AFTER THE STORM: TWO YEARS ON
STORIES OF SURVIVAL AND RECOVERY AFTER TYPHOON YOLANDA ( HAIYAN )
Cover photo: Children play outside Tacloban Cityâ€™s Coliseum - November 27, 2013. Extensively damaged during Super Typhoon
Yolanda (Haiyan), the building has now been rehabilitated with
support from RAY DILG. Courtesy: Bobbie Alota/DILG.
AFTER THE STORM: TWO YEARS ON
STORIES OF SURVIVAL AND RECOVERY AFTER TYPHOON YOLANDA ( HAIYAN )
WRITTEN AND EDITED BY HELEN NADDEO LISA GARDNER
ON BEHALF OF RECOVERY ASSISTANCE ON YOLANDA (RAY) OFFICE OF PROJECT DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (OPDS) DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (DILG) THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
This commemorative book is dedicated to the victims and survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda, 8 November 2013. We thank you for sharing your stories of courage, determination and resilience with us.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Recovery Assistance
on Yolanda (RAY DILG) Overview of RAY Batch 1 The Events of Typhoon Yolanda
Leyte 54 MacArthur 56
Matag-ob 59 Mayorga 60
EASTERN SAMAR 16
Tabontabon 75 Tacloban City
Albuera 31 Barugo 33 Baybay City
Carigara 41 Dagami 43
Jaro 48 Javier 50
Estancia 120 Janiuay 122 San Dionisio
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL 158 Cadiz City
PALAWAN 161 Busuanga 162
CAPIZ 128 Capiz Province
Dao 131 Dumalag 133 Dumarao 134 Panitan 135 Pilar 137 Pontevedra 138 President Roxas
Tapaz 143 AKLAN 144 Aklan Province
RECOVERY ASSISTANCE ON YOLANDA ( RAY DILG )
Sa pagpapatupad po ng ray, nais po natin tiyakin na deliberate, programmatic, at sustained ang tulong mula sa gobyerno. Hindi po pwede iyong bara bara, patse patse lang. Ang ray po ay ang tinatawag natin na ‘whole-of-government’ approach ng gobyerno. Pinag-isipan, pinagplanuhan at ipatutupad ng tuloy tuloy, lahat makikinabang, sama sama at walang maiiwan. Ang idea natin sa ray Program ay ‘Build Back Better’. Ito po ay para masiguro natin na ang mga istraktura, lalo na ang mga importanteng gusali o opisina sa isang lgu ay maisa-ayos upang maibalik sa normal ang public service at ang takbo ng buhay ng tao lalo na sa tao na nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda. Sa ray ay gustong tiyakin ng gobyerno na mas matibay, mas maayos at mas ligtas ang mga itatayong istraktura.
Former Secretary Mar Roxas ‘DILG Chief visits Yolanda projects in Samar’ 8 April 2015 Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines
On 8 November 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan) struck the Philippines, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. In partnership with LGUs, and as part of larger government efforts to rehabilitate affected areas, DILG established the RAY DILG Fund. RAY DILG assist in the reconstruction of totally and partially-damaged provincial/city municipal buildings, public markets, civic centers and barangay infrastructure, with view to Building Back Better. RAY DILG aims to facilitate sustainable, long-term recovery and return to normalcy government services and economic activities in Yolanda-affected areas.
OVERVIEW OF RAY BATCH 1 Following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the National Government allocated PhP2.012 billion for ray Batch (phase) 1 projects for the repair and rehabilitation of damaged municipal facilities (provincial/city/ municipal hall, public market and civic centers). It also covers the rehabilitation of infrastructures in dilg Region VIII, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), respectively. Of the 14 provinces and 171 cities/municipalities within the 50km radius of Yolandaâ€™s deadly path, 4 provinces and 146 cities/municipalities reported significant damage sustained to local municipal facilities. These lgus then submitted a Program of Works (POW): these were then broken down into 309 partially-damaged facilities and 25 totally-damaged facilities. Funds to support the repair of these facilities were distributed from the dilg (the ray dilg fund) to respective
lgus on April 10-11, 2014.
Department of Public
the Interior and FACILITY
Works and Highways
Table 1. Number of ray Batch 1 Damaged Municipal Facilities
TOTAL NUMBER OF FACILITIES
Table 2. Summary of ray dilg Batch 1 Facilities as of September 15, 2015
REGION Region IV-B
NO. OF PROJECTS 7
Table 3. Summary of ray dilg Batch 1 Projects Per Region as of September 15, 2015
ray Batch 1 projects reflect the initial stage in the three-phase rehabilitation program. Throughout each stage, the dilg will continue to support Yolanda-affected communities in their recovery, with view to Building Back Better.
THE EVENTS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA 06 November 2013
08 November 2013 Landfall
Typhoon Yolanda enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (East of Mindanao)
4:40 AM Typhoon Yolanda makes first landfall over Guiuan,
07 November 2013
Typhoon Yolanda intensifies as it continues to
move west-northwest towards the Eastern Visayas.
Typhoon Yolanda makes its second landfall over
In the afternoon, Yolanda accelerates slightly,
maintaining strength of course. 9:40 AM Before Landfall
Typhoon Yolanda makes third landfall over
dilg contacts lgu officials to activate their
respective Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils and 24-hour disaster
Typhoon Yolanda makes fourth landfall over Bantayan Island, Cebu
lgus conduct preemptive evacuations 12:00 NN
dilg Secretary Mar Roxas arrives in Tacloban City
Typhoon Yolanda makes fifth landfall over
and briefs government officials.
The President makes a televised statement on the
Prepositioned goods and equipment
preparations for, and expected strength of Yolanda.
are washed away in Region VIII. Homes and vital infrastructure, including
The Department of the Interior and Local
telecommunications, are destroyed. Thousands
Government (dilg), through e-mails and text
lose their lives, while more than 28,000 are injured.
messages, informed all mayors and governors in
More than 3 million families are affected, of which
the Bicol Region, Eastern and Western Visayas,
1.4 million live in the 50km typhoon radius.
and the mimaropa area to activate their Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils
(ldrrmcs) and 24-hour disaster monitoring
Typhoon Yolanda makes its sixth landfall over
systems. ldrrmc units are led by the heads
of local government, and are responsible for alerting their people and communities. Regional
09 November 2013
and provincial dilg directors also announced warnings and alerts over local radio stations
Typhoon Yolanda slightly weakens as it moves
in their respective areas. The Official Gazette
towards the West Philippine Sea. At 3:30 pm, it is
published warnings on storm surges, as well as
reported to have left the PAR.
other advisories from national agencies. 11 November 2013 State of National Calamity: The President addresses the nation again to brief the nation on the extent of the devastation, relief and recovery efforts already underway, and assistance pledged by other countries.
16 December 2013
08 November 2014
President Aquino signs Executive Order 68
Victims and survivors mark their
creating the Office of the Presidential Assistant on
first anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda
Reconstruction and Rehabilitation and Recovery (oparr)
May 2015 Onwards
27 December 2013
ray Batch 2 begins
Release of saro D-13-01357 for the
01 August 2015
first batch fund (estimated Php 2.012B)
dilg releases the â€œBuild Back Betterâ€?Operations 14 January 2014
Manual to strengthen post-disaster relief efforts
As of 6:00 am, January 2014, 6,201 individuals
are reported dead. 28,626 injured and 1,785 are
ray Batch 3 (forthcoming)
still missing. A total of 3,424,593 families - a total of 16,078,181 persons were affected in 12,139 barangays in 44 provinces, 591 municipalities and 57 cities in Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, and CARAGA The total cost of damages remained at Php 36,690,882,496.27 with Php 18,336,576,627 for infrastructure. March - June 2014 Governments at all levels prepare a series of long-term rehabilitation plans in Yolanda-affected areas. 04 April 2014 Notices of Cash Allocation are released to
dilg central and regional offices. 10-11 April 2014 Cheques are released to lgus for
ray Batch 1 programs. April 2014 Onwards
ray Batch 1 projects begin
“In previous years, we hadn’t experienced anything like Yolanda. When we heard on the radio that a Super Typhoon was coming for us, the people here in our place ignored the news. When Yolanda hit, that was the ﬁrst time that the people were shocked that it could be such a strong typhoon: even in my whole life, I had never experienced that kind of (event). I hope that there were no more Super Typhoons coming for us, because the people would be really afraid: they were really traumatized by what happened.” Tommy G. Celis, Barangay Captain Ajuy, Iloilo
“It was really terrifying, watching objects flying around the room. The roof (of the municipal hall) peeled away, piece by piece, like tissue paper.” Joanes Paulo M. Esgana, Municipal Administrator Santa Fe, Cebu
“The storm passed. As I left my house to survey the damage, I saw that everything had been flattened, as though Ormoc had been hit by an atomic bomb. Trees were uprooted and those still standing had been stripped of their leaves and branches. I’d seen pictures of Ormoc after World War II, and it looked just the same: as though over the course of a few hours, a world war had taken place.” Arthur C. Arcuino, Market Administrator Ormoc City, Leyte 14
TYPHOON YOLANDA IN REGION VIII EASTERN VISAYAS
EASTERN SAMAR “Eastern Samar is gone,” Rep. Ben Evardone of the province lamented yesterday as he sought emergency assistance for his home province… He has helped marshal social workers, soldiers and volunteers to distribute aid to the victims, but sighs, “I really don’t know where to start. I cannot imagine the devastation that hit my province.” As he saw the province from a helicopter, he told himself, “There is no more Eastern Samar province.” “You cannot recognize it. The devastation was horrific,” he told reporters, his voice cracking.”
News: ‘Eastern Samar is gone’ By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) 16 November 2013
he historic town of Balangiga, Eastern Samar was
“The national government agencies occupying
once the site of a historic massacre to defend
the annex building are the municipal trial court, public
Philippine sovereignty. On September 28, 1901, locals
attorneys office, prosecutor, COMELEC, Commission
attacked Americans with bolos (daggers) in what the
on Audit, postal office, Department of Agrarian
United States considers “the bloodiest chapter” of its
Reform and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.”
history in the Philippines.
“The new annex building is more beautiful
On November 8, 2013, the town would experience
compared before. We have new walls, ceilings, and
the challenge of a generation: the arrival of Super
floor tiles: our comfort room was also renovated, so
we are more comfortable. I am not worried anymore
Mayor Viscuso de Lira sought to act early to save lives, ordering a forced evacuation on November 5. Yet, on seeing the devastation to buildings and
that our documents will be damaged, most especially during future typhoons,” Laura added. Two days after the civic center was repaired, a
critical infrastructure, “the first thing that I thought
large-scale event was held, marking a key moment in
was: how can we return the normalcy here in our
the municipality’s recovery.
Left: Balangiga Civic Center - June 2015 Right: Balangiga Mayor Viscuso S. De Lira
town?” the Mayor remembers. “How can our damaged infrastructure be repaired?” The municipal hall and civic center, close to the town’s historic sites, were badly damaged. “Everything in the annex of our municipal building were destroyed,” Laura A. Macabuhay, a COMELEC employee says. “Including the roof, ceilings, and windows.”
“The Philippine Red Cross, with its Chairman Richard Gordon and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) conducted the turn-over of pabahay (shelter assistance) in Eastern Samar in which Balangiga was a recipient of 725 units,” Mayor Viscuso explains. The rehabilitation of the public market is still under its initial stage.
With support from RAY DILG funds, the
“There is still a lot of things to be done to
structure of the annex could then be repaired: serving
ensure the complete recovery of our municipality, but
as a key contribution to the functioning of these vital
I am grateful because some of our infrastructures are
functional already,” Mayor Viscuso says.
n Balangkayan, local municipal accountant Melinda B. Borja remembers the dual nature of Yolanda: first
came the gale-force winds, then the flooding rain. In coastal areas, storm surges would reached up to 10 feet. Each weather event, wrecking havoc on local homes, schools, roads and critical infrastructure. Among these was the local municipal hall. “The strong winds destroyed our windows, roof and ceilings,” Melinda explains. “Then the water came in and damaged our files. Everything was damp inside.” Next door, the local civic center suffered damage to its roof and interior stage.
‘STEP BY STEP’
Top: Balangkayan Municipal Hall Bottom: Balangkayan Civic Center
because we don’t experience leaks anymore when it rains,” she added.
hen our LGU received this funding assistance
The stage in the civic center was repaired along
from DILG, the implementation of the RAY
with the roofing. They now have a venue to conduct
projects became our topmost priority,” Rene B.
municipal programs such as fiesta activities and
At the municipal hall, a new resilient roof was
“Aside from the repair works, we also installed a
installed to provide immediate shelter. “New doors and
perimeter fence around the civic center. It now has an
windows were also installed. They also placed a canopy
aesthetic appeal and it gives protection to our users
to provide better protection in the building,” Melinda
when we have our events there, because outsiders can’t
interrupt ongoing programs,” Rene adds.
“The (interior) look of our municipal building
Two years may have passed since Yolanda struck.
was transformed after the repair,” Melinda says. “The
Despite the challenges of long-term disaster recovery,
improvements mean we’re better able to deal with and
in Balangkayan, the message is clear. “We are moving
meet the needs of our clients. I don’t need to worry
forward,” Rene says. “We are just taking all our
with my files and the documents stored in our office
rehabilitation, step by step.”
aria Daina C. Monta has served as the municipal bookkeeper in General MacArthur, Eastern
Samar, for more than twenty-five years. What she and her community experienced during Super Typhoon
Yolanda will stay with them for a lifetime. “A group of army soldiers were stationed at one of our upland barangays, and they themselves witnessed giant waves in the Pacific Ocean,” she remembers. “As it approached the shoreline, they saw how it parted into two: maybe that was the storm surge. Since it was divided, it spared our municipality from extensive damage, but our neighboring municipalities were badly affected,” she remembers. The municipal hall served as an evacuation center during the disaster, and would later be converted into a relief operations center. “Everything was washed out here,” she says. “That’s why now, everything looks new.” Located in a catch basin, the local civic center situated nearby had often suffered floods during regular rains. After Yolanda, it too was almost entirely destroyed. Meanwhile, at the public market, Yolanda had added further devastation. “(The market) was in chaos,” Rosita Abode says. “All the trash from the sea was brought by Yolanda into the market itself: and all our items were mixed in with the debris. You couldn’t buy anything, not even sugar, nor rice. All of it had been destroyed. You couldn’t even recognize that there had been a market here, afterwards.”
Top to bottom: Municipal bookkeeper Maria Daina C. Monta Local resident Jaypee Araneta General MacArthur market vendor Rosita Abode 19
CITIZENS, NEAR AND FAR
s the municipality began upon the long and slow road of disaster recovery, local Mayor Jaime S. Ty
would prioritize rehabilitation of the public market and
AN UNFORGETTABLE SERIES OF EVENTS
ith mixed emotions, on November 9, 2013 - the day after Yolanda - Maria would celebrate her
“Since the market was repaired immediately, even
“The day after Yolanda, livestock were being sold
people from (nearby towns) of Borongan, Dolores, and
cheap, so I bought some of it,” Maria remembers. “Since,
Guiuan would come here to buy food supplies and other
after all, it was my birthday. We cooked it and had a
necessities,” Maria explains.
celebration on the street with our neighbors, under the
With the support of ray
dilg funds, the
municipal building could also be rehabilitated, quickly reinstating public access to basic government services for those both within and outside the municipality.
moonlight. By far, it is one of my unforgettable birthday celebrations.” Nowadays, she and the townspeople celebrate a return to normal life following these unforgettable
“Once the municipal hall was repaired, regular
series of events. “When you enter General MacArthur,
government business could resume,” Maria says.
you can see only a few traces of Yolanda, compared to
“People from nearby towns visited to receive their
other municipalities here in Eastern Samar,” she says.
documentation stamps, so that they too could receive
“The bayanihan spirit here helped ensure that eventually,
access to basic services while their municipal hall were being repaired.” At the civic center, regular community activities are again underway, much to the delight of local patrons like basketball player, Jaypee Araneta. “Our league took a break after the building was destroyed,” he says. Since then, the structure of the center has been reinforced with sturdy materials, and the flooring raised for added flood protection.
General MacArthur Civic Center 20
everything would return back to normal.”
uper Typhoon Yolanda first made landfall in the municipality of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Almost
While the public market was under construction,
all the structures within the municipality were left in
Rosario joined other vendors in building temporary
ruins, and the town remained largely isolated in the
stalls. “We can’t afford to take a break from selling,” she
first days after the storm.
says. “Its our source of living. The market contractor
“Almost everything were completely washed out,”
even warned us that we might get hurt during the
explains Rosario D. Merilles, a local market vendor.
ongoing construction, so we were extra careful at that
“All the business establishments, even those that
time. Still, we needed to survive.”
were made from concrete. Houses, schools, roads: everything here was affected by Yolanda.” The town’s La Purisma Conception church, a heritage site considered one of the finest Spanish colonial structures in the Philippines, was also devastated. Nearby, close to the sea, the local market had also sustained extensive damage.
RAY DILG FUNDS
learned of the RAY dilg funding assistance when I saw the billboard,” Rosario says. “Also when
Secretary Mar also came to visit us, here in Guiuan.” Since then, “we’re slowly recovering,” she says.
“Almost all our stalls here are functional. The vendors are back again, to do business.”
“In my market stall, all of our products were
The lessons of Yolanda remain strong, in the
damaged; they were washed out, and all the debris
minds of many. “When we heard about Typhoon
made their way inside. Looting was also rampant, and some of my products were stolen,” she says.
Ruby (Hagupit), we packed our goods without giving it a second thought. Our market and the town proper are beside the sea. Our municipality is facing the Pacific Ocean. Now, everything changed. We are more prepared and cooperative with the local government, especially
“We really never want to experience again the pain and stress that we did during Yolanda,” she adds.
Top: Guiuan after Yolanda Courtesy: John Javellena Bottom: Guiuan local market vendor Rosario D. Merilles 21
Top: After Super Typhoon Yolanda - Guiuan Public Market Bottom: Guiuan Public Market - June 2015 22
ocated between Guiuan and Tacloban City, the coastal municipality of Lawaan lay almost directly
on the path of Super Typhoon Yolanda. “We knew that it will be a Super Typhoon, but its strength really took us by surprise,” says local market vendor Elena G. Gayda.
IMPROVEMENTS AT THE MARKET BY THE SEA
ith support from RAY DILG funds, rehabilitation works were soon underway to restore the public
market to its former vibrancy.
For these local residents, water is a way of life. The
With columns and roofing repaired, vendors could
small town relies largely on local marine sanctuaries
then return to selling items, vital for their continued
and fish reserves for much of its daily income.
income. Electrical works then provided brighter lights,
“Since our public market is located right beside the
ensuring that vendors can now display their items
sea, we already anticipated that it will be affected by
better, stay open until late in the evening, and also
Yolanda,” she explains.
protect their wares from theft. Improved wet market
As with nearby houses and other infrastructure,
areas, aisle spacing and comfort rooms can now ensure
the Super Typhoon stripped the roof from the market.
a more comfortable visit, for vendors and patrons alike.
Stalls were blown away by the freakishly powerful winds, and all that remained of the once-thriving market were the remnants of what had been structural columns. “We didn’t expect just how damaged the market would be,” Elena remembers.
(Clockwise from top left) Lawaan market vendor Elena G. Gayda., After Yolanda - Lawaan public market, The newly-rehabilitated Lawaan Public Market - June 2015 23
n Llorente, local municipal employees remember well
inside the civic center,” he says. “It’s why we always
the difficulties that arose in ensuring government
hope that the next typhoons will not have the same
services, after Super Typhoon Yolanda. “It was difficult,” says municipal employee Jesse D. Contado. “We had to return to work right away.”
intensity as Yolanda.” For government officials and local residents alike, “Yolanda was an important learning,” Jesse emphasizes.
“Although, thank God that the water did not enter
“I just hope that there will be more projects for the
the municipal hall.” This key government building
LGU to protect the people and infrastructures most
sustained partial damages due to the strong winds.
especially since we are facing the Pacific Ocean.”
So too, was the civic center. Jude Sidro, a local
“The weather is very unpredictable nowadays
basketball player, explains that the center provides a
and it is very hard if your greatest opponent is the
vital space for community gatherings and events.
ocean,” he added.
“Rain or shine we can comfortably play together,
Top: Llorente Municipal Hall - June 2015 Left: Llorente Municipal Treasurer Jesse D. Contado
ompared to the wind, the rain was not that strong. It started as a whistle, then became a howl. It
was terrifying.” This is how Germi Flynn D. Garfin, municipal
engineer from the coastal town of Maydolong, Eastern Samar, describes Yolanda’s onslaught. “The strong winds tore off the roofs of the houses, the municipal hall and the civic center. Power lines and
says. Yet, with support from ray dilg, the market was later rehabilitated. “When our doors was repaired, it made us feel safer,” she says. “We don’t need to worry anymore that our things might be stolen at night.” The following year, the municipality would be struck by Typhoon Ruby, and face the first serious challenge of disaster preparedness and resilience.
trees had been toppled. Debris were everywhere,” he
“(Typhoon) Ruby’s rains were stronger, but it was
says. “At that moment, it really felt like the end of the
not destructive,” Germi says. Attitudes have since
shifted considerably. “Since Yolanda, it was not difficult
As recovery efforts got underway, ray dilg
for us to convince the people to evacuate and prepare.
funds would later be used to rehabilitate the local civic
After all, during Yolanda, they witnessed and suffered
the worst typhoon our town has ever experienced.”
“The repair of the civic center was important to us because we use it as a multipurpose facility,” Germi says. “It’s used as an evacuation center, a venue for meetings, and for sports events: the repair of the rollup doors mean that we can also use it as a storage space when needed. Since it has a seating capacity for 1,000 people, it’s really an important facility in our town,” Germi says. At the nearby public market, Emma B. Carango- a vendor for more than two decades- explains how the storm was the strongest she had ever experienced. “It damaged the roll-up doors of the market,” she
Top: Maydolong Municipal Engineer Germi Flynn D. Garfin Bottom: Maydolong residents celebrate the 64th anniversary of the municipality in the rehabilitated Civic Center. May 2015. 25
e thought we were prepared,” Mayor Enrique A. Cabos says, of the days leading up to Yolanda.
“We’re used to typhoons. We know the feel of them,
and how the surrounding areas begin to look as they arrive.” Yet on November 8, 2013, the weather was fine and clear. “So from our experiences, we simply thought it would not come.”
A TYPHOON, UNEXPECTED
y some estimates, some 97% of the municipality of Mercedes was destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda.
“Even the doors of buildings!” the Mayor exclaims. “We have no idea where Yolanda carried them to.” Six days later, all the barangays in the municipalities were again accessible. “I borrowed a
Top: Mercedes Municipal Hall - June 2015. Bottom: Mercedes Mayor Enrique A. Cabos
stripped the paint from the building’s interior walls. As recovery began, rehabilitation of the municipal hall was deemed a priority. “Since it is the seat of power, when people see it being repaired, it brings about a feeling that we’re returning to normal,” the Mayor
backhoe from a mining firm and we cleared the roads.
explains. “It demonstrates that the government really
With it, we were able to begin our recovery.”
strived and did its best to uplift the lives of the
“But most of all, of course, we’re thankful that there were no casualties,” he adds.
victims after Yolanda.” Before Yolanda, the municipal building had at times felt like a hotel, separated into closed-off
THEN AND NOW
sections. With support from RAY DILG funds, these partitions were later changed to glass.
uring the disaster, the local municipal hall,
“We’re now more visible to our clients and to other
particularly the second floor, was badly damaged.
employees,” Nicolas says. “Our office really improved
“When the roofing was blown off, our documents were
since, and now we are more inspired and eager to work.
all blown away. We could look up and see the rescue
It’s more convenient for us to cater to our clients,” he
helicopters flying above us,” Nicolas C. Saucelo, a local
administrative aide remembers. Heavy rains had also 26
mong the municipalities struck by Yolanda in
officials faced additional challenges. “Our challenge
Eastern Samar, Quinapondan was still lucky
was the availability of construction materials,” Mayor
because it incurred minimal damage, when compared
Nedito says. “It was really hard to find these, post-
to our neighboring municipalities,” Mayor Nedito A.
Yolanda. As demand went up, so did prices: as the
closest licensed lumber dealers are in Tacloban City
Yet despite the minimal physical damage, the
and Guiuan, we had few available materials to work
Mayor explains, local survivors experienced a kind of
with.” With support from ray dilg, “the moment the
damage that proves invisible at first glance. “The Yolanda experience was an eye opener for
fund was downloaded to us, after having complied with
everyone,” Mayor added. “During the typhoon, in our
procedural requirements, we started implementing the
municipal hall, there was total chaos.”
projects,” the Mayor added.
“Truthfully, afterwards, almost everyone in the town was demoralized,” he says.
t the Quinapondan local market, vendors returned to view the destruction. For some, like Susan
‘A MORALE BOOST’
fter our municipal hall was repaired, it was a morale booster to our Yolanda victims, including
our barangay officials,” the Mayor believes. “They saw that the government is helping us to recover.”
B. Gonzaga, this would make for some necessary
Likewise, at the local market, vendors are back in
improvisation. “With the roll-up door to our stall
business. “It is a morale booster to them (the vendors
damaged, we had to hammer it down, open it, then
and customers), also,” the Mayor adds.
hammer it down again each night, before re-opening it
“Yes, it was very difficult after the typhoon,” Susan
again the next morning. It was very tiring, but we had
says. “Yet now that the market has been repaired, and
to sacrifice just to ensure that our products are secured
our roll-up door fixed, I am very much at ease. I don’t
at night,” she explains.
need to worry anymore when we close our stall at night.”
