Report on the Housing and Livelihood Assistance Project For the Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda in Barangay Siocon in Bogo, Northern Cebu and Barangay Langit in Alang-alang, Leyte
Through the financial assistance provided by Philnetz, a total of 124 households were able to repair and rebuild their damaged houses and live in relative safety in two villages in Cebu and Leyte. In Alang-alang, Leyte, the people’s organization ASFA (Alang-alang Small Farmers Association) was able to assist not only its 30 members in Barangay Langit, but also the other residents in the village whose houses were destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda.
Through good planning and active resource mobilization of ASFA, a total of 74 typhoon-affected residents were able to repair and rebuild their homes. In Barangay Siocon, Bogo, Cebu, 50 members of the fisherfolk’s organization in the village also benefited from the housing assistance.
Construction materials provided to the beneficiaries are mainly corrugated sheets for roofing, since most of the houses’ roof were badly damaged by the typhoon; coconut lumber for use of the house foundation, cement and plywood sheets and amakan (made from bamboo) for walling, especially in totally damaged houses.
Damaged houses, flooded ricefields, devastated vegetables and crops, and sad people, this is the scene that typhoon Yolanda left in its wake. To restore the people’s livelihood, seedlings were provided to the farmers in Barangay Langit, and fishing boats were repaired and constructed for the fisher folks in Barangay Siocon. Each of the 30 members of ASFA were given vegetable and rice seedlings. Last November 2014, the farmers were able to have a good rice harvest, while vegetables in their backyard gardens continue to give good yields.
PO members of ASFA started harvesting string beans, bitter gourd, okra, pechay, and squash from their backyard gardens since May 2014. Vegetable harvest were mainly used by residents as viand. More nutritious food has replaced the usual viand of dried and salted fish.
The project has resulted in the expansion of ASFA membership. From 30 members, the number has doubled to 60. More community residents appreciated the value of organization in addressing their needs. Noticeable is also the active participation of formerly non-active members in PO activities. For the 30 new members, ASFA was able to provide housing assistance by tapping the support of World Vision, an international NGO that has been in existence in the Philippines since the ‘80s.
Meanwhile, 5 small fishing boats (banca) were given to the members of the people’s organization (PO) in Barangay Siocon. One new banca was constructed while 4 bancas were repaired. The PO is now managing the new banca, which it makes available to its members on a rotation basis. The banca can accommodate 3 members. With the new banca, the 22 PO members who do not own fishing boats can now fish for food at once a week. The 4 privately owned bancas that were repaired is opened for use to other members, primarily to the 22 members so that they can fish daily. A small rent of 10% of fish catch or from income from sale of fish is given to the PO, or to the private owners.
With these livelihood assistance, the families of at least 80 PO members of ASFA and Siocon now have source of food for their daily consumption.
Report from Community Empowerment Resource Network, Inc. (CERNET), February 25, 2015, Cebu City
CERNET is a consortium of development organizations in the Visayas (e.g. FARDEC) that supports peoples’ organizations (PO) for community empowerment. Its core program is the Small Projects Fund or SPF. Through this program, CERNET provides financial assistance to small projects of partner POs through a system of appraising project proposals, fund releasing, project monitoring and evaluation based on criteria and policies.