By KYLE EDWARD FRANCISCO
VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur — Non-government organizations and representatives from community beneficiaries of livelihood assistance from Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) Philippines concluded that the Livelihood Assistance Project for the victims of Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima) in Ilocos was successful.
The positive assessments results came as the result of the After Action Review of the project held in this city on Thursday, February 23.
The evaluation was faciliatated by CARE Philippines and Ilocos Center for Research, Empowerment and Development (ICRED) and attended by representatives from partner organizations and the nine (9) communities who benefitted from the project.
The projects are located in Candon City, Salcedo and Santa in Ilocos Sur, Pinili and Batac in Ilocos Norte, and Aringay in La Union.
The strongest typhoon to hit the country after Yolanda (Haiyan) to date, Lawin left a trail of destruction in Northern Luzon. Based on the record of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 29,533 families were evacuated in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). All three Ilocos provinces were put under “state of calamity” with estimated damage to infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries reaching P1.53 Billion.
Drawing the lesssons
“The purpose of the After Action Review is to draw out the key lessons learned from delivering emergency assistance here in Ilocos region,” explains John Tamayo, CARE Philippines’ Emergency Response Coordinator for Typhoon Lawin Response.
He said that the Super Typhoon Lawin reponse was the dry-run of the partnership with ICRED under CARE’s Emergency Planning Preparedness Program from the activation of the emergency response up to the implementation of the program.
ICRED facilitated the delivery of CARE’s livelihood assistance to the service communities. The institution tapped regional peasant organization Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP Exploitation) to assist them in identifying and preparing the recipient communities for the project.
A total of 610 beneficiaries distributed across 9 barangays in 5 municipalities in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union. The project consisted of a conditional cash transfer program wherein the beneficiaries recieved PhP2,000 each.
“The project’s effectiveness lies on the presence of the local partners in the service area that made the delivery of assistance to the targeted beneficiaries affected by Lawin fast and efficient ” notes Tamayo.
New level of experience
The beneficiaries can utilize the cash grant for individual relief but opted to pool it for projects that benefitted the whole community.
“This is new for CARE, where the livelihood assistannce was used to repair their community asset where it benefits more,” said Tamayo. He added that based on the report of the beneficiaries themselves, the community projects benefitted more than those who actually received the cash grants.
Anna Leal, executive director of ICRED, explained that the communities were able to effect this because they have an organization that is strong and with the right orientation.
“An organization that is oriented to serve its members, uphold the good of everyone and collectively leads and decides can easily convince their members to pool the available resources and manage their chosen project,” she said.
Leal and Tamayo said that they limited their service to the delivery of the cash grant, technical advice and training but let the beneficiaries decide on what to do or where to put the cash grants.
Beneficiaries from Brgy. Bugnay, Candon City and Brgy. Baluarte, Salcedo used the cash grant to improve their irrigation and potable water systems respectively. Recipients from Brgys. Gulpeng and Bulbula, Pinili, and Brgy. Pimentel in Batac also alloted the pooled amount for water pumps for household and agricultural use.
In Santa, Brgys. Casiber, Calungbuyan and Rancho used the pooled assistance to start a microfinancing venture for the community. While from the 60 beneficiaries, a total of 101 households benefited from the rice cooperative that was put up in Nagpanawan, Aringay.
Aside from the economic benefits, the decision to put the grant into community use also strengthened the unity of the community and increased the membership of the partner organization. # nordis.net