As post-disaster recovery projects got underway,
(Clockwise from left) Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado hands over a check amounting to P500,000 to Mayor Nedito Campo of Quinapondan, Eastern Samar to help local typhoon victims - March 14, 2014. Courtesy: Bulacan.gov.ph., The newly-rehabilitated Quinapondan Public Market, Quinapondan market vendor Susan B. Gonzaga. 27
â€œExtremely Catastrophic Super Typhoon HAIYAN (YOLANDA) has maintained its strength as it moves closer endangering the Visayas including Masbate. The potential landfall area of this Super Typhoon is likely along the eastern coast of Northern Leyte or Southern Samar on Friday morning. Important Note: This typhoon is similar in track but more powerful in strength of Super Typhoon MIKE (RUPING) which passed across the Visayas on November 12, 1990 which devastated much of Central Visayas paricularly Cebu. Residents living along the eastern seaboards of the Philippines from Northern Quezon... Bicol Region...down to Northeastern Mindanao should continue monitoring the approach of this destructive typhoon for possible unprecedented track changes. Plans for emergency situations and/or disaster management planning must be completed as soon as possible as the dangerous cyclone is only 12 hours away from hitting land.â€? Super Typhoon HAIYAN (YOLANDA) Update Number 009 Issued at: 6:00 PM PhT (10:00 GMT) Weather.com.ph 7 November 2013
he municipality of Abuyog, one of the largest
were installed. Along with plumbing and electrical
towns in Leyte province, faces the Leyte Gulf and
works, doors and windows were also fixed.
looks out across the Pacific Ocean. Typhoon Yolanda devastated the town, including
two of its important structures - the local municipal building, and civic center. “Despite the fact that the two-storey municipal
Nearby, at the municipal building, repair works included the roof, ceiling, stage, doors, and windows. Painting and plumbing works were also undertaken. “Since the municipal building houses different government offices, the rehabilitation greatly
building is made of concrete, it was still damaged by
benefited the community,” Edgardo explains. “In fact,
the typhoon,” local resident Edgardo C. Brillo explains.
not only were my expectations for the project met, but
Meanwhile, the civic center serves as a local cultural center. “It’s our main venue,” says resident
furthered improved.” “The repair in the civic center was done quickly,”
Armetio P. Zuniga. “We use it for gatherings, seminars
Artemio adds. “The roofing was greatly improved. In
and other related activities for the community.”
addition to that, floor tiles were placed on various
With the assistance extended by RAY DILG, these
offices at the second floor. This project is beneficial
two facilities were repaired following the devastation
to the community for all activities like seminars,
of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
graduations, and weddings. The rent is also income
In the civic center, a new roof and roof framings
generating for our local government.”
(Clockwise from top left) Abuyog resident Armetio P. Zuniga, Abuyog Civic Center - July 2015, Local residents enjoy the newly rehabilitated Abuyog Civic Center. 29
he central municipality of Alang-alang is situated near Tacloban City, and was devastated by Super
Typhoon Yolanda. The typhoon’s fierce winds significantly damaged the town, along with government buildings including the municipal hall, public market and civic center.
with ceilings, painting and electrical works. Nearby, the roof of the public market had sustained similar damage. Later repairs provided for a new roof, roof framing and repainting. “The repair of the market has benefited us greatly,” says Jeralyn Sayaco, a local resident and one of the 25
Before Yolanda, “the facilities were sufficient
vendors in the local market. “It’s now more comfortable,
to meet the needs of the people,” Michael A. Alve,
which is important, especially as we’re here every day.
municipal engineer says.
It is more organized now, than in the past.
As the local government received the RAY DILG funding, repairs began immediately.
“The municipal building is now being used by the accounting office and also serves as a function hall,”
At the municipal hall, both the roof and roof
Engr. Michael says. In the meantime, the recovery
framing had been stripped away: victim to the Super
continues. “Our civic center is still under on-going
Typhoon’s gale-force winds. These were repaired, along
construction,” he added.
(Clockwise from top left) Ongoing reconstruction of the Alang-Alang Civic Center - July 2015, AlangAlang Municipal Engineer Michael A. Alve, Ongoing reconstruction of the Alang-Alang Civic Center - July 2015
ALBUERA have to drag you,” they said. Some were reclucant to leave their house, livelihood, boats, and animals behind. We opened the school because it is our only evacuation center. I began organizing everybody: Department of Education officials, teachers, local government employees, rural health unit personnel, and barangay captains. The people who were trained in CPR and rescue operations were stationed, along with heavy equipment, in the municipal hall.” Alan R. Samson, a local municipal engineer, Albuera municipal administrator Maria Victoria Lyra Dela Cerna
remembers the relief efforts in Yolanda’s immediate aftermath: “Straight away, we made surveys and cleared up
the roads going to Ormoc City. All the trees and posts n the days leading up to Super Typhoon Yolanda,
were uprooted. The 17th Infantry Division (Army) and
Maria Victoria Lyra Dela Cerna, the municipal
our payloader were in charge of clearing the debris. It
administrator and local municipal disaster management
officer, was in Tacloban City for a seminar. She remembers:
was 10:00 am when Yolanda subsided.” Maria Victoria also shared the challenges of immediate disaster relief in Albuera:
“We knew that there was a typhoon coming. We
“We couldn’t transport the victims to the hospitals
prepared somewhat, and were told that it would be
in Ormoc City because it was also damaged. So, I went
a Super Typhoon, but hadn’t really imagined that it
to every school and told them to be extra careful with
would be a ‘super’ typhoon of that force. For a place like
their health. We couldn’t afford to have our people
this, so used to typhoons, it was hard to imagine. The news reported that (the winds) would be up
become sick, since we don’t have enough medicines and don’t have hospitals.
to 250 km/hr. Then all of the sudden it’s sunny outside.
It was after two days when the medical team came.
At the back of our heads, we thought: we just hope
We saw people with injuries after Yolanda with bleeding
that this is not as bad as how they sensationalize
wounds. We were helpless: in a normal situation, these
it to be on the news, or how they exaggerate things
injuries would have need suturing. We had to make do
because we are so used to typhoons.
with what we had available to us.
Then the governor called. He told me that I have
Our civic center was totally damaged. Our
to go back to help with preparations, because this
municipal hall was also damaged, but we had to fix it
would be really bad. So we cut the seminar short, and
right away because it serves as our operations center.
went back to our town. Through phone I already called
We cannot work with water dripping all over. We also
for the Rural Health Unit (RHU) to provide medicines,
have piles of rice inside the building. The municipal
for the Department of Social Welfare and Development
hall was the first facility to be repaired, since we cannot
(DSWD) to buy commodities already. Then, somebody
allow the rice to get wet. We needed to function as
in a car with a sound system began driving around the
much as possible, since few NGOs will help you if you
town, announcing the forced evacuation. We had the
cannot provide them with accurate reports regarding
army visit those who wouldn’t leave. “Evacuate or we
WITH SUPPORT FROM RAY DILG
he ray dilg fund helped us a lot, especially in our civic center,” Alan says. The funds were used to
install a new roof, repair electrical wirings and fittings,
and repainting of the facility. “(The civic center) is where we hold our social functions and community gatherings. The transport terminal and other business establishments are near the facility. It is also close to the public market which was restored already.” In some ways, “Yolanda was really a bad experience but it is still a blessing for some people,” Maria Victoria says.
Albuera Municipal Engineer Alan R. Samson
“Before, some had nipa huts as their houses. Now they have galvanized iron sheets for their roof, and have been provided with livelihood assistance. Those who planted coconuts before now plant other crops such as corn. Coconuts take years to grow compared to corn which grows faster. Shorter harvest cycles mean that they can generate money faster. Yolanda might be bad, but there’s always a sun after a storm,” Maria Victoria adds.
Situated outside Abuera Town Hall, it reads: This landmark is made from an old-age acacia tree that has fallen down infront of Dr. Geronimo B. Zaldivar Memorial School of Fisheries during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda last 8th of November 2013. This is dedicated to the good people of Albuera. 32
RECOVERING, WITH RAY DILG
or some in the small town of Barugo, Leyte, Yolanda brought about memories of a time from almost two
decades earlier: of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Undang. Teofilo Glenn M. Avestroz Jr., the local
t was more than a month before our business operations returned to normal,” Susana says. “Then,
the following year, our market was repaired with the
assistance from RAY Dilg. These repairs were very
helpful to us because we cannot have leaks on our
was in the municipal
roof as it hampers our operations. Plus, it is not safe,
building both in the
especially as we have ovens and baking equipment.”
“Now, we are safe in our shop, most especially
Yolanda, and as it struck.
our products,” she says. “The look of our market was
“I slept at around
also improved. I also noticed that there are now new
11:00 pm on November
vendors here, especially at the ground level. Our sales
7, then I woke up at 4:00
have also increased.”
Barugo Municipal Engineer Teofilo Glenn Avestroz Jr.
am the next day when our
At the local civic center and municipal hall, repairs
mayor arrived,” he says.
have also led to vast improvements. “The repair of our
“Since we couldn’t sleep, I
civic center was beneficial, as it is used as a storage for
decided to cook up porridge for the evacuees. We were
relief goods,” Teofilo says. “In the municipal building,
still able to deliver some of it to two local schools,
roof repairs mean that our work isn’t stalled when it
which were being used as evacuation centers.
rains: our operations can continue on, unaffected.”
“Then, at around 6:30 am, Yolanda arrived. The typhoon was very strong. I saw how the trees were twisted and broken. The last time I have experienced a strong typhoon was in 1984 during Typhoon Undang,” he remembers.
DAMAGE TO LOCAL INDUSTRIES
commonly known for its delicious roscas (pastries
made of flour, sugar, eggs and shortening). Yet the damage wrought by Typhoon Yolanda
Barugo baker Susana A. Villaflor
would significantly affect local market vendors, including some of the municipality’s most famed local bakers: the Barugo Food Delicacies Producers Association, located on the second floor of the public market. “We have twelve members here from the different districts of Barugo,” Susana A. Villaflor, the association’s vice president, explains. “When Yolanda arrived, the roof above our store was damaged. Our equipment inside the shop were displaced, due to the strong winds. We used whatever ingredients were left. It took time, since at first, people had no money to buy our products,” she says.
wo significant typhoons since then - Ruby and
Yet “our Typhoon Yolanda experience has served
Seniang - were different from Yolanda,” Teofilo
as great learning for the community,” he adds. “Now,
says. “We experienced eighteen hours of rain during
whenever there’s news of a typhoon, we prepare and
Ruby. Typhoon Seniang also brought with it heavy
secure everything to avoid a major disaster.”
rainfall, which flooded our town. “The weather now is very unpredictable. We have two great enemies each time there’s a typhoon: storm surge or floods, and strong winds,” he says.
Top: Susana bakes ‘roscas’ and other local delicacies Bottom: The Barugo Food Delicacies Producers Association 34
RAY DILG FUNDING
aybay City, situated along the western coast of Leyte province also experienced the onslaught of
Super Typhoon Yolanda. City
Carmen L. Cari shared
t was a big help because if the ray dilg fund were not there, we wouldn’t be able to rebuild that fast,”
Mayor Carmen says. “Our gymnasium (civic center)
that before the landfall
was destroyed in November, just before our town fiesta
of the typhoon, they had
in December. We covered the roof with tarpaulins and
forced evacuations and
large pieces of cloth as makeshift shelter.
communicated to her
“As for the public market, the water usually gets
people, even through
into the market when it rains and catches at the bottom
Baybay City Mayor Carmen L. Cari
level, leading to complaints from the tenants and
“I announced twice.
market goers. Through the ray dilg funding, I also
The first time, I was
included that for the repairs. I had the flooring raised,
in a meeting with other
as well as the water pipes and electrical concerns that
disaster council members
were damaged: these are all repaired.”
and I had it shown through television. We expressed our
“In the municipal hall, the damages were to the
concern about Yolanda and asked the people to prepare
roof, but now repairs are already finished,” Mayor
water and flashlights. I remember hearing a joke that
Carmen adds. “In future, we are also planning to
they should buy flashlights because mayor told them
construct a new City Hall far from the sea.” For local residents
so. When they arrived at the store, the flashlights were like
already out of stock.
The second broadcast was the night before
Yolanda. I still appealed to the people to evacuate.
marks a return of regular
Because before that I had a conversation with the
governor and Secretary Mar and they told me that this
“The civic center is
would be a very strong typhoon, even stronger than
the structure with the
Typhoon Pablo. I told the people that if they will not
biggest indoor capacity
evacuate, we cannot save them, because we cannot
in Baybay City. We play
take the risk of exposing our rescuers to the brunt
basketball here about
of the storm and have them die. Someone informed me after Yolanda that it was due to that final warning that most people were saved because they chose to evacuate,” Mayor Carmen shares. Romulo Munez Jr., a resident of Baybay City and local basketball player, believes Yolanda was the worst storm he had ever experienced.
Baskeball player and local Baybay City resident Romulo Munez Jr.
twice a day, during lunch time and the evening,” he says. “It is the main
pastime of the residents here. Even for women, there are Zumba sessions being held every night.” With this repair, the needs of all members of the community are served, he believes.
“The day after, when I first went out of the house
“It is also available for use by students, they come
to see the aftermath,” he remembers. “I was shocked to
here during evening for practices since the lighting
see the structures that were destroyed, electricity poles
is for free, unlike in the other towns,” he says. “They
toppled… Even the biggest structures were damaged.”
can stay until around 10:00 pm, even later as long as
This included the civic center. “It was badly
there are others still using the gym. People from all
damaged,” he says. “In case of rain, we have no choice
age groups get to use the civic center. It is not really
but to stop whatever we were doing in the venue.”
scheduled by anyone, the people here just got used to having their activities here in the civic center. In this way, this has been part of our day-to-day life,” he added.
Top: Baybay City Public Market (ongoing rehabilitation) - July 2015 Bottom: Baybay City Civic Center - July 2015 36
urauen is one of the biggest municipalities in Leyte
activities returned, not all of our vendors returned right
province. With 77 barangays, the centrally-located
away because of financial concerns.”
municipality was heavily affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
The continued functioning of the local public
“Three days before the landfall of Yolanda, we
market contributes to the lives of those outside the
announced a forced evacuation, and I asked the
municipality, Nilo explains. “As Burauen is located in
Philippine National Police Force (PNP) to help us,”
the central part of the province, people from nearby
Mayor Fe S. Renomeron remembered.
towns of La Paz, Julita, Dagami and Tabontabon also
As Yolanda struck, “the wind was very strong. The
come to our market,” he says.
people at the community center were all crying and
At the local civic center, Vilma A. Abad, head
praying. We thought won’t survive it,” she says.
of Department of Social Welfare and Development (dswd), explains how the construction of the facility
Both the local civic center and public market also sustained extensive damage. “Most of the roof and
have improved the Department’s capacity to provide
doors were blown away,” Nilo T. Ontimare, the market
effective services to the people.
“The civic center helped us a lot because we now
“Even though the market was damaged, the
have a venue to meet with our clients in a private
economic activities of the municipality didn’t stop,”
setting,” she says. “In the past, we struggled to
he says. As local people rely on the selling of produce
observe the confidentiality of our clients, including
for a living, “vendors sold their products outside their
those involved in cases of abuse, since we didn’t have
houses or on side streets.”
a separate, private space where we could discuss sensitive matters. Now, we have a special area to cater to battered women and child abuse cases. After Yolanda,
RECOVERY WITH RAY DILG FUND
we also experienced a surge in cases of depression, and
was very happy with all the assistance we received
this space can cater to the needs of these clients also,”
from International Non-Government Organizations
(Ingos),” Mayor Fe says. “Then, dilg gave us the
ray fund for the rehabilitation of our municipal building, market and civic center.” Afterwards, the slow yet steady recovery of basic government infrastructure began. “It took one year for the market to be fully operational again,” Nilo says. “While our economic
CHALLENGES AND LEARNING
e are still recovering from Yolanda,” Mayor Fe says.
“After all, we are an agricultural town: seventy
percent of us here are farmers. Our situation is different,
(L-R) Burauen Mayor Fe S. Renomeron, Burauen DSWD head Vilma A. Abad, Burauen market supervisor Nilo T. Ontimare 37
Top: Burauen Municipal Hall - July 2015. Bottom: Burauen local councilors at the civic center
and our recovery needs are more long-term. We still
center three days before Typhoon Ruby made landfall,”
have to wait for more years to grow our coconuts, which
Mayor Fe says. “They didn’t wait the truck to pick them
is our main source of livelihood. In the meantime we
up, but instead, evacuated voluntarily. They brought
are growing other, alternative crops, but these are very
everything with them, including their pigs. In that
vulnerable to bad weather.
respect, Yolanda taught us well and this made us more
So we are now moving forward, despite these current challenges. We are doing our very best to fully recover.” Attitudes towards calamities have also shifted. “We had people arriving in the community (evacuation)
resilient. “We still feel the pain from Yolanda, but I always tell my people to forget about it, divert the pain to positivity and move forward,” she adds.
he northern municipality of Calubian, situated opposite Biliran province, was not spared as
Typhoon Yolanda struck the Leyte province. “The civic center was already functional before
Yolanda struck our town. It can accommodate large number of people in our community,” Lavern C. Llosa shares. The ray dilg fund extended the assistance for the installation of new roof and other works which includes concrete reinforcements, electrical works and re-painting. “After it was repaired, it looks much better and can accommodate more people,” Lavern says. The center continues to serve as a vibrant space for the community. “It is still the main venue in our town for many events like sports activities, school programs, and fiesta.”
Top: Calubian resident Lavern C. Llosa Bottom: Calubian Civic Center - July 2015 39
ercival N. Cabales has worked at the Office of the
was immediate and important to our town. When we
Mayor in Capoocan, Leyte, for more than fourteen
got the money, the repair and rehabilitation works
years. The Yolanda survivor shares his story:
became the priority of the local government.
“Before Yolanda made landfall, I was at home.
After our civic center was repaired, new roof
Then I heard that the Disaster Risk Reduction
framing and sheets, and electrical wirings were
Management Council (drrmC) was telling people to
installed. The community was able to use it for sports
evacuate, as they expected this to be a strong typhoon.
events, seminars and trainings conducted by the
Immediately, the local government assigned
local government and parties. It is also being used as
the church, gymnasium (civic center), municipal hall,
reception venue for local weddings.
schools and the drrmC tents as evacuation centers… Yolanda was the worst typhoon I have experienced. It was the strongest. There are no typhoons that I can compare it to, with that kind of strength. During the typhoon, you will really ask yourself if you will survive. The wind was very strong. You can see the wind
A SHIFT IN ATTITUDES
he behavior of the people here have changed significantly since Yolanda. Before, the attitude
of the people would be: ‘it’s just a typhoon, we are
forming in circles, and the sound was haunting. The
used to it, we can survive it.’ Now, there’s a noticeable
strength of the wind can blow you away.
shift. People are more alert, and they monitor weather
I wasn’t sure if we had experienced a storm surge,
forecasts. The people themselves are more involved,
but there was flood on the streets that lasted for just a
unlike before, when it would just be the local
government monitoring events.
The houses along the coastal areas were all
We are still recovering. It will still be a long road
washed out. Most of the facilities here were damaged:
for recovery, but so many national government agencies
schools, churches, municipal building, gymnasium,
are assisting us especially for livelihood programs.
market and others.
Typhoon Yolanda was unforgettable. People will move on, but the learning and experience will live
WITH SUPPORT FROM RAY DILG
fterwards, we received the ray dilg fund for rehabilitation works. The fund extended by dilg
Left: Basketball players in the newly-rehabilitated Capoocan Civic Center Right: Municipal employee Percival N. Cabales 40
within us and serve as a reminder for us for future calamities.”
Local government employee and former barangay captain Leo Salvacion
ituated on the northern province of Leyte and across the Carigara Bay, the municipality of Carigara was
one of the badly hit towns in the province. Leo Salvacion, a former barangay captain and current local government employee, explains how he
REHABILITATION FOLLOWS AN ‘UNFORGETTABLE’ EXPERIENCE
lejo N. Urmeneta, local municipal administrator, explained how ray
dilg funds supported
Carigara’s continued recovery. “The repair of our
was among those who monitored evacuees in the civic
municipal building, gymnasium and (market) stalls
center during Yolanda.
means that these buildings are now more accessible,
“We used our gymnasium (civic center) as our evacuation center, but when Yolanda hit us, it damaged most of the roofing.
manageable and serviceable
to the needs of the
community. “The community did not only benefit by being able
We are still lucky because even if we are near the
to use the facility but it was also income generating for
sea, we didn’t experience a storm surge. Instead, it
the local government due to the rent of gymansium and
was the strong winds that caused most of the damage.
stalls,” Alejo explains.
There was only minimal flooding: unlike with Typhoon
“We are now safe and secure in our stall. We don’t
Seniang, which caused huge floods from heavy rains,”
get wet anymore when it rains. It was really a big help
to us,” Teresa agrees.
A market vendor for almost three years, Teresa
Yet some challenges remain. “While the rebuilding
Nivera remembers how her family did not evacuate in
of these projects were completed in a timely manner,
the civic center, but instead chose to stay inside their
we still need to repair the gymnasium, as the stage is
market stall. She witnessed the damage firsthand.
not yet functional. Only the roofing and roof framing
“I saw how the typhoon damaged most of the stalls
have been repaired,” Alejo says.
and market products here,” she says. “I didn’t expect
In the meantime, “the people here have changed
that it will be a very strong typhoon… We witnessed
after Yolanda,” Leo believes. “We saw this during
how the winds blew off the door from the stalls
Typhoon Seniang. Now, they listen, they are not hard-
and the roof hung like clothes on the trees and
headed anymore. Yolanda was an unforgetable learning
experience for everyone.”
Carigara Municipal Administrator Alejo N. Urmeneta 41
Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Carigara Civic Center plays host to local basketball games Right: Local public market vendor Teresa Nivera
s Yolanda hit us, it was all just a matter of time,” Dagami Mayor Abundio I. Delusa remembers. He
tells his story: “In the first thirty minutes, visibility was reduced to zero. We really didn’t know what to do. I cannot even
explain it… Most of the buildings and houses were damaged. The people were left homeless. We just relied on relief goods because even agriculture - the trees, vegetables, and crops - were all badly damaged. In the municipal hall, the walls were damaged and the glass windows were shattered. The winds were so strong that even a dead pig from the mountain was carried here… The civic center was also devastated and the market was no longer functional. Aside from that, the roads, day care centers and schools were badly affected also. It was a very hopeless situation.
SUPPORT FROM RAY DILG
hrough the ray funding assistance, we were able to rehabilitate our municipal building, market and
civic center. A new roof and ceiling was installed, along with built-in cabinets and partitions. The electrical wires were fixed also. Once people saw that the municipal hall was functional again, they didn’t hesitate to visit. Our market has become busy again. People are selling fish and root crops. Some of the people here were able to plant root crops after the typhoon, so that
Dagami Mayor Abundio I. Delusa
difficult to explain to the community about typhoons, and how to adequately prepare and evacuate for them. Now, once an announcement was made, the people mobilize on their own. They prepare, and then head to the evacuation centers. Moving forward, I really want to build a big evacuation center that can withstand future typhoons of a similar ‘super’ strength, like Yolanda. In the meantime, we use the civic center and municipal hall as assigned evacuation centers.
‘THE NEW NORMAL’
after three to four months, they were able to harvest it and sell it. We were able to restore all the activities in our civic center. New roof sheets and ceiling were installed: we also fixed the door, windows and had electrical works. We use it as our venue for meetings with the local government and ngos.
LEARNINGS AFTER YOLANDA
olanda and Seniang were both “firsts” in Dagami.
Yolanda’s strong winds were unbelievable. On
the other hand, Seniang’s strong rains and extensive
flooding were also unexpected. Preparations for the ‘new normal’ are key to a ‘normal’ life, the Mayor explains. “My hope for the people of Dagami is that we can continue to build our lives with productive work and activities” he says.
here were forty-six casualties here in Dagami, from Typhoon Yolanda. (Yolanda) changed everything: it really an eye-
opener for everyone. In the past, it would be really 43
Top: Dagami Public Market Bottom: Dagami Municipal Hall 44
n the eastern side of Leyte province, the coastal
thing. I will never forget that experience. I didn’t even
municipality of Dulag faces the Leyte Gulf. The
know where my family was.
quiet, largely agricultural municipality found itself in
We had a storm surge, but it was not as high as
the ‘midst of the storm’ during Super Typhoon Yolanda.
what happened in Tacloban City. Those who stayed in the coastal barangays remember seeing three big waves, coming from the Pacific Ocean. We face the Pacific Ocean here, and are prone to typhoons, but not landslides. Our problem here are typhoons, and sometimes, earthquakes. But we’ve never had anything like Yolanda. As for the municipal hall, all of the roofing was blown away. All of the doors were blown away. Most of the glass was broken, like flying debris. If you went out to look at the wind, you would have been blown away. The public market was flooded, up to here (knee
Dulag Mayor Manuel Sia Que
height). After three hours, it receded. No-one could use it anymore,” Mayor Manuel shares.
Manuel Sia Que, Dulag’s municipal mayor, recalls the devastating event: “We were very much prepared here, in our lgu
Aida P. Tacdog, local market vendor, remembers that the typhoon as the most terrifying she had ever experienced.
(municipality). I stayed in the municipal building until
“My family stayed inside the market stall. We
the typhoon arrived. I wasn’t able to go home because
weren’t able to go to the evacuation center. From
of the big winds.
Four days before the typhoon, a tornado
everyone was crying.
happened here. There were around 71 houses that
After the typhoon,
collapsed because of the tornado, and that was before
it was my first time not
Yolanda. (That’s why) I have no problem evacuating the
to eat for a day. I didn’t
people who live along the coastal barangay, because of
maybe because of our
The day before the typhoon, I went to all the coastal barangays and informed them that they need to
terrifying experience. It took time for us
evacuate because the typhoon would not be ordinary,
to receive relief goods.
regular typhoon. I told them that the following things
We just relied from the
might happen: one, that there would be no more
damaged products in
communication, no more electricity, no more food to
the market. Some of
eat, no more house to stay in. There might be a storm
the vendors gave their
surge, and all your crops will be destroyed… It was only
products which got wet,”
guessing, but it really did happen.
Dulag public market vendor Aida P. Tacdog. During Yolanda, “everyone was crying,” she remembers.
This was the first time I experienced such an incredible typhoon. During the middle the typhoon, the sun really did come out - and the rain stopped! The second time it struck, it was much worse, and took more than an hour before it stopped. Glass and debris were flying everywhere. I hid inside the municipal hall restroom. I was afraid that the glass would hit me. In all of my life, I have never experienced such a
LIFE AFTER THE TYPHOON
ith support from ray dilg funds, government infrastructure in the municipality were repaired.
