Thursday, December 29, 2011

Community Action

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - Day 2

Joy Magumpara, City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) coordinator in-charge of the MSU-IIT evacuation center asked me to join today's meeting. The day-to-day operations of the center are discussed and tonight Iligan Institute of Technology (IIT) officials managing the center, representatives from the City Health Office, and officials from nongovernment organizations are present. Health and sanitation, food, security, and finance are on the agenda.

A number of donors who have pledged to ship portalets from Cebu have not yet come through. There were donations received of kiddie diapers and disinfectants, which were used to spray bathrooms and refuse areas in order to prevent a disease outbreak. The school offered their truck to ferry out refuse because regular collection had been spotty since the floods. Indeed, sanitation is a “pressing problem everyday,” as one of the participants expressed.

The Iligan Medical Society has an on-going medical mission in the center. The city health office reports to the mayor about conditions in the center and they promised to show the photos that they had taken from the center to the city council in order to expedite the reimbursement of funds advanced by the state-owned ITT, which it had used for evacuee services.

“The best cooks are the evacuees themselves,” says Joy. Schools have just closed and center’s volunteers have started leaving for home for the Christmas holidays. With its volunteer numbers decreasing, the Food Committee was already feeling the pressure of preparing three meals for a large group. Joy took the responsibility of securing breakfast the following morning, as the Committee would then prepare for lunch and turn over the cooking chores to the newly organized evacuee clusters. I found out later, that early the following morning, Joy went to the local market and bought as many cooking pots she could find and purchased 10 sacks of rice.*

The committee decided to impose a 10 p.m. curfew at the campus to better the management of people traffic and enhance security.

Daghan kaayong generous people today, there are quite a number today, says the lady who chairs the finance committee. IIT officials who themselves have been quite aggressive in tapping their networks for support were very happy to report a cash balance of over PhP100,000. They decide that whatever will be left of the donations after covering for some of the operating expenses will have to be divided among the evacuees.

(If you feel like giving Joy Magumpara some words of support and encouragement by calling her, please send your email address to and I will send her contact information to you.)

No comments:

Post a Comment