On December 8, 2014, a year after the super typhoon Haiyan, typhoon Hagupit struck Eastern Philippines Islands of Samar, leaving behind 18 people confirmed dead, 916 injured and over 1 million evacuated (according to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council). Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches (LCSBC) took up the challenge and mobilized relief assistance to the affected villagers in Dolores and Borongan with the support of US $63,600 from Baptist World Aid (BWAid).
Planning for the relief efforts started with initial consultations with the Relief and Social Concern Committee of LCSBC under the leadership of Pastor Lino Caronongan. He mobilized Pastors of 13 local churches in the affected areas (belonging to Central Philippines Convention of Southern Baptist Churches) to involve in preparing list of 537 beneficiary families, and to set ahead of distribution plan in coordination the village officials. Centre for packing of relief materials was identified and volunteers were provided with orientation. Upon receipt of fund, LCSBC national office in Manila monitoring release of funds and purchases of relief materials and relief operation commenced in the 3rd week of January 2015.
Overall, over 600 families were helped. Relief packs were provided to 250 affected families in Dolores, and another 222 families in Ando Islands in Borongan. Each relief package consisted of 5 kilos rice, 10 cans sardines, 2 Kilos Sugar, 10 pcs bath and laundry soaps along with packages of coffee and chocolate drink, and toothpaste. Smaller relief distribution were also done in villages of Denigpian, Caglaw-an, Aroganga, Buenavista and Rizal. These distributions were done in the presence of village officials, and they were done openly in the village plazas. Distribution was in order with list of beneficiaries cleared and the queue prioritizing the senior citizens and persons with disability.
Feraz Legita, Deputy Director APBAid made a monitoring visit on February 4-7, 2015 with the officials of LCSBC Relief and Social Concerns Committee where the relief operation were being undertaken.
Thanks and gratitude
The affected communities expressed thanksl for the prompt and generous support of the BWAid to the survivors of typhoon Hagupit through the LCSBC. The words of Roderick Nebril, 29 years old of Ando island, Borongan rightly summed the spirit of gratuity and cooperation “Thank you so much for the relief assistance that helped us much because of the damages brought by typhoon Hagupit. Though it did not affect wider areas as super typhoon (Haiyan) for us here in Ando island, we were much affected, our homes were destroyed. The assistance would help our families a lot while recovering homes and livelihood. THANK YOU SO MUCH ALL the BAPTISTS IN THE WORLD, THANK YOU SISTERS AND BROTHERS FOR ALL YOUR HEL