The first to respond. This was what the beneficiaries said after a successful first batch of Relief Delivery Operations was conducted by different organizations for the affected communities in the municipalities of Panay Island.
In the province of Aklan, disaster preparedness and response organization Rise Up Aklan led and assisted and the residents of Poblacion, Kalibo in transferring to evacuation centers. Despite the floodwaters, the group also led the distribution of relief assistance and tarpaulins for temporary shelter among the residents of C. Laserna St., Kalibo last October 30. At present, Rise Up Aklan together with Panay Center for Disaster Response held community clean-up activities and community kitchen or feeding programs for the children.
In Iloilo City Tulong Kabataan Western Visayas led the community feeding program for 500 residents of Barangay Molo Boulevard last October 30 despite inclement weather. Last November 4-5 various groups also conducted the first batch of Relief Delivery Operations for 400 families affected by Typhoon Paeng in the towns of Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Leganes, Iloilo City and Roxas City.
Last November 6, in the town of Dumarao, Capiz the relief network of farmers and fisherfolks Dagyaw Pesante with Sagip Kanayunan distributed assorted vegetable seeds to around 200 farmers.
Last Monday, November 7, the Panay Center for Disaster Response held its second batch of Relief Delivery Operation for the affected families of typhoon Paeng in the town of Panit-an, Capiz.
Arlie Bosque of Tulong Kabataan said that these services of civil society or non-government organizations prove that if determined, it is possible to quickly draw plans and lend assistance for those affected by the calamity. President Marcos, Jr. only called a meeting last October 29 despite the fact that the typhoon had caused damages across the country in October 27.
Bosque also added that due to the widespread damage brought by the typhoon, so many families are yet to receive relief assistance from the government. Among them are those whom their groups have reached and talked to, Bosque said, as beneficiaries of community feeding.
The Panay Center for Disaster Response also said that the number of affected families continue to rise inasmuch as the government has yet to complete its assessment. PCDR says that 265,000 families or 1 million individuals are affected in the four provinces of Panay.
In addition to calls for assistance, the survivors are calling on the national government to fast track not only relief assistance but also livelihood assistance efforts.