Ketsana 5 – Philippines – Marikina Disaster Relief Project

by Fr. Scott Binet

The effects of Typhoon Ketsana are still very evident in Metropolitan Manila. The World Health Organization indicates that as of October 22 – some 885,039 families (4, 342,997 individuals) have been affected in 1,915 barangays [neighborhoods]. And 40,287 families (190, 027 individuals) remain in 401 evacuation centers. Casualties (directly attributable to the disaster) are 464 dead and 531 injured. As of Oct. 22, 2009 – some 238, 390 families [1, 430,124 individuals] reside in still-flooded areas in 30 municipalities. Reports from Department of Health Hospitals and some private hospitals show 1, 963 cumulative admissions for Leptospirosis since the disaster with 148 deaths. This information was excerpted from WHO Health Cluster Report (17)

The people are still suffering – from disease; from the effects of the flooding on their homes and their livelihoods – and because of the death of their loved ones. The suffering cannot be put into words – images accompanied by music sung by Andrea Bocelli (por ti sere = I will raise you up) do it some justice:

CTF Philippines with the support of CTF Central and SOS DRS has been responding to the devastation caused by the storm since it hit on September 27: See Typhoon Ketsana 1-4 in various languages.

CTF Philippines has been providing food, clothing, hygiene products, pastoral support and medical care for victims in primarily 3 areas – Buso Buso, Cainta and Marikina (all in Metropolitan Manila). And their help continues as does the suffering of the people they are serving. CTF Central and SOS DRS have collaborated in a special way with CTF Philippines to help in Marikina via the capable hands of Fr. Sam Cuarto. Many thanks go to the Filippino community in Wisconsin (USA) as well for their support of the Marikina Project.

Here is Fr. Sam’s description of the joint effort –

The Relief and Rehabilitation Assistance to Member-Families of Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program

Location:       Marikina City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Starting Date: October 15, 2009

Termination Date:   April 2010

Coordinator:  Fr. Samuel A. Cuarto, MI

Mailing Address:  Camillus MedHaven – 29 Apitong St., Marikina Heights,1800 Marikina City, Philippines – Email:, Phone No. (632) 9484456

Date: October 5, 2009

1. Description of Situation

On September 26, 2009 Typhoon “Ondoy” (known internationally Typhoon Ketsana) hit the Philippines, wrecking havoc and wide swath of destruction in Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces. Massive torrents of rain water poured down for 9 hours, flooding 80% of Metro Manila, submerging communities, washing out homes, killed more than 300 people, seriously affecting half a million families and causing enormous damages estimated at 4 billion pesos. Marikina City, a low-lying valley sandwiched between the high level Quezon City and the province of Rizal with Marikina River traversing across its belly, is one of the hardest hit areas in the National Capital Region.

Marikina City  is home to Camillus MedHaven, a 110 bed capacity long-term care facility for the elderly and handicapped operated and managed by the Philippine Province of the Order of St. Camillus. Camillus MedHaven has conceptualized and is now carrying out a Community Based Rehabilitation Program for handicapped children of urban poor families in Marikina City. While the elderly and handicapped residents of Camillus MedHaven (CM) were not affected by the flooding, some of the homes of its staff members were submerged in flood, losing most of their belongings and severely affected members of its Community Based Rehabilitation Program (CM-CBR) for handicapped children of urban poor families. Of the 190 member families of CM-CBR Program, approximately 60 families have their homes devastated. Most are residents of Balubad in Barangay Nangka. Located next to Marikina River, Balubad is an urban poor resettlement community in Marikina City holding hundreds of low-income families mostly belonging to the informal sector. Most families survive on a daily basis by collecting garbage and scraps for sale, contracted labor services in the construction sector and by itinerant vending. In the onslaught of Typhoon “Ondoy” Marikina River rose to critical levels and swept away the makeshift settlements. Made of light materials, their makeshift homes tumbled like card boards with onrushing waters.  Several hundred families were gravely affected, including the approximately 60 member-families of Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program.

