Philippines

The Salvation Army continues to bring relief to victims of typhoons and tropical storms in the Philippines

The typhoons 'Unding' and 'Violeta', tropical storm 'Winnie' and typhoon 'Yoyong' which hit four regions in the Philippines caused considerable loss of life and severe damage to crops, livestock and property. The worst is past but the ravages of the disaster have left their scar.
The Salvation Army Philippines Territory, through the Central Philippines Division, continues to deliver relief in the areas most affected by the typhoon by providing food parcels which contain rice, canned goods, sardines, biscuits, coffee, clothing, sugar, oil, pails and basins for washing. Counseling was also part of the ministry offered during the relief distribution.

The folowing areas were visited with relief supplies:

Calumpit, Bulacan

It took four hours to travel to Calumpit from Metro Manila. Once there, the team was able to meet with the municipal mayor and the social worker. On their way to Sta. Lucia they travelled on flooded roads and saw how the once rich and fertile rice fields now look like a sea. A total of 393 families were served.

Bongabong, Palayan City

After five hours of travel from Metro Manila the team was able to bring food to 400 families.

Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija

The road to Gabaldon has been eroded and made treacherous by scattered timbers and logs. The municipal capital was also surrounded with planks and timber washed from the mountain by the flash floods. A total of 300 families were brought relief in this region, parts of which are still flooded.

Infanta and General Nakar

It took several weeks before land transportation was restored to the areas most affected in Quezon. The desperate situations the team witnessed in Infanta and General Nakar, where almost all the houses were covered with mud and logs, brought many to the point of tears. The roads have yet to be cleared of mud in many districts; bridges that were cut off and collapsed are still awaiting restoration or reconstruction. Through the joint efforts of the government and some relief agencies, the victims were able to get food parcels to provide for their daily needs - considering that their means of livelihood, like farming and fishing, had been made impossible by the disaster. The team from The Salvation Army was able to provide for 500 families in two areas where food rations from other sources had been rare. They were so grateful for the presence of The Salvation Army, for the support, care and assurance shared with them even for the short time the team was there.

Isabela

The corps officers in this area facilitated distribution of relief goods to the affected families immediately after the typhoon and served a total of 305 families. In Villaros, 65 families received galvanized iron, nails and kugon to repair or rebuild their houses. Twenty-six farmers in Bella Luz, whose cornfields were severely damaged, were given 10 bags of corn seeds and 20 bags of fertiliser. In Tumauini, Isabela, where almost all the houses in one village were washed away by flash flooding and their fields were under water for several days, 3,000 bags of fertiliser were distributed among 1,000 farmers while the government provided seeds. The newly elected governor announced how grateful she was for the support given byThe Salvation Army to help the people in the community recover from the unexpected tragedy.

Further rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes to help the victims are planned in co-ordination with the local government and other agencies.