Delayed but Finally Delivered

On the 2nd of December 2019, Typhoon Kammuri (locally known as Tisoy) entered the Philippines as a Category 3 typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 215km/hr and bringing violent winds and intense rain over Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, Northern Samar, Southern Quezon, Marinduque and Mindoro Provinces.

Immediately after the storm, ADRA was able to organize an emergency response in coordination with the Southern Luzon Mission and Samar Mission to distribute foodpacks  to 2,020 families in the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar.

Because the damage left behind by Typhoon Kammuri was greater than expected,  additional funding was requested to be able to give relief assistance also to provinces of Masbate and Occidental Mindoro. The proposal for a relief intervention to provide household and shelter kits to 3,480 families was submitted to the Disaster Relief Fund of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and was approved February 2020.  

When the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the Philippines an Enhanced Community Quarantine was declared by President Duterte to begin on March 15, 2020.

The distribution of household and shelter kits for 1,500 households in the municipality of Claveria, Masbate was being implemented when the lockdown was declared. ADRA Staff Mark Morta immediately modified his plans to be able to complete the distribution before the lockdown happened.

(click here to read the Mark’s story of how he got home) WHEN I ALMOST DIDN’T MAKE IT HOME

The distribution for household and shelter kits to 1,980 families in the municipality of Sablayan in the province of Occidental Mindoro was scheduled for the following week, but this was put on indefinite due to the movement restriction during the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine

Upon successful negotiation to access the target beneficiaries with the provincial government of Occidental Mindoro and the local government unit of Sablayan, ADRA was only allowed to deliver the items for distribution to Sablayan. The distribution of the kits to the typhoon-affected families was managed by the Adventist Community Services Volunteers  and the local government partners. 

The Delivery:

The province of Occidental Mindoro is located in the island of Mindoro. To get there from the ADRA Office, one would have to travel for 2 hours to get to the port of Batangas, then board a ferry boat for three hours to get to the Abra de Ilog port, in Occidental Mindoro. And then drive for an hour from Abra de Ilog to reach the municipality of Sablayan.

On the morning of April 23,  ADRA Staff Eunice de Guia and driver Regel Barcelona rode in a pick-up and escorted 3  heavily loaded trucks from the ADRA Country Office to the port of Batangas. A journey that would usually take about 6-7 hours ended up taking 16 hours. This was due to the fact that the truck couldn’t really drive fast because of its heavy load, and the many inspections and check-points along the way.

They left the country office at 8AM and arrived in Sablayan at midnight. They were met by the Vice Mayor and representatives from the local Adventist Community Services (ACS). The volunteers proceeded to unload the truck til about 3:00AM, while the ADRA team and the truck drivers stayed inside the vehicles. After the unloading of items, Eunice and Regel were taken to the quarantine facility to get some rest..

At 8:00 AM the next morning, Eunice gave an orientation to the local government partners and ACS coordinators on the distribution process and provided guidelines to ensure that the the distribution team will adhere to the governments’ COVID-19 preventive measures such as observing social distancing and wearing of mask at all times. By 11am, the team leftSablayan to catch the 2:00PM boat back to Batangas Port.

The Distribution:

It may have taken nearly 2 weeks, but the Local Government Unit (LGU) and ACS partners were able to successfully distribute the household and shelter kits to the 22 barangays of Sablayan from April 24 – May 4, 2020.

These were the items in the hygiene kit.

Item Unit Quantity Item Unit Quantity
Comb piece 5 Laundry Bar Soap piece 4
Razor piece 3 Shampoo piece 2
Towel piece 2 Sanitary Napkin  packs 2
Nail Cutter piece 2 Pail  piece 1
Bathing Soap  piece 5 Dipper  piece 1
Tooth Brush piece 5 Tarpaulin piece 1
Tooth Paste piece 2      

The beneficiaries were appreciative of the contents of the kits and they expressed that the items will be useful for the entire family. Beneficiaries recognized the timeliness of the provided kits since the household items will be useful for maintaining proper hygiene and handwashing which is effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The beneficiaries also mentioned that the tarpaulins provided will also help as they continue to repair and construct their houses that were damaged by Typhoon Tisoy.

The delivery of these hygiene kits may have been postponed, but ADRA is thankful that it was finally able to bring the goods where it needed to go.