Still hoping somebody will help them

1

Tacloban City: Life is still difficult for residents of this city’s Barangay Anibong as some of them have yet to recover from the losses they suffered two years after Super Typhoon Yolanda struck.

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Susan Bituin, a resident, said they immediately build shanties after the Tzu Chi Foundation rolled out its the ‘Pay for Work’ program. The program afforded them to buy lumber and tin sheets so they could rebuild their houses which were washed out by the storm surge brought by Yolanda.

Their source of livelihood – fish trading – was also wiped out as the town’s market was reduced to a rubble.

Barangay Anibong is located within the 40-meter No Build Zone, which Bituin claims is the reason why the government is not helping them rebuild their houses. Bituin claimed that about 90 percent of the residents Barangay Anibong were not given Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Transferring to bunkhouses was also ruled out as the relocation site is far away from the public market where they source their livelihood.

But life has to go on.

A few months after November 8, 2013, Bituin put up a barbecue stand to augment her husband’s income in the local fish market.

Marivic Villarmento, who has lived in Barangay Anibong for over 20 years, said her family temporarily sought shelter in a nearby school. They moved out after building a shanty three weeks later.

“Life was so difficult after Yolanda because food was scarce. Nobody was selling food,” she told the Times. Villarmento and her husband had to venture out and look for something to feed their children.

They too benefited from the Tzu Chi Foundation’s “Pay for Work” program. They joined an army of survivors who were made to clear the city of debris.

Villarmente hopes that somebody would come in and continue helping them.

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