New roof sheets and ceiling were installed, electrical
and painting works were done and new cabinets and partitions were built. 45
Dulag Municipal Hall
“Now that the market was repaired, we don’t experience leaks anymore with the new roofing when it rains. The roll up doors that were damaged were fixed also. We are in a comfortable and convenient situation already,” Aida shares. “We experienced (Typhoon) Seniang: we had kneedeep water, during that time, and it destroyed a local bridge that took six months to repair. The behavior of the people in response to disaster risk reduction is
still slow to change,” the Mayor
believes. “After 21 years in public service, everything I have done - everything I have built - my legacy, for the municipality, for the people here, was blown away by Yolanda. I have nothing to show them, for what I have done for them. That’s bad luck, but that’s the way that it is,” Mayor Manuel adds.
t was early on November 8, 2013 that the coastal
POST-YOLANDA, A SLOW YET STEADY RECOVERY
municipality of Isabel, Leyte, met Super Typhoon
Yolanda. “Around 7:00 am of November 8, we began sensing Yolanda’s winds,” Pjac A. Miralles remembers. “Then from 8:00 to 9:30 am, there was zero visibility. It was only when it subsided that we could go outside, and
he civic center has since been repaired. For Pjac, the return of the basketball league is a clear
sign that life is returning to normal. “Our league is
it was then that we saw the extent of the damage -
back, and the community can again use the center for
uprooted trees, posts, and houses without roofs.”
school events, private sector activities, and seminars
Nearby, Mayor Marcos Gregorio M. Cerillo
conducted by the LGU,” he explains.
watched as the roofing of the civic center was first
The local market, too, has since been rehabilitated,
torn, then blown away, piece by piece. Sections of the
with overhead canopy protecting both vendors and
building later collapsed.
customers from the sun and rain.
“We were using the civic center as an evacuation
Most importantly, vendors feel safer. “We really
center for our indigenous people,” he explains.
learned a lot from Yolanda,” Edmund explains.
“Fortunately, we advised them to transfer to the nearby
“Though we are now scared of typhoons, we do not
parish hall before the civic center collapsed.”
take all the warnings for granted.”
The nearby public market also sustained damage,
For Mayor Marcos, support from RAY DILG funds
affecting the vendors in varied ways. Edmund M. Sillar,
have contributed significantly to the municipality’s
a local vendor, wasn’t able to secure all his products
broader recovery efforts. “Without the help of the
before the typhoon’s arrival. “We were informed about
national government, our three facilities will not be
the typhoon and were advised by the LGU to prepare,
repaired, since we had already allotted our budget for
but we underestimated it.
the other priorities of the LGU.”
“So many goods in the market were damaged and stolen.”
(Clockwise from top left) Isabel Mayor Marcos Gregorio M. Cerillo, Isabel resident Pjac A. Miralles, Isabel public market vendor Edmund M. Sillar, Isabel Public Market., The newly-rehabilitated Calicano N. Ruiz Civic Center - July 2015. 47
he municipality of Jaro, Leyte, was shattered by
goods to arrive.
the Super Typhoon Yolanda: with almost ninety
On November 9, on top of the roof of the
percent of the municipality flattened by the gale-force
gymnasium, one of our colleague painted “Jaro ER” (for
winds and strong rains.
nearby helicopters to see).
(L-R) Jaro local nurse and MDRRMC staff Roberta ‘Betty’ B. Lego, Nurse Roberta safely delivers a baby in the Jaro Civic Center during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Courtesy: Jaro MDRRM.
Roberta ‘Betty’ B. Lego, a registered nurse, was
At that point, since the health center was also
one of those who helped to provide much needed
damaged, we were still attending to patients in the gym.
medical support during the disaster. She has since
On the night of November 10, a mother arrived at
become part of of the local Mdrrm team. This is her
the gymnasium. She was moaning… I went to inspect
story: of survival and resilience, and of life and death.
her, and realized that the baby’s head was crowning! I
“By November 6, residents who live along the river
told her to lie down, and with the mdrrm staff as
side evacuated here in the gymnasium (civic center), as
my midwife, we successfully performed the delivery.
this served as an evacuation center. Of course, some
It was a baby girl. Both mother and baby were healthy,
were hesitant to evacuate because the weather was fine. Most of the injuries I attended to were wounds - mostly due to flying galvanized iron sheets that had flown off roofs. I also had a patient who had serious lacerations - he had been hit by a steel bar. Since we didn’t have enough dextrose that time, we had to prioritize the victims depending on the extent of their injuries. Yolanda’s wind was very strong. At one stage, I was about to be blown off by the winds - one of my colleagues here saved my life. He grabbed me, just in time.
Juvy G. Parado, Jaro municipal accountant
Then, the roof above us began pulling off… We realized that it was no longer safe for the evacuees in the civic center. They were transferred to Jaro Central School, next door. While most of our barangay captains and
and safe.” Juvy G. Parado, a local municipal accountant, also recalled his memories of the calamity and of Jaro’s continued recovery:
volunteers were equipped and many had been trained,
“Yolanda is the strongest I have experienced in
some still ran out of food. It took one week for relief
my entire life. During the typhoon, you cannot see
Top: Local resident paints ‘Jaro ER’ atop the Civic Center - then used as an evacuation center - in the immediate aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Courtesy: Jaro MDRRMC Bottom: Staff undertake tasks in the newly-rehabilitated Jaro Municipal Hall. July 2015
anything clearly, all you can see is white because of the strong winds. My car was parked inside the gate. Then out of nowhere, a wooden table flew and hit my car. In our municipal building, the roof and ceiling were damaged. Water came in and flooded our offices, and all our our documents and office equipment got wet.
serve effectively to our people. After our civic center was repaired, we were able to conduct drrm trainings there. We usually invite a maximum of ten volunteers per barangay, but sometimes the number exceeds because many people want to know more about drrm. People here are more involved in these activities. Especially now that there is climate change, we should
When the ray dilg fund came, we rehabilitated
really take care of our environment because it will just
our municipal hall and civic center. This meant that
affect us. For example, we’ve started conducting tree
funds that we would otherwise allocate for repairs, we
planting activities in our town. Like now, we abused
could instead use to buy necessary office equipment. Now, we can work comfortably in our offices and
(the environment), that’s why we have experienced Yolanda and all other calamities.” 49
(L-R) Javier municipal employee Annabel P. de Paz, Ongoing repairs in the newly-rehabilitated Javier Municipal Hall
RECOVERY WITH RAY DILG
ike many of those in the coastal municipality of Javier, on November 8, 2013, Anabelle P. de Paz
feared for her life. A local municipal employee, she remembers the early preparations - and the devastation - of the Super Typhoon: We began feeling the arrival of strong winds at around 7:00 am. We were especially nervous, since my had father died on November 6, and on November 8, we had intended to hold his wake. Yet instead I thought, we cannot survive this. As Yolanda hit, we could feel our house being shaken. I cannot see anything outside because of the strong winds. My children and I were crying. It was around 10:30 am when the winds stopped. Our municipal building was among those damaged. The flood was about 6 inches high. Luckily, we were able to secure our documents and office equipment beforehand, and these survived. Office furniture, including table and chairs, were destroyed. The normal operations in the office resumed after three weeks because we cleaned our office.
ith support from ray
dilg funds, the
municipal building was quickly repaired.
government operations to normal,” Anabelle says. “(ray dilg funds) made this possible. They installed a new roof, new ceilings, doors and windows. They also painted our offices.” “Without it, we wouldn’t have known where to get funds for these repairs,” she says. Nowadays, “the staff are comfortable in our office,” Anabelle adds. “Our clients also commends the new look of our office. They said that it is more convenient for them to transact their business.” In case of future disasters, both she and the community feel more prepared than ever. “Since Yolanda, the people here were more prepared and alert,” Anabelle says. “By the time Typhoons Ruby and Seniang arrived, we had learnt how we, as the local government should function before the storm makes landfall. Extra food and safe drinking water were prepared in the evacuation centers. “Even we, the employees, became involved in the distribution of relief goods,” she says. “The coordination of relief goods to the barangays is now more efficient. There is teamwork from everybody, from the local government down to the community,” Anabelle adds.
wo years on, post-Yolanda recovery continues in municipality of Julita, Leyte. Evelyn R. Paltad,
public market, civic center and municipal building. With support from ray dilg funds, repairs are
a municipal bookkeeper of
now underway. While the municipal building remains
almost twenty nine years, remembers the events of
under construction, local government employees enjoy
November 8, 2013. The destruction, she says, was
a temporary office inside the newly-rehabilitated civic
“We were at home when Yolanda struck,” she says.
The local public market has also been repaired,
“Then, I heard our neighbors start screaming, because
and will soon be occupied again by local market vendors,
of the strong winds and heavy rains. So we all ran to
providing the people of Julita with convenient access to
the municipal building until the winds subsided. It was
food, produce and supplies.
overcrowded with people, and we crammed ourselves in.”
“These are all really good signs that we are almost recovered,” Delia says.
Local engineering staff Delia Tenebro shares
Evelyn agrees. “I really look forward for the
similarly surreal memories. “I saw how the strong winds
day that everything will go back to normal,” she says.
were lifting all the trees and houses straight up from
“We have not yet fully recovered, since there are still
the ground,” she says. She watched on as galvanized
facilities in need of repair, especially houses. We are
roofs “flew around like birds in the sky.” Some say
just grateful because dilg and other ngos assisted
that the Super Typhoon left not a single home in the
us as we move forward.”
This longer-term recovery has also seen shifts in local attitudes towards disasters. “Since Yolanda, the
THE SLOW ROAD TO RECOVERY
nfrastructure in Julita sustained extensive damage
people here don’t underestimate typhoons anymore,” Delia says. “Even if the storm signal is only number 2, we now take it seriously and take necessary actions.”
during the disaster. Among these were the local
(Clockwise from top left) Julita municipal employee Evelyn R. Paltad, Ongoing rehabilitation at the local Julita Public Market following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda - July 2015, Local engineering staff Delia Tenebro, Julita public market - July 2015 51
he municipality of Kananga was left largely devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda. A town dependent on agriculture, farming and
sustainable crops, these vital industries suffered extensive damage.
The public market also sustained significant damage. These losses proved especially difficult for local market vendors, who found themselves both without crops to sell, or a space in which to sell them. Yet repairs that followed would help restore confidence. “We only just moved in to our newly repaired market,” explains local resident Randy Salidaga. “This happened in late April.” Repairs included the installation of a new roof and ceilings, along with doors and windows that were blown away, victim to the typhoon’s gale-force winds. Although not yet fully operational, the repaired market space is now much wider, and with more accommodations for vendors and patrons alike. “From 12 stalls, we now have 24 stalls in the meat section,” Randy says, proudly. “Our customers like our new market because they can move around freely, compared to what we had before.”
Top: Kananga Public Market Bottom: Local Kananga resident Randy Salidaga with ray dilg engineer Shyrrah Elizaga.
RAY DILG FUND
artin P. Aledro, a protocol officer at the La Paz municipal hall, remembers Yolanda as both
‘terrible and unforgettable’. “Our municipality and province has always been
he completion of the ray dilg projects had a great impact on our municipality,” Mayor
in the typhoon belt,” he says. “But Typhoon Yolanda
Lesmes says, “because we can now hold conferences in
our civic center. We are also about to start our sports
“It was a terrible and unforgettable experience.
Almost everything was damaged - from houses, trees,
For our administrative buildings, we have two
vehicles to buildings, Yolanda didn’t miss a thing,” he
buildings here which we proposed for the rehabilitation.
One is already finished, the other one is on its final Local government infrastructure also sustained
extensive damage. As La Paz Mayor Lesmes C. Lumen explains:
stages of completion. Some parts of it are being used already.” “The operations here in our municipal hall have
“The roof of our administration building was
improved after our facility was repaired. The employees
damaged. Most of our records got wet, and some were
are now working comfortably in their offices. Our
misplaced. Our gymnasium collapsed. We had been
economic activities are starting to recover as well,”
repairing our local public market when Yolanda struck.
We were fortunate in some ways, as the roof hadn’t
“Typhoon Yolanda taught us to be more prepared
been installed yet. Still, it took more than three months
for future disasters, and taught us that preparation is
for us to resume work there.”
not just for local government alone,” Mayor Lesmes
“We had six casualties. Four of them was hit
adds. “We are conducting several trainings already with
by falling coconut trees. The two others were senior
the key officials and the community to equip everyone
citizens who died of severe cold,” Mayor Lesmes adds.
for upcoming calamities.”
(Clockwise from top left) The Municipal Hall of La Paz sustained extensive damage during Super Typhoon Yolanda, La Paz resident Martin P. Aledro, The newly-rehabilitated La Paz Municipal Hall - July 2015 , La Paz Mayor Lesmes C. Lumen. 53
REHABILITATION THROUGH RAY DILG FUNDS
s Typhoon Yolanda neared Leyte, in Leyte, Councilor Roque F. Rojas Jr. was stationed in the
local civic center: a prescribed evacuation center for local citizens, seeking refuge. “Mayor
repairs have been underway in the municipality. Funds for the repair of the public market and civic
center were provided for through ray dilg funds,
help the drrm staff to
while the nearby municipal hall is being rehabilitated
prepare,” he remembers. “I
with assistance from dpwh.
was placed in charge of cooking for the evacuees.” Soon after, Yolanda’s gale-force
Leyte Mayor Victoria Salvacion-David
ince the events of November 8, 2013, extensive
lashing at the building.
“We are thankful that civic center has been repaired, as it serves as our temporary municipal hall, while the new building is under construction,” Roque says. “Along with community events, it also serves as our evacuation center in case of future calamities.”
“As I was cooking, I looked up and saw how the
At the local market, repairs have ensured that
strength of Yolanda was stripping away the roof above
“the local economy has slowly recovered and improved.
us,” he explains. “Piece by piece.”
Everything is returning to normal,” Nenita says.
The winds lasted for almost two hours. Nearby,
Finally, at the civic center, repairs were undertaken
“in just the blink of an eye, the glass windows and panels
with Build Back Better (bbb) principles in mind. “We
in the civic center were shattered,” Roque says. “Even
integrated the ‘bbb’ policy as instructed by (now
coconut trees were uprooted.”
former) Secretary Mar Roxas,” Mayor Victoria says.
“We added louvers as protections to the facility, and
explains, Leyte municipal
strictly followed what was listed in the program of
hall was first built in the
works (POW) and provided detailed estimates.”
1930s, and made largely
These efforts are in line with the municipality’s
of wood. “It was already
renewed focus on disaster resilience. “drrm is a priority of my administration,” Mayor Victoria says.
in need of repair,” she explained.
“With the help of our mlgoo, we trained our people
here about rescue operations. Now we have a rescue
finished it off.” Nearby, market
Leyte Councilor Roque F. Rojas Jr.
team available in each barangay.” “I am a first time mayor, and that’s why we are
significant damage. Two years on, vendors each
still learning,” she adds. “With our Yolanda experience,
remember their often devastating experiences during
the people now listen and follow, they are not pasaway
Yolanda: long-time vendors like Nenita B. Rojas, who
(hard headed) anymore.”
was at home when Yolanda struck. “I was at home, and honestly, we didn’t prepare so much, because we didn’t expect that it will be a strong typhoon,” she says. “Even though many were saying that it would be a ‘Super Typhoon’, we haven’t experienced such a thing before.” On realizing the strength of the typhoon, and the widespread damage to nearby homes and infrastructure, “I really cried,” she says. “It was really heartbreaking.”
(Clockwise from top left) The newly-rehabilitated Leyte Civic Center, Leyte public market vendor Nenita B. Rojas, Vendors gather at the newly-rehabilitated Leyte Public Market 55
he slogan of MacArthur, Leyte are the words made famous by the man after whom the municipality
is named: “I shall return.” This message of hope and
resilience is one that resonated strongly after Yolanda’s landfall. A day earlier, municipal Mayor Rene R. Leria instructed local MacArthurnians to evacuate to preassigned evacuations centers, including nearby schools, the local civic center and municipal hall. Many who evacuated to the centers lived in nearby coastal areas: elsewhere, it proved difficult at times to persuade
MacArthur Mayor Rene R. Leria.
people to evacuate, given the perceived familiarity with typhoons, and typhoon season. “The strong winds arrived at 5:00 am,” the
we stored were smashed also,” he adds.
Mayor remembers. “That’s when the electricity went
RESILIENCE, IN THE MARKET AND THE MUNICIPALITY
out, when our signals went down. At that time, I was trapped in our house.” The roads, blocked by debris and coconut trees, were unpassable. “I sent someone to the municipal hall to find out how the MDRRMC was functioning.” The Mayor soon received news that local officials were seeing to the needs of evacuees. Yet much of the infrastructure struggled to cope under the sheer force of Yolanda’s powerful winds. “It was the strong winds, not only the rains, which affected our crops, houses and our infrastructures,” Mayor Rene explains. “Our three government facilities - the civic center, municipal building, and public market - were each significantly damaged. The roof in the civic center was all blown off. We were lucky that the municipal hall was made of concrete, but Yolanda still damaged the glass windows, roof and ceilings.”
IN THE PUBLIC MARKET, ‘WE JUST DIDN’T EXPECT IT’
ut the major damage was really seen in our market,” Mayor Rene describes. “There, nothing was left.” For market vendors, the effects were devastating.
A local fish vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that few had expected that the entire market would be destroyed, and parts blown away, taking with it their produce and stall items. “We weren’t able to bring home most of our products, but mostly, we just didn’t expect the typhoon to damage our market in such a way,” he shared. “I felt numb. Who would not be? Most of the fishes 56
n Yolanda’s immediate aftermath, some of the vendors would set up temporary tents to serve as
makeshift market spaces. Others set up small stores
outside of their homes. With support from ray dilg funds, a new roof, stall spaces and improved drainage have since been built in the market. Now, most importantly, its vendors, and their clients - return to a newly improved and more resilient space. Nearby, the local civic center have seen town activities, including the distribution of aid and other government services, after repairs were done. “With this funding assistance, and support from ngos, we’ve been able to bring back a state of normalcy to our municipality,” Mayor Leria added.
(Clockwise from top) MacArthur Public Market sustained extensive damage during Super Typhoon Yolanda, The newly-rehabilitated MacArthur Civic Center - July 2015, The rehabilitation of MacArthur Public Market continues apace - July 2015.
or residents of the inland municipality of Mahaplag, Leyte, Super Typhoon Yolanda proved a terrifying
experience. Local resident Kenneth M. Salas recalls the typhoon’s gale-force winds and heavy rain. “If the rain hadn’t eventually stopped, then Mahaplag would have totally drowned,” he says. He sought refuge in the local civic center, an assigned evacuation point. “I was here, and was very scared. The roof above us was destroyed: then, the water in the dike almost overflowed.” Prior to Yolanda, some had raised concerns regarding the facility’s resilience, and need for maintenance and repair. “There was considerable damage to the facility, and even on during regular rains, water could enter and cause flood,” Kenneth says.
“The wooden structure was no longer safe, since it was soaked. We could not expect it to be resilient (during disasters).”
LIFE AFTER YOLANDA
ince Yolanda, extensive repairs to the civic center
(Clockwise from top) Mahaplag Municipal Hall following its rehabilitation - July 2015, Local Mahaplag resident Kenneth M. Salas, Mahaplag Civic Center following its rehabilitation - July 2015
can now ensure the continued safety and well-
being of the local community. “The repair of our civic center was of big help,”
Kenneth says. “This is not just because we have a place
“It is more resilient compared to its previous
again wherein the people can enjoy their free time: by
state. The steel bars and concrete were reinforced. New
playing sports like basketball, for example. The civic
roofing were also installed.”
center also served as a temporary municipal building while the municipal hall was under repair.” “The repair of the facility was quite fast,” he says. 58
Attitudes, too, have shifted. “While we are used to typhoons, things changed after Yolanda,” Kenneth adds. “It taught us to be more prepared than ever before.”
he landlocked municipality of Matag-ob, situated at the western part of Leyte province, was also
hard hit by Typhoon Yolanda. “It was terrifying,” remembers Cesar Paroc, a local
market vendor. “The typhoon destroyed so many houses and our market. Since we needed to continue with our livelihood, we still had to use the market - even if it was no longer safe.” Vice Mayor Michael Torrevillas was stationed in the nearby civic center as Yolanda made landfall. “It served as our evacuation center,” he remembers. Yet the building sustained extensive damage during the storm. “Most of the roofing (was damaged),” he says. “When we received the ray dilg fund, we immediately fixed it. Nothing much was changed with the look for the structure - instead, we focused only on repairing and reinforcing what was damaged, including the stage and windows. At the nearby public market, vendors like Cesar will soon enjoy a more comfortable and resilient space. “Our market was sufficient before Yolanda, but what we have now, with this new structure, is sturdier,” he says. “Instead of wood, we have steel trusses.” “Although they are still completing the project, we am excited to move in already,” he added.
(Clockwise from top) Matag-ob market vendor Cesar Paroc, Matag-ob Vice Mayor Michael Torrevillas, Local vendors with RAY DILG engineers Marina Cuevas and Noel Manaois
or Marvin, a resident of Mayorga, Leyte, a single
we had to continue selling. Otherwise, how could we
word best describes Super Typhoon Yolanda.
make enough money to eat?”
“Chaos,” he says. “The entire town was in chaos.
After Yolanda, we experienced so many challenges and difficulties…” The hard-hit coastal municipality experienced widespread destruction, seeing damage to basic government infrastructure: including the local civic center, municipal hall and public market. Lorelyn Cochero, a local market vendor, says she believes that Yolanda was one of the most difficult and challenging experiences of her life. “Afterwards, we don’t know where to go,” she says. “Our market was badly hit. We were like squatters, but
(Clockwise from top left) Local Mayorga resident Marvin, Mayorga market vendor Lorelyn Cochero, Mayorga municipal staff Ma. Aida C. Elaba, “Playing basketball and other sports activities are part of our pastime, and our way of life,” say local residents. “It is like a cure for our sadness.”
REBUILDING THE TOWN
ith support from ray
dilg funds, the
municipal hall was repaired in what locals
describe as a ‘smooth and seamless’ recovery.
vegetable sections were repaired. Our market looks orderly than before.” Nearby at the civic center, “we are very happy that
“The repair of our municipal building greatly
our center received funding assistance for the repair
improved and enabled us to provide the basic services
works,” Marvin says. “Playing basketball and other
in our community. A well-structured municipal building
sports activities are part of our pastime, and our
enabled the local government to regain the trust and
way of life. It is like a cure for our sadness.”
confidence of the people. I expected a more resilient
“Yolanda taught us lessons about the importance
and better-looking municipal building. All these were
of preparedness,” Marvin adds. “The Waray-waray
met,” Ma. Aida C. Elaba says.
people are not afraid of typhoons. You cannot see fear
At the local market, “market stalls now are all organized,” Lorelyn explains. We are very thankful because our fish, meat and
on their faces. Even after the typhoon, people were still happy, but through this experience we realized how important is it for us to be aware and ready at all times, most especially in times of calamities.”
he Merida public market suffered extensive damage during Super Typhoon Yolanda. RAY DILG funds
provided for the repair of the roof, installation of new
doors and windows, improved ceilings and electrical works, painting and drainage. Since its rehabilitation, the market now serves as a vibrant, comfortable and typhoon resilient space for vendors and patrons alike.
(Clockwise from top) A father and child survey the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in Merida, Philippines - Courtesy CARE. The newly-rehabilitated Merida Public Market. Merida Public Market was badly damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
n the morning of November 8, 2013, Arthur C. Arcuino, who then worked at the local city
assessors office, left work early to prepare for the arrival
of Typhoon Yolanda. This is his story. “In 1991, Ormoc had experienced flash flooding during Typhoon Uring. Back then, we heard thunder, but had no idea that a cyclone was ravaging some of our mountain barangays. The devastation was massive, with huge numbers of casualties: even more than Yolanda. On November 5, 2013, we held our annual commemoration of the Ormoc flash floods, and visited the cemetery to remember those lost. Some of us were chatting about Yolanda, based on what we had heard from the news. While many of us already had a bad feeling about it, sadly, we really did not prepare as much as we should have. We thought, well, we survived so many typhoons, and we’re still here- why worry? We were really not expecting Yolanda to be that strong.”
Local Ormoc City resident and market supervisor Arthur C. Arcuino
s Yolanda struck, I was at home with my family. We
case there were looters. On the way, I saw those affected:
didn’t care about damage to our home or our car:
they didn’t know what to do, and without shelter, they
instead, we prayed that God would spare our lives. The rain was so torrential that it was impossible to
see. The sound of the wind was like that of a jumbo-jet
could only roam around. As night fell, many built fires and ate dinner together. It was difficult, but we appreciated the help and presence of our fellow survivors.
engine during take-off, it was that strong and, unlike other
At the local market, you could see the devastation:
storms, it was not blown in short gusts, but continued on
what was left of the roofing seemed like tattered ropes.
What were once straight bars were now twisted. Yet it was
We went outside when the first wave of rains stopped.
the only place where we could buy what we needed. We
We quickly realized that it may just be the eye of the storm.
were able to stockpile supplies, but it was only good for
The second wave was even stronger: debris flew around
about 2 to 3 days.
(everywhere). By 2:00 pm, the storm passed. As I left my house to
Yet the vendors returned to their stalls almost immediately. They have to make do, because they have to
survey the damage, I saw that everything had been flattened,
earn money in order to eat. All improvised as best they
as though Ormoc had been hit by an atomic bomb. Trees
could: the fish vendors, for example, used canvas and
were uprooted and those still standing had been stripped
tarpaulins as makeshift shelter. Some set up roadside
of their leaves and branches. I’d seen pictures of Ormoc
stalls. Others arrived from nearby towns, as their markets
after World War II, and it looked just the same: as though
were even more devastated. You would see them in the
over the course of a few hours, a world war had taken place.
early mornings, buying up the basic necessities, as families
Soon after, I left for my in-laws house, staying in
were in need where they come from.”
RAY DILG FUNDING: ‘A BIG HELP’
he ray funding was a big help, because the public market would not have recovered as fast without the
funding… This significantly helped in the speedy recovery
of Ormoc. The tenants of the market are really satisfied with the work done here. Even before Yolanda, their stalls were easily affected by rains, so when the roofing was fixed, it was a really big help. The market was also made more
(Top to bottom) A lively space at the newly-rehabilitated Ormoc City Public Market - July 2015, The newly rehabilitated Ormoc City Superdome - July 2015.
resilient - we saw this, when Typhoon Ruby hit. Our civic center is also more durable now. It’s the biggest structure we have in Region VIII - bigger, even, than the coliseum in Tacloban, with a capacity of around 7,000. It was badly damaged during the storm. Since water was able to get into the center, the ground floor was totally damaged. There was a time that it could not be used, except as a storage area for relief goods. The civic center is one of the larger income generators for the city, because it is where we hold big events like concerts, proms, and other events. Even the visit of (former) dilg Secretary Mar Roxas was held there.