This disaster has effectively crippled the urban poor settlement of Balubad and rendered the affected families that are already poor into a deeper state of impoverishment. There is dire need for immediate relief services. In particular, there is urgent need for food, water, basic medicines, clothing, blankets and towels. Toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary napkins and diapers for children are also needed. The local government of Marikina is undertaking relief services, clean up operations of streets and removal of stalled vehicles and other debris throughout the city. Major media networks in the Philippines, the Philippine military, civic groups, non-government organizations and private individuals are responding but the focus of efforts have been in areas highlighted by media coverage. The urban poor settlement of Balubad in Barangay Nangka have not been penetrated by relief efforts to a level that will provide immediate supplies to affected families. At this stage of disaster response, activities are still in relief mode.

2. Relief and Rehabilitation

Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program is currently undertaking continuous relief operations for the next weeks. While primary target families are those members of the CM-CBR Program, neighbouring households and extended families are assisted. These operations has the primary objective of relieving the immediate and urgent needs of affected households namely food,  potable water, dry clothing, blankets, mats and towels, basic medicines, toiletries and related sanitary supplies. These continuous operations will last for the next four weeks with food, water and basic medicines procured by funds from CTF Central and SOS DRS. The rest of the other supplies shall be sourced from other organizations, groups and individual donors responding to appeals from the Philippine Province of the Order of St. Camillus. The St. Camillus Scholasticate Community in Loyola Heights, Quezon City has been continuously providing packed relief goods sourced from donor groups and individuals.

Most importantly, Camillus MedHaven shall assist in the rehabilitation of devastated homes. The primary target of this infrastructure rehabilitation assistance are the 60 member-families of Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program. The assistance will take the form of providing affected families with materials specifically GI sheets, wood and common nails for roofing and some bags of cement to repair or fortify broken house posts and beams. These will be procured using the funds of CTF Central and SOS DRS.

Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program partners with the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy in providing the affected community of Balubad with pastoral care. The Sisters of Charity have a religious community embedded in Balubad and some members of the Congregation that have counseling background will provide counseling services for psychological trauma as well as spiritual care in coordination with the local parish.

Finally, Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program partners with the Rotary Club of Timog, Quezon City through Dr. Benjamin Alonzo, MD for the medical component of this relief and rehabilitation project. Dr. Alonzo and his fellow Rotarians provide the medical supplies and conduct medical assistance especially in treating waterborne diseases and providing preventive measures against the onset of epidemic.

3. Monitoring and Evaluation Matrix

Hereunder is the Project Implementation Plan with the timeline. The provision of relief services shall be monitored through photo documentation and distribution lists duly signed by recipient families upon receipt of goods handed out. The distribution lists shall indicate the number of dates of distribution, names of recipient families and frequency of distributions. Other indicative activities such as medical care, repairs of devastated homes and psycho-spiritual care by the Sisters of Charity shall be photo documented.

Receipt of funds from CTF Central and SOS DRS shall be documented through bank statement indicating the remittance date and amount received. Disbursements shall be documented with expense vouchers duly supported by official receipts from suppliers. There shall be no competitive bids conducted as this is a micro-project and funds requested is small-scale.

4. Final Report

The Project Coordinator, Fr. Samuel A. Cuarto, MI who is the Religious-in-Charge of Camillus MedHaven shall provide the Narrative and Financial Reports post-project on April 10, 2010. The report shall be submitted to the Provincial Superior of the Philippine Province, Fr. Ivo Anselmi, MI, with copies furnished by e-mail to Fr. Charlie Ricafort, MI, Bro. Luca, MI and Fr. Aristelo Miranda, MI. Fr. Ivo Anselmi, MI shall formally submit this Report to CTF Central and SOS DRS.

5. Budget

The proposed total budget for this micro-project titled, “Relief and Rehabilitation Assistance to Member-Families of Camillus MedHaven Community Based Rehabilitation Program” is Php 1,836,000.00 (Euro 30,000/$US 45,000)

Fr. Sam A. Cuarto, MI


One thought on “Ketsana 5 – Philippines – Marikina Disaster Relief Project

  1. I am from vancouver,canada and i wanted to say that third world countries like the Philippines always gets hit hard by typhoons.The main problem is that the majority of the people live in poverty to begin with which is not their fault.It is the fault of imperialism and with regard to the Philippines american imperialism.
    The cuban gov. always sends doctors and nurses to countries in an emergency free of charge.They stays there for however long they are needed.The govs.of canada and the usa got a lot more money than the cuban gov.yet their help is a lot less.Shame on them.

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