On December 15, 2011, Typhoon Sendong (international name: Washi) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). By 10:00 PM, the tropical storm maintained its strength and moved towards the Northeastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas. Consequently, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared a Public Storm Signal No. 2 in Visayas and Mindanao, while Signal No. 1 in several parts of Luzon. According to the Situation Report No. 5 released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) three (3) days after the incident, massive deluge came about in Regions VI, VII, IX, X, XI, and CARAGA. Concurrently, the hardest hit provinces were Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. The initial damaged assessment and report of NDRRMC released on December 18, 2011 revealed that the total number of families affected/internally displaced was 19, 234 or approximately 106,476 individuals. Likewise, there were reported cases of people missing, injured, rescued, and killed. On December 20, 2011, President Benigno S. Aquino III declared a State of National Calamity through Proclamation No. 303. Subsequently, donations from the international community, through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), were accepted. This declaration propelled an overwhelming support, both from the national and international community. Based on the official report from the NDRRMC dated January 4, 2012, the total number of population affected in 260 barangays/30 municipalities/8 cities in 13 provinces reached 114,288 families or 724,729 individuals. Similarly, the number of deaths recorded was 1,275, while 4,658 were badly injured, 98 were missing, and 441 were rescued respectively. Also, the report underscores that majority of those that were killed were women and children who were drowned when the river swelled in Cagayan de Oro. Concurrently, a great number of victims came from the nearby areas such as Iligan City and the rest of the provinces in the South, which includes Zamboanga del Norte and Compostela Valley. Given the magnitude of the disaster, thousands of people flocked into different temporary shelters. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) highlighted in their January 3, 2012 Situation Report that the humanitarian needs and concerns of the evacuees include: (1) more conducive temporary shelters; (2) water, sanitation, and hygiene; (3) food security; (4) logistics; (5) protection, including child protection and gender-based violence; (6) education; (7) health, including reproductive health; and, (8) proper nutrition among others. Propelled by the situation and the Lasallian Guiding Principles (LGP), the De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) met on December 19, 2011 at the La Salle Greenhills to plan the One-La Salle response to the magnitude of the disaster. Each La Salle schools were asked to send representative(s) to the meeting. Ms. Ma Lourdes F. Melegrito, the Director of the Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA) of the De La Salle University - Manila who also sits at the National Coordinator of the Lasallian Justice and Peace Commission (LJPC), spearheaded the aforementioned meeting. Likewise, the following were present during the meeting: Eden Batad (De La Salle Philippines), Jayjay N. Jacinto (De La Salle Zobel), Melchor A. Oribe (De La Salle Canlubang), Aliver Antiqueno (De La Salle Greenhills), Rio Ramos (De La Salle University Dasmarinas), Isabel Balana (De La Salle University), Joseph Rosal (De La Salle University), Terteen Omana (De La Salle University), Benigno Balgos (De La Salle University), Alex Resurrecion (LSGH Alumni), Violeta Ramirez, and Nolo Rosales (Volunteer). One of the main achievements of the meeting was the release of the Official Letter from DLSP calling for community assistance in mobilizing resources for the relief operation as the country grappled with another devastation brought about by Typhoon Sendong, particularly in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro. In the meeting, it was agreed upon that the assistance would be directed first to the La Salle Academy in Iligian City where many of the teachers, staffs, and students were badly affected. The following day, the One La Salle effort for Oplan Sagip Mindanao was able to send cash donations to respond to the immediate needs of the evacuees. Each La Salle schools called upon their respective constituents to contribute and share whatever they can (relief items, money) to the response. And as a result of the overwhelming response from the community, starting December 20, 2011 up to