW MORE PHOTOS....

ALSO: Only 200 temporary shelters built in Tacloban a year after 

NOV 9 ---PHOTO: Temporary shelters built by the government for survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Barangay Tagpuro, Tacloban City. (John Carlo Cahinhinan/Sunnex) TACLOBAN CITY -- Exactly a year after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the local government unit here expressed disappointment over the slow pace of the government's housing program for the survivors of the world's strongest storm. Mayor Alfred Romualdez said Saturday that only around 200 of the much needed 14,000 temporary shelters were built in the city since Yolanda hit Tacloban and nearby areas on November 8, 2013. A report of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) showed only 364 housing units have been completed by the government in Tacloban and Tanauan in Leyte. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: How emergency jobs, town’s gambling ban jump-started recovery

NOV 11 ---PHOTO: Assistant Regional Director Shalaine Marie Lucero said the cash-for-work program did not only give livelihood to affected residents, it also helped speed up the repair and rehabilitation work in the affected LGUs. “Nakatabang sad siya sa pag-promote sa bayanihan spirit sa kada kalungsuran (The program also promoted the bayanihan spirit in every affected town),” Lucero added. CHONA Inoc, 42, and her husband Brandred, 43, rely on farming to provide for their five young children. When super typhoon Yolanda tore through northern Cebu, their crops in Barangay Poblacion, Daanbantayan were wiped out. They were left homeless. Their life was in shambles. As aid from the government, international organizations and civilians began to trickle in, they started rebuilding their house. Their prospects improved after they were chosen as beneficiaries of the cash-for-work program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Giggling survivor finds her new home beautiful


Leticia Rigaton. Photo by RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

TACLOBAN CITY, NOVEMBER 17, 2014 (INQUIRER) Matikas Santos @MSantosINQ —The wide toothless grin and deep wrinkles betray Leticia Rigaton’s age. But the 58-year-old woman still giggles like a teenager.

When told that she did not seem like someone who survived Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” the most powerful cyclone to ever make landfall in recorded history, she laughed and placed both hands around her face to cover her blushing face.

“That’s just the way I am,” Rigaton said with a smile that lit up her face.

“It’s hard thinking about your past experiences. Yolanda came with the storm surges and my children almost died,” Rigaton recalled.

Rigaton’s house was washed away by the storm surge that Yolanda—international name “Haiyan”—generated when it slammed across the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013, and they had to make their way to the second floor of the barangay hall by clinging onto snapped electric wires amid neck-deep waters.

They were eventually told to leave the barangay (village) hall. They then proceeded to a church, but they did not stay there long either and eventually returned to their devastated neighborhood.

Child-centered

Rigaton, her husband, three children and one grandchild, are now among the beneficiaries of Plan International’s transitional shelter project in Barangay 62, near Tacloban City Astrodome that became the biggest evacuation center in Yolanda’s immediate aftermath.

The shelters of the child-centered international development organization are being built by local residents trained in plumbing and carpentry.

It takes around 10 days for two plumbers and six carpenters to build one house from raw materials of wood and plywood. They are paid P22,000 for each house they build. The money is split evenly among them.

At least 20 of these transitional shelters have been constructed by the local residents, each one of which can house at least seven people.

Rigaton currently does part-time work as a helper. Her husband makes a living repairing shoes though she admits he cannot do much work anymore because he has pneumonia.

Back to normal

Asked how she felt about the transitional shelters that are mostly made of wood, she said: “Beautiful. We were given a decent, beautiful house.”

“Back then it was like we lost our sanity because we didn’t have a home, we didn’t have any food, we didn’t have any livelihood,” Rigaton said, raising her eyebrows slightly a couple of times as if to say “can you beat that?”

“But now we are finally back to normal,” she grinned as if she had just won an award for regaining a sense of normalcy in her life.

When asked about the thousands of people who lost relatives and loved ones, Rigaton admitted she felt sorry for them and also for the many other victims who say they had yet to receive aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“We feel sad for those who lost their loved ones. Sometimes I watch people on TV who say they have not yet received money. What will they do if they don’t get assistance?” Rigaton said.

She cited her children as a reason why she retains her optimistic and jovial attitude.

“I don’t want to lose my children. I would prefer that I die rather than my children or my grandchildren,” Rigaton said.

“I am happy because my family is still here with me. We may be able to eat only a little, but it’s OK, as long as we don’t get sick. Right?” she said simply as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.


TONYOCRUZ.COM [politics + technology + advocacy]

FEATURE STORY --#RememberHaiyan Diaries: ‘Build Back Better’

A “shelter kit” consists of 12 CGI sheets (yero). 8 pieces of coco lumber, roofing nails, plain sheet, ridge cap and sealant.

