ICCP Group initiates focused and sustainable assistance for Yolanda survivors

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Investment & Capital Corp. of the Philippines  Group of Companies (ICCP Group), through its foundation and  social development arm, the ICCP Group Foundation Inc. (IGFI), has developed a strategy for providing assistance to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan).

The group noted that while plenty of assistance, food and water were being directed to the larger, more populated and better known areas affected by the typhoon, such as Tacloban and Ormoc cities, there were many outlying areas which were neglected and by-passed along the way and whose people were losing hope of being helped.

The Group also noted that massive amounts of food, water and other materials were piling up along the way, resulting in bottlenecks on the road.

As such, a strategy for helping victims is needed to revive means of livelihood on an ongoing basis that would last for months even after the immediate needs for food, water and shelter are met.

The ICCP Group Foundation began by providing relief operations and supplies in three remote barangays in Borbon in the northern part of Cebu island  last Nov.13, followed by bigger relief operations last Nov. 28 and 29 in the towns of Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos in Bantayan Island, which is off the coast of Northern Cebu and one of the three areas in the Philippines where Yolanda made landfall. IGFI was attracted by the frantic calls from the mayor of Bantayan that they were not receiving any aid yet. The initial efforts of IGFI were concentrated on bringing essential supplies to the people who were battered by Yolanda.

Bantayan island has a population of 136,960, of which 90 percent or 123,325 individuals were affected; 12,957 houses were damaged, leaving 21 dead and 95 injured. So on Nov. 13, four days after Yolanda made landfall, IGFI distributed relief goods and drinking water to beneficiaries in Barangay Bongdo, Borbon and three islets in Bantayan Island.

More recently, commencing last Nov. 28 and 29, IGFI started its rehabilitation and recovery plans for affected families residing at Hilantagaan Islet, situated in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, with a population of 3,651. IGFI’s assistance comes in the form of small scale rehabilitation and recovery work that are more meaningful and sustainable, rather than merely short-lived relief operations.

Affected families are assisted in starting their livelihood anew by providing aid for the repair or replacement of new bancas and fishnets and distribution of quick growing vegetable seeds for farming. Repair of health centers, education facilities and rebuilding of homes   are also priority plans of IGFI’s rehabilitation and recovery program for its adopted villages.

IGFI is also initiating a project for the rehabilitation of the island’s water and sanitation system such as manual artesian wells, water tanks, and common toilets of six sitios in the islet. “Cash for work” will be offered to beneficiaries where they will be paid P282 per day or P 1,410 per week per one household member to help clean up the debris.

The cash earned could be used in any economic activity or purchase of food. To date, IGFI has raised over P3 million in donations for its assistance programs to typhoon victims.  These funds have come from ICCP Group companies, employees and cancelled Christmas parties, as well as from locators associations ( LLAI I and II) in the industrial estates of a member company, Science Park of the Philippines Inc. 

An interesting other source has been the alumni of the American School (now International School) of the Philippines, whose students have studied in the country at various times in their lives. Since IGFI expects to continue helping victims of the typhoon in its chosen area in order to assist them to be able to support themselves, the foundation has been accepting more donations to fund the effort. To support IGFI’s relief efforts, email [email protected].

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