1.20.2013

PIA News Service - Sunday, January 20, 2013



PDRRMC bares relief assistance to 'Pablo' victims

By David M. Suyao

PATIN-AY, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, Jan. 20 -- Members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) convened January 16 and discussed the relief goods delivered to typhoon "Pablo" victims and the added requirements for food and materials that will enable victims start normal lives.

According to the report of the Social Welfare chief Flordeliza Obani, the provincial government had delivered 38,000 packs of food relief goods each containing five kilos of rice, six tins of sardines, and another six sachet of noodles to 39,575 affected families since December 7, three days after Pablo ravaged the province of Agusan del Sur.

The report stated that six municipalities presented the number of families affected and the corresponding food relief goods extended.

The municipality of Veruela had 7,371 affected families and it released 350 sacks of rice, 16 cases of sardines, 30 cases noodles, five boxes coffee, and five sacks sugar.

Trento had 7,999 affected families and released the same number of family packs.

Sta. Josefa recorded 5,135 families affected and released 300 sacks of rice, 20 cases sardines, and 35 cases noodles, while Loreto had 6,381 families affected and released 500 sacks of rice.

La Paz had 4,695 families affected and were given 240 sacks of rice, 240 boxes of noodles, and 240 boxes of sardines, while Bunawan released 8,292 family packs to 7,994 affected families.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development Caraga Region had also extended help in terms of 18,460 family packs, and non-food relief goods such as nails amounting to P1,793,711, with a total amount of P4,857,379.

During the holidays, DSWD distributed 28,504 Noche Buena packs to Bunawan, Sta. Josefa, Veruela, and Trento amounting P10,255,000. Each pack contained bread, bottled juice, and canned goods to be shared by each family on Christmas eve.

World Food Program also gave 8,564 families nine kilos rice per family through the PSWD.

The Philippine Red Cross Agusan del Sur Chapter also ave food items to 5,253 families and non-food items to 635 families of Rosario, Bunawan, Trento, Sta. Josefa, Veruela, and Loreto.

Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza ordered the municipal mayors to update their assessments from time to time so that every victim could be assisted in any way by government. (PIA-Agusan del Sur)


Red Cross provides aid for 280,000 typhoon survivors

MANILA, Jan 20 (PIA) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) are continuing their effort to help victims of Typhoon Bopha (locally known as Pablo).

More than a month after the typhoon swept away communities in eastern Mindanao and left more than 1,800 people dead or missing, needs are still immense. In Davao Oriental province, almost 95 per cent of the roads, houses and crops have been destroyed. The ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross worked hard to respond to the emergency as it occurred, and are now attending to food, clean water, shelter, health care and other needs with the aim of helping people resume their normal lives.

The ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross have scaled up joint operations after their initial emergency response. These efforts have focused on: 1) setting up a field clinic in Baganga to respond to the most urgent needs until normal facilities are fully functional again; 2) making supplies available so that people can take immediate steps to remedy their lack of shelter; and 3) providing food, potable water and basic household items to the neediest so that they can concentrate on rebuilding their lives.

Enhancing local health care

"Most of the health facilities in Baganga were either damaged or totally destroyed," said Dr Gundula Epp-Graak, who works at the newly established Red Cross Basic Health-care Unit in Baganga, a community of more than 53,000 people. "We hope to bring back the level of medical services that existed before typhoon Bopha swept the area."

Since it opened on 3 January, the health-care unit has already attended to more than 800 patients, and is now receiving 100 to 120 patients a day. Most of the consultations are related to acute respiratory infections, fever, acute watery diarrhoea, skin diseases and open wounds. Among those being treated are people with chronic diseases who have run out of their usual medications. Owing to the widespread damage caused by the typhoon, they face a difficult time obtaining more of the drugs they need, which adds to the high level of stress they are already coping with as they try to rebuild their lives.

"Many of them do not have enough money any more to buy their drugs in the local pharmacy," said Dr Epp-Graak.

The medical staff at the health-care unit have also been treating many women and children, like Liezel Julian and her seven-month-old infant, who both had a bad cough, cold and fever. After hearing about the unit from a tricycle (tuk-tuk) driver, mother and baby went to receive medical treatment.

"I am very happy that the Red Cross is here giving us this service for free. We lost everything during the typhoon – our house, livelihood, even food to eat," said Liezel.

The ICRC, in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross, has set up a health-care unit in Baganga municipality in Davao Oriental province to attend to the pressing needs of the people around the area. The clinic, made up of six tents, is being supported by the Japanese, Norwegian, German, Canadian, Hong Kong and Finnish Red Cross national societies.

The ICRC has provided construction materials to build the Philippine Red Cross's advanced medical post, which is also providing much-needed medical care to people affected by the typhoon in Baganga.

Providing food and shelter

Given the scale of the disaster, the ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross decided to give priority in their initial emergency response to providing food and some basic household supplies. By mid-January, the organizations had already provided a one-month supply of food and cooking pots, jerrycans, mosquito nets, soap and tarpaulins for over 280,000 people in the three hardest-hit provinces of Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Surigao del Sur. Additional distributions of food have begun in the provinces and will continue over the coming weeks.

"I lost three of my relatives – my brother, his wife and my niece – during the typhoon. Our house was also completely destroyed. Three of us were able to make it out alive," said Amalia Ravezo, 52, of Boston municipality in Davao Oriental.

"Now we are trying to rebuild from scratch, and the relief items we received from the Red Cross have really helped – especially the tarpaulins, which protect us from the winds," said Ravezo. Shelter kits, which include nails, hammer and wires, have been distributed to 54,000 people in Boston and Cateel municipalities in Davao Oriental.

After the typhoon, detainees in Compostela Valley provincial jail were left with damaged facilities and without water and electricity. The ICRC, which monitors the treatment and living conditions of detainees, and had been working in the area for decades, donated building materials to help repair damage in the jail.

Improving access to clean water

In Cateel and Baganga, two municipalities of Davao Oriental, around 19,000 people have already benefited from clean drinking-water stations set up by the ICRC and the Philippine Red Cross and from water delivered by truck to eight barangays (villages).

The ICRC has also donated materials for the repair of the water systems in Cateel and Baganga, which will benefit an additional 6,500 people. The ICRC has likewise provided Compostela Valley Provincial Hospital and New Bataan Rural Health Unit in Compostela Valley with supplies needed to repair severely damaged water pipelines. (ICRC/PIA-Caraga)