A POWERFUL CELEBRATION
can still remember how on December 31 at 4:00 pm, the electricity came back on. Because of this, we were able to
enjoy the coming of the new year. It was quite symbolic for us - new year, new life, after Yolanda. With power, water
and shelter, we could prepare a small celebration for a life that we had once feared that we would never have again.”
n the days, weeks and months to follow November
strong winds, so everyone should evacuate. Yet some
8, 2013, the municipality of Palo, Leyte, lay in ruins.
still remained at their homes. They did not expect
As Super Typhoon Yolanda struck, hundreds of local
the magnitude of the storm, even I. I knew there was
residents were killed while others remain missing.
a storm surge, I knew the strong winds, but when
Gale-force winds, tsunami-like storm surges and heavy
I saw the destruction and almost no houses left
rains wreaked havoc on local homes and infrastructure,
standing…,” Mayor Remedios trailed off.
leaving almost total destruction in its wake.
Tacloban was more badly hit because it is
surrounded by water: there, even the inner portions of
the city was affected by floods. It was the water that
municipal mayor of Palo. Of the disaster, she says: aware
other seaside areas. Since it was the first time that
we experienced a storm surge, we were not especially
‘storm surges’ after Typhoon
Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla
Here in Palo we mostly experienced the winds, so there was less destruction here compared to the
really brought heavy damage.
prepared for it.
A lot of groups were coming here to help a few
Prior to then there
days after Yolanda, and there were asking me where
was never a typhoon
they could help. A lot of them were medical teams, so I
here that was that
told them to put up a hospital at the plaza. There were
strong. One hundred
also foreigners who I told to put up a hospital in San
years ago perhaps, but not in my living memory. No-one really explained to us the nature of a ‘storm surge’. They should not have been technical
Jose, since it was badly hit… I told them all to help the coastal areas. The ray dilg fund was given to us for the
about it and just told the people that it was a tsunami -
repair of our civic center which was badly damaged
then the people would have been more informed. If you
also. Currently, the project is still on-going: it’s at the
say the words ‘a tsunami is coming’ rather than ‘storm
final stages of completion. It serves as temporary office
surge’, everyone will cooperate.
to other government agencies and as a stockroom. New
The night before Yolanda was very calm. The
installations were built, including a new roof, insulator,
weather was so nice that you would not even think
wall partition, doors and windows and a fire protection
something like that could happen, the very next
system for the whole building. Painting and plumbing
works were also done in the facility.
I sent some of my men to the communities to
I had a visitor who was an environmentalist, and
prepare and help evacuate the people. Some were
she said that the last storm of that magnitude was
mocking. “Are you insane? Can’t you see that there is
experienced here last 1912 in this same area, so that
no hint of a typhoon here, and yet you’re asking us to
was 100 years ago. Their prediction before was that it
evacuate?” Later we literally thought that it was the
could happen again within the next 300 years.
“calm before the storm”… “During the evacuation, I sent policemen with trucks to force people out of their homes. I also communicated via the radio that we were going to face
Of course, we hope it will not. But Yolanda taught us that we should really prepare for things like these because it can happen again.”
Top: Palo lay in ruins after the arrival of Super Typhoon Yolanda. November 9, 2015. Courtesy: inquirer.net Bottom: Former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas with Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla and staff in the immediate post-Yolanda recovery. 65
REHABILITATION AFTER THE STORM
hen Super Typhoon Yolanda struck Leyte province, the eye of the storm passed through
the municipality of Palompon. Destruction was
wrought upon some 80% of the town’s homes and infrastructure, while storm surge waves were estimated to reach a height of some 4 meters. For Ramon Oñate, Palompon’s municipal mayor, the memories of Super Typhoon Yolanda are of numerous challenges. “At around 6:00 am on November 8, we could sense that the strong winds had arrived,” he says.
fter a month, we began the recovery process,” Mayor Ramon says. “Then, assistance from
the NGOs and national government agencies were
extended. “When we received the RAY DILG fund, our immediate priority was our public market. Some people from the nearby towns came here to purchase construction materials, like cement: we even had
“We have a staff from the other building who ran
buyers from Tacloban City. Our businessmen became
going here in the municipal hall in the middle of (the
known and their businesses became more profitable
typhoon). He was blown away by the strong winds.
after Yolanda as they were the suppliers who were able
“We faced so many challenges after the typhoon,” Mayor Ramon says. “We didn’t have an office anymore.
to return to business quickly, once the market was repaired,” Mayor Ramon says.
Almost all of the roofs were blown by Yolanda, and
Michael S. Pasana, a local market vendor, agrees.
almost 90% of the houses were destroyed. If not for
“After the typhoon, I cannot recognize our market
our mangroves, we may have experienced even more
anymore,” he remembers. “The entire roof was blown
devastation,” he added.
off, and lay scattered in the street. “Yet when our market was fixed, it was convenient for us to sell again,” he says. “Had the DILG not provided us with the RAY fund, maybe it will take additional time for our market to recover.” Improvements at the municipal hall have also assisted in large-scale recovery efforts, providing a comfortable space for the provision of basic government services. “Even the people here commends its new look after Yolanda. The improvement in our infrastructure helped a lot in our recovery, “ Mayor Ramon added.
(Clockwise from top left) The newly-rehabilitated Palompon Municipal Hall - July 2015, Palompon Mayor Ramon O単ate, The newly-rehabilitated Palompon Public Market - June 2015, Palompon market vendor Michael S. Pasana
uper Typhoon Yolanda began wrecking destruction in our municipality at 6:00 am of November 8,
2013.” Pastrana Mayor Ernesto N. Martillo remembers.
“It lasted for four hours: it was all over by 11:00 am.”
(L-R) Pastrana Mayor Ernesto N. Martillo, The newly-rehabilitated Pastrana Municipal Hall - July 2015
Yet a few hours would be all it took. As Mayor Ernesto explains: Most of the houses were damaged:
After one week, the roads became passable. Some of the 3,000 families who took shelter in schools were
partially, and the rest entirely. That night, the residents slept under ‘the roof of the sky’ since their houses had no roofs anymore. Later, some made temporary roofs out of coconut and banana leaves. But that first night, you could hear children crying: the mood at the time was very sad. At that moment, we felt hopeless, that there were no miracles left. Our town was almost totally isolated. We didn’t have enough fuel for our cars, so for a week, we ate one one meal each day. The people suffered from hunger especially the children.
transferred here in the municipal hall, especially the children, because it was freezing out there. The people were like zombies in The Walking Dead. Of all the structures here, only the municipal hall survived the rage of the strong winds. We chose to be here even, if it we were packed in like sardines. Many
ngos came here and helped us out,
provided us with relief goods and gave us the job opportunity to work for them. Then,
government came through the ray dilg fund, for the
More than 90% of the coconut trees were
rehabilitation of our municipal hall, public market and
destroyed. The people here have no source of income.
civic center. Since the local government had so many
Their clothes were filthy already…
things to repair - from infrastructure, to our economy,
I can still recall that we even said that there was
and our livelihood - the ray dilg fund gave us the
no God anymore because of our terrible and difficult
means to begin our recovery programs. Otherwise, the
situation. The rice got wet from the rain. It’s a good thing
lgu fund alone wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of all the rehabilitation works.
that we kept 100 sacks of rice inside the municipal hall
Our municipality was tested with the coming
which we distributed to the people. At that time, there
of Yolanda, but we have learned so much from it. Our
are no more rich or poor people. Everyone lined up to
experience will equip us on how we can move forward
and recovery completely here in Pastrana.
(L-R) San Isidro Mayor Susan Yap Ang, The newly-rehabilitated San Isidro Civic Center - July 2015
ayor Susan Yap Ang did not expect that the DRRM training workshop she attended in September
2013 would be put into practice on November 8, 2013.
In three days, we were able to clear the roads in the town proper. Then it was mirrored to our barangays. After one week, all roads were passable.”
“We attended the training in Ormoc City with the heads of offices, Sangguaning Bayan and police,” the Mayor explained. “Then what we learned happened in reality. One week before Yolanda, I called those who attended the seminar-workshop to set up the command system.” As a result, communication with each of the municipality’s barangays was in place, just as Yolanda was due to make landfall. “As we roamed around the town, making announcements, some people simply
RAY DILG FUNDS
s the municipality began its recovery, “(Former DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas of came to visit,”
Mayor Susan says. “He discussed the RAY Batch 1
projects with us. We received RAY DILG Batch 1 funds for the repair of our market and civic center.” “DILG was the first agency that forwarded money to us, for the rehabilitation works after Yolanda,”
laughed,” she remembers. “They assumed that it would
she says. “We used these funds to install a new roof,
just be an ordinary typhoon.”
galvanized iron sheets, and for general improvements
Yet for some, attitudes were quick to shift. “When
to both (infrastructures).”
the people saw the news on TV, that’s when they began preparing,” the Mayor remembers. “Those in coastal
DISASTER RISK REDUCTION: ‘EMPOWERING THE PEOPLE’
area called the command center and requested to be picked up. We evacuated them in our schools and prepared food for them.” “I was in the command center at the height of Yolanda,” she says. “I told (my staff) to visit all the businesses and retrieve 60% of their products, even if they were wet,”
ver the past two years, the lessons of Yolanda continue to drive the people of San Isidro.
“DRRM is now one of our focus areas,” Mayor
Susan says. “Our goal is to conduct regular trainings to our ‘frontline’ staff, in the municipality, then down
she says. “Rice and corn, mainly. We received these food
to our barangays. Later, we plan to extend this into
supplies first, then repaid vendors once the banks re-
our schools, so that all sectors of community will be
knowledgeable and aware, so that in the event of a new
Then, I mobilized everyone for the clean up drive. With the food supplies, we then informed the people about a ‘food for work’ program. Those who helped
crisis, we will all know what to do.” “I want our people to be trained, because that will empower them further,” Mayor Susan added.
us in the clean up drive would receive 100 pesos, with three kilos of rice and two cans of sardines. 69
Vendors gather on market day in the newly-rehabilitated San Isidro Public Market and Civic Center-July 2015. 70
Left: San Miguel resident Marlene B. Supatan recalls Super Typhoon Yolanda. “With help and time, we will regain what was lost,” she says. Right: The newly-rehabilitated San Miguel Civic Center - July 2015.
or residents like Marlene B. Supatan, of San Miguel,
new roof was installed, damaged doors, windows and
Leyte, memories of Super Typhoon Yolanda could
gutters were replaced, and sections were freshly painted.
only be described as terrifying.
“Now, it’s a much better space,” Marlene says.
Marlene, along with other local residents,
“The civic center is more useful and beautiful.
evacuated to a nearby elementary school in the lead-up
Our community uses it for basketball games, school
to the typhoon’s arrival.
activities and other local programs.”
“We thought that the school was safe, and that
This is one small, yet significant step in an ongoing
it could protect us,” she remembers. “But it collapsed.
recovery, Marlene believes. “There are so many repair
The strong winds stripped the roof off. Cracks began
works being done in our town,” she says. “Assistance
appearing the walls, and we ducked to avoid being hit
from other towns arrived also. Some facilities still
by falling debris, wood, even stones.”
need funding for rehabilitation works, but the town is
As the typhoon continued elsewhere on its destructive path, she returned home, and saw the extensive damage that the typhoon had caused. “We gathered the damaged roof and used parts of it as makeshift shelter,” she says. “We used bamboo as
already recovering.” “I hope that more help will come to fix our damaged structures so that it will be beneficial to the municipality,” Marlene says. “With help, we will regain what was lost.”
temporary flooring. Luckily, aid arrived and provided us with food supplies.” “We may not have had any casualties from the typhoon, but our livelihood was destroyed,” she says. “Many trees were uprooted and our crops were damaged.” Amongst the extensive destruction were some local government infrastructure including the local civic center. The civic center was already in need of some repair and maintenance, even prior to Yolanda’s arrival, say local residents. This is part of the reason why unlike in nearby municipalities, and other Yolanda-affected communities across the Philippines, the civic center was not used as an evacuation center. As the recovery began, ray dilg funds were provided to allow for the repair of the civic center. A 71
he municipality of Santa Fe, located 12km southwest of Tacloban City was one of the hard-
hit town by Super Typhoon Yolanda. Reports from international aid groups suggested
that almost a third (some 30%) of those in the municipality were displaced by the typhoon. Damage to crops and farmland placed enormous pressure on local families, with a large number receiving food aid in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon. Aside from the damages to crops and farmland,
This included the community civic center. “Our civic center is sufficient to us. We usually use it for all our activities. But after the typhoon, we stopped using it,” Videl N. Apurillo, resident of Santa Fe shares. The facility sustained significant damage to its roof and roof framing because of the strong winds. “With the installation of new roof and the repair done in our civic center, it is once more beneficial to the members of the community,” Videl added.
the infrastructure was also destroyed.
Top: Screenshot of the damage wrought to Santa Fe during Super Typhoon Yolanda - 2 December 2013. Courtesy: YouTube Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Santa Fe Civic Center 72
ocated on the northwest coast of Leyte province
After the typhoon, our (municipal hall) lobby served
in the Tabango municipality, Tugas had seen no
as our office. Some of the employees transferred to the
teams prior to our arrival to their barangay on day 19
library and other structures that survived just to have
after Typhoon Yolanda. Somewhat isolated due to road
condition and lack of motorized vehicles, their water
Ma. Corazon E. Remandaban, Tabango municipal
supply is currently not functional and water is being
carried on foot by residents a total of 16km for access.
Population is 1,700 individuals with 386 households…
“Two days before
18 individuals are still in the evacuation center and
landfall, I convened
1,100 individuals are with host families with total loss
the MdrrmC. Our
of their homes reported. 70% of structures are totally
destroyed and uninhabitable, with 30% damaged but
barangays to prepare
- Report: ‘Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] Rapid
Needs Assessment Report
people to evacuate.
9 Municipalities in Leyte Province’
UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
were preparing, but
25-30 November 2013
others were hesitant since the weather was fine. But the
Tabango Mayor Ma. Corazon E. Remandaban.
typhoon brought strong winds, and this is what caused The municipality of Tabango was among those hardest hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda. Loreta
E. Daloso, a
the devastation. Afterwards, everyone was busy with their families.
We waited for one day for the local government officials
remembers her preparations in haste for the coming of
and key persons to attend to their families, then
gathered together to plan our recovery.”
“We were told that that the typhoon was on its way, so I placed all our things inside plastic bags. Our home was damaged, and I was even more surprised when I saw the devastation in our market. No roofing was left, even the steel bars were bent. We placed temporary tarpaulins as roofing and used tables outside the market as our temporary stall.” Luther S. Suano, a municipal planning and
‘unbelievable’ nature of Yolanda, as it made landfall: “It was like the end of the world. In Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Luther S. Suano.
all my life, it was the
The newly-rehabilitated Tabango Civic Center - July 2015
worst typhoon I have ever experienced. We usually
typhoons here, but Yolanda was really the strongest. 73
WITH SUPPORT FROM RAY DILG
or market vendor Loreta, the repair the
market sees the return of regular patrons, and a return to daily market routines. “When our market was repaired, we were comfortable again, in our stalls,” Loreta says. “Selling outside was a struggle and sacrifice
Tabango local market vendor Loreta E. Daloso
especially when it rains. “Since it is now more convenient for vendors and marketgoers, we’ve seen an increase in business.” Nearby, at the local civic center, repairs have improved the wellbeing of the community. “We’ve begun using the civic center for community activities again,” Luther says. “(The venue) also generates income for the local government from rent of the facility, and from the stalls outside. Now, we have new offices that are more resilient than before,” he adds.
The newly-rehabilitated Tabango Municipal Hall - July 2015 74
he municipality of Tabontabon experienced
I will return to our newly repaired market. It is still
widespread destruction during Super Typhoon
challenging because of financial concerns, but I will
definitely go back and occupy a stall.
Among these, the destruction of the local public
Before, we were around eighteen vendors in
market saw devastating impacts upon local vendors
the old market. I am looking forward to seeing more
and patrons who rely heavily on the market to sustain
vendors arrive, more economic opportunities, and
local food supplies.
to see our market active once again. Most of all, I’m This include
looking forward to seeing our municipality’s complete recovery.”
Carola, a local fish and vegetable vendor for more than twenty years. This is her story. “I was here when Yolanda happened. It destroyed our house, my stall and Tambontambon public market vendor Evelyn C. Carola
municipal hall, to the barangay hall, our gymnasiumeven the evacuation center. We were informed about the typhoon. The announcement came from the municipal officials: even from our barangay (officials). My family prepared for it, but some of the people didn’t believe it, and underestimated it. But that was a very strong typhoon. I didn’t expect that it would be so terrifying. Since our market was washed out, I had to stop from selling. I also didn’t have the money to use as capital. It was also difficult for me because I am selling fish and after the typhoon, people were scared of eating fish and other seafood products. Some of my co-vendors still continued selling but they would either sell in front of their houses or wander around the town, just so they could continue their livelihood. Slowly, we are recovering with the assistance coming from NGOs. Then, RAY DILG repaired our market. It’s very different now. Before Yolanda, it was made from light materials and wood. Now, more posts were added and they reinforced it using cement and sturdier materials. Once I have enough money to start my business,
The newly -rehabilitated Tabontabon Public Market- July 2015 75
TACLOBAN CITY CITY HALL
Right after November 8, after the Super Typhoon… It seems that an atomic bomb had been dropped
osima A. Cordaño, the city treasurer, remembers
upon us. That was my first impression. All the trees in
November 8, 2013 and the days that followed like
our neighborhood, all of the houses, I cannot imagine
they were yesterday. Here, she tells her story.
how to describe it.
The newly-rehabilitated Tacloban City Hall - July 2015
“In the days before November 7, the Mayor Romualdez
Together with my son, we went to the office to
secure the documents there. As we walked, we came
instructions to inform
across others… They were telling me that so many
people had died, that there were dead bodies lying in
officials to go to safe ground, secure
I began to cry. Everyone was in a mess. People
things, and secure their
did not know where to go. It seemed that all of us, we
families. In fact, during
were walking, with no sound at all… I looked into their
our last Department
eyes, and they were lifeless: just walking, carrying their
remaining things, with blank stares on their faces.
We are already prone to typhoons as a tropical
giving directions to the
country, but we are not expecting this - Yolanda, to be
Chief of Police to force people
If the people did not
Tacloban City Treasurer Zosima A. Cordano
want to go to safer grounds, the barangay officials would
as great, as big as it was. In the office, everything here was broken all over all our things, blown away - there was water everywhere. All the windows, all the doors, were all broken. Part of
ask them to sign a waiver- that was the instruction. As
the roof was blown away. Fortunately I had already
a Department Head, I was part of these preparation
instructed the city engineer to cover this window (in
meetings that were being held by the Mayor.
her office) with the plywood because the vaults were
and move away from where we are currently located
The good thing that happened after Yolanda, was
now, which is a bit smelly and dirty. Things would be
that all of us tried to care for each other. We tried to help
easier when we have our stalls back.
each other, in our own way. There were many selfless
Business is also better in the market since people
acts of giving. People gave anything they had, for those
do not have to go out of their way to buy from us, since
among us. That’s probably why, sooner than expected,
we are all inside the market area. The only concern is
we were able to stand. We all shared something during
parking, as it is quite a challenge to find parking space
the experience that cannot be easily understood by
near the market.
those who were not there. We are now resilient, and we
I am very thankful for the rehabilitation done to
share everything we have: even if it is small. Because
the market. It is well built. Right now, the makeshift
you care. Because we are all survivors. We are vigilant
stall that we have is also where I stay, so that I can
keep an eye on my wares. We are very thankful for the
Then, the ray dilg fund came which have
help from the government so that we can go back to
helped us in the reconstruction and recovery program
our lives before Yolanda. And also, because of Yolanda,
of the city.”
people learned their lesson to prepare and cooperate.”
CITY CONVENTION CENTER
The newly-rehabilitated Tacloban City Provincial Civic Center - July 2015
t the local public market, vendor Jaime Macawile remembers:
“Yolanda brought almost total destruction to the
market building. It took about 4 more months before we were able to go back and sell here. I became aware that the market would be
udolph M. Mate, General Services Ofﬁcer of Tacloban City Convention Center narrates his
Yolanda experience. “Everybody was normal during that day. No-one believed that Yolanda would cause big trouble for the city. We are used to big typhoons but our forefathers
rehabilitated when we saw the repair works starting…
had never told us stories about storm surges. So when
The rehabilitation was a big help since now we can go
we heard about Yolanda and that it was going to have a
back to our old stalls. We are very excited to go back
storm surge, it was ordinary for us. We never knew that 77
it would be such a strong typhoon, and that all of us
and local groups… I think Tacloban would not be as you
would be affected.
see now. We ourselves, we cannot do it, even to clean up
I was recovering from prostate cancer at the time of Yolanda because I had been operated on that September.
Tacloban, we cannot do it. But because everyone was helping, around the world, (we were able to do it).
It’s already two years. We are so happy, that
day before Yolanda, I
people are still here, still helping. It makes us feel very
These buildings are bringing lives back to normal.
fortunate, otherwise the
All that help coming from the national government, and
next day there would
from ngos, make us feel like normal again: because
have been no hospital,
these are the facilities that we can use.”
no doctors, no nurses. I was very lucky, as I was Rudolph M. Mate, General Services Officer of Tacloban City
well taken care of. During
coming of Yolanda, we
safeguarded the house. Then after that, we stayed at
PROVINCIAL CIVIC CENTER
ocal City Engr. Rosalie Canuda remembers: “The storm surge reached our office (at the
my grandfather’s house in downtown area. We never
provincial civic center). It was high, up to the window
knew that during November 8, that house would be
panels. All the garbage was here. We wrapped everything
submerged with seawater also around 12-15 feet. It’s
not even ordinary sea water, it was mud water. We
c o m p u t e r s ,
could not return to our house after two days, because
d o c u m e n t s ,
of the debris. There were dead bodies, all around
equipment, but it was
the downtown area. Most of the water damage we
experienced was downtown. In fact, the whole area of downtown Tacloban was submerged. We never knew that we would be able to go back to regain what we have lost, because without international
civic center facilities. One is being rented by a business processing outsourcing company.
of the typhoon, the whole roofing were
City Engineer Rosalie Canuda
destroyed which damaged most of their computers. The second building is the gymnasium in which all the provincial activities are being done. It was also destroyed, especially the roofing. When the gymnasium was repaired, we used it as stockroom for all the supplies and relief goods we received. From the province, we distribute it to other municipalities. Other Ingos would also use the facilities to safe keep their supplies. The gymnasium can accommodate 2,000 people. We really plan to convert the gymnasium into an assembly area for conventions, seminars and sports activities. We are still planning and designing on how we can install centralized air-conditioning so that it will be more convenient to the users.”
The ongoing rehabilitation of the City Engineer’s Office, which later will be used to shelter those affected by disasters. 78
Left: The DILG Region VIII office sustained extensive damage during Super Typhoon Yolanda Right: The DILG Region VIII office has since been rehabilitated with support from RAY funds - July 2015
DILG REGION VIII OFFICE
Everyone was crying even myself but I have to control efore the landfall of Yolanda, Regional Director
my emotions and stay strong for them so that they
Pedro A. Noval, Jr. Ceso III joined the meeting
would not be discouraged.
called by the former dilg Secretary, Mar Roxas. “Secretary
At exactly 6:25 am, the wind was weak already so
I went outside. Then,
came and gathered us,
I saw Secretary Roxas
all the local government
roaming around. So,
meeting and discussed the
“I’m alive”. Then, he
made for the coming of
Yolanda. The meeting
Post Yolanda, we
ended at around 9:00
pm, that’s when we
strong wind. I returned back
DILG Region VIII Director Pedro A. Noval, Jr. Ceso III
Tacloban City Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin
facilities in the local government
I also reported to
in the dilg regional office to prepare for the impact of
him the damage in our regional office and within
Yolanda. We had evacuees who came in the office, more
our compound: our office, dormitory, guard house,
particularly from our regional staff and some of them
evacuation center and other facilities. We are happy
were neighbors and relatives.
because the Secretary immediately responded to our
At around 11:00 pm to 12:00 mn Yolanda started
to batter us. It lasted until 5:00 am. Because of the
As we implement the ray dilg projects, we
strong wind, we heard a blast at the second floor. It was
ensured that all the repairs and construction that we
like an atomic bomb. All of us stayed in my office.
are doing in the office and in the lgu include and observe the “Build Back Better” policy as instructed by our President. The effect of our project is to normalize the operations in the lgu, so that the people will feel that the national government is really helping and supporting the lgus, to bring back what has been lost due to Yolanda,“ he said.
The newly-rehabilitated Kanhuraw Business Center acts as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for government services - July 2015. 79
acing the San Pedro Bay, the small coastal municipality of Tanauan is more commonly known
as the skimboarding capital of the Philippines. Yet, as the enormous devastation wrecked by Super
Typhoon Yolanda became known, the municipality alone would account for some 1,376 of the total 6,193 casualties. Many of those killed would be buried in mass graves. Mayor Pelagio Tecson Jr. asked a priest to bless them, honoring a custom that as a man owes it to himself to live a decent life, so, too, does he deserve a honorable burial.
Tanauan Mayor Pelagio Tecson Jr.
ouses of more than 1,200 families in communities along the coast were also wiped out. Sheree Ann Y. Bayadog, of Tanauan School of
Craftsmanship and Home Industries (TSCHI), a high school and vocational school, shared that they were badly affected when their civic center was damaged by the typhoon. They usually hold their practices, activities and flag ceremonies in the facility because it can accommodate a huge crowd. “When we use the civic center, we would just do one announcement for all: rather than going to each classroom to inform each group of students about school announcements. It delays the communication process. It is also the usual venue for barangay programs,” Sheree adds. “We are just waiting for the project to be completely finished so that it can be turned-over and benefit the whole community,” local resident Mary Ann N. Abarracoso says. “We are very excited to use it, especially for town fiesta. It is more beautiful and comfortable to use because they installed insulation that protect visitors from the heat.” “Because of our terrifying experience with Typhoon Yolanda, the community is more prepared than ever before. The local government now regularly conducts fire and earthquake drill and seminars regarding disaster preparedness,” she added. (Top to bottom) The newly-rehabilitated Tanauan Civic Center - July 2015, Sheree Ann Y. Bayadog of Tanauan School of Craftsmanship and Home Industries (TSCHI) with Tanauan resident Mary Ann N. Abarracoso. 80
he municipality of Tunga, smallest both in land
money to buy relief goods and for the salary of the
area and population in Leyte province, experienced
employees,” she says. “It was difficult at that time to go
the strong intensity of Typhoon Yolanda.
to Cebu via Ormoc City.”
