The Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc (PSFI) extended continuous relief efforts to some 1,300 individuals under its program-supported sites that were affected by typhoon Odette.
Ynna Lauron-Doblado, PSFI program manager, said they first sent assistance to their staff in Taytay and Barangay Macarascas in Puerto Princesa City before distributing 450 food packs to a community in Brgy. Bagong Silang, beside the Shell depot.
“Sa Puerto muna kami naka-focus ngayon. Sana magkaroon ng more funds para maka-reach out kami sa ibang munisipyo,” Doblado said.
The foundation is also extending assistance to community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) sites that they have been helping since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
“Nangyari naman itong si Odette, lahat ‘yon nawala, lahat ng saging, lahat ng pineapple, lahat nawala pati vegetable garden—sila rin ang tinulungan namin, sa mga liblib na lugar. Kasi sa tabing daan, mabilis kasi ‘yan, pati ‘yong small organizations, doon na sila nagbababa, ang ni-reach out namin ay ‘yong malalayo,” she said.
On December 24, the PSFI staff also gave Noche Buena packages to their neighbors affected by the typhoon.
They also distributed food packs, solar lights, and house repair kits to 45 Batak families in the remote areas of Brgy. Langogan, one of the city’s hardest hit barangays.
While their priority is for home repair, PSFI has yet to craft their action plan for the community learning center in Sitio Tagnaya, Brgy. Concepcion, and the first site of the Sustain, Invest, Nurture, Access to Green Energy (SINAG) project in Sitio Kalakwasan, Brgy. Tanabag which were also wiped out by the typhoon.
“Ito ‘yong first site namin ng SINAG, ‘yong microgrid na ginagawa namin, siya ‘yong pinakaunang site namin noong 2015. Mga Batak tribes din ‘yan, lahat daw ‘yon na-wash out as in lahat—hindi ako makapaniwala,” Doblado narrated.
“Dati kasi ‘yon ay solar tapos may hydro para mag-generate siya ng power at may maliit na power house. Pinailawan namin ‘yon (basketball court), gumawa kami ng maliit na streetlight. May ilaw ‘yong community na ‘yon tapos ngayon wala na. Ang naiwan na lang ay power house at ‘yong school, pero ang mga bahay, wala na,” she added.
She said the disaster brought a realization that small things must not be neglected and enlightened the public on the situation of the forests in the northern part of the city. She also expressed shock at finding that numerous landslides happened along the way due to the intensity of the typhoon.
“Iyong maliliit na bagay na sinasawalang bahala natin, it matters. Maalala natin uli. Siguro ‘yong realization na wala na pala tayong puno sa bundok, kapag mag-travel ka sa Langogan, ang daming putol na puno, pinagtabasan na puno. Sabi ng iba, hindi naman siya hard wood, but nonetheless, puno pa rin siya, di ba?” she lamented.
Doblado also said PSFI has an ongoing effort in its inventory of its community and sites supported, and is looking for funds to extend relief efforts. They have also extended cash assistance to about 70 volunteers from their anti-malaria program.
“Ngayon parang sobrang laki niya na feeling namin ‘yong binibigay namin ay baka hindi enough kasi kulang, kulang na kulang. Sana kahit gaano kaliit ‘yong support namin or support ng iba pang tao, unti-unti ay makababangon uli tayo,” she said.