9th year of ‘Yolanda’

TACLOBAN CITY – Livelihood and water remain to be the major problems among families who were relocated at the resettlement sites for survivors of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ that pummeled the city nine years ago today.

Elsa Labhanan, 53, a resident of Pope Francis Village said that she and her partner Dennis Abogado, 49 would always visit their previous home in Barangay 90(Payapay) in San Jose district for them to earn a living.

“If only there is a better source of income for us in the relocation we will never come here every day to earn,” Labhanan shares.

“Having a sari-sari store helps sustain the everyday needs of my family,” she added. Three of their nine children still lives with them.

Labhanan owns a small sari-sari store in Payapay while her common-law husband would always goes to the sea to catch crab in the morning which she also sells.

But more often than not, Abogado could barely catch crabs for them to sell. He also works as a motorcycle driver to help augment their income and address their daily needs, to include the school needs of their children.

Labhanan said that she chose to have her sari-sari store in Payapay because most of her neighbors at Pope Francis Village, located in Brgy. 99 in Diit district, also owns sari-sari store.

The family of Gina Malaran, 47, who now resides at GMA Village in Brgy.106 (Sto. Niño) also share the lament of Labhanan.

Her family previously lived in Brgy. 88, Alimasag, also in San Jose district, where she used to have a sari-sari store while her husband works as a jeepney driver.

“We’ve been staying here for eight years now. Although, our lives are safe whenever there is a typhoon but how to survive every day because of the lack of opportunity to earn is really a big problem for us,” Malaran added.

Compounding their financial problem is the scarcity of water supply to their area.
The operations of the Mactan Rock, the water provider in their area, were suspended by the city government due to cholera outbreak in the village.

Malaran said that her family needs at least P100 a day to have a supply of water which they can use for bathing, washing dishes and clothes.

The amount that they pay, she said, constraints their financial woes.

The northern part of the city, where the more than 10 resettlement sites are located with over 17,000 residents, has no water connections from the PrimeWater, the main water provider of the city.

Catherine Mercurio also shares the same sentiment to Malaran saying water is not only for their daily need but even for sanitation purposes.

Mercurio’s family has only four members but they consume 10 jugs of water everyday which they fetch from the daily ration from the city government.

The water ration is not enough for them, she said.

Since the outbreak of cholera, the city government has been providing the water needs of the villagers.

“We really have to save water a lot. From one jug of water for taking a bath, sometimes we only use half jag to conserve, so that we still have some for other use,” Mercurio added.

Each family is only allowed 10 water jugs to ensure that other residents will also receive their share of water.

Because of the limited water supply, some would collect rainwater which they use for their toilets and even for washing clothes. Others would hire someone to get water for them for P8 per container.

Currently, personnel from the PrimeWater are installing communal water faucets in Habitat and Kapuso villages to help ease the residents on their water needs. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)