For Lea C. Requiez, a municipal accountant for
After a month, normal - if basic - operations
more than three decades, there were ominous signs
resumed in the municipal hall. “We used typewriters,”
prior to the typhoon’s arrival.
she says. “We didn’t spend most of our time in the office.
“The night before, there was no wind,” she remembers.
Instead, we were assigned to help with the distribution of relief goods.”
“There was also no movement in
The local market had also sustained extensive
the trees: not even the leaves
damage. “The roof was completely destroyed,” market
vendor Nelson Arguilles, remembers.
There is saying from our elders that if you experience something Tunga Municipal accountant Lea C. Requiez
environment, then something disastrous is about to happen.”
RAY DILG FUNDS
ith support from ray
dilg funds, “now,
everything is back to normal here,” Nelson says.
Yet no-one expected a
“(The market) is not crowded anymore because it’s been
disaster of such a scale. “My husband is a fireman. He
extended. Tiles and new faucets in each stall were also
told us before his assignment for Yolanda to prepare
and secure our things. “He shared that while they heard about the typhoon’s imminent arrival, they didn’t expect that it
At the municipal hall, concrete repairs have since replaced glass, and a new, more resilient roof has been installed.
would be a strong one. As it arrived, the sound of the wind was similar to a loud whistle…”
‘THE WELFARE OF THE COMMUNITY’
Lea remembers the reactions of evacuees who had sought shelter in the municipal building. “The evacuees thought it would be safe for them there,” she says. “But the glass windows shattered and the roof was damaged.
disasters, and disaster risk
reduction and preparedness measures, have also
shifted. “The people (of Tunga) are still recovering from the trauma,” Nelson says. “It is also bizarre now
if there are just typical rains, many will worry regardless.” Yet
(L-R) Market vendors gather for a photo together in the newly-rehabilitated Tunga Public Market July 2015, Tunga market vendor Nelson Arguelles
Almost all of our office equipment were destroyed. We recovered some documents, but others could not be saved.” All the banks in nearby Tacloban City were destroyed. “On November 12 (four days after landfall), Mayor Catalina, the treasurer and I went to Cebu to withdraw
activities and fund are already programmed,” Lea explains.
“There is also a strong coordination between the municipal government and the barangay officials.” “There were drrm activities in place before (Yolanda), but the people didn’t take it seriously,” Lea adds. “After Yolanda, our community have realized its importance for their own welfare and for the whole community.” 81
yphoons are ‘nothing new’ to the townsfolk of Villaba, a coastal municipality situated in western
Leyte. “Typhoons are really part of our lives, especially as
we are facing the sea,” Myrna Ombajen, a local market vendor explains. Yet the Super Typhoon proved to be another experience entirely, she explains. “The strength of Yolanda was way beyond our expectations. The sound of the wind was like a helicopter. Cars were being thrown through the air. The market was damaged, my house was damaged,” she remembers.
‘LIKE A GHOST TOWN’
fter Yolanda, our municipality was like a ghost town,” Gino V. Esmero, a local dswd worker,
explains. “After Yolanda, there
Villaba Mayor Jorge V. Veloso
was nothing green left, as
REBUILDING, REPAIRING, RECOVERING
almost all the trees and plants had been damaged,” Mayor Jorge V. Veloso says. “The mountains had been stripped
Everything was brown and muddy.” Local DSWD employee Gino V. Esmero
“Almost all of the houses
Debris, trash and mud were everywhere. When the people saw that their houses were damaged, they either cried or screamed out in despair,” Gino added.
disaster. “Those who evacuated there hid under the bleachers when the strong winds stripped the roof away, piece by piece,” Mayor Jorge added. used
makeshift shelter. Often, it would first rain, then flood. However, until repairs could begin, they could only make do in the terrible conditions. 82
were repaired through the ray dilg fund,” Mayor Jorge explains. “Once the roof and ceiling of the civic center was repaired, it could again function as it once did.”
our fiesta activities and for basketball tournaments. Our
which served as an evacuation center during the
“Our municipal building, market and (civic center)
community and government activities. “We use it for
he dswd office is situated within the civic center,
number of local government and international aid
The civic center provides a vital venue for local
he municipality would receive assistance from a
schools are also using it for their induction activities and high school orientation programs. For us in dswd, we use it as our venue for our trainings and orientation seminars,” Gino says.
Top: The newly-rehabilitated Villaba Municipal Hall - July 2015 Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Villaba Civic Center - July 2015
‘WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS’
et, as Myrna explains, “we are still recovering.” “Many people continue to experience trauma,
people here have now since
since Yolanda,” she says. Then of course, Typhoon Ruby
Yolanda and Ruby,” he
arrived. As soon as we heard, many were scared: after
adds. “Yet some are still
all, we were still recovering from Yolanda at the time.”
fixing their houses, and
Yet in the year since Yolanda, attitudes towards
making efforts to improve
preparation, evacuation and post-disaster relief had
their livelihood. It’s not
changed considerably. “When we heard about Ruby,
an easy recovery, because
we instantly secured our belongings. We wrapped
most of the people doesn’t
everything in plastic especially the documents in our
have money to repair their
office,” Gino says.
houses completely. It will
“I estimate that around eighty percent of the
Villaba market vendor Myrna Ombajen
still take time, but we are making progress.” 83
SAMAR “Leo Dacaynos, a member of the Samar’s disaster management council, said on dzBB radio 300 people were confirmed killed in the municipality of Basey. He said almost 2,000 other people were missing in Basey and other Samar towns. This was the first confirmation of large-scale fatalities in the island of Samar after Yolanda made landfall on the island before dawn Friday, November 8. However, vast areas of Samar, an island of over 733,000 people, still have not been contacted over two days after the typhoon struck.” ‘300 dead, 2,000 missing in typhoon-hit Samar’ Rappler.com (AFP) 10 November 2013
n Samar province, the municipality of Basey - which
“I really love to play basketball and the location
faces Tacloban City - was among of those badly hit
of our civic center is very strategic because it is in the
town by Typhoon Yolanda.
town proper,” he says. “Since the repair, we’ve been
The local civic center is situated right beside the
able to hold basketball leagues again. During our town
coast. As local resident and active basketball player
fiesta, this is where the concerts from live bands are
Benjamin Amascual explains, the center “was totally
being held. Since it has a bigger space, it is also being
destroyed. Really, it suffered so much damage,” he says.
used during wedding receptions, debuts and birthdays,”
“After the typhoon, many international ngos
came, and most used the civic center as the venue for distribution of relief goods. Others, including Norwegian and German ngos, also provided medical assistance in the civic center,” Benjamin says. Later, ray dilg funds were used to construct a new stage, provide new comfort and dressing rooms, and repair the damaged roof. “The new concrete stage has been built on the other side of the facility, further from the sea,” Benjamin says.
Basey basketball player Benjamin Amascual
Local basketball players enjoy the newly-rehabilitated Basey Civic Center 85
The newly-completed Marabut Civic Center - June 2015
ladin C. Advincula has served as a municipal engineer in the town of Marabut, Samar, for more
than a decade. “Most of the houses and facilities in our
municipality are situated near the sea,” he says. “As a result, Typhoon Yolanda left huge destruction here.” This included the old civic center, which suffered significant damage during Yolanda. Once situated on the coastline, it has been moved further inland. “We decided that it needed to be in a safer area,” Aladin says. “It is a very much safer facility, and one we can use as an evacuation center, even if there’s a tsunami,” he says. “We’re very thankful to the DILG for the providing us with the funds to construct our new civic center,” Aladin says. The local government has since used its own fund to build additional slope protections, to prevent floods during rainy season. Even today, the LGU has big plans for the center. “Our future plan here is to install screens, so that the facility can be used for sports activities like basketball,” Aladin says. “Aside from our civic center, our public market was also repaired, but it for the meantime it is being used as our temporary municipal hall.” “The repair of our main facilities is very helpful to us because it reflects how we are moving forward, after this terrible event,” he adds. 86
Marabut Municipal Engineer Aladin C. Advincula
INFRASTRUCTURE, VICTIM TO STRONG WINDS
here are many surreal memories shared by survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda. For some
in Santa Rita, Samar, the most unreal of these are of a
coastline without water: where, on November 8, 2013, the sea seemed to have drained away. “The accounts of the people here, especially from those who leaving in the coastal area was that three to five kilometers from shore, there was no sea water,” remembers Siony Afable, a local DILG field officer.
cause extensive damage to local government
infrastructure, including the municipal building, public
market and civic center. With support from RAY DILG funds, repairs were extensive: and vital to ensuring continued public
The municipality of Santa Rita, Samar, is
access to government and community services. At the
connected to Tacloban City in neighboring Leyte by the
municipal hall and civic centers, funds provided for
San Juanico bridge, the longest bridge in the Philippines.
the repair of the roof, doors, windows and repainting.
“We could only assume that this was the sea water
At the local public market, roof repairs, repainting and
that washed out Tacloban City.”
electrical works. With repairs complete, life in the town could then return to a semblance of times before Yolanda. At the local civic center, basketball player and local resident Brian Lazarte explains, “after Yolanda, we would usually have our basketball practice and games under the sun. Now that it was repaired, we are using it again for our basketball leagues like the ‘Basketball Cup’ sponsored by our mayor,” he says. Yet
particularly in attitudes towards disaster risk reduction. “Typhoons Ruby and Seniang were very strong here,” Maria Aurora Cabug,
explains. “We were severely affected. We experienced flooding during Ruby, and strong winds.” However, “our people here have really changed,” she explains. “Before Yolanda, you had to force them, and argue with them that it was time to evacuate. However, during Typhoon Ruby - even while we were still under signal number 1 - local residents went to the evacuation centers right away. We still lack DRRM equipment, but our DRRM plan was updated already and in-line with the Oplan Listo of DILG,” Siony adds.
Top: Santa Rita local basketball player Brian Lazarete Bottom: Basketball players in the newly-rehabilitated Santa Rita Civic Center 87
alalora was among four towns in Samar hardest
washed out due to the storm surge,” Mayor Leonilo T.
hit by Yolanda, with around P100 million worth of
infrastructure damaged in the nearby towns of Basey, Sta. Rita, Talalora and Marabut. Among the damage, the first - and only - civic
“But the civic center stayed upright,” he says. “That’s why the people are commending this work, because it is resilient.”
center in the poblacion of Talalora. It serves as a primary
“This project was also a test for us,” says Mayor.
venue for the town’s civic, sports, cultural and school-
“Some critics doubted if we will finish the project.
based activities, and provides a vital meeting place for
When it was completed, it showed the people that the
enjoyment by all members of the community.
government are fully accountable to them, and can implement a project within the scheduled period,” he
FIRST YOLANDA, THEN HAGUPIT: LESSONS IN RESILIENCE
ith support from ray dilg, the civic center was repaired soon after Yolanda struck. A new
roof structure, replaced electrical wiring, concrete reinforcements, and the like then ensured that the
civic center could once again, become a place for the community to gather. Yet in December 2014, the civic center faced its first major challenge - a storm surge wrought by Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit). “Our town became well-known during Typhoon Ruby, because of the news that our town had been
Top: Talalora Mayor Leonilo T. Costelo Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Talalora Civic Center - June 2015 88
BILIRAN “Biliran experienced storm signal number four that resulted to the destruction of the Provincial Capitol, Biliran Provincial Hospital, Naval gymnasium, Educational institutions and some establishments. Trees were also uprooted and electric post and wires fell down. There is no service of electricity and communication signal for the entire province… The Local Government officials monitored the area and distributed relief goods. Further, the people still need more relief efforts especially to those families who were left nothing.” ‘Super Typhoon Yolanda batters Biliran’ Biliran Blogs (Online) 10 November 2013
BILIRAN PROVINCE RAY DILG FUNDS
began, engineer Ventura learned of ray dilg
funds. “We immediately identified our motor pool and
engineer’s office as facilities for rehabilitation,” he says. “These had been completely damaged.” Funded repairs saw the old buildings demolished, and new, more resilient structures built in their place. “We’re really happy here in the (new) engineer’s office,” Nimfa S. Sandigan, a long-time local engineer, says. “We have enough space work, and it’s an inspiring place Biliran Provincial Engineer Ventura B. Barbanida
to be.” The new motorpool office is also much improved. “Employees from other departments are very impressed, and our stockroom is also more secure, minimizing our losses,” Alberto adds.
Municipal Engineer Nimfa S. Sandigan
efore leaving Region VIII, Yolanda would not spare the smaller province of Biliran. “Yolanda taught us what a ‘storm surge’ is like,”
says Alberto S. Tan, a local administrative aide. The water, along with gale-force winds, proved devastating. “There were debris everywhere,” provincial engineer Ventura B. Barbanida says. “Trees were uprooted, electric posts were down.” The provincial capitol building, civic centers, local gyms, schools and buildings each sustained extensive damage. “Our (municipal) office looked like a junk shop,” Alberto remembers.
Top: The Biliran Office of the Provinicial Engineer sustained extensive damage during Super Typhoon Yolanda Bottom: The Biliran Office of the Provincial Engineer has since been rehabilitated with support from RAY DILG- April 2015 90
(L-R) Naval resident and local basketball coach Pedro S. Salomon Jr., Coach Pedro gathers with local basketball players for a photo in the newly-rehabilitated Naval Civic Center - April 2015
A TIME AFTER YOLANDA
he sheer magnitude of Typhoon Yolanda came as an early - and unwelcome - shock to the citizens of
the small coastal town of Naval, Biliran. “It was around 7:00 am when the typhoon began to ravage our municipality,” says Pedro S. Salomon
Jr., a local resident and basketball coach. “I’ve never experienced a typhoon like it before: with such strong winds… So many houses and businesses were affected.” The local gymnasium, used as a venue for provincial basketball games, was completely destroyed. “You had a full view of the sky from inside the building,” Pedro remembers. Used as an evacuation center during the disaster, evacuees like Pedro himself could only watch as the building struggled to protect them, and withstand the
hile recovery efforts were underway, local basketball players switched to a temporary
venue. “We used another gym… because it was the only venue available,” Pedro says. With support from RAY DILG funds, a more
resilient roof and new polycarbonate walls were placed in the civic center: for the first time, windows were also installed to allow for added weather protections. “Now we use this as a venue for our community gathering events,” Pedro says. “Like prom, reunions, concerts and graduations. Government departments also use it for training activities.” “Mostly, we feel much safer now,” he says.
gale-force winds. “When the storm starting tearing off the roof, the evacuees beneath were transferred to other, safer facilities,” he says.
TYPHOON YOLANDA IN REGION VII CENTRAL VISAYAS
CEBU “MAYORS in Cebu’s northernmost towns reported 14 killed by Super Typhoon Yolanda, which flattened their crops, damaged nearly all of their constituents’ houses and cut off power and phone services for two days now… In Daanbantayan, the northernmost tip of mainland Cebu, Mayor Augusto Corro said the town’s services were immobilized. “We are devastated. Wala na mahitsura diri (It’s chaotic here),” he said. Their market, gas stations, church and municipal hall were all damaged. Motorists scrambled yesterday for the dwindling fuel supply.” ‘Devastation in northern Cebu’ Sunstar Cebu 10 November 2013
t my age of 61 years old, Typhoon
strongest typhoon that I had ever witnessed,” Jovencia local
he public market was damaged right after the first blow of Yolanda. In the days to follow, vendors
sold their products beneath improvised roofing. “We are very thankful because our market was repaired. It was not just repaired, so many things were improved
especially the lighting,” Jovencia said. Edgardo
“At around 4:00 am also
on November 8, I was Bantayan market vendor Jovencia S. Pastor
already in the market. I
was surprised because
400 pieces of corn were sold before 8:00 am. These were
center. “After it was
being bought up by evacuees in the civic center.
repaired, it serves as a temporary
After that I went home already. I almost crawled
because of the strong winds and there were fallen trees
for some schools here
along the way, “ Jovencia remembers.
in Bantayan. Aside from
officer whose office is
like sports and cultural
DSWD employee Magdalena K. Derecho
events, they also use the
based in the civic center,
civic center as a venue to talk about drrm,” he added.
shared that it did not
“I was assigned in the operations center after
flood in Bantayan. Flood
Yolanda and handled the relief goods. Going home
was prevented by the
at night, I encountered young people heading to the
low waters, of low-tide:
plaza. A question was raised in my mind, why are these
yet the winds remained
people going to the plaza as if nothing happened? Then
I found out the answer.”
“There was a lull for 15 minutes after the first
Bantayan Supply Officer Edgardo D. Hibanda
wave, and then the tail of Yolanda was the strongest,” he said. “I can still hear the sound of the trees and houses as they toppled down.”
“It’s because we returned to normal immediately,” Edgardo said. “Still, thankful
assistance we received from
The municipal hall was not spared. Most of the
government,” he added.
roofing and ceiling collapsed. Marilu C. Mangubat, a
“It really has helped to
municipal hall employee, says that after Yolanda, they
make our infrastructures
worked instead in the lobby. “The Mayor’s office was
also greatly damaged,” she said. “Many documents were damaged and washed out.” In that respect, Magdalena K. Derecho, a dswd employee, shared the challenges of facing calamities, with multiple roles and responsibilities: working in the government to serve the people and at the same time, being a victim of those same circumstances.
Municipal Hall employee Marilu C. Mangubat
Local boy scouts in the newly-rehabilitated Bantayan Civic Center, The newly-rehabilitated Bantayan Civic Center - July 2015
‘WE DIDN’T KNOW WHERE TO START’
he Bogo civic center is more than a decade old, and the largest in northern Cebu. During Yolanda, it
would serve as an evacuation center for more than sixty families. “As
our recovery, Mayor Celestino says. “We had
limited funds available for the repair and restoration of
our damaged government buildings.”
“It was good because the dilg helped us,” he says.
Yolanda, there was a forced
fter Yolanda, we really don’t know where to start
As caretaker Emmanuel explained, the function of
Glenda O. Andrino, a
buildings like the civic
local market vendor and
center are often vital to
the overall functioning
“Our mayor (Celestino
of the community. “The
Espinosa Martinez Jr.)
repairs have been a
big help to Bogo City,”
Bogo City market vendor Glenda O. Andrino
machine set-up inside
he says. “It’s where all our events are held.
the civic center to ease our worries.” While the walls of the structure remained upright,
With a 7,000 person
the civic center itself would experience significant
seating capacity, it is
damage during Yolanda. “Some of the roofing was
also income generating
blown off, and it would take more than a year for it
for our lgu, as local
to become operational again,” explains Emmanuel A.
private sectors often rent it for company events.” Significant changes have also taken place at the
Tariman, the center’s caretaker. For
Bogo City mayor Celestino Espinosa Martinez Jr.
local public market. “Before it was a small space, so all the vendors were crammed in. The roof was quite low,
unprecedented. “It other
and without ventilation: there was no floor, only bare
soil,” Romeo says. “Now, these concerns have each been
Romeo B. Ursal, a local market
“My house is located
Yolanda recovery sees a
high on the hill. So
great focus on disaster
from there, I could see
roofing and debris flying
changes in the mindset
through the air.” Bogo City market administrator Romeo B. Ursal
Later, he says, “I
of our people, and we
saw the market, and it
saw this during Typhoon Ruby
was really devastated. Aside from that, stealing was rampant because the stalls were damaged.”
Bogo City Civic Center caretaker Emmanuel A. Tariman
(Hagupit),” Celestino “Information
dissemination starts at the top, and is directed down to the family level, and gets them involved. Now, we teach our students to understand these concepts for calamities in future.”
Vendors gather in the newly-rehabilitated Bogo City Public Market - July 2015
he municipality of Daanbantayan, located in the
or stolen. Of the overhead roof, nothing was left.
northern tip of Cebu, was not spared by Super
Typhoon Yolanda. The
“We had to start our lives from scratch after Yolanda,” she explains. “Both our home and our
livelihood was destroyed. Yolanda was one of the
municipal hall, right by
difficult moments in our lives.”
the coastline, saw whole sections of the roof
RAY DILG FUNDS
and windows destroyed.
Sections of the local public market were also in need of extensive
xtensive repairs, funded both in part by the lgu and the ray dilg program, began soon after the
repair. The civic center,
“Our lgu was able
serving as an evacuation
to repair the back part
center, was also badly damaged.
of our municipal hall,”
Daanbantayan Municipal Engineer Marina Y. Arcenal
Engr. Arcenal explained.
For local survivors, like Marina Y. Arcenal, a
“Then when the ray
municipal engineer of two decades, Yolanda is remem-
fund arrived, we used
bered as the strongest typhoon experienced in living
this to complete the
Nearby, Loida Chiong, as the care taker of the
in the front of the
civic center, was busy preparing food for evacuees when Yolanda struck. “I
building.” Daanbantayan market vendor Emily Manigos
in charge of cooking
There are no vacant and haunted rooms filled with
lugaw (porridge),” she
water anymore,” she says. “Instead of jalousie windows,
remembers. “I prepared
we now have sliding windows that are more much
three big pots of it and
more resilient. The thickness of our roofing was also
transported it to the
increased from .4mm to .6mm that are more likely to
civic center. While we
were feeding all the evacuees,
were blowing strongly.” Local resident and civic center caretaker Loida Chong
everyone panicked and ran away,” she shared.
Ms. Loida explained that school programs, cultural events such as fiesta celebrations, and barangay meetings are once again held again in the newly repaired civic center. For Emily, she feels “blessed and thankful” since the market was repaired. “It was difficult for us to sell
For Emily Manigos, the devastation was also
items without a roof above our heads,” she explained.
deeply affecting. As a vendor in Daanbantayan Public
“When it rained, everything became wet - including
Market for almost a decade, she returned to her stall to
us, the vendors, and our customers. We are all more
find that very little remained: items have been damaged,
Top: The newly-rehabilitated Daanbantayan Municipal Hall Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Daanbantayan Public Market
yphoon Yolanda was my first, and most terrible typhoon experience to date,” remembers long-
time municipal employee, Jessyl S. Ortega. “We really thought that it was the end of the world.” As
assistance extended to them. With the municipal
and pleasant space for both officials and citizens alike.
“Our lgu could not do this alone. We are very
blessed and thankful because the national government
hat’s why they are very pleased with the funding
hall now repaired, it is now more a more comfortable
across northern Cebu and
‘THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT NOTICED OUR NEEDS’
noticed our needs,” Jessyl says.
Marivic felt that
severely damaged. This affected
life has also improved at
the ceiling, and the
the public market, with
even greater resiliency
employees like Jessyl, it
in the face of future
Madridejos municipal employee Jessyl S. Ortega
disasters. “There were
sight. “Many of the employees here felt hopeless,” she
so much damage and
says. “We asked ourselves: ‘How can this possibly be
restored? How can we return this to normalcy?’”
explains. “But we are
made for a devastating
“After Yolanda, it was very hot in our municipality, since there were no trees,” Jessyl says. They were all sunburnt - they all looked so dark.”
now secure because we
Across the community, the effects of Yolanda were both widespread and visible for all to see.
Madridejos market vendor Marivic Aga-on
sturdier roofing above
us.” “We are now just looking at the bright side after
Nearby, Marivic Aga-on, a fish vendor in
the typhoon. Yolanda has been terrible to us, but
Madridejos public market, had worked half-day on that
our resiliency is still stronger than she is,” Jessyl
fateful November day. She witnessed the typhoon’s
destruction of the roof in the wet section above her stall. “After the typhoon, my co-vendors and I contributed money for us to buy tarpaulins as temporary roofing,” she recalled. “But we had to go back to the market and sell because that’s our source of living.”
Top: The newly-rehabilitated Madridejos Public Market - July 2015 Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Madridejos Municipal Hall - July 2015
n first sight, it is can be quite difficult to believe
Nearby, at the Medellin civic center, most of the
that the colorful municipality of Medellin was
roofing had also suffered significant damage. School
once devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
and sports activities immediately ceased as the building
As engineering staff Cherry Lyn G. Montilla
was deemed unsafe for use.
Yet with the assistance of ray dilg funds, both
the civic center and public market could be repaired,
after the typhoon, my
ensuring that vendors, clients and citizens could return
first reaction was our
to these vital daily activities.
town became a ghost town,” the
the devastation, local officials were quoted as Medellin engineering staff Cherry Lyn G. Montilla
estimating that around
e are very thankful to have received the ray
dilg assistance,” barangay secretary Eduardo
S. Nicor says. “Now we can use the civic center
90% of houses and other
again. Since it is in the town proper, it is also income
generating for our lgu. Also, because of the fund they
municipality were partially or totally damaged.
have added more bleachers which is very useful during
Yet since Yolanda, government infrastructure including the municipal hall, water tanks, bridges and school fences - have since been repainted in a series of
our activities here,” he says. “Our colorful infrastructures here in Medellin is a good reminder to us that we are survivors of Yolanda,”
bright, cheerful colors.
Cherry adds. “I believe
“We repainted like this after Yolanda,” Cherry says,
that this reflects the
proudly. “This is in line with our slogan, ‘Fantastic
colorful personality of
Medellin’, where our mayor wants our town and
the people here, and
everyone who visits to be lively. It’s really a good
the experiences we have
feeling,” she says.
gone through. This has made us stronger than ever.”
YOLANDA: ’AN UNEXPLAINABLE FEELING’
t the Medellin public market, Teresa Q. Carmelo remembers watching as pieces of plywood,
sheets of roofing and market items flew around the marketplace, helpless under the force of Yolanda’s
gale-force winds. “It
she says. As
effort got underway, “we don’t know where to start,” she explains. “We don’t know if we would be
in the market again, Medellin market vendor Teresa Q. Carmelo 102
because the roofing was extremely damaged.”
