A helping hand. TVIRD’s Community Relations team led by Khalil Tabernero distributed food packs to Imelda Town’s flood victims who were lining-up alongside the company’s service vehicle. Physical distancing was strictly implemented in the queues while some food packs were delivered directly to households by the team.
“It was a touching gesture. The assistance provided to us came when we needed it most. Thank you so much, TVIRD,” said Imelda Town residents who were provided with food packs by TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD). The assistance came after the devastating storm battered the town and hit Barangay Poblacion the hardest.
Danny Gamil, leader of a barangay purok (a subset of a barangay) and neighbor Nolyn G. Palme said the arrival of the food packs helped their families survive for days after Storm Crising brought heavy flooding.
Gamil is one of the town’s earliest settlers. He said all the residents of his purok and others of this barangay received the food packs delivered by the company’s Community Relations personnel who were led by Khalil Pope Tabernero. The company’s efforts provided immediate relief to an estimated 400 families in the municipality.
Earlier, TVIRD provided assistance to some 250 families from Barangays Dimalinao, Kahayagan and Dipili directly after Crising battered these barangays with strong floods and extraordinary rainfall. PAGASA warned of “isolated to scattered flooding, including flash floods and rain-induced landslides” in vulnerable areas.
Specifically for Zamboanga del Sur, this is not the first time that a natural disaster of this magnitude brought savage destruction to homes and farmlands.
A touching gesture
“I was really touched, seeing all those goods delivered to us by TVIRD. Its arrival comforted us, made us see the goodness of men,” said Palme, 29-year old wife of a fish vendor and mother of three. She said that their family had no income for days and that she and her husband have been clearing their house of debris after it was submerged by flood water.
“Everything was washed away by the flood. We only salvaged our TV set and a cooking utensil. We are hard-up and do not have income. Adding to our misery was the lockdown imposed on us again – we cannot even go out. But thanks to TVIRD’s food packs, which sustained us for several days,” Palme said.
Farmer and tricycle driver Gerson F. Bacleta, said TVIRD’s help was unexpected, especially since Imelda is located almost 50 kilometers from TVIRD’s facilities in Bayog Municipality, Zamboanga del Sur Province.
“We did not expect it, but I am grateful because the assistance helped feed my family for three days. It was the only assistance that we received after the storm,” he said. “Sadly, my rice land is buried with mud and can no longer be salvaged,” Bacleta shared. He would have harvested about a month after the storm.
Gamil said the May 14 flood was “devastating.” However, he also refuted reports that it was the first time Imelda town experienced this kind of flooding.
“Hesus, 47 anyos na ko. Dili lang kay kini ang baha nga nakahatag ug daku nga kadaut sa among lungsod. May mga baha kaniadto nga nalunopan pod ang mga balay (Jesus! I am 47 years old already. This is not the only flood that brought so much destruction to our town. There were floods before that also submerged houses here),” he said.
Imelda is a fourth-class municipality situated along Sibugay River, which is considered the longest body of water in Sibugay Province. During the May 14 flooding, a huge volume of water from the river found its way to Imelda and other towns of the province.