To help spur the building of houses, carpentry training workshops are done among the residents and those who acquire skills could get paid in “cash-for-work” schemes.

Build back better

The shelter programs of many international and national NGOs and even that of the government carry the label “build back better”.

It is actually an international battlecry for shelter programs after big humanitarian disasters and is governed by seven principles. The UN agency OCHA explains the challenges to the “build back better” program, the biggest of which is the lack of adequate funding.

While it reports that at least a million lost their homes to Yolanda, UNOCHA says that emergency shelter assistance has reached only 500,000, as of Oct 2014.

Most of the tents and “transitional” houses I saw bore labels or identification marks of the donor agencies, and I did not see a single house put up or funded by the national government.

More needs to be done in Eastern Visayas, as we could see from makeshift shelters such as this one:


A shanty somewhere in Barangay Eastern Samar. No aid yet has arrived to rebuild this family’s house. They made use of the UNHCR “trapal” intended for tents to provide a makeshift wall for their home. Photo taken on Nov. 5, 2014.

It is important to note that before Yolanda caused massive devastation and humanitarian crisis in the region, Eastern Visayas was not exactly a paradise: Its provinces are among the poorest in the country, with residents mostly poor and landless farmers, coconut growers, fisherfolk and small entrepreneurs. They obviously do not have the means to “rehabilitate” their own houses and livelihood (for example, the coconut and copra industries may take years or decades to recover). In addition, the national government has “privatized” its mass housing program.

We have yet to know just how much in taxpayer money is being allocated by the Aquino government for mass housing in Yolanda-stricken areas such as Tacloban and Eastern Samar — and just how the money is being spent. At least for Plan, the funding for emergency and “transitional” shelters comes from USAID and its other partners.

If it is any consolation, the “build back better” program provides the public its first view of how disaster-ready housing should be built and gives emergency and “transitional” shelter for thousands of our kababayans.

Commentary: Resilient? by Tonyo Cruz November 7, 2014 MANILA DAILY BULLETIN Share this:


Tonyo Cruz @tonyocruz Blogger | Advocate | Social Media Strategist | Manila Bulletin Columnist | TweetUpMNL Co-Founder | TXTPower Co-Founder Manila, PHILIPPINES tonyocruz.com

For the past years, we Filipinos have called ourselves resilient and pliant, akin to bamboo, especially in the aftermath of disasters like the powerful Bohol earthquake of October, 2013, and super-typhoon Yolanda of November, 2013.

But aren’t all the world’s peoples resilient? Isn’t this a universal trait of people, regardless of race, color, and nationality?

We are as gutsy as others who meet similar disasters like the people of Aceh who survived a tsunami, the people of Japan who endured a nuclear meltdown, and the people of Haiti whose country was violently shaken by an earthquake.

This belief in “resilience” – encouraged in Metro Manila and supported by government, NGOs, aid agencies, international organizations, and media – just does not sound right.

* Disaster-stricken communities have been known to band together and cases of such were reported after Yolanda. But that does not mean, they don’t need any more help.

Individual families will try their best to survive, put something above their heads and to heal and feed themselves, but that does not mean we should leave them to fend for themselves. International aid is always welcome and we are grateful to our many friends abroad, but they cannot be expected to actually lead relief, rescue, rehabilitation, and reconstruction – especially on such a scale post-Yolanda.

Something is wrong in this belief in “resilience” when it muddles the situation, obfuscates the problems, blames the victims for not being resilient or “too lazy” or “too demanding,” and covers up the role and responsibility of government during times of urgent need.

Yes, Filipinos are resilient, but that cannot be an excuse for the fact that President BS Aquino approved the Yolanda rehabilitation project only a week before the Yolanda first anniversary.

Yes, Filipinos are resilient, but that cannot be an excuse for the fact that, up to now, millions remain in tent cities, temporary shelters and substandard bunkhouses.

Yes, Filipinos are resilient, but that does not mean we should not complain over the fact that the BS Aquino administration has turned the natural disaster that was Yolanda into a catastrophic man-made disaster afterwards due to a combination of lack of empathy and incompetence.

Those of us in Metro Manila and other major cities should resist the temptation of using words and catchphrases that make ourselves feel good about disasters and calamities. We should stop this “resilience” nonsense and use our voices to give voice to the victims and survivors of Yolanda.

They are 15 million, or 15 percent of our population, spread across a big part of the country. That is bigger than the entire population of Metro Manila, and covers some of the poorest provinces of the country.

We saw them on TV weeping for themselves and their lost loved ones.

