The Open Heart Foundation (OHF) conducted Disaster Relief Operations in four flooded areas affected by Typhoon Maring in Ilocos Region. As reported, Typhoon Maring made landfall in the northern part of the Philippines on October 12, 2021, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that resulted in severe flooding, landslides, and widespread damage.
In coordination with the DSWD Region 1, four municipalities were identified as heavily damaged in the province of La Union and Ilocos Sur.
Preparation has not been easy due to nationwide COVID travel restrictions and protocols. Before the actual activity, OHF staff in charge requested certificate of acceptance from each LGU for boundary checkpoints. The team also underwent RT-PCR test as required. The Admin and Finance staff prepared documents such as travel orders, quarantine pass, certificate of employment, vaccination cards, company IDs etc. The Fairview staff was also in charge of the marketing of grocery items and the repacking of 400 relief packs to be distributed to four areas.
On October28, the team composed of Ma’am Linda, Davilyn, Jerry, Tatet, Mark and Hanna departed from Fairview office at 2:30 AM going to La Union and Ilocos Sur.
For the first batch of relief distribution, the group arrived at the covered court of Brgy. Ili Sur in San Juan, La Union at 8:00 AM. The Barangay officers warmly welcomed the team. Some of them helped in checking the attendance and the crowd control. They also prepared a short program intended for the outreach activity such as invocation, national anthem, welcome message from Brgy. Captain Evangeline Sabalburo. OHF Executive Director, Mam Linda Perez, also gave a short introductory message about the OHF agency profile. The distribution of relief goods to 100 families followed after all the opening preliminaries.
For the second batch, the team went to Brgy. Rissing in Luna, La Union which was assisted by MSWD officer Jeanette Padilla. Brgy. Rissing is one of the barangays in La Union that actually submerged because it is close to a dike and most affected here are farmers because rice fields were severely damaged by the typhoon. 100 families from 5 Puroks/Districts received the relief packs.
For the third batch, the team travelled an hour from La Union to Tagudin Ilocos Sur. For this area, the relief distribution was in partnership with Let’s Share Foundation headed by its Chairman, Dr. Carol Dacanay, who is a native of Tagudin. Before the distribution, the team made a courtesy call to the office of Tagudin Mayor Roque Verzosa. Afterwards, the distribution was held in a covered court in Brgy. Bucao East of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur which was assisted by MSWD Officer Laarni Acosta. Prior to the distribution, the LGU also prepared opening preliminaries. The Honorable Mayor also gave a message of gratitude to Open Heart Foundation and to Let’s Share Foundation particularly to Dr. Carol Dacanay.
For the fourth and last batch of relief distribution, also in partnership with Let’s Share Foundation, the team then proceeded to Brgy. Silag in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. They were assisted by MSWD Officer Editha Laya. Like in the first three areas, OHF also provided 100 relief packs for 100 affected families. OHF also donated two sets of desktop computers to the MSWD office. Santa Maria is also said to be one of the most devastated in Ilocos Sur because the municipality is adjacent to a river. The roads here have been damaged by floods, covered in thick mud and blocked by broken branches and trees so they solicit immediate assistance for their fellow villagers.
It feels good when we give, share and think that the help we give somehow makes a difference in the lives of people in need.
To God be all the glory!
Prepared by: Mark Ben Dapilaga, Bookkeeper