Barangay secretary Eduardo S. Nicor
The newly-rehabilitated Medellin Civic Center and Municipal Building (Town Hall) - July 2015 103
s I looked up at the sky, I saw roofing sheets
three months after the funding was released, the
blowing in the wind like mere pieces of paper.
market could go back to normal - in fact, now we have
Everything was laid bare, most obstructions were blown
even more vendors.”
away. Neighbors that I usually do not see were standing
Nearby, at the the municipal hall, the roofing,
outside, in the open. I could see almost everything,
ceiling and office equipment were also destroyed. Since
with nothing blocking my sight. The coconut trees are
the building is very important to the municipality’s
desperately hanging on to their roots, it was almost as
continued function, the lgu already repaired some portions prior to the distribution of ray dilg funds.
if Yolanda was combing through them.” It
Yet, as funds arrived, they were able to better repair the
like these - of the ‘new
building: it now looks brand new.
normal’ - that stay with Antonio
As Mayor Mariano R. Martinez explains, the
repairs to the municipal
president of Liga ng Baranggays
alike, especially those the
employees and patrons
Remegio, Cebu. While
needs. Pregnant women from Antonio P. Villamor, President of Liga ng Baranggays
isolated disadvantaged areas
in any the sense of the word,” he says. “It was the
example, now benefit
strongest I had every experienced: even my parents had
from the addition of
not seen anything like this: this kind of ‘killer’ typhoon.”
a municipal pre-natal
San Remegio Mayor Mariano R. Martinez
care center. There, they can rest prior to their due dates, and receive additional care in the lead-up to their
THE ‘NEW NORMAL’
oth the local market and municipal hall suffered
ray fund and many people benefited from it,” Mayor
extensive damage as a result. Yet support from
Martinez says. “I am a returning mayor and I can
ray dilg funds, the
really see the difference in the national government
from then and now. Before, you really have to fend for
yourself, for your lgu. Now, we have so many projects
the market could be
and funding assistance from dilg through ray and
BUB. We are also recipients for Kalahi from dswd. We
market is more resilient,” Manuel E. Conde, the market
says. “The San Remegio Market Administrator Manuel E. Conde
the market used to be lumber: now, it is made
of concrete. The funding was beneficial to us because
“Modesty aside, we were able to maximize the
never had those projects before.” “Buildings like the municipal hall and public market are integral to providing services to the community,” Antonio added. “Now, we can cater to the needs of our citizens better.”
Top: The newly-rehabilitated San Remegio Municipal Hall - July 2015 Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated San Remegio Public Market - July 2015
ituated on popular tourist spot known as Bantayan
by Yolanda - they held on to coconut trees,” Joanes
Island, Santa Fe, famed for its white sand beaches,
explained. “Some said that they could feel the coconut
is perhaps not especially known for its Yolanda
trees being uprooted in their hands. They had no choice
but to keep grabbing at different trees, holding on, until
Yet as the Super Typhoon made landfall, Santa
Fe was one of a number of municipalities in Cebu
There were moments he experienced on that day
that remain completely isolated, with all modes of
that were unlike any other. “On that day, there was a
communication cut off, and roads made impassable to
family holding a wake,” he added. “We were asked to
evacuate the corpse, along with the family.”
As the storm raged, some 1,000 of the
Many in the municipality had undertaken
municipality’s local citizens sought refuge in the
preparations prior to Yolanda’s arrival. Yet the
nearby municipal hall. “There people
sheer magnitude of the typhoon was beyond regular
“During Typhoon Yolanda, we had volunteers
help out. They are our Barangay Volunteer Emergency
Paulo M. Esgana, a local
Response Team,” Joanes explains. “They shared that
it was challenging for them to evacuate people before
“From the ground to the
Yolanda. With many local people having survived
second floor, everyone
Typhoon Frank, they were confident that they would
also survive Yolanda without evacuating,” he says.
Ivy R. Illustrisimo, a stall owner in the Santa Fe
At times, it was a terrifying “It
public market, was one of those who did not evacuate Santa Fe Municipal Administrator Joanes Paulo M. Esgana
watching objects flying
during Yolanda. Instead, she stayed at home and watched as the typhoon wrecked havoc on nearby houses and infrastructure.
The newly-rehabilitated Santa Fe Public Market - July 2015
around the room. The roof (of the municipal hall)
“We didn’t expect it to be that strong, but we
peeled away, piece by piece, like tissue paper,” he says.
were wrong,” she explains. “The whole surroundings
Some were even less fortunate. “There were
changed after the typhoon. It devastated our market,
those people who weren’t able to go to the municipal hall - those who were on their way, but beaten there 106
and our community.”
REHABILITATION MEANS EFFORTS TO SAVE LIVES, NOW AND IN THE FUTURE
ith assistance from ray dilg, the public market has now been significantly improved,
with view to greater resilience in the face of calamities. “Our stalls now have roll-up doors, keeping our
products safe overnight,” Ivy says. “In the past, some items, especially school supplies, were stolen while the stalls were closed.” The addition of a second floor also means more vendors, and a more
“Our market is made of concrete, with proper division for the stall owners. It was really a make-over here in our market,” Ivy added. The
municipal hall has also
Santa Fe public market vendor Ivy S. Illustrisimo
experienced significant improvements. “Before (Yolanda) the municipall hall looked like a warehouse,” Joanes says. “Where once we had jalousie windows, now we have sliding windows and doors. New floor tiles have also been installed, while our payment centers now also have glass windows.” “The ray dilg fund was a big help in Santa Fe. People are impressed because our municipal hall and public market have been improved. Both are beautiful and resilient. We can proudly say that the fund was utilized well and can be seen and used by the whole community,” Joanes added.
ur public market was built in 1960s when I was still in my elementary days,” remembers Rodney P.
Menchavez, local municipal engineer. Yet the decades-
MORE RESILIENT THAN EVER
ot only is the market more resilient, but a more efficient space, says Gina M. Montejo, a local
“The repairs mean
Yolanda. As the Super
more organized,” she
now arranged according
that the entire market structure had collapsed,
to the products the
vendors are selling.”
This means less
what lay beneath. “Since then, we’ve repaired
congested aisles, adding
Sogod Municipal Engineer Rodney P. Menchavez
to look just as it once did,” Rodney explains. Yet vital changes have been made, including replacing with steel where once there had been only wood. Market ‘floors’, before made only of soil, were then cemented.
to the vibrant market Barangay Captain Gina M. Montejo
space. “The repair of the
market was of big help to the community because of the comfort it brings to the market goers,” Gina explains.
“Because of the battle cry of the dilg urging us
“Our farmers who live in the mountains would usually
to Build Back Better, we knew that we really had to
visit the market on a Sunday - market day - to buy the
build back with greater resiliency,” he says. “So with
food that will last them the week.”
ray dilg funding, we were able to strengthen the structure.”
“Unlike in the city or other urban town, you can just easily go to the market anytime you want. But here in our barangay, it is far different. It’s why the
ray dilg fund extended to us benefited the entire community,” Rodney added.
The newly-rehabilitated Sogod Public Market - July 2015 108
just settled with simply repairing what was damaged
by Yolanda. Since the lgu has so many priorities but
Arthuro B. Vincente to
operates on a limited budget, the ray dilg fund
believe what he was
helped us in that respect,” he adds.
public market vendor for almost a decade, he had never before seen typhoons
bring about this kind of Tabuelan market vendor Arthuro B. Vicente
very Saturday, there’s a ‘tabo tabo day’ in the market, when visiting vendors from nearby towns
sell clothes, vegetables and other products. It is a whole day event, and often very crowded.
In the past, some vendors were often reluctant to
unexplainable feeling,” he says. “Especially since we
have stalls in the market, finding it too costly for their
rarely experience typhoons here. We are just used to
needs. Yet after it was reconstructed, it was made more
having Signal level 1 typhoons.”
resilient - and at only 10 pesos per square meter, with
The trusses of the market roof had twisted, and in sections, had blown away under the gale-force winds.
tiled floors and solid roofing - requests to hold a stall in the market sky-rocketed.
As Municipal Engineer Edmer S. Polloso explains:
“Now the problem is that there are too many
“before the typhoon, the roofing in the market was an
vendors,” Edmer says. “Since the market is now more
ordinary sheet corrugated gauge 26, which is a standard
beautiful and more resilient, more people want to
type for roofing.”
set-up in it. Because of this interest, I can really say
As ray dilg funds were delivered, the engineer
that our project had a
then rallied for a better and more resilient market by
significant effect to our
applying Build Back Better principles.
community,” he said.
In technical terms: “From one angle bar, now we
have two. From 60 cm purlins, now it’s 30 cm. We really
incorporated the ‘Build Back Better’ concept in our
the impact of these
newly repaired market.” “If we were not given the assistance, we might have
rehabilitation efforts are especially significant.
Tabuelan Municipal Engineer Edmer S. Polloso
market is of big help to us, especially the vendors,” he says. “This is our livelihood. This is where we get our daily needs, for our children and for their schooling. We really appreciate it because the request and release of funding for the rehabilitation of our market
acted upon.” The newly-rehabilitated Tabuelan Public Market - July 2015 109
TYPHOON YOLANDA IN REGION VI WESTERN VISAYAS
I LO I LO ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The entire province of Iloilo was placed under state of calamity Saturday afternoon, November 9. A Philippine National Agency report said the provincial board expects more casualties to be recorded as authorities assess the situation in the northern town of Estancia… Earlier, The towns of Dumangas, Mina, Janiuay, and Zarraga in the province of Iloilo were placed under a state of calamity… Meanwhile, the town of Sara, remains isolated as of Saturday afternoon after the flood damaged roads to the area. A number of towns in the 5th district – including Carles, Ajuy, Barotac Viejo, Concepcion, Batad, San Dionisio, San Rafael, and Balasan – also suffered the brunt of Yolanda. Communication and power lines in these towns remain cut off as of Saturday afternoon.” ‘Iloilo under state of calamity’ Rappler.com 10 November 2013
n November 5, 2013, in the town of Ajuy, Iloilo,
still raining. When I arrived at my house, ten families
Mayor Juan Alvarez had joined local police officers
were already there: our
in their rounds.
neighbors. We had to
“We advised our people to prepare as best they
cook dinner for them
could for Yolanda,” Mayor Juan says. Many locals had
and for the children.
already evacuated to assigned centers. Relief packs had
been received at different schools, and families had
already received food packs.
On the morning
barangays, and 19 of
these are coastal. These Ajuy Barangay Captain Tommy G. Celis
“… Yolanda struck. I was in my office. First, I was confident that
coastal barangays were badly hit because of the
the building would be
Many people had tied their motorboats to their
resilient: but since the
houses. After Typhoon Yolanda struck, the houses and
windows were shaking
the motorboats were all gone, swept away by the storm
so hard, and trying to
break, I hid myself here,
Ajuy Mayor Juan Alvarez
It took around three months for electricity to
away from the windows. All I could hear were loud
be restored. On the national highway, it was almost
bangs as the window glass were destroyed.
two days before vehicles could pass, but it was only
The typhoon lasted from 10:30 am until 1:30
partially open. It took us almost a month to clear our
in the afternoon. We couldn’t go outside: it was too
barangay roads, because of the debris, the trees, and the
dangerous. At one point, the wind changed direction. By
electricity poles were down.
1:30 pm we had no communications, and no electricity.
We are very lucky because in our municipality,
People started to come to our health centers, badly
we have more than eighty groups that helped us after
needing medical support. Some of them had serious
Yolanda. Government, individuals, schools, Ingos,
injuries, but there was nothing we could do: as all the
foundations, they were here to help us in the different
transmission lines, all the posts and trees were down,
and covering the roads. We had an ambulance, but we
After Yolanda, our people now are more alert, and
could not bring them to the hospital. We had eight
more concerned. Every time there’s an announcement
of a storm, they prepare: they go to our schools that
We had no means of communication: no signal,
serve as our evacuation centers. We can say, we are now
everything was down. I was here until around 8:00 pm.
over-prepared; actually, our preparations are over-kill
I had to go to my home, because my daughter was there,
now, due to the trauma that people have experienced.
and I had no idea what had happened to her. I had to ride a motorcycle, and ride under the trees, and it was
The ongoing rehabilitation of the Ajuy Civic Center -August 2015
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
The ongoing rehabilitation of the Ajuy Civic Center - August 2015
mong the national government agencies that helped Ajuy, the largest amounts came from ray
dilg. This funding was used to repair the roof and ceiling of the public market, civic center, and municipal building. Glass used as walls, doors and office partitions were also installed in the municipal building. This is my last term as a mayor. I am hoping that all of these projects would be finished so that life will be different here in Ajuy,â€? says Mayor Alvarez.
The newly-rehabilitated Bingawan Municipal Hall - August 2015
BINGAWAN CIVIC CENTER
devastation, he initially felt depressed and frustrated. On the long road to recovery, where do they begin? Before Super Typhoon struck Bingawan in 2013,
either was the civic center spared by Typhoon Yolanda, with only the central part of the main
structure surviving the gale-force winds.
they also experienced a strong typhoon - Typhoon
For high school students Lorly Mei Pedroso
Quinta - in 2012. “Maybe it is really a result of climate
and Sean Jahlel Ceralvo, who use the facility for
change. It was two years consecutive for us, Quinta and
the volleyball practice and competitions, it was an
Yolanda,” Mayor Matt P. Palabrica suggested.
especially saddening turn of events. As the civic center
Yet few could have
is only sports venue in town, they had no choice but to
prepared entirely for the
keep using it for practice: taking extra precautions to
destruction wrought by
avoid injuring themselves or others. The ray dilg fund then provided for the repair
the Super Typhoon. municipal
of the civic center. “It was a great help because we can
hall - built in 1976 - was
already use the center even on rainy days,” Sean says.
damaged, with the winds
“We don’t need to cancel our practice, and can even
breaking windows and
extend our sessions well into the evening. A screen
stripping off sections of
was also installed on both sides, while before we had to
chase the ball in from outside the gym,” he explained.
Bingawan Mayor Matt P. Palabrica
Both structures are more resilient, and are more likely to withstand future calamities. The civic center, 115
Local high school students Sean Jahlel Ceralvo and Lorly Mei Pedroso
for example, once below plaza level, had been prone to floods during rainy season. ray funds were then used to raise the concrete flooring for better flood prevention. The roof trusses, made with stronger and more resilient materials, are estimated to withstand winds of up to 400 kph.
RAY FUNDS: UNEXPECTED, BUT WELCOME
eanwhile, Mayor Matt shared that in his view, the ray funds were a welcome, if somewhat
unexpected addition to those local funds directed towards post-Yolanda recovery. “It was a miracle for the municipality - we did not expect it,” the Mayor remembers. “We did not expect the funding assistance because our municipality is considered as the poorest lgu in the province. In terms of votes, ours doesn’t have a big impact. It’s why we did not expect for any assistance from the national government.” “But the current administration proved us wrong,” he says. “They helped us and took care of us. In fact in Region VI, we got a big amount for ray 1 projects alone.” “We had previously applied for a loan because we want to improve the building. But once the ray assistance was provided to us, we could repair what was damaged, then allocate additional modifications from
olanda was the worst disaster in the history of our
during the disaster.”
community,” Ma. Theresa S. Carsola, a teacher at
the local elementary school, remembers. As
the roofing was not Yolanda
immediately repaired so
approached the town of
it was left exposed.”
Carles; the local Civic
to accommodate large
events, was used as a
upon the civic center
Yet the structure
Carles public school supervisor Lynie B. Chavez
Center, most often used
Local elementary school teacher Ma. Theresa S. Carsola
community the wrought affected
the local district. Local
struggled to withstand
schools could no longer hold large assemblies: nor
could large-scale sporting or community activities be
held in a safe and secure environment.
“Yolanda left only left some sections of the roof intact,” Ma. Theresa explains. “(We had) thought that the gym would withstand typhoons, so many people were there
Local school students pose for a photo in the newly-rehabilitated Carles Civic Center - August 2015
REPAIR AND REHABILITATION
Ma. Theresa agrees. “The newly repaired gym is ith ray dilg funds assisting in repairs, public
more pleasing, sturdier and more durable. Now there
school supervisor Lynie B. Chavez explains how
is also an enclosure, so the impact is really significant.”
local students benefit from the newly rehabilitated
“And that is just from the perspective of the Department of Education,” she added. “This is also
“When we hold activities in the playground, we
valuable for other activities held in our community,
need to set up everything,” she says. “Now that the civic
because there is no other similar structure available
center is repaired, we now only need to provide a sound
system because there is light, bleachers and security.”
efore Yolanda devastated the municipal hall in Dumangas, Iloilo, water leaks has been a recurring
problem on rainy days. “For the longest time, it is really our problem there.
Our guests would usually see the leaks or the pails catching the leaks or much worse employees mopping the floor,” explains municipal employee Angela D. Docdolu. “It is really embarrassing, especially when there’s a meeting.” The employees often joked that it was like sa ilalim ng saging (under the banana tree): though covered from the rain, you’ll still get a little wet. Yolanda also blew most of the roofing off the local public market, affecting
day lives of vendors and patrons alike. Nearby,
was the civic center spared
The gym, strategically located
Municipal employee Angela D. Docdolu
elementary school, is
often where local community activities are held graduation and recognition programs, school activities and event practice for the fiesta activities. “I was heartbroken when
the our has
been part of our life here
Sharon D. Lumogdan, an
“After Yolanda, it was very hard because we didn’t have a facility
Local elementary SPED teacher Sharon D. Lumogdan
to hold our activities. We had to rely on our school grounds and could only hope that the weather would cooperate.”
The newly-rehabilitated Dumangas Public Market
WEATHER- RESILIENT Similarly, repairs to the civic center were a blessing
hrough the ray dilg fund, repair to the roof
to the local school, and
and ceilings have since been undertaken at the
municipal hall. “Now there’s no more leaks, no more buckets, no more mops,” Angela says. At the local market, vendor Aster S. Belita says everything is now back to normal.
“It was really nice to
gather once again here in the gym after it was
“Since there’s a port in our town wherein the
repaired. Seeing them
passengers from the roll on, roll off (roro) vehicles are
happy once again makes
dropped off, passengers usually go here also to trade
you forget about the
and buy our products,” she says. “On Sundays, we
struggles and hardship
also have a market day where transient vendors visit,
we had to experience
from nearly towns. Having an organized and improved
market is very helpful for us vendors and marketgoers.”
Local market vendor Aster S. Belita
‘BACK TO NORMAL’
t was really sad after Yolanda,” sighs Adrian Tiples, a citizen of Estancia and frequent visitor
to the local civic center. “You could see and feel sadness everywhere, because the houses, livelihood and This sadness, felt much
public market was a “blessing” in helping return a
in their stalls, most especially during rainy days,” she says. “We don’t need to worry about our products anymore.” Nearby, and while
by Juvy Y. Espiga, a
removed the roof of the
Estancia public market.
civic center, its repair
She didn’t expect that
has since seen the return
of social and cultural
about Estancia local resident Adrian Tiples
et for Juvy and others, the rehabilitation of the
regular routine to market life. “We are now comfortable
everything in Estancia were damaged.” across
damage to their market
“Our civic center
place. Certainly, she had
is very important to
not expected the widespread devastation across the
gathers here,” Adrian
“Yolanda damaged almost the entire roof of our
Estancia market vendor Juvy Y. Espiga
market,” Juvy explained. “Eighty sacks of rice got wet.
basketball here almost everyday is part of our lifestyle.
There was mud everywhere. It was really a total mess,”
We also use this area for our barangay programs and
she remembered. “Then aside from the damage, some
dance events during fiesta, so it’s always very busy.”
people ransacked the market and stole food items.”
“When we see the repaired facilities and new infrastructure in our town, it really helps us move on and forget about the horrors of Yolanda,” Adrian adds. “This gives us hope that soon, everything will be back to normal.”
The newly-rehabilitated Estancia Civic Center 120
Janiuay Municipal Hall - August 2015
ong before the arrival of Super Typhoon Yolanda, in Janiuay, Iloilo, disaster risk prevention measures
had long since served as a top priority. “Since 2010, our lgu have been practicing and enforcing preventive measures, including evacuations, long before the arrival of Yolanda,” Ricardo Minurtio, environmental officer shared. To ensure that these preventative measures are effective during ‘real time’ disasters, these communitybased activities include a range of sectors within the municipality: schools, government officials, local groups, and the like. “You have to make the people aware, and you have to train them,” the Mayor believes. “That’s how we work here: we work in teams. We send out teams to different locations to provide us with a clear picture of the damage, and the relevant needs.” “Those of us in the office, for example, have received designated areas and roles to assess the extent of the damage, so that the day after the typhoon we can see what’s happening across the municipality. This is how we ensure both a fast response and recovery,” Ramon Sucayan, DILG field officer added.
MDRRMC staff, MLGOO Ramon, with Janiuay mayor Frankie and Ricardo
‘A STATE OF CALAMITY’
hile Yolanda was not experienced as forcefully in
municipalities, “we were the first to declare the State of Calamity,” Mayor Frankie explains. “It opened a lot of opportunities,” he explains. “We could open stores, and gas stations: anything that the people needed.” In the days leading up to November 8, a number of local schools and gymnasiums were assigned to serve as evacuation centers. “We’ve been building evacuation centers (in preparation for calamities), long before Yolanda,” the Mayor explained. “And while they weren’t built necessarily to withstand category 5 storms, they did serve the people well.” During the Yolanda disaster, the municipal hall sustained significant damage: whole sections of the roof were blown away, a victim of the strong winds. With support from ray dilg funds, municipal officials then installed a new roof, complete with steel trusses, for added resiliency. Later, the lgu would fund additional repairs to ensure a comprehensive refurbishment of the entire municipal building.
THE SLOW ROAD TO RECOVERY
ocated along the northeastern coastline of Iloilo, the municipality of San Dionio was among those
worst affected by Typhoon Yolanda. “Everything was washed out,” Carlos Paul Lopez,
a local municipal official explains. “Even the ant
he trauma is still there. It is not easy to forget our experience with Yolanda,” Municipal Councilor
Vincent C. Bano shares. During
municipality and the people were much more prepared.
“San Dionisio is a
evacuate prior to the
4th class municipality.
typhoon’s arrival, forced
fishing and agricultural
proved a challenge in
farming. We are still
a municipality that is
struggling, because of
used to the impacts
climate change. Only half of our regular crops
of ‘regular’ typhoons. “Many
it would be a normal
were planted in our
Local municipal official Carlos Paul Lopez
storm,” Carlos says. Yet it would then become clear that this would
forest Municipal Councilor Vincent C. Bano
Vincent added. Yet,
be no ‘regular’ calamity. “When Yolanda hit our town,
explains, the people of San Dionisio have benefited
that’s when the people panicked,” Carlos says.
significantly from ray dilg funding assistance.
Soon they learned that a storm surge had smashed
“The lgu alone couldn’t afford the repair of our
into local coastal areas. The municipal plaza quickly
government infrastructures, especially the municipal
filled with water: nearby, the municipal hall, proved no
hall,” he says. “But now we are almost 90% recovered.
match for Yolanda’s power, suffering extensive damage,
We are thankful to all the assistance extended to us,
as its roof, trusses, ceilings, walls and office equipment
especially the livelihood projects from the Ingos.”
were destroyed. In those few fateful hours, Yolanda
For the people of San Dionisio, Carlos hopes
had turned much of what was once the municipality’s
that they “will have a better future, more jobs, new
critical infrastructure into scattered debris.
livelihood programs from the government and ngos,”
“Our roads were blocked by big trees. The ones
to bring about a full and complete recovery.
who cut it manually even while the strong winds blew had to risk their lives just for the people to pass by,” Carlos shared. “Yolanda was the first time for me to witness those things. I had only seen these kind of things on television.” It took almost a year to recover, Carlos explained. “Our main sources of living are fishing and agriculture, and these were badly affected,” he says. “The people had to start again from scratch,” he says.
A panoramic view from the San Dionisio Municipal Hall
hile the townsfolk of San Rafael, Iloilo, were advised to expect Super Typhoon
Yolanda, for many, it proved an experience far beyond expectations. “Ninety percent of the houses here were damaged,”
D. Pontaoy, OIC says, “including municipal
public market. Many of the trees toppled down. So many people were San Rafael Municipal OIC Marcelino D. Pontaoy
without shelter.” There
casualties. “We’re fortunate that Yolanda struck during the day,” “Municipal Engineer Inocencio C. Mana-ay
LEARNING FROM YOLANDA: NO MORE ‘BAHALA NA’
believes. “Had it happened during the night, there have been casualties and even greater damage.”
or the people of San Rafael, Typhoon Yolanda proved a significant learning experience. “In some ways, we might be thankful for Yolanda,”
Engr. Inocencio says. “A lot changed. Perhaps Yolanda is a blessing in disguise, in some ways.” Since then, government facilities only
strengthened, in case of future calamities. For
San Rafael municipal employee Inocencio C. Mana-ay
preparation is now considered a high priority. “My hope is that in future, people will be responsible for themselves, once they learn of impending calamities,” Marcelino says. “They should not wait for reminders from local officials to evacuate, but instead take the initiative. No more of the old thinking, the “Bahala na” (come what may) syndrome. Preparedness is very important, and should be instinctive to each and every one of us.” “It’s why we are thankful to the ray dilg for this funding assistance, because it was immediate and addressed our needs,” Engr. Inocencio added. 125
hen a calamity like Yolanda strikes,” Melvin Lyndon B. Garzon says, “you’re kind of numb:
that you were powerless. You’re like a robot. At first,
you don’t even care that you’ve survived.” So
powerful memories - of rampant
survival and ongoing recovery - shared among the residents of Sara, Iloilo. In
eight hours prior to the
Sara MDRRMC staff Melvin Lyndon B. Ganzon
was undertaken, nearby residents were evacuated to the municipal hall. “We tried to prepare, but nothing could be done,” Melvin says. “Nobody could have fully prepared for that kind of typhoon.” Evacuees
only watch as the galeforce winds tore the roof from above them. “All you could hear was
NEXT, THE AFTERMATH
the howling noise of the winds. It’s was so loud and strong. Sheets of roofing flew around above us: the galvanized Sara municipal employee James Daniel C. Godinez
sheets crumpled even before
Outside the building, enormous coconut trees
of chainsaw operators and drivers, along with the
several members of the Vice Mayor’s own bodyguards, set out to clear the town’s main roads. As the extent of the destruction became clear to
ground,” Melvin explained.
s conditions subsided, Melvin and a team made up
them, “I saw the people around me crying,” Melvin remembers. “Even the bodyguards! These are the kind
were found thirty meters from where they had once
of guys who eat bullets
stood, surviving multiple typhoons, for decades.
for breakfast. But even
“Even Hollywood cannot create these kinds of ‘special effects’,” he says.
they were crying,” he said. These
again bring tears to his eyes. “We were all wondering - could we even survive this? What had
would happen, to our families? It was really bad,” he explained. 126
Sara Municipal Accountant Mary Joy B. Abellar
‘THE BACKBONE OF THE LGU’
ames Daniel C. Godinez, a municipal employee, shared that the ray dilg fund was distributed
swiftly once documents were submitted and formalized. As James explains, these contributions were especially useful in returning basic services to the people. “We had international ngos present here, and they were very helpful,” he says. “However, these organizations tend to focus more on residential housing, shelter and training, rather than on government infrastructure. These kinds of buildings really are the backbone of the functioning of the lgu.” “With these rehabilitation projects, at least there are some things that we feel thankful for,” adds Mary Joy B. Abellar, a municipal accountant.
