Friday, December 30, 2011

Community Building

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - Day 3

Yesterday afternoon DSWD provincial supervisor, Evelyn Madrio, endorsed me to CSWD's Joy Magumpara, so I could help out over at the Iligan Institute of Technology (IIT) evacuation center. Joy said she needed help in the evacuee database.

The day before, I was introduced to a group of students who were encoding data from the Disaster Intake Sheet. The city desperately needed these pieces of information from the 26 evacuation centers because a good number of residents are still unaccounted for for almost a week now. To help, the CSWD planned to compare their client data, like those in the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino (conditional cash transfer), with the evacuee lists.

For days classmates Lornito Mahinay, Jr. and Jayson Leigh Segovia, both from the Marawi campus of the Mindanao State University who came down to Iligan to volunteer, supervised a team of volunteer encoders and took part in the data entry. They started with IIT and soon the CSWD had asked them to encode those from San Lorenzo church, which also served as an evacuation center. IIT and San Lorenzo are the two biggest centers with a combined number of 1,200 families.

Later that night, I met with Roy Pamitalan who have teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. of Iligan to help digitize the evacuee data. Joy had informed me about their plan and asked that I meet with them. They wanted to help streamline the delivery of support to the evacuees and remove duplication. They also wanted to assist in the inventory of donations, and make their receipt and distribution more transparent. I shared that the database should first serve the needs of the CSWD, the DSWD, and the city government so that they can make better informed decisions. Even reports that would be generated from the database needed to be in the formats that the agencies are familiar with in order to get them to a level of comfort. Even with the enormous help from the private sector, it is still the government that is accountable to the efficacy and efficiency in dealing with the current crisis.

The digitization offered yet another ground on which the private sector and the government could collaborate — a “community building” opportunity. Not only will Iligan need to be a community to better address the current issues, but they also have to remain one moving forward when they relocate, rehabilitate, and prepare in case a similar crisis would confront them in the future. It, too, presented me with an opportunity to help out in a very specific way.

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