We saw entire villages destroyed and whole families killed. We welcomed thousands of them desperately catch C130 rides to Villamor and in Mactan. We even know some of them.

Government must do its job. It must lead.

One year marked with lack of empathy, incompetence, and lack of bold and sweeping action — conveniently hidden behind this belief in Filipino resilience — is enough.

We must press government to call for a massive climate change-ready housing program across Yolanda-affected programs, with target dates of completion and adequate funding.

We must press government to immediately repair, again with a deadline and necessary funding, all the elementary and high schools in affected areas.

We must press government to provide loans to affected entrepreneurs. And the government should open its books and account for each peso supposedly allotted and spent for Yolanda rebuilding efforts.

The Filipinos will always find a way to survive. And I have seen it first-hand this week in areas served by Plan International. They are always grateful for any assistance given to them. But we cannot begrudge them of their right as citizens of this country to expect the most effective and most enduring actions to come from their own government.

Because while people are resilient, they are not actually like bamboo. They live, they love, they have families, they have work and dignity, they go to school, they dream and aspire for a better life, and they also die. And when calamities strike, we must give as much until it hurts.

And we expect the same and more from our government – with its national machinery, trillions of funds, the brainpower it has – because that is government’s task and mandate. Those people affected by disasters are not charity cases. They are citizens that government must serve.

Filipinos are resilient, yes. But please let’s not allow this catchphrase to be misused to cover up man-made calamities like bad governance.

Follow me on Twitter @tonyocruz and check out my blog tonyocruz.com

(Acknowledgment: Thanks to Plan International Philippines for inviting me to join its media tour. The international NGO provided airfare, airport transfer, accommodations, land transportation, meals, and the itinerary for this media tour. The view expressed in my posts are my own, except for the quotes directly attributed to spokespersons of Plan International Philippines and other possible sources.)

FROM RISE.PH/TACLOBAN/

FEATURE PICTORIAL: Tacloban City, One Year After Haiyan (Pictures of Commemoration, Hope and Recovery ) November 9, 2014 By Victorino Q. Abrugar 18 Comments

We have shown you Tacloban City in pictures 7 months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) struck the city on November 8, 2013. We’ve also shared images from around the city and nearby towns 9 months after the typhoon.

Now, as my fellow Taclobanons commemorate the first Yolanda Anniversary, I want to share these the following photos which I took around Tacloban on November 8, 2014. SEE ALL 50 PHOTOS AT http://rise.ph/tacloban-city-one-year-after-haiyan-pictures/


Various pictures of Tacloban City one year after Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated the city.


The survivors are still living near the ship.


The ship that was washed ashore by the storm surge in Brgy. Rawis Tacloban City during Haiyan. It’s still there one year after storm.


The ship that was washed ashore by the storm surge in Brgy. Rawis Tacloban City during Haiyan. It’s still there one year after storm.


The newly opened McDonalds in Tacloban City. The fast-food restaurant is one of the establishments in the city that were heavily damaged by Haiyan.


Tents still at Old Road Sagkahan one year after Yolanda.


Taclobanons play basketball at SHED – Old Road Sagkahan. During the typhoon, several people died here because of the storm surge. This area is now declared by the government as a “No Build Zone” since it’s located at the bay.


Survivors and residents of San Jose, as they prepare for the candle lighting to remember and give respect to their loved ones who died during Haiyan.


The area near Tacloban Airport that is said to be the place where the Pope will hold a mass for the Yolanda victims and survivors.


Taclobanons release hundreds of sky lanterns as a sign of hope, respect and recovery to commemorate the first Yolanda Anniversary. Many people (the survivors, the NGOs, LGUs, etc.) from the different parts of the world participated in the first Yolanda commemoration.

Thank you to everyone who helped us recover and improve after Yolanda.

To the volunteers, local and international NGOs, LGU officials, good public servants from the national government, and to everyone who has a good and helping heart, may you always have a strength and power to help the needy ones, now and in the future.

To our friends and loved ones who left us during Yolanda, you will always be missed and remembered.

You are our inspirations to continue moving on and live the most of our lives.


FROM SUNSTAR

Only 200 temporary shelters built in Tacloban a year after By John Carlo Cahinhinan Saturday, November 8, 2014


TACLOBAN. Temporary shelters built by the government for survivors of supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Barangay Tagpuro, Tacloban City. (John Carlo Cahinhinan/Sunnex)

TACLOBAN CITY -- Exactly a year after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the local government unit here expressed disappointment over the slow pace of the government's housing program for the survivors of the world's strongest storm.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez said Saturday that only around 200 of the much needed 14,000 temporary shelters were built in the city since Yolanda hit Tacloban and nearby areas on November 8, 2013.