Sara Public Market
HOPES FOR A POST-YOLANDA FUTURE
our topmost priority,” James says. “If we survived Yolanda, we can survive hell,” Melvin added. “That was a hell of an experience for
ach of these officials were then asked what their
everybody. For sure, we will be more resilient. There’s
hopes are for the people of Sara, in this time since
no doubt about it.”
the destruction wrought by Yolanda. “I hope that our projects would benefit the people of Sara, since - as government officials - the people are
Mary Joy agrees. “I really hope that as we move forward more projects will continue to enrich the lives of the townsfolk.”
CAPIZ One of the hard- hit areas apart from Leyte is the province of Capiz. The province is composed of 16 municipalities and 95% of which are affected by the Super Typhoon which caused massive damage to agriculture, infrastructure and livelihood. One of the severely damaged edifices is the St. Pius X Seminary. “I was literally fighting for my life,” said Fr. Anthony Aguason who lost everything in the typhoon. Some priests are left with tears in their faces as they see their beloved Alma Mater ruthlessly damaged by Yolanda. But the greatest damage to the province is on the lives of the people. Many are left homeless in the aftermath of the typhoon. Some hospitals could not accommodate sick people anymore because they are badly hit also. Many people built makeshift houses along the highway so that they could easily be reached once the relief goods arrive in their locality. Clean potable water, food and medicines are scarce. ‘Yolanda devastates 95 percent of Capiz province’ CBCP News 14 November 2013
RAY DILG FUNDS CAPITOL BUILDING REPAIRS
he Capiz provincial hall is a pre-war building and one of the strongest buildings in the province. Yet
during Yolanda, much of the roof, ceilings and windows were damaged. It was there that Victor A. Tanco Sr., public servant for more than 45 years and current Governor of
epairs to the provincial capitol building, funded by the RAY DILG
program, proved morale
Capiz province, spent the days before, during and after
It was also within the Capitol Building that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management
their clients and local citizens.
Council (PDRRMC), established two years prior to
“If we had had to
Yolanda, held command to support the widespread
use our own finances,
disaster relief effort.
it would be much more
The Governor emphasized how “we were prepared,
difficult to rebuild our
we were listo (alert)!” to help limit the suffering of those
stadium,” the Governor
“We decided to establish the command center in
the provincial hall so that there would be no breakdown in governance and response teams,” he explained. “During Yolanda, we continued working, even while the rain poured in.”
Top to bottom: Capiz Provincial Engineer Lennet Sodusta, Capiz Governor Victor A. Tanco Sr.
Capiz Provincial Capital Building - June 2015 129
illareal Stadium is the largest stadium in the Western Visayas. Lennet L. Sodusta, the engineer
in-charge of the venue, remembers how in the
days leading up to Yolanda, a large-scale national convention could be comfortably accommodated within the stadium grounds. Yet the Super Typhoon devastated many of the stadium facilities, this included its roofing, windows and doors. Much of the roofing above of the bleachers where spectators watch track-and-field were also affected as well as the swimming pool area. Soon after release of RAY DILG funds, repairs began. With improved seating capacity and a sturdier construction for the safety of its patrons, the gymnasium now features once again as the leading sports venue in Capiz province.
Villareal Stadium - June 2015 130
DAO CIVIC CENTER
s a flood-prone agricultural municipality situated on the Panay River, the people of Dao know the
benefits - as well as the possible dangers - that water
can bring. Yet
lsewhere, for Michael B. Lozada, a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) official,
times were also challenging. In the weeks after the
disaster, the civic center where he usually works had
Typhoon Yolanda was
experienced such extensive damage that he and his
colleagues had to be moved to an alternative facility.
There, Michael dealt daily with local citizens
destruction across the
who themselves faced a range of post-disaster relief
challenges. Tasked with the release of over-the-counter
the local public market
payments for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program
and civic center.
(4Ps) in the temporary facility - an open-air space - it
“The Dao Mayor Joselito Y. Escutin
proved especially difficult to manage the needs of
here in Dao is very
beneficiaries. Many complained at having to endure
the soarching heat of the sun or the pouring rain-
infrastructure,” explains Joselito Y. Escutin, Dao’s
challenges faced by officials and citizens alike.
DAO PUBLIC MARKET
the roof of the
destroyed. For Connie C. Sy, a market vendor for six years, it made for an especially difficult period.
where she sells readyto-wear clothes, slippers
Dao market vendor Connie C. Sy
and shoes, it was hard to display merchandise without a roof above their heads. Despite tarpaulins serving as temporary roofing, she would struggle to protect her valuable wares from further damage.
Connie’s stall in the rehabilitated Dao Public Market
“1,000 HAPPY PEOPLE”
or Mayor Escutin, the RAY DILG funding was a welcome, if at first unexpected, support to the
recovery effort in Dao.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) official Michael B. Lozada. “Now we have 1,000 happy people,” he says.
Mayor Escutin had expected that the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) would be allotted for the initial repair of their civic center. Instead, enabled by RAY DILG funds, the facilities could be repaired all at once, rather than in a phase-by-phase approach. “Yolanda was an eye-opener for us,” the Mayor concluded. “It has now become our baseline for our preparations for future typhoons.” As a result, repairs were undertaken with greater resilience in mind. At the public market, new roofing - built with stronger trusses - were installed. Drainage improvement and repairs were then also made to the market’s police outpost. For vendors like Ms. Connie, these improvements allowed her to return to a safe and secure stall, to continue to earn money to support her family. She is pleased that her stall, and the whole market, is now comfortable for vendors and customers alike. Finally, Michael and his team from DSWD are very thankful for having returned to their place of work, in the now-repaired civic center. “Not only we, the project implementors, are happy- all of our beneficiaries are happy as well,” he explained. “We have almost 1,000 beneficiaries,” Michael says, smiling. “So now we have 1,000 happy people.”
rom the municipality right down to the barangay
For decades, Antonio could only afford to display
and sitio, the people of Dumalag have prepared as
his handcrafted furniture pieces outside his house. This
best as they could for the coming of Super-Typhoon
proved limiting: without a stall to display his wares, he
relied instead on word-of-mouth recommendations,
and would often make his furniture on a per order basis.
government infrastructures - including the municipal
Worse, during Yolanda, much of the furniture was
hall, public market and civic center - were devastated
by the typhoon’s sheer unstoppable magnitude. At the local civic center, for example, the roof was blown away by the gale-force winds. There, witnesses could only watch on as gutters flew inside the civic center, circling around in close and dangerous vicinity to those nearby.
RAY DILG FUNDS
Department of Health staff Anne Milady Flora
et, with the arrival of RAY DILG funds, repairs
Since then, Antonio has been able to take the
could then be made to quickly return the civic
opportunity to display his wares in the newly-repaired
center to its former glory. “The ‘Smoke Free Caravan’
local market. With his own stall, that also doubles as a
was recently held in our civic center, with participants
larger workspace, he can now showcase his range in a
from the whole province attending,” Anne Milady Flora
from Department of Health says proudly.
In the nearby municipal hall, RAY DILG-funded
Meanwhile, at the public market, local furniture
repair of the roof and
maker Antonio Faco explained how RAY DILG-
installation of new glass
funded repairs provided him with an almost entirely
doors and windows has
also helped bring life back to normal. Mayor
Eriberto V. Castro Jr. was very pleased with the funding assistance extended
because their municipal hall
Mayor Amado Eriberto V. Castro, Jr
repaired, but it was napatibay (made more resilient). “In an event that a Super Typhoon with the same strength of Yolanda would hit Dumalag, our facility will be able to withstand it,” he says. The people of Dumalag are grateful for the assistance provided to their municipality. The municipal hall has now resumed normal operations. The public market has been rebuilt to directly benefit the local businesses, and the community is once again free to use its civic center for social and cultural activities. Local furniture maker Antonio Faco. 133
n Dumarao, the local public market experienced significant
Yolanda. Yet it provided the community with a unique opportunity to improve that which had been destroyed, and make it more resilient. “Even before Yolanda, the market area was not that busy,” Marlyn D. Camesa, a local vendor, explained. “We only have a few market goers. Our primary customers were passengers who would stopover or drop off at the transport terminal, beside the market.” As
improvements were made to help ensure that the market would better serve both vendors and clients. “We now have two market buildings: this means that more people are coming in the market,” says Marlyn. “It is a big deal for us. When our sales improve, it is a good indication that the marketplace and community are recovering,” she adds. Since its repair, the market now operates twice a week: Mondays and Fridays. In the past, it had functioned only once each week. To protect against future calamities, the market’s structure has also been reinforced to ensure that these achievements remain. For Municipal Mayor Leslie Warren Benjamin, the improvements are also striking. “We are happy that our proposal for the rehabilitation of the public market was granted,” he says.
(Top to bottom) Local vendor Marlyn D. Camesa, Dumarao Mayor Leslie Warren Benjamin, The newly-rehabilitated Dumarao Public Market 134
Local schoolchildren pose for a group photo with Panitan Mayor Generoso D. Derramas and school Principal Maria Lea O. Dais in the newly-rehabilitated civic center.
trategically located between the local secondary
“I wanted the students to know their own history,”
and elementary schools, the Panitan Civic Center
Micle explains, “to know when this gym was first built,
provides a vital space for the municipality’s young
and who the founders of our community were. I wanted
people to gather, learn and socialize.
them to know that even after what happened, even after
As Mayor Generoso D. Derramas explains, “the
the typhoon, they belong to this place.”
gym is very important to us. It is very symbolic for the town, strategic for the school, and symbolizes the greatness of Panitan.” Yet the structure of the building was no match for the magnitude of Yolanda. With much of the roofing damaged, much of the surrounding area would be deemed unfit for use.
ith the civic center now repaired, “our normal life has returned,” Maria Lea says, proudly.
“We can again use our gym for sports, music, arts and
As routine activities were cancelled, students, many of whom had experienced trauma during the disaster, were especially affected by the loss. Afterwards, “there
‘WE HAVE DEVELOPED OUR CONTINGENCY PLANS’
performance, and for activity-based courses.” After Yolanda, vital lessons were learned that will also serve to protect the lives of students, their families,
and the community in times of disaster. “We have now
school Principal Maria Lea O. Dais remembers. “We
developed contingency plans on how to respond during
also worried that our students would become prone to
future calamities, and we provide this information
dengue (an illness made more prevalent by stagnant
regularly to our students,” Maria Lea explains.
‘THESE STUDENTS BELONG TO THIS PLACE’
or Micle S. Haguisan, a Social Sciences teacher, the civic center holds particular significance. It is there
that he and his colleagues maintain a small ‘museum’ that showcases the history, artifacts, key figures and culture of Panitan. When Yolanda struck, Micle feared that much of this irreplaceable history would be lost. Fortunately, much of these artifacts survived: and since then, improvements can ensure their continued safety. 135
(Clockwise from top right) The newly-rehabilitated Panitan Civic Center - June 2015. Panitan Mayor Generoso D. Derramas poses with staff and students from Panitan High School. Panitan High School Social Sciences teacher Micle S. Haguisan (second from left) poses with Mayor Generoso, Principal Maria Lea, and staff from the LGU and the civic center, in the school’s history “museum” located in the newlyrehabilitated Panitan Civic Center. “I wanted the students to know their own history,” he says. 136
ost days, visitors to the municipality to Pilar can expect to visit the local civic center and see a
hive of activity underway. Situated right in front of the municipal hall, the civic center is a one-stop venue for all municipal activities - meeting, seminars, sports and even zumba sessions - every afternoon. “It’s an ‘all-in-one’ facility, and the only such facility we have,” Mayor Gideon Ike R. Patricio explains. “We use the civic center for almost every activity in town.” The building also houses municipal vehicles, which provide a vital means of access to nearby coastal and mountainous areas. Badly damaged by Typhoon Yolanda, support from the ray dilg fund has now provided for largescale repairs that helped the community return to their regular activities. These include the distribution of relief funds, and the roll-out of programs from other National Government Agencies (NGA). During future calamities, the civic center will also serve the municipality as an evacuation center. “While we didn’t hope that a strong typhoon like Yolanda will destroy it, at least we are thankful that, through the ray dilg fund, the building could be reinforced and improved. Fragile sections have now been replaced, and the building is much stronger than before,” Mayor Gideon added.
Top: Pilar Mayor Gideon Ike R. Patricio Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Pilar Civic Center - June 2015
Pontevedra Municipal Engineer Zaldy B. Bitbit
n our municipal hall, after Yolanda, everything stopped,” Zaldy B. Bitbit, the local municipal
engineer, explains. “We had to cease operations since almost everything was damaged - the roof, ceilings, flooring, doors and windows.” Immediately following the disaster, the lgu repaired some of the damage to ensure that basic services could be resumed. Later, the municipality received funding from both the dilg and dpwh for remaining repairs, including that of the extensively damaged session hall. Neither
With support from ray dilg funds, the market was repaired. “It wasn’t just repaired to its previous state, but
repaired roll-up door for
was improved a lot,” Erlie explains. “I can say that
easy public access. As community
DSWD community welfare assistant Rowena O. Villas
welfare assistant explains, it is perhaps one of the most significant venues in the municipality: an important gathering point for young and old alike. “This is the biggest facility in Pontevedra, so it’s used by almost everyone for sports, cultural and school activities,” she says. In Pontevedra, as with many Yolanda-affected communities, the continued functioning of the local civic center is vital to ensuring continued delivery of public services. “This is where we conduct seminars for beneficiaries from across the entire municipality, including the 4Ps program,” she explains. 138
the space once occupied by these same vendors, before
again, from scratch.”
new air-vents, and a
available at each stall, is a marked improvement on
stalls - and goods - were destroyed. We had to start
Rowena O. Villas, a local
clearly marked with the names, locations and produce
properly,” Erlie says. “So when Yolanda happened, our
frames were installed, with
is busy, selling locally-grown rice among the aisles
filled with vendors. The spacious dry-foods section,
it was difficult to secure and protect all our items
dilg funds, new steel along
earby in Pontevedra Public Market, Erlie B. Dadivas
“The old market wasn’t sturdy, and when it rained,
spared by Yolanda. With from
PONTEVEDRA PUBLIC MARKET: ‘NOT JUST REPAIRED, BUT IMPROVED’
the local civic center support
Pontevedra market vendor Erlie B. Dadivas
I speak on behalf of all the rice vendors here, when I say that our market is more stable. The stalls aren’t so congested anymore. We don’t need to stress or worry when it rains, as the roof is resilient, and my products are protected.”
t was like the world had ended.”
into the sections that survived,” he says. “It was very
That’s how Menche Franciso, a feeds and rice
vendor from President Roxas, Capiz, describes the
difficult to work, with such a large number of employees in such a small area.”
arrival of Typhoon Yolanda.
“We were told about it, but didn’t expect it to be that strong,” he says. “We experienced big losses in areas of business, livelihood, housing - almost everything.”
ermy E. Rolete, an area coordinator of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
(dswd), explains how the civic center is vital to the department’s effective function in the municipality. “Once the center was repaired, we could use it for a number of
our activities,” he says. “As we are one of the distributing
for Emergency Shelter Assistance
President Roxas market vendor Menche Francisco
funds, we conduct all The local civic center had served as a preassigned
our consultations and
evacuation center. Most of those who sought refuge
forums here. We also
there were those from hard-hit coastal areas, Joseph D.
use this space to gather
Fabian, the center’s caretaker, explains.
our volunteers together
“I was in the civic center at that time,” he remembers. “I helped the local government and the
Area coordinator Hermy E. Rolete, of the Departmnet of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
training,” he adds.
evacuees. I witnessed how the roof was slowly ripped
With a new roof and ceiling installed in the nearby
away… Children were crying. It was a crazy experience
municipal hall, staff can now enjoy the comfortable
because the evacuees would move to a new area of the
and presentable space, engineer Ramon says. “We even
facility as each section of the roof was being destroyed
added more offices to accommodate our employees and
avoid overcrowding.” Those homes
President Roxas Civic Center caretaker Joseph D. Fabian
At the market, “I
am satisfied with the
destroyed would stay
repairs done,” Menche
in the center for more
says. “Aside from us
than a week afterwards,
(the vendors), even our
customers say that it’s
would returning to the
market errands in. This
market to clean up, and
continue selling the few
aside from those from
products that remained.
President Roxas Municipal Engineer Ramon G. Burgos
The nearby municipal hall also sustained
town proper, the market also
significant damage. As Ramon G. Burgos explains, the
people from the upland barangays, even other nearby
impact of this was longer-term. “Since most of the roof
and ceiling were damaged, the employees jam-packed 139
or engineer Ardieli A. Ambrosio, the lessons of
Yolanda will remain with the community of Roxas
City for a lifetime. “The scare
strong winds did,” he said.
in the coastal areas had
“Even though we have experienced other signal City engineer Ardieli D. Ambrosio
number 3 typhoons, the last time I’d experienced
a typhoon like Yolanda was in 1984, with Typhoon Undang,” he remembers. “Some of the areas in Roxas City were flooded, but not so much in the city proper,” he says. Instead, it was the powerful winds that would see an estimated ninety percent of the roofs in the city hall, public market and civic center destroyed. At the local market, Rainier M. Cargando, market supervisor, remembers the impact of the damage. “With no roof, when it rains outside, it rains inside,” he says. “We’d receive complaints from the vendors, as this would damage the goods that make up their livelihood. In the rice section especially, everything would get wet.” City engineers were tasked with preparing the repair works to follow. Ardieli
n the city hall, a new roof, gutter and ceiling were installed, and downspouts replaced to better prevent
leaks in the building during heavy rains. “When Typhoon Ruby arrived (in December 2014),
the city hall served as one of our evacuation centers,”
“Right after Yolanda, we prepared for the budget costing,”
Market supervisor Rainier M. Cargando poses with vendors in the newly-rehabilitated Roxas City Public Market.
Ardieli explains. At first, “we had generators here so
the people were able to charge their phones.” Later, the
whether we’d have enough for rehabilitation, given
center was used to house those who lost their homes
the widespread impact and immediate need. Then we
during the disaster. “For fifteen days, we placed them in
learned about the funding assistance from ray dilg.”
the civic center until such time that we could provide them with more permanent shelter.” At the market, recovery would take some more time, as vendors had first to repair their houses before returning to their stalls. Fortunately, a more sustained recovery has allowed time for more resilient measures to be established, says Rainier. “We are used to typhoon signal number 3 so we assumed that we can withstand Yolanda,” he says. “Now we’ve learned, and have ensured that our houses are stronger in preparation for future calamities.”
The newly-rehabilitated Roxas City Civic Center - June 2015
n Capiz, the small coastal town of Sapian was
graduations have been held in this unique venue.
among those hardest hit by Yolanda. Among the ten
barangays that make up the municipality, an estimated 5,000 families - or some 24,000 people - were affected in the Super Typhoon’s immediate aftermath.
HAGUPIT: ‘A TEST OF RESILIENCE’
he following year,
Marlyn O. Arcangeles, a local ukay-ukay vendor, remembers how in the days prior, officials from the
with the impending
drrmC roamed around the town with a sound system,
Ruby, the civic center
announcing the expected arrival of Typhoon Yolanda.
would again serve as an
evacuation center: its
Renato Roldan shared
first test of resilience,
since the rehabilitation.
that time. “The team
The citizens of Sapian
from the drrmC drove
prepared as best they
along the shore and
advised the people to go
Retired local teacher Renato Roldan
Local farmer Roberto D. Opino Jr.
to the highlands, as the
Ruby came, the people were more prepared and more
area is prone to storm
alert. Everybody immediately cooperated with the
evacuation. The trauma that Yolanda left us with
As Yolanda neared, some
served as a lesson to us, so that people are now more cooperative,” Roberto says.
first evacuated to the Sapian civic center. Yet it could
Most importantly, the citizens of Sapian remained
not withstand the sheer force of Yolanda: fearing for
safe and protected within the repaired structure. “At
their lives, evacuees then fled into a nearby elementary
that time, the structure was not damaged, which shows
school. Yet the Super Typhoon would destroy even this
that it is more typhoon resilient,” he added.
secondary evacuation point. Terrified,“we had nowhere to go,” Roberto D. Opino Jr. said.
CHANGES - SOME, FOR THE BETTER
here was no question that the town of Sapian has been forever changed by the events of Yolanda. In the nearby public market, the roof was
significantly damaged. Yet, as Marlyn describes, “after the rehabilitation, it became more convenient for us to work here.” The roof has since been repaired, and made more structurally resilient. On market days, volantes vendors often visit from other towns: added aisles and better stall arrangements now mean these groups can now be comfortable accommodated in the shared space. The newly-repaired civic center is also now a more spacious and convenient space for local patrons. “There is no civic center like this in the whole of Capiz,” Roberto says, proudly. “It is one-of-a-kind.” Since Yolanda, meetings, gatherings, weddings and 142
Local market vendor Marlyn O. Arcangeles
‘WE ALL REALLY LEARNED’
he municipality of Tapaz, situated inland in the western part of Capiz, is home to 58 barangays,
some in remote, mountainous areas. Conscious of the need to disseminate information far and wide, municipal Mayor Rosemary F. Gardose sought to prepare the community early for Super Typhoon
ith support from ray dilg funds, the public market has since been repaired. For vendors
like Heidi, the changes have been a step in the right
direction. “The space is bigger, and more organized,” she says. “We also now have more space for our products. It feels more resilient.” “Yolanda was the strongest typhoon I ever experienced,” she adds. “We really learned from it. That’s why when Typhoon Ruby arrived, we really prepared and secured all our products.” The municipality has also established broader and more resilient communications practices after Yolanda, providing additional cell phones and radios to barangays - especially to those upland and other
Tapaz Mayor Rosemary F. Gardose
Yolanda. “We have a municipal risk and disaster office,” she explains, “and this meant that we were able to make the people in our community aware of what was happening. I think that’s why we had so few casualties: only two, a very young child, and one very old person.” Instead of the coastal storm surges often associated with Typhoon Yolanda, the municipality
Local market vendor Heidi A. Ga’an
experienced widespread damage as a result of the typhoon’s gale force winds.
At the local market, where many go to purchase
“After Yolanda, we had Ruby, but we were much
food supplies for themselves and their families, entire
more prepared,” Mayor Rosemary adds. “We didn’t have
sections had collapsed. “The roof fell down over my
to really tell our community: ‘you need to evacuate!’
stall,” explained Heidi A. Ga’an, herself a vendor for
They just did. We also have our disaster volunteers
over two decades. “Then many of my products (shoes
who spread out, along the flood-prone barangay areas:
and clothing) were stolen.”
they have their own equipment, their own preparations, their own initiatives after the experience of the Super Typhoon.”
AKLAN Jodel Rentillo of Radyo Todo-Aklan jumped on his motorbike and began patrolling Kalibo’s streets, reporting the situation as Yolanda neared. When the storm struck, Rentillo said the streets became a deadly obstacle course of toppling electricity poles and trees and flying debris. As he drove by a fallen pole, a power line whipped by the wind struck him on the face and caused his bike to flip. Fortunately, the incident happened before all telecommunications signals went dead and he was able to alert his colleagues to come to his aid. ‘In the Eye of the Storm: Reeling from Yolanda, Panay’s community journalists soldier on’ Interaksyon.com 9 December 2013
uring the onslaught of Typhoon Frank some five years earlier, much of Aklan province was flooded,
wrecking extensive damage upon riverside areas. As a result, many in Aklan were especially prepared in the leadup to Super Typhoon Yolanda. “Especially those in flood-prone areas,” Galo
explains, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PDRRM) Executive Officer of Aklan Province, Galo I. Ibardolaza
(Pdrrm ) Officer
Province. “Many of the people
their own accord. This was a great difference to what took place during Typhoon Frank.” Local disaster risk teams also prepared extensively. “One week beforehand, we monitored the situation 24/7,” Galo explains. “We studied the impact it may cause to the province of Aklan, and prepared ourselves.” These early preparations were seen to save lives in the province. “During Frank we had 62 casualties, but when Yolanda came - which was much stronger than Frank
hallenges arose as the local civic center - itself an evacuation center - was badly damaged during
Yolanda, especially the roof and windows. With support from ray dilg funds, “the repairs were completed almost immediately,” Galo says. “From jalousie windows, we had them changed to aluminum, which can better withstand future calamities.”
- we had 14 deaths, with six of these due to earlier
As a result, the civic center is now a safer and more
sicknesses and heart attack,” Galo explains. “From
resilient space in which to hold provincial activities. Yet
(these figures) alone, we can see that the people of
while it remains an identified evacuation center, some
Aklan were more prepared.”
challenges and opportunities for improvement remain. “It is still not an ideal evacuation center,” Galo says. “We all know what an ideal evacuation center is - one with a room for breastfeeding mothers, a playground for children and a decent place to sleep. I really hope that the national government could address these concerns because it will be very helpful to the Aklanons.1
has since partnered with Australian Volunteers
for International Development (AVID) to release the Build Back Better Operations Manual, designed to address the needs of all members of the community in efforts to rehabilitate and repair damaged infrastructure. For more information, and to download a free copy of the manual, please
The newly-rehabilitated Aklan Province Civic Center - August 2015
visit: www.bit.ly/1PL6j2Z. 145
efore Yolanda reached their town, Mabel Marcelino and her co-vendors in the Altavas public market
had struggled in the hot and cramped conditions, where she had worked for almost five years.
