Rehabilitation ongoing for Pablo victims

David Lozada
DSWD's Soliman says government converged various services to create sustainable improvements in areas devastated by Pablo

ON-GOING RELIEF. Typhoon Pablo victims in Monkayo, Compostella Valley claim their relief goods. Photo from DSWD.

MANILA, Philippines – Six months after typhoon Pablo (international codename Bopha) ravaged Mindanao, relief and rehabilitation efforts continue for the affected families in the Davao region.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to implement its programs to assist the affected areas. Cash-for-work, training in livelihood and provision of shelter and educational assistance are among the department’s programs geared toward rebuilding the lives of the victims.

Approximately P1.3 billion worth of assistance was extended to the victims of Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Compostella Valley. These included food packs, noche buena packs, bunkhouses, cash-for-work, emergency shelter and educational assistance.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said that the assistance aimed to follow-up on earlier efforts. “This is to ensure that initial efforts to help the families settle down are sustained,” Soliman said.

DSWD implemented the cash-for-work program to assist the daily needs of the victims while they look for permanent sources of livelihood. 58,817 victims received P226 a day for ten days. In return for the monetary assistance, the victims did community work.

Sustainable solutions

Looking at more long-term solutions, 35,483 affected individuals were employed in the different efforts of the DSWD. The cash-for-training initiative created jobs in farm development cum vegetable production, food processing, mushroom culture, organic farming, massage therapy, and cosmetology.

Soliman said that the government converged various services from the different line agencies to create sustainable improvements in areas devastated by Pablo.

“We hired personnel to focus on the recovery operations of areas devastated by typhoon Pablo. They will be deployed to the nine hardest hit municipalities of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental,” Soliman said.

Recognizing the value of education, DSWD allotted P2.3 million for tuition fees of affected students. The department provided educational assistance to 512 students.

The horror of Pablo

Typhoon Pablo hit the Southern Mindanao on December 4. It left a total of 1,067 dead and millions of pesos in damage according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Pablo caused so much devastation such that weeks after it hit, hundreds of bodies were still left unburied.

Different countries and international institutions also provided monetary assistance to the victims. The United Nations donated $10 million in assistance to the families.

NDRRMC spokesperson Major Reynaldo Balido Jr. told Rappler that the agency had taken steps to prevent the damage caused by Pablo from happening again.

“We are prepared for the disasters to come…So far, none of the typhoons had taken landfall. Of course we are hoping na lahat ng bagyo ganun na lang para walang damage,” Balido said. (We are prepared for the disasters to come. So far, none of the typhoons had taken landfall. Of course, we are hoping that no storm will hit land so that there will be no damage.)

Balido noted that the NDRRMC continue to tap its partner agencies in order to prepare for the rainy season. –

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