the present, the Oplan Sagip Mindanao of DLSP was able to send consideration quantity of relief items to the people affected by the disaster. Through the united efforts of the De La Salle Schools, the following had been delivered, particularly in Iligan City, to the victims of Typhoon Sendong: December 20, 2011 (Tuesday) Items Quantity Clothes 62 sacks + 4 boxes Blankets 4 bundles Water 42 boxes Sardines 5 boxes Noodles 13 boxes Biscuits 4 cans Toiletries 1 bag The goods were brought through the Philippine Navy Headquarters along Roxas Boulevard. Meanwhile, the shipment was made possible through the help of the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Army, and Pauline De Lange, a student of DLSU. December 22, 2011 (Thursday) Items Quantity Clothes 133 sacks Bottled Water 71 boxes Food/Clothes c/o DLSU 32 boxes The Goods were brought to Iligan City through the help of Sea Freight c/o Super Ferry and Pauline De Lange. December 23, 2011 via Air 21 (Morning) Items Quantity Used clothes 57 boxes, 174 sacks, 3 boxes Mattresses 5 pieces Blankets 35 big plastic bags Water 39 boxes Noodles 76 boxes Canned Goods 45 boxes Biscuits 21 boxes Rice 14 sacks Blankets 48 bundles All the goods were brought from Manila to La Salle Academy via door-to-door delivery. December 26, 2011 via NN-ATS (Aboitiz) Items Quantity Blankets 42 bundles Rice 14 sacks Assorted Goods 15 boxes Used Clothes 295 sacks Cup Noodles 40 boxes Used Bed Sheets 200 pieces All the goods were brought from Manila to La Salle Academy via door-to-door delivery. December 27, 2011 via Sulpicio Lines Items Quantity Clothes 96 sacks Water 40 boxes, 12 bottles, and 3 packs Noodles 12 boxes Biscuits 4 boxes, 1 pale Blankets/Towels 14 boxes Kitchen utensils 2 boxes Canned goods 5 boxes Through Negros Navigation (San Rafael Cargo Ship) Items Quantity Rice 10 sacks and 1 box Canned goods 18 boxes Water 17 boxes Shoes/bags/hats 5 boxes Blankets 8 boxes Diapers 6 boxes Medicines 1 boxes Utensils 2 boxes Mattress 1 piece Clothes 50 sacks Goods to be delivered on January 6, 2012 Items Quantity Clothes 73 sacks Blankets/towels 3 sacks and 23 boxes Rice 4 sacks Water 62 boxes Canned goods 3 boxes Noodles 19 boxes Medicines 23 boxes Toiletries 17 boxes Biscuits 8 boxes Shoes 10 boxes and 2 sacks Slippers 4 sacks and 1 box Diapers 5 sacks These will be delivered through a one 10-foot container courtesy of Negros Navigation. Likewise, Ms. Rio Ramos from De La Salle Dasmarinas and Ms. Violeta Ramirez of De La Salle Lipa, and Jayjay Jacinto of De La Salle Zobel notified DLSP that they sent donations to the La Salle Academy. Based on the reports of the La Salle Academy Disaster Response Committee, as of January 3, 2012, the relief items sent to Iligian City were able to help 11,266 families in thirty (30) communities. The goods were delivered through the assistance of the Philippine Army truck and private individuals. Likewise, with the support of the Alumni, the school was able to undertaken medical and dental services to the evacuees. Concurrently, relief packs had been given to the family members of De La Salle University staffs (from the Human Resource Development and Management Office, Accounting Office, and Safety and Security Office) who were victims of the typhoon. On January 5, 2012, a meeting at the De La Salle University was held for updates, both at the situation in Iligan and the DLSP relief operations. Among those present in the aforementioned meeting were: Fr. Luke Moortgat, Myra C. Magno, Bong Quiamno Jr., Ron Resurrecion, Dr. Caring Tarroja, Dr. Homer Yabut, Mr. Anton Palo, Dr. Ian Reyes, Mr. Ron Resurrecion, Joey Rosal, Isabel Lanada, and Benigno Balgos. During the meeting, the need to provide psychosocial intervention surfaced. However, in doing so, there is a need to identify specific areas where the psychosocial interventions will be given, so that there won't be duplication of even being undertaken by other organizations. Consequently, an advance party composed of six (6) individuals will be going to Iligan City on January 12, 2012 until January 14, 2012 to undertake the following: (1) Rapid Assessment/Damage, Needs, Capacities Assessment (DNCA); and, (2) Assessment for Psychosocial Intervention. The team is composed of Fr. Luke Moortgat, Myra C. Magno, Bong Quiamno Jr., Mr. Anton Palo, Isabel Lanada, and Benigno Balgos. Likewise, the DLSP will continue to receive donations whether cash or in kind in order to respond the needs of the affected populations as a consequence of Typhoon Sendong.
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Director, Center for Social Concern and Action
National Capital Region