Our Cagayan Valley Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Field Operations have started the Rehabilitation Phase of their long-term inclusive development and social entrepreneurial initiatives. This is our focus in response to the disaster caused by Typhoon Ulysses. We are grateful to the Creator for a successful launch. Thankful to Kalinga PAR Community of PeaceBuilders Community – Cordillera, led by Malou Isumacher and Wanay S. Baluyan, who are voluntarily giving their time and energies for these endeavours.
Near the midnight on 11 November 2020, Typhoon Ulysses (international name, Vamco) made its landfall in the Philippines as a Category 2-equivalent typhoon. The typhoon brought heavy rains throughout Luzon Island. It overflowed the Cagayan River and caused widespread floods in the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela. To prevent dam failure, the authorities opened all seven gates of the Magat Dam.
The country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had stated that the Typhoon Ulysses had 111 casualties (including 101 validated deaths, and another 10 missing), and the damages reached ₱20.3 billion (US$421.6 million). Throughout the Christmas Season and even in the first days of the New Year, rescue operations in the Cagayan Valley were still ongoing due to devastating effects of the flooding.
Focus on Rehabilitation
Based on careful needs assessment on the ground and relationships with local community leaders, the Kalinga Peace and Reconciliation Community decided to focus on several barangays (villages) and sitios (neighborhood) in the Municipality of Enrile, Province of Cagayan. During the Relief Phase, PAR Kalinga worked under the leadership of various organizations whose major focus and organizational forte has been on rapid emergency response. On the basis of our current organizational capacity and of our coordinating relationships with partner organizations, PBCI-CFP focused on rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation primarily addresses the new or increased poverty levels that have emerged due to the disaster. Jobs and income generation measures in the construction sector provide an immediate and emergency boost to the local economy. This is followed by long term improvement in land and water management and economic opportunities that seek to upgrade local economies and reduce community vulnerability in a sustainable manner.
As an initial response of the Cagayan Valley PAR Field Operation, we were able to distribute pails, mats, water jugs, and stainless cooking pots to the areas deemed most vulnerable in the Municipality of Enrile: 70 households in Sitio Dammang, Barangay Villamaria; 85 households in Sitio San Juan, Barangay Centro; 36 households in Sitio Narwang, Barangay Lanna. These 192 households will be our partners in a long-term inclusive development and social entrepreneurial initiatives.
The 503rd Brigade of the Philippine Army based in Kalinga Province assisted the PAR Kalinga for the packing and transport of goods from Kalinga to Cagayan. During the distribution, the PAR Kalinga volunteers were assisted by some staff members of the Municipality of Enrile, headed by Mr. Roque M. Dolorfino of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Development. Various officials from our partner barangays also helped in recruiting local help to unload the goods from the trucks.
PBCI-CFP Disaster Response Mechanism
Relief. Our teams are put on Code Red before and immediately after the calamity — caused by war, typhoons, earthquakes, and floods. Depending on the gravity of the calamity, our response lasts from the first 24 hours to about two to three months, catering to emergency shelter, food, water and medical assistance in partnership with local, national, and international organizations.
Reconstruction. In partnership with global organizations, various line-agencies of the national government, as well as key departments of local government units, PBCI-CFP teams focus on reconstruction following relief and extending to a period of approximately two years. The objective is to help rebuild the basic physical infrastructure and shelter to enable people to begin afresh.
Rehabilitation. We get involved — along with global partners from religious organizations, government agencies, and business corporations — in a long-term inclusive development program that includes reinstating lost livelihoods, introducing new economic opportunities, and improving land and water management processes. PBCI-CFP Teams are trained to work with all stakeholders to help reduce people’s vulnerability and enhance capacities to handle future calamities.
Readiness. After we experienced Haiyan (local name Yolanda), the worst typhoon in modern history, PBCI-CFP Teams have been spending more time and resources on a response which we consider as proactive measure — that is, to enhance preparedness in identified vulnerable regions by introducing socio-economic mechanisms and methods of construction that mitigate impacts of future disasters.