A report of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) showed only 364 housing units have been completed by the government in Tacloban and Tanauan in Leyte.

But the Climate Change Network for Community-Based Initiatives (CCNCI) noted that the bunkhouses built by government are made of "substandard materials, cramped and unsafe."

Suyin Jamoralin, CCNI convenor and executive director of the Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CDRC), said that instead of unsafe bunkhouses, survivors should be provided with permanent houses that are typhoon and earthquake resistant.

"There is no other way but to build back better," Jamoralin said.

Romualdez said that almost half of the completed units were built with the help of various non-government organizations (NGOs).

"Walang ibinigay sa amin na housing or even temporary shelters... in terms of addressing really those people that need to be relocated to temporary shelters, wala pa kami nakukuha d'yan," the mayor said.

A research by the Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) in Eastern Visayas revealed that two relocation sites offered by the local government in Tacloban are hazardous areas. These two areas are Barangay 37-A (Palanog Resettlement Area) and Tacloban North in the northern barangay of Sto. Niño.

Hazard maps show that Barangay 37-A stands on a fault line and is a very steep landslide area with 40 to 60 percent susceptibility. The Tacloban North site, meanwhile, is only 250 meters from the city dumpsite and is exposed to health and safety risks.

Ibon Foundation estimated that 250,000 families or 1.3 million individuals are still living in uncertain or inadequate homes such as in evacuation centers, tent cities, bunkhouses and those who partially rebuilt their homes in the government-declared "no-build" areas.

The CEC also revealed that survivors in the Eastern and Western Visayas regions received little assistance from government and they relied on local and international NGOs for support.

Romualdez said the first time the city got a slice of the P52-billion rehabilitation and reconstruction fund was five months after Yolanda.

He said the fund was intended for the reconstruction of government buildings and civic centers as ordered by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"The DILG Secretary (Manuel Roxas II) gave us about P108 million but I have to sign a memorandum of agreement (with him) and the money was solely focused on the reconstruction of government buildings and civic centers and not for shelters or anything like that," Romualdez said.

A year after Yolanda, Romualdez said that more than half of the 17,000 local business establishments in the city were already running but "most of them are still struggling."

President Benigno Aquino III skipped Tacloban City during his visit to Eastern Visayas on Friday where he led the turnover of temporary housing units to some victims of Yolanda and inspected newly repaired public market and school buildings in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

Romualdez said it would have been better if Aquino went to Tacloban so he can see for himself the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in his town.

"It would be nice if the President visited the place he hasn't visited yet," the mayor said.

The Chief Executive said there was no politics on his decision not to commemorate the first anniversary of Yolanda tragedy in Tacloban.

Aquino said that he visited Leyte, in particular Tacloban, for several times already.

"I've been to Tacloban for several occasions. This is not about politics," he said when asked why he decided not to go to Tacloban whose mayor is nephew of Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos.

Romualdez said he had no hard feelings with the President.

"I leave it to the President. Yung tao na lang maghusga what they feel about it," Romualdez said. (Sunnex)


FROM SUNSTAR

How emergency jobs, town’s gambling ban jump-started recovery Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Assistant Regional Director Shalaine Marie Lucero said the cash-for-work program did not only give livelihood to affected residents, it also helped speed up the repair and rehabilitation work in the affected LGUs. “Nakatabang sad siya sa pag-promote sa bayanihan spirit sa kada kalungsuran (The program also promoted the bayanihan spirit in every affected town),” Lucero added.

CHONA Inoc, 42, and her husband Brandred, 43, rely on farming to provide for their five young children.

When super typhoon Yolanda tore through northern Cebu, their crops in Barangay Poblacion, Daanbantayan were wiped out. They were left homeless. Their life was in shambles.

As aid from the government, international organizations and civilians began to trickle in, they started rebuilding their house. Their prospects improved after they were chosen as beneficiaries of the cash-for-work program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

For 15 days, the couple cleaned streets and clogged canals and cut the grass in the market and the bus terminal in Daanbantayan.

Chona started working at 6 a.m. and went home before 12 p.m. to prepare lunch for her family. In the afternoon, her husband Brandred covered for her until 4 p.m.

With a salary of P300 per day, they got P4,500 from the program, which they used to buy seeds and fertilizers for their farm, which they revived.

Harvested

A year after the disaster, Chona said they were able to harvest sacks of peanuts that were sold for P9,000. This is just the beginning of how their family recovered after Yolanda.

