On November 8, 2013, the world watched as the most powerful tropical cyclone in recorded history hit the Philippines. Super typhoon Yolanda (International codename: Haiyan) barreled through most of the central part of the archipelago, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. With a death toll of over 5,632 and 1,759 missing as of December 2nd, Haiyan destroyed over a million homes and affected 12,014 barangays.
Closer to Save Palawan Seas’ home, over 250 families lost their houses in Bantayan Island, an isolated land mass located off the coast of Cebu, while in Palawan, hundreds of families in remote islands have lost their homes. Major infrastructures such as piers and roads have been destroyed along with their sources of livelihood. Majority of these island-dwellers are fishermen and Yolanda spared none of their boats, their main source of income.
In December 2013, immediately after the storm, SPSF launched a rehabilitation initiative for the affected areas. Composed of Three phases: First, the rebuilding of barangay facilities in Busuanga, Palawan, and second, the rehabilitation of structures and homes in Bantayan Island, Cebu, and third, the rehabilitation of sources of livelihood for residents in these affected areas.
Almost a year later, SPSF has completed the first two phases of the program: donation of construction materials for the rebuilding of barangay facilities such as the clubhouse, posts, basketball courts, posts, and stage as well as the rehabilitation of some 398 houses of affected families in both Busuanga, Palawan and in Bantayan Island, Cebu.
As of February 7, 2014, over 400 families from 37 barangays were able to complete their homes using materials donated by the foundation amounting to about P6,700,000.00, in total.
Ongoing sustainable livelihood activities such as organic vegetable farming, cashew production, and raising organic free-range chicken are projects that would help put food on their tables as well as help them earn a living.
Life continues for the residents in their new homes, with the help of the foundation. While rebuilding what was lost has been a long and challenging process, through the support of many generous individuals and groups, SPSF hopes for a bright, sustainable future for the communities of Palawan and Cebu.
Should you be interested to learn more or should to support The Save Palawan Seas foundation’s initiatives, you may contact SPSF Director Melinda de Luna at 0917 8241488.
The Save Palawan Seas foundation is a non-profit group that aims to create sustainable and meaningful livelihood activities that enable their partner families to earn a living while protecting and helping Mother Nature. Ongoing projects include training programs for organic vegetable farming, raising free-range chicken, seaweed farming, cashew processing, and handicraft-making using both indigenous and recyclable material. The foundation is also engaged in environmental endeavors such as coastal clean-ups, tree planting activities, and education campaigns. Community building efforts include annual celebrations of Nutrition Month, Indigenous People’s Day, and World Food Day.