Seventeen PBCI-trained volunteers coming from the different communities and villages of Iligan City are now actively participating in the Rehabilitation Phase of the comprehensive disaster response to the Sendong Flood of December 2011. These men and women have been going through PBCI’s Health-Care and Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Training for Community-Based Volunteers since March 2012 in coordination with the City Health Office (CHO) of Iligan City.
Iligan City is an urban center, northeast of Cagayan de Oro City (CDO). It is considered as the “Industrial Center of the South” because it produces hydro-electric power for Northern Mindanao. It also houses industries such as steel, tinplate, cement and flourmills. It has also a port for ferry and container ship transportation.
In December 16-17, 2011 the flood brought about by Typhoon Sendong devastated the city. By the end of January 2012, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council reported 1,259 dead, 6,071 injured, 182 missing, and more than a million people affected between CDO and Iligan City. Damage to infrastructure and agriculture was pegged at almost 2 billion Philippine pesos.
PBCI, along with their peace network in Mindanao, initiated a series of emergency operations. Prompt support from the Mennonite Central Committee and the Mennonite Church Canada sparked a multi-agency effort to strategize a comprehensive Disaster Response Operations which started with the Relief Phase.
Then, in cooperation with other local, national, and international NGOs, PBCI was requested to help in the Rehabilitation Phase. The Siegfried Bartel Family and the Mennonite Church Canada, our partners in Community-Based Health Program, agreed to use our three-year project fund to be used instead for a one-year Sendong medical and psycho-social rehabilitation project.
The role of the PBCI in this Rehabilitation Phase would be on community organizing with focus on healthcare and psycho-social care. The project aims—
- to help enhance the health condition of the relocation area by providing health-care practitioners who will regularly serve the survivors for 6-8 months;
- to help sustain an organized community-based health care team by training volunteers from among the survivors; and,
- to help in the reconciliation journey of the survivors, and in the relationship building and rebuilding by providing qualified counselors, and by facilitating a training program for a community-based psycho-social support team from among the survivors.
In March 2012, PBCI sent Daphnie Dua, Alvin Ysulat, Panyee Chan, and Gemwill Clarin Mendoza as our PAR Community Organizing Team in Iligan. Through their diligent work in providing training, the Sendong Flood survivors are more encouraged and empowered to fast-track their restoration of belongings and reconciliation of their relationships. Through the PBCI team’s psycho-social support and training, the survivors are more capable to prevent, manage, resolve conflicts, and to build peace in their respective communities.
PBCI expects that by the end of the year, there would be qualified health-care teams and psycho-social support teams in each relocation area that are sustainable and community-based.
After this program, the Iligan PAR Team will be turned-over to the Iligan City Health Office for on-going mobilization and management. PBCI will continue its relationship with the Iligan City government as a partner-consultant in their peace and reconciliation journey.