By PAOLA ESPIRITU
LAOAG CITY — Typhoon Ompong victims from the Oggayam-Ysneg-Yapayao tribe in Pagudpud received relief assistance from the Ilocos Center for Research Empowerment and Development (ICRED) and Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC) on October 19.
The project supported by the Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe benefited 300 households that received relief packs consisting of 10 kilos rice, 1/2 kilo dried fish, 1/2 kilo monggo beans, 1/2 liter oil, 5 meters plastic sheet, mat, blanket and a pail and a hygiene kit.
Tribe Chieftain Benny Aguinaldo said they have personally requested for the relief since most of their members from barangays Balaoi, Caunayan, Caparispisan and Dampiga were severely affected by the typhoon and have not received much help from the government or other organizations.
“Where is the calamity fund?”
Typhoon Ompong victims like Lenlen Marangen, 30, questioned where the reported P400M calamity fund for Ilocos Norte has gone.
She said that during the typhoon, they only received one relief pack from the municipal office that contained 2 candles, 1 small box of matches, 2 cans of sardines, 2 packs noodles and almost 2 kilos of rice.
For Evangeline Andres, 37, it was still fortunate that her house was only partially damaged. She said during the typhoon, they stayed inside their small kitchen even when their roof and walls were almost collapsing.
A few weeks ago, she heard the province was giving out 3 pieces of iron roof and 30pcs nails for damaged houses.
However, she was unable to get it because she can’t entrust her 8-month-old baby to anyone. For now, all she can do is to hope the housing assistance is still available for the coming days.
Meanwhile, Freddie Alnas whose house was totally damaged did not receive any assistance, not even a single nail.
Funds for votes
Lenville Salvador, board member of ICRED fears the million-worth calamity funds will be used to buy votes in the upcoming elections.
“Uray adda madamdamag, awan marikrikna. Awan met ipaypayso (Even if there is news about it, we did not feel it. There is no truth to it),” Lenlen said.
Aside from the 400 million pesos, 100 million more was added for the housing fund in the province of Ilocos Norte.
Another victim, Jeremy Siriaco, 25, said they want to see their government leaders help and serve them instead of use them. She also thanked ICRED and its partners for reaching out to them.
“Agyamankami ta adda iti tumultulong kadakami a marigrigat. Lalo ta haan a madamdanun iti usto a tulong kanyami (Thank you because you are helping us especially that we do not receive enough help [from the government]),” Jeremy added.# nordis.net