‘Bayanihan’ spirit moves post-‘Ompong’ recovery in Baguio

‘Bayanihan’ spirit moves post-‘Ompong’ recovery in Baguio

Volunteers are working round the clock to help families particularly in highland communities severely affected by typhoon Ompong. BAGUIO SOCIAL ACTION MINISTRY FB PAGE

By Fr. Mickey Cardenas

Oct. 16, 2018

BAGUIO

On Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday, Oct. 14, the Social Action Ministry of the Diocese of Baguio gave an update on the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in the highland communities severely affected by typhoon “Ompong,” noting how the strong community spirit of “bayanihan” has been moving locals to help each other rise again.

“In our visits, we were able to see the destruction in the area of Itogon and hear the stories of the people’s struggles and their loss. Nevertheless, we get to witness hope with the ‘bayanihan’ spirit of the community in rebuilding their area,” said Fr. Manuel Flores, Jr., Social Action coordinator of the Diocese of Baguio. He gave the latest post-typhoon assessment of communities badly hit by the typhoon, particularly by landslides.

Temporary school buildings

The local community in Goldfield, Poblacion Itogon is working on a temporary school building with permission from the Local Government Unit and the Department of Education.

According to Flores, having contacted some donors, the Diocese of Baguio – through Caritas-Baguio in coordination with St. Charles Borromeo Parish as well as Barangay Poblacion, Itogon – will help in constructing the said temporary school building.

He also shared that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has lent 10 family-size tents to serve as classrooms while a sturdier temporary school building is being constructed.

The Social Action director called on the public to help address the school’s needs by donating the following:

  • Coloring books, reading materials for elementary pupils (Grades 1-6)
  • Writing, coloring, and drawing materials
  • Electric fans
  • Water dispensers
  • Food for work rations

Flores said a concern now is the suspension of classes in eight schools in Itogon due to the findings of Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB). “They need big tents to serve as temporary classrooms,” the Social Action director added.

Cash donations preferred

Flores further announced that the organization would be having its last week of relief operations, as efforts will be focused on rehabilitation work like providing shelter and livelihood assistance to affected families.

“We are open to donations for the rehabilitation phase. While we do not have a warehouse for donations in-kind (e.g. G.I. sheets, plywood, etc.), we have an area but [it] can store only so much,” he said, noting, however, that cash donations are preferred.

“We prefer monetary donations as we have a system in place to make family recipients and the local economy benefit as well,” he explained.

How to help

Those who wish to donate may send their donations to the Caritas-Baguio Office, Diocese of Baguio, Bishop’s Residence, Fr. Carlu St., Baguio City.

Monetary donations may be deposited to:

  • Bank of the Philippines Account Name: Diocese of Baguio
  • Account Number: 0571001764