Saturday, February 1, 2014
WHEN TYPHOON YOLANDA left the Visayas in devastation, the company where I worked in, authorized me to organize a relief mission, so I tasked two of my officemates to conduct a survey up north Cebu on November 11, 2013. Both told of the destruction that the typhoon laid waste on the habitations and vegetation and the heart-rending spectacle of people begging along the roads for food and water.
My company – Tactical Security Agency, Inc. - employ security guards assigned at several provincial hospitals located at Northern Cebu, Bantayan Island and the Camotes Islands, as well as in a dive resort (Sea Explorers) located at Malapascua Island. Aside that, a lot of our guards who are assigned in Metro Cebu came from these places and it is my task to determine which guard will be provided help.
I decide that we concentrate on the areas starting from the town of Sogod, then going up north, as the very places that will be prioritized for relief goods giving, to include the islands. Approved during the discussion were the procurement of roof sheets, nails, rice, canned goods, instant noodles, biscuits and the people that will comprise the team.
After allocating funds good for fifty households, the company’s relief mission moved forward. So, on November 15, exactly a week after Typhoon Yolanda wreaked havoc, this blogger and Joe Patrick Uy proceeded to undertake this humanitarian mission. We start early at 7:00 AM from Mandaue City using a Toyota Hi-Ace.
Another team, manned by Archie Albaciete and Joseph Sicad, will go direct to Bantayan Island. They will utilize the smaller Suzuki Multicab and will also start from Mandaue City then cross Bantayan Channel from the Port of Hagnaya, San Remigio. They start earlier at 4:00 AM and will spend a night at the Bantayan District Hospital before returning the following day.
We will distribute the items in two batches and thirty people will get their chance of aid first. Each security guard is allocated six pieces of roof sheets, a kilo of mushroom nails, five kilos of rice and an assortment of canned goods, instant noodles and biscuits.
We will use the provincial hospitals as storage areas for easy access to neighboring towns and outlying areas. The Danao District Hospital in Danao City would be used as a depot for the towns of Poro, San Francisco, Pilar and Tudela, where the RL Maningo Memorial Hospital is located. These towns are located offshore on the Camotes group of islands. Four guards are allocated, among themselves, 24 roof sheets, nails and four food packs.
Next is the Juan Dosado Memorial Hospital in Sogod where it is used as a holding point for the relief items of guards working and/or residing in the towns of Sogod, Borbon and Tabogon. Four guards are allocated, among themselves, 24 roof sheets, nails and four food packs. By now, the great typhoon’s passing is getting discernible when we drove on the mountain road of Eme that pass by Borbon and Tabogon.
After that is the Severo Verallo Memorial Hospital in Bogo City. It will be used as the storage area of relief items for guards who are assigned and/or residing in Bogo City and the town of San Remigio. Eight guards are allocated, among themselves, 48 roof sheets, nails and eight food packs. The Israeli Defense Force took over operation of the hospital and it is off limits to vehicles. Nevertheless, we were allowed to deliver our cargo.
Travelling further north, damage is greater. A lot of people are on the road waiting for passing vehicles for dole outs while their homes are devastated beyond repair. A lot of trees are uprooted while coconuts broke in half or got toppled. What is interesting is that the direction of the wind that brought down the majority of all trees came from the west, which the old folks call in vernacular as “badlong” - the wind that breaks all winds.
The Daanbantayan District Hospital in Daanbantayan is the last stop. It is used as the storage hub of relief items for guards assigned and/or residing on the towns of Medellin and Daanbantayan and the islands of Malapascua and Guintarcan. Eight guards are allocated, among themselves, 48 roof sheets, nails and eight food packs.
The Toyota Hi-Ace I rode encountered engine trouble at Bogo City and then another time at Medellin. It overheated because of faulty water circulation. We remedy it by resting the engine to cool it down and refilled the radiator. The last trouble occurred in the early evening when we were cruising back to Cebu City passing by Lugo in Borbon. It refused to start again and we have to wait for rescue which arrived at nine. The vehicle was towed back to its garage which we reached at 2:00 AM of the following day.
Meanwhile, the other team in Bantayan will use the Bantayan District Hospital as a base for distribution of relief items for guards assigned and/or residing at the towns of Santa Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos. Six guards are allocated, among themselves, 36 roof sheets, nails and six food packs.
That sums up the first trip to the north where Tactical Security was able to provide 180 corrugated roof sheets for thirty guards along with 150 kilos of rice, 30 kilos of mushroom nails and an assortment of canned goods, instant noodles and biscuits. The team members provided their own meals as a form of solidarity with the typhoon victims.
The second trip for the second batch of twenty households was undertaken on November 25, 2013 or seventeen days after Typhoon Yolanda hit Cebu and ten days after the first mission. The same system of storage areas are utilized. This blogger and Joe Patrick Uy will proceed north once again and deliver another humanitarian mission.
At Danao City, six roof sheets, nails and a food pack is allocated to one guard residing at San Francisco; at Sogod, six roof sheets, nails and a food pack is allocated to one guard residing at Tabogon; at Bogo City, 30 roof sheets, nails and five food packs are allocated to five guards residing at Bogo City and San Remigio; and at Daanbantayan, 54 roof sheets, nails and nine food packs are allocated to nine guards residing at Medellin, Daanbantayan and Guintarcan Island.
The team of Archie Albaciete and Joseph Sicad left for Bantayan Island on November 26 to deliver 24 roof sheets, nails and four foods pack for four guards residing at the towns of Bantayan and Santa Fe. They were attached to a bigger relief mission undertaken by the officers and staff of Allure Hotel and Suites.
The second trip for the last batch had provided 120 corrugated roof sheets, 100 kilos of rice, 20 kilos of mushroom nails and an assortment of canned goods, instant noodles and biscuits for twenty security guards. Aside that, we provided five food packs for our security guards who are residents of Tacloban City, Ormoc City and Carigara in Leyte and in Guiuan, Samar.
During the travels we took, we made many families happy. Not because of the relief packs but because this company took pains to recognize the importance of their breadwinners in our policies. We take care of our people and that’s what counts. Our security guards are our frontliners and we never abandon them when SHTF comes like earthquakes and super typhoons so we give back. They are our jewels. It is for this reason that Tactical Security is on top of its game in a very competitive industry.
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