“(Yolanda) was very strong,” Mabel explains. “It damaged the roof of the market and as a result, goods were damaged. It was especially challenging for us to work after Yolanda because every time it rained, everything would get soaked,”she added. The repair of the public market was a big help to the vendors. The new roof means that the vendors can now move freely and display their products properly. “It is really beautiful now. Unlike before it was not even safe for our products. Stealing was very rampant. Now there are security guards around and proper lighting.” “Thank you for the help extended to us for the repair of our market,” Mabel says. “Now we are in a better and secure working area.”
(Top to bottom) The newly-rehabilitated Altavas Public Market - August 2015, Altavas local market vendor Mabel Marcelino.
ayor Erlinda M. Maming searched for words to describe the harrowing sounds of
Typhoon Yolanda as it neared the town of Banga, Aklan. “At my age, it was my first time to hear a crying wind,” Mayor Erlinda explained. “It was like the sound of a crying cat, only much louder.” As Yolanda made landfall, Mayor Erlinda witnessed how the roofing of Banga civic center was blown away, piece by piece. The center, constructed largely of light materials, could not withstand the sheer force of the Super Typhoon. “It was unbelievable,” he said. Two years on, the exterior of center looks almost just as it did prior to Yolanda. Inside, however, the civic center has been rebuilt with resiliency measures in mind. “The project is very beneficial not just to our town but to our neighboring municipalities as well. Most of the social and religious activities are being done in our civic center. The funding assistance was a big help because the lgu couldn’t afford the rehabilitation project. It was not just repaired, it was strengthened to withstand future calamities, “ Mayor Erlinda added.
The newly-rehabilitated Banga Civic Center - August 2015
riel Dormido, a local market vendor, shared that even before the arrival of Yolanda, the roof of
the market had been in need of repair. “Our market can accommodate us,” Ariel explains, “but our major problem is the roofing. It was rusty with many holes in it: a problem for us during rainy season.” Then Typhoon Yolanda arrived, blowing the roofing off the building almost entirely. “It was very difficult post-Yolanda,” Ariel says. “We had to find ways for us to survive, and the market is our source of living. We returned to the market to sell our goods, and used rice sacks as our temporary roofing.” Not long after, new roofing sheets, along with new drainage - funded by the RAY DILG funds - were installed as permanent replacement. “Now we don’t worry anymore about leaks and our safety while working,” Ariel says.
Batan public market vendor Ariel Dormido.
MET WITH MUDDY WATER
hile few could have imagined its sheer force, multiple disaster prevention measures were
undertaken in Kalibo, Aklan during the lead-up to Super-Typhoon Yolanda.
t was very challenging because the flood, high tide and water from the upland areas of Libacao and
Madalag flowed into Kalibo, all at the same time. Our
neared, four evacuation
municipal hall was flooded, not with typical sea water,
but with muddy water,” Mayor William shared.
The muddy flood was responsible for the most
of the damage. Some houses, losing their foundations,
centers. and Kalibo Mayor William S. Lachica
Immediately, both citizens and local government
officials teamed up to focus on clean-up efforts:
not just in the municipal hall, but within the entire
“The people were tired - and so were we, the
to help those in need:
officials,” Mayor William remembers. “We gathered the
to assist with relief efforts, heavy equipment was
toppled trees to clean up our roads. We dug drains that
strategically placed in the local plaza. In remote areas,
had clogged due to the mud. Though it was very tiring,
barangay captains were provided with handsets to
we knew that we needed to clear these areas to ensure
deliver vital information to help central command
our fast recovery.”
officials. These efforts to inform and prepare the public were especially effective, Mayor William S. Lachica explains, as many local citizens had first packed their things in plastic, before evacuating. “The people were very cooperative,” Mayor WIlliam says. “And the people here are tulong tulong (very helpful) to one another.”
s the community moved forward from Typhoon Yolanda, they were again challenged by the
coming of Typhoons Ruby and Seniang. As a result, extra precautions were taken. “Our people had suffered trauma as result of past typhoons,”
“After Yolanda we went out to every barangay,”
the Mayor explains. “The moment they learned about
the Mayor explained. “We identified what had been
Ruby and Seniang, they packed their things, went to the
damaged, especially homes and crops. And we thanked
evacuation centers or to their relatives who live in safer
God that there were no casualties.”
and sturdier houses. When they left their houses, they tied bamboo to the roof to ensure that it would not be easily blown off by strong winds.” “That’s why we’d like to thank the dilg for these funds,” Mayor William added. “You can see that all the people here in Kalibo are now stable, and our the houses and our roads are now fully recovered.”
The newly-rehabilitated Kalibo Municipal Hall 149
aving experienced the destruction wrought by Typhoon Frank in 2008, the people of Ibajay were
proactive in their preparations for Super Typhoon
ue to its strategic location, the civic center served as an evacuation center during Yolanda, namely
for communities from coastal and upland areas.
Yet, despite all preparations, much of the civic
evacuation centers had
center could not withstand the sheer magnitude of the
already been properly
breaking all the jalousie
DRRM trainings with
windows before blowing
local communities had
off the roofing.
had been purchased, and Rodel E. Cambrian
‘PREPARATIONS NEVER STOP’
these challenges, with support
DILG funds, the civic
center is now entirely
and the community had long since been established. Then, five days before Yolanda was due to make landfall nearby, they mobilized and prepared.
repaired. Learning from the lessons from both calamities, the facility
Barangay Captain Jose-Rodenio Salilid
“We followed each of the preparation stages
has since been made more resilient: jalousie windows
strictly, according to procedure,” Rodel E. Cambrian
have since been changed to awnings, while an insulator
explained. “We had rescue volunteers in place to help
was also installed to absorb extreme heat during
identify the evacuation centers. We involved all the
community activities. “Preparations for the next disaster never
local chief executives (LCE). The communication was open. Our LCEs were just a text away,” Rodel says.
stops,”Jose-Rodenio Salilid, a local barangay captain, added.
Ibajay Civic Center - August 2015 150
or police inspector (PSI) Al Loren P. Bigay, like many of those in New Washington, Aklan, the
sheer magnitude of Typhoon Yolanda was beyond all expectations. Long since the home of the PNP and other government agencies, the municipal building in New Washington was extensively damaged during Yolanda. “The roofing of the old municipal building was blown away, and it took months for it to be repaired,” he says. Once again operational, the building has since been made more resilient. Painted bright orange, it is also now more visible to the public.
Police Inspector (PSI) Al Loren P. Bigay
The newly-rehabilitated New Washington Municipal Hall
DISASTER RESILIENT, INSIDE AND OUT
“After Yolanda, people here are now responsive to early warnings,” the officer said. “Yet it is still a learning process. We conduct regular drills and
et these seemingly minor physical changes
working towards educating the community on having
are minor, when compared to the significant
their personal initiative to prepare their homes,
shifts in attitudes towards disaster prevention in the
surroundings and themselves before a typhoon arrives,”
ANTIQUE It used to be a rural paradise but Typhoon Haiyan’s wrath turned it into a desolate place. Mary Jane, 31, a resident of the coastal village of Lindero in the town of Barbaza says she watched other nipa huts and trees blown away by the strong winds. “We evacuated when the winds and the rain became really strong; the sirens of the fire trucks warned us to begin evacuation,” says Mary Jane. Lolita Espares, 69, said that despite efforts to prepare for the typhoon, there was no way they could prepare themselves for the fury of Typhoon Yolanda, one of the world’s strongest typhoons in recent memory. “My elder sister died not because of the typhoon but because of fear. Never in my life have I seen such a very strong typhoon; it almost destroyed our properties and it brought so much fear,” she recounts The fallen and leafless trees you saw on the road are like us Filipinos, they have been blown away by the typhoon, but it will grow again”, says Alice, a retired high school teacher. ‘North Antique survivor recall horrors of Yolanda’ The Daily Guardian 27 November 2013
n Barbaza, Antique both the local municipal hall and the public market suffered extensive damage during
Typhoon Yolanda. Yet few would have imagined the benefits afforded by continued ray dilg-funded rehabilitation efforts. “There was significant damage to the Department
of Social Welfare and Development (dswd) office at the second floor of the municipal building,” Sally Balgos explains.
Barbaza Mayor Gerry Necor with RAY DILG staff - May 2015
Since then, the dswd has transferred to a new office that is far more tailored to the ongoing needs of their clients. They can now enjoy greater privacy, and conduct closed-door counselling sessions. Similarly, “in our previous office, we didn’t have enough space to hold meetings with our entire 29-person team,” Sally says. “We’d have to find someplace else to gather everyone together. Now, we can fit everyone in.” Nearby, at the local public market, rehabilitation efforts have also improved conditions. Jonita C. Bautista, a local vendor, shared
The ‘new’ market has since been reinforced
that the old market
with concrete, making it sturdier and safer. It is more
was smaller and made
spacious, and roll-up doors make it easy for the vendors
of light materials: and
to close their stalls at night.
as a result, was more
“The ray fund from dilg was the first and
vulnerable to weather
largest amount of money our municipality received
for the rehabilitation projects after Typhoon Yolanda,”
“Since the market
Mayor Gerry Necor says.
was made from nipa
“Through these projects, the people regained
hut material, it didn’t
their trust and confidence on the local and national
provide us with enough
government. It was an indication for them that the
protection when it rained,” she says. “We usually
government works hand in hand with them towards
experience leaks which either wet us, or the products
recovery and normalcy,” he adds.
Barbaza market vendor Jonita C. Bautista
we sell.” 153
Stall in the newly-rehabilitated Barbaza Public Market
nbelievable.” In a word, Mayor Bernard N. Pescayo
summed up the experience of Super Typhoon Yolanda in his municipality of Bugasong, Antique. Despite widespread damage, “we were still lucky,” he said. “Our municipal hall, market and civic center were not totally damaged, despite this being the strongest typhoon we have experienced.” In each of the buildings, most of the roofs, gutters, steel trusses and beams were destroyed, each victims of Yolanda’s galeforce winds. At the municipal hall, despite the tough conditions,
employees continued in their efforts to provide local citizens with access to basic government services.
Bugasong Mayor Bernard N. Pescayo. Courtesy: Bugasong Online
The newly-rehabilitated Bugasong Municipal Hall
“It was difficult for officials to function after Yolanda,” Mario Z. Galela, a municipal employee, explains. “It was hard for us to address the needs of
“The employees are now feel safe and at ease when
our people as we ourselves were struggling inside the
it rains. Even when strong rains will occur at night time,
they don’t need to worry about their documents and office equipment inside the building,” he says.
REHABILITATION WITH RAY DILG FUNDS
For Mario, the differences are not only physical, some are intangible, but both were especially welcome. “The ambiance of the municipal hall has changed
s ray dilg funds arrived, “we were able to
completely, it really improved,” he says. “This new
rehabilitate the market, civic center and most
look boosted our staff’s morale in facing our clients:
especially our municipal hall, which received the
we feel more presentable, and comfortable than ever.”
biggest allocation,” Mayor Bernard says. 155
The annual Senior Citizens Congress, held in the newly-rehabilitated San Remegio Civic Center.
long with destruction, Yolanda also brought with it great change to the municipality of San Remigio,
Antique. While the local civic center - partially-damaged by Yolanda - remains standing, it no longer serves as the town’s main municipal facility. With the support of ray dilg funds, and with disaster resilience in mind, local officials instead constructed a new municipal facility in a safer land area.
Noli Valenzuela, project development officer of DSWD, with friends at the newly-rehabilitated San Remegio Civic Center.
Last October 2014, the newly completed venue
our school activities - such as graduation and division
played host a Provincial Senior Citizen’s Congress for
wide contests, like the Children’s Congress - are usually
the entire province.
held in the civic center, where there is space for all
“We were the first one to use the new civic center
participants,” Noli says.
after it was constructed,” says Noli Valenzuela, a project
“Our municipality learned so much from Typhoon
development officer with dswd. “The Congress was
Yolanda,” he explained. “We have strengthened our
attended by 1,000 participants from 18 municipalities.”
drrm practices by conducting regular trainings, from the municipal down to the barangay level.”
‘ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY’
chools, citizens and other government agencies
use it for all our activities – sports, cultural, academic,
have also benefited from the new and expansive
social, name it. It is where we gather, and feel like a one
space. “Our central school doesn’t have a gym, so all of
“The civic center is really essential and significant to each and every one of us here in San Remegio. We
big happy family,” he added.
s with many affected regions, during the hours
improvement in our municipal hall. It’s very unique
before Yolanda reached Sebaste, Antique, the
and more beautiful,” the Vice Mayor adds.
weather was surprisingly calm and clear.
With a spacious ground floor area, municipal
“People were asking each other whether the
employees can now provide a more comfortable space
typhoon had hit us already,” Leonaris D. Dionela, a
for visitors. Others described how having a more
local planning officer, remembers. “No one wanted to
presentable office gives them greater confidence at
believe that it could affect us in such a way.”
work, and how employees, especially those in the
Yet when Yolanda hit, “the strength of the typhoon was unbelievable, and totally unexpected,” Leonaris says. “Almost everyone cried at the surreal situation we had found ourselves in.”
Treasurer and Accessor’s office, need no longer work in overcrowded spaces. “Now it seems like I am working in Malacañang... The Malacañang of Antique,” Leonaris says, cheerfully.
‘The Malacanang of Antique’ - Sebaste Municipal Hall, May 2015
“These bright and
‘THE MALACAÑANG OF ANTIQUE’
spacious offices have
t the local municipal hall, roof, ceilings and
had a positive impact
windows were extensively damaged. In the
on us here,” Vice Mayor
immediate aftermath, despite having client files,
computers and office equipment destroyed, staff were
tasked with continued efforts to provide basic post-
especially after what our
“It was difficult time,” Leonaris says. “At that time,
explains, the municipal hall has had a total make-over.
if it was raining outside, it was raining inside also.” Since then, Vice Mayor Noracil B. Azucena
Sebaste Vice Mayor Noracil B. Azucena
“Our clients commend our new municipal building. People here were surprised and delighted to see the 157
N E G RO S O C C I D E N TA L More than 50,000 Negrenses had been displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda in Negros Occidental, but no life was lost, local officials said on Friday, November 8. Provincial social welfare officer Liane Garcia said the Super Typhoon left 21,753 evacuees in 16 towns and cities. Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr, who went to the northern part of the province early Friday morning to check the extent of damage wrought by Yolanda, the cities of Sagay, Cadiz, Escalante, and Toboso were the hardest hit. Trees were uprooted by strong winds, blocking major thoroughfares in Sagay and Cadiz cities. Flying roofs threatened those in residential areas. ‘More than 50,000 evacuated in Negros Occidental’ Rappler.com 9 November 2013
egros Occidental, known as the ‘sugar bowl’ of the Philippines for its vibrant sugar industry, was not
spared by Typhoon Yolanda. As it struck Western Visayas, the towns of Northern Negros Occidental including Manapla, Cadiz City, Escalante City, and Sagay City were badly affected. The Provincial Government estimated that almost 113,000 Negrenses sought refuge in 193 evacuation centers across in 29 cities and municipalities. The typhoon also flattened huge swathes of the agriculture (rice and corn), fishery and sugar industry. In Cadiz City, situated in the northernmost part of Negros Occidental, gale-force winds and heavy rain felled trees and electricity poles, cutting power to much of the municipality. The local municipal hall, along with more than 70% of homes, were also damaged.
Soon after, repairs supported by ray dilg funds began. “It was implemented smoothly,” Rolando says. “First, we transferred to another building while construction was underway. The contractor also installed barricades and measures in the site to ensure our safety. “Once repaired, our staff were thankful to have such a new and pleasant working place. Now, staff and clients can now transact their business efficiently. The new painting in the building also brightened up the whole office. Most of the colors in our building are pastel colors- pink and light green. It looks cool for an engineering office!” With rehabilitation comes hope for better preparation. “I hope that our new building can surpass another typhoon, because it’s more resilient, compared
(L-R) Super Typhoon Yolanda saw extensive damage to homes and infrastructure in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental. November 2013. The newly-rehabilitated Cadiz City Engineering’s Office
‘THEN, YOLANDA CAME’
olando T. Lumanas, a local carpenter and maintenance construction worker, remembers the
challenges that emerged in the immediate aftermath. “The extent of the devastation made it hard for us to determine where to start our rehabilitation,” he says.
to the previous structure. We really pray that calamity with the same strength as Yolanda will not come and harm our community again. But, we are more prepared now – early warning and advisory are in placed in preparation for upcoming calamities.”
Yet in some respects, ray dilg funds provided key opportunities to rehabilitate buildings that were long since in need of repair. “Before Typhoon Yolanda came, the situation in our workplace (the municipal hall) was very sad,” he says. “Our motor pool and engineering office were old structures in need of repair and maintenance. Then, Yolanda came and devastated the building, and our office was not workable since there was no roofing to shade us.” 159
TYPHOON YOLANDA IN REGION IV- B MIMAROPA
PA L AWA N The last leg of Super Typhoon Yolanda’s (Haiyan’s) destructive journey was in Busuanga, Palawan. There, the typhoon made its 6th and last landfall Friday night (November 8) before it left the country in the afternoon of Saturday, November 9. At least 90 percent of the houses and hotels in a major tourism destination in Palawan were either damaged or destroyed during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda, according to Coron Mayor Clara Reyes. At least 11,000 people were affected by the typhoon in Coron, one of the two municipalities in the island of Busuanga. She said most residents were reluctant to evacuate because typhoons rarely pass through the island municipality. “Nahirapan kami kumbinsihin sila na lumikas dahil ito ang unang bagyo na dumating sa amin in 100 years. Tinatanong ko nga ‘yung mga matatanda, hindi pa daw sila nakakaranas ng ganoong bagyo. (It was hard for us to convince them to evacuate because it was the first typhoon that hit our municipality in 100 years. I asked the elders, they have not experience that kind of typhoon),” Reyes said. 14 Palawan towns under state of calamity’ Rappler.com 16 November 2013 ‘With all hotels damaged, Coron recovery may take up to a year - mayor’ GMA Network 11 November 2013
efore exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), Yolanda made its sixth and final landfall at
around 8:00 pm in the far-western province of Palawan. The municipality of Busuanga, Palawan, serves as the gateway for tourists to reach the popular town of Coron, and other neighboring island municipalities. It was there that some 688 households from its nine barangays were affected by Typhoon Yolanda, while in the island barangays, at least 260 families were also affected. Both the local municipal hall and civic center sustained significant damage, with roofs, ceilings and electrical wiring in need of extensive repair. “The rebuilding of our municipal hall and civic center resulted in more efficient services and convenience for our constituents,” municipal engineer Marlo M. Dagomboy, explains. “We also repainted, and included provisions for better fire protection. In the civic center, the benches were also modified.” Yolanda’s last landfall in Northern Palawan badly affected the tourism industry, especially vital services including hotels, cottages and pump boats. With support from a range of national government agencies and international ornanizations, recovery in Busuanga continues.
Bottom: The newly-rehabilitated Busuanga Municipal Hall - June 2015
LOOKING AHEAD As ray Batch 1 projects near completion, the ray program has since begun the second-phase of repair projects. From March-May 2015, funds were released to lgus for ray Batch 2. With funding allocation of Php 2.0 Billion, the focus of ray Batch 2 is repair of totally and partially-damaged barangay facilities (barangay halls, day care centers and civic centers), along with municipal facilities not included in the initial (Batch 1) phase. The final phase of ray dilg-funded projects will be separated into two clusters: ray Batch 3, Groups A and B. The request for the release of funds was submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on May 13, 2015 for ray Batch 3: Group A, and August 20, 2015 for ray Batch 3: Group B.
TO THE lgus
Php 2.012 Billion
Php 2.0 Billion
Php 1.24 Billion
Php 2.18 Billion
Municipal Facilities: 1
Provincial/City/Municipal Halls, Public Markets, Civic Centers Barangay Facilities: Barangay Halls, Barangay Day Care Centers,
Barangay Civic Centers Additional Municipal Facilities (not included in
Batch 1) Municipal Infrastructures Group A: Additional Municipal and Barangay Facilities (not included in Batch 1 & 2), 3
Water Supply Systems Group B: Terminals, Drainages, Flood Control Systems, Justice Halls, Other Municipal and Barangay Facilities (not funded in Group A)
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Mar Roxas
Secretary of the DILG (former)
Mel Senen Sarmiento
Secretary of DILG
Undersecretary for Local Government, DILG
Director IV, OPDS
OIC Assistant Director, OPDS
Provinicial Information Officer, DILG Biliran
Mario Balila Jesus Calo, Jr. Aaron Ronwell Bronwen Carl Michael Sabala
REGION VII Rene Burdeos, CESO III
Regional Director, Region VII
Project Manager II, RAY
Engineer V, RAY
Engineer IV, RAY
Engineer IV, RAY
Engineer III, RAY
Shyrrah Faye Elizaga
Engineer III, RAY
Mario Paolo Escoderos
Engineer II, RAY
Administrative Officer IV, RAY
Budget Officer III, RAY
Administrative Officer I, RAY
Administrative Assistant II, RAY
Information System Analyst III, RAY
Ma. Joy Meredith Madayag
Information System Analyst II, RAY
Engr. Romy Potot
Provincial Director, Negros Occidental PDMU Chief, DILG Region VI
Engr. Niela Balbontin
DILG Regional Office
Maria Luna Kileste
LGOO V, PMED
Michael Castro Ras
LGOO IV, PMED
REGION VIII Pedro Noval, CESO III
Regional Director, Region VIII
Provincial Director, Leyte
OIC Provincial Director, Eastern Samar
OIC Provincial Director, Samar
Provincial Director, Biliran
Engr. Ofelia Pido
PMDU Chief, DILG Region VIII
Regional Information Officer, DILG Region VIII
Regional Accountant, DILG Region VIII
Engr. Christopher Lawrence Alonzo
DILG Regional Office
Provincial Director, Cebu
PDMU Chief, Region VII
Engr. Elvin Avenido
DILG Provincial Office
Lovie dela Cruz
DILG Provincial Office
REGION VI Atty. Anthony Nuyda, CESO III
Regional Director, Region VI
Margie Biligan, CESO IV
Assistant Regional Director, Region VII
John Ace Azarcon
Provincial Director, Aklan
Victorio Pagapulan, CESO V
Provincial Director, Antique
Clyne De Ocampo, CESE
Provincial Director, Capiz
Provincial Director, Iloilo
Engr. Sean Botavara
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Jude Nagtalon
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Kendra Olivares
DILG Regional Office
Engr. William Pillora
DILG Regional Office
Corazon Omerio DILG Negros Occidental Christine Palma Regional Information Officer, DILG Region VI Bobbie Pipino
REGION IV-B & V James Fadrilan
Regional Director, Region IV-B
Regional Director, Region V
Engr. Tomasito Braganza
DILG Regional Office
DILG Regional Office
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Dicky Amida
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Jeremy Bagares
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Art Henry Bulic
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Nida dela Cruz
DILG Eastern Samar
Engr. Guiller Estolano
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Eva Christian Tora
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Armadn Oliveros
DILG Regional Office
Engr. Remar Zamora
DILG Regional Office
Australian Volunteers for International Development
Engr. Myla Nicolasora
Scope Global DevConcepts
Roberta ‘Betty’ Lego
Engr. Marina Arcenal
Carlos Paul Lopez
Mayor Viscuso De Lima
Anabelle de Paz
Councilor Vincent Bano
Melvin Lyndon Garzon
James Daniel Godinez
Mayor Lesmes Lumen
Cherry Lyn Montilla
Mary Joy Abellar
Maria Daina Monta
Councilor Roque Rojas Jr.
Mayor Mariano Martinez
Governor Victor Tanco, Sr.
Mayor Victoria Salvacion-David
Engr. Lennet Sodusta
Mayor Joselito Escutin
Mayor Rene Leria
Joanes Paulo Esgana
Anne Milady Flora
Engr. Germi Flynn Garfin
Vice Mayor Michael Torrevillas
Mayor Enrique Cabos
Engr. Edmer Polloso
Mayor Amado Eniberto Castro, Jr.
Mayor Nedito Campo
Ma. Aida Elaba
Mayor Leslie Warren Benjamin
Engr. Aladin Advincula
Mayor Remedios Petilla
Mayor Ramon Oñate
Mayor Gideon Ike Patricio
Maria Aurora Cabug
Mayor Erlinda Maming
Engr. Zaldy Bibit
Mayor Ernesto Martillo
Mayor Leonilo Costelo
Mayor Susan Yap Ang
Engr. Ventura Barbanida
Jose Rodenio Salilid
Engr. Nimfa Sandigan
Mayor William Lachica
PSI Al Loren Bigay
Pedro Salomon, Jr.
Mayor Generoso Derramas Ma. Lea Dais
Mayor Ma. Corazon Remandaban
Engr. Ardieli Ambrosio
Armetio P. Zuniga
Mayor Gerry Necor
Engr. Michael A. Alve
Roberto Opina, Jr.
Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin
Maria Victoria Lyra Dela Cerna
Mayor Bernard Pescayo
Engr. Alan Samson
Engr. Rosalie Canuda
Rosa Ela Sastrillo
Mayor Rosemarie Gardose
Engr. Teofilo Glenn Avestroz, Jr
Sheree Ann Bayadog
Susana A. Villaflor
Mary Ann Abarracoso
Vice Mayor Noracil Azucena
mayor Carmen Cari
Romulo Munez, Jr
Mayor Fe Renomeron
Mayor Juan Alvarez
Mayor Jorge Veloso
Mayor Matt Palabrica
Sean Jahlel Ceralvo
Lavern Llosa Percival Cabales
REGION IV-B Engr. Marlo Dagomboy
Lorly Mei Pedroso
Ma. Theresa Casorla
Mayor Abundio Delusa
Mayor Manuel Sia Que
Mayor Celestino Martinez, Sr.
Mayor Marcos Gregorio Cerillo
Mayor Frankie Locsin
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is the primary catalyst for excellence in local governance, that nurtures self-reliant, progressive, orderly, safe and globally competitive communities sustained by God-centered and empowered citizenry. www.ray.dilg.gov.ph
Published on Nov 9, 2015
This is a collection of stories marking the two-year anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Produced by the Recovery Assistance for...