“Nakatabang gyud kaayo siya pero dili sad dapat nga magsalig lang ta sa gobyerno. Dapat maningkamot pud ta og ato (It helped us but it also doesn’t mean that we would just rely on the government. We also have to strive on our own),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

The Inoc family is one of 502 families in northern Cebu that were assisted by DSWD through its Recovery and Rehabilitation Program (RRP), which targets 125,691 families.

The RRP for northern Cebu has a total funding of P303.7 million. But a year after Yolanda, only P1.7 million has been released to DSWD 7.

Shalaine Marie Lucero, DSWD 7 assistant director, said that their agency has implemented two cash-for-work programs for affected residents.

The first is the RRP, which is aimed to reconstruct and rehabilitate affected communities by paying affected residents to do the work.

Empowerment

Registered beneficiaries of the RRP will be given P327 per day for 10 days if their house was destroyed and five days for those whose house was damaged.

The RRP is aimed to provide emergency employment to 125,691 families in the affected towns.

The second cash-for-work program is the Cash for Building Livelihood Assets (CBLA), which is aimed to empower typhoon victims to revive their livelihood.

Some P47.8 million has been paid to 10,908 beneficiaries from the towns of Tudela, Tabuelan, Sta. Fe, San Remegio, Poro, Bantayan, Madridejos, Medellin, Sogod, Pilar, Tuburan, Daanbantayan and San Francisco.

About 15 other LGUs that were ravaged by Yolanda have yet to receive the aid as DSWD is still waiting for the Special Allotment Release Order for the remaining P302 million.

As for the CBLA, about P47.8 million was already given to registered beneficiaries in 13 LGUs.

Despite the lack of funds, DSWD 7 officials said that their cash-for-work program succeeded in terms of promoting self-sustainability for typhoon survivors.

‘Bayanihan’

Lucero said the cash-for-work program did not only give livelihood to affected residents, it also helped speed up the repair and rehabilitation work in the affected LGUs.

“Nakatabang sad siya sa pag-promote sa bayanihan spirit sa kada kalungsuran (The program also promoted the bayanihan spirit in every affected town),” Lucero added.

But implementing the programs was not easy all the time, she added, as there were challenges in several stages of the program, including monitoring each of the beneficiaries to ensure that they did their part.

Lucero said that they have tasked the social welfare officers of the LGUs to continuously monitor their beneficiaries and to document their progress, since it’s also the LGUs that helped select the program’s beneficiaries.

Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto Corro said he saw how the lives of some of his constituents improved after Yolanda through DSWD’s emergency employment, and how it helped families cope with their loss.

Some families in the towns in Bantayan Island, the worst-hit towns in Cebu, also benefited from emergency employment initiated by DSWD and non-government organizations (NGOs).

In Bantayan town, local officials observed that while some families had used their earnings from the cash-for-work program to rebuild their properties, others only wasted it on gambling.

Gambling ban

This prompted Mayor Ian Christopher Escario to ban all forms of gambling in the town from November last year to March this year, particularly cockfighting, so the people can focus their time and money in rebuilding their homes.

“The program helped the people but it really depends on how the beneficiaries used the money. For some, it did not help kay ang uban gud makadawat og kwarta dili man gastohon sa pamilya ug pag-rehabilitate or for rebuilding. Mo-sugal man hinuon so gi-ban namo tanan klase sa sugal,” Escario said.

The ban on gambling was lifted last March, but Escario said they still limit the holding of cockfights only in cockpits or during the fiesta celebration.

According to the data provided by the livelihood cluster of the Municipality of Bantayan, at least 1,260 families benefited from DSWD’s cash-for-work program.

DSWD also poured P5 million in Madridejos town for the cash-for-work of constituents, who were asked to clear the roads for 15 days.

Mayor Salvador Dela Fuente said the beneficiaries used their income to put up a small sari-sari store and repair their houses.

Oxfam International, an NGO, also implemented cash-for-work and a boat repair program in Madridejos and Sta. Fe.

Choices

Santa Fe Mayor Jose Esgana said that Oxfam paid the beneficiaries P300 per day for 15 days to clear the roads, while the United Nations Development Programme and DSWD gave residents P282 per day for similar tasks.

“Such programs helped our constituents a lot, especially those who took out loans for the repair of their houses or to revive their livelihood,” Esgana said.

For his part, Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez said there have been instances when the cash-for-work program didn’t work.

He cited the project of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, where the beneficiaries were reportedly dependents of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

“Don’t you know that in a rural setting, ang mga OFWs maoy mga dato unya gitan-aw sa tanan? Do you expect his wife or children to work in the street?” Ramirez said.

The mayor said they don’t know what kind of work the families are willing to accept, that’s why they opt to just dole out the money.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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