Philippines

Local aid group helping in Bicol typhoon relief efforts

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By Ana-Liza S. Macatangay

NAGA CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA)—“I am thankful to all of you for the big help you have extended to us. Our house was totally destroyed and our things were all soaked in water. Now, we can put something to shelter us.”

These were the simple words of Margie San Juan, a mother of 5 from Zone 2, Minalabac town whose house was demolished by typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-ten) before 2016 ended.

“I am happy because we now have something to shelter us from the sun and the rain,” she said in the dialect of Bicolanos during an interview recently.

San Juan was a recipient of TABANG Bicol’s non-food relief goods, consisting of a tarpaulin, blanket and plastic mat.

The humanitarian group brought non-food relief items to Camarines Sur, boosting emergency relief operation in the aftermath of the most recent natural disaster to hit Bicol region.

TABANG’s relief workers handed out plastic mats, blankets, and tarpaulins in Zone 2, Minalabac, Camarines Sur, which took the brunt of typhoon “Nina” when it came ashore and lashed Southern Luzon in the last week of 2016.

Two weeks after the storm and its aftermath drew response from the government and humanitarian groups, many victims seem to have gotten back on their feet. Or, more accurately, people have held onto life.

Before Nina struck, Nanay Eden Belano was nestled in a makeshift tent covered with tarpaulin and bamboo poles. She and her two children, a 4-year-old granddaughter and their dog had to live in the street after flood spawned by “Nina” swept the tent.

Before Maricris Lazaro became a beneficiary of TABANG Bicol’s relief drive, she and her family lived in their house with relative comfort. Lazaro, who is pregnant with her second child, said their house was blown away by the winds of Nina.

More relief operations are slated in the upcoming weeks as TABANG Bicol continues with its relief drive for the homeless victims of typhoon Nina.

The group said it will continue to help the displaced people until they have rebuilt their homes and their lives.

TABANG Bicol is made up of A-PAD PH Metro Naga, Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce Inc., Tarabang para sa Bicol, Inc., Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, Metro Naga Development Council, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas – Camarines Sur, Philippine Information Agency – Camarines Sur, Mariners Polytechnic Colleges, and Naga City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office. (EAD/LSMacatangay, with a report from Jam Madrid-PIA5/Camarines Sur)