Post-"Ompong" ops feature "Team Balai"

Sep 29, 2018 ...

In response to the number of homes damaged by Typhoon "Ompong," post-disaster activities of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) include the distribution of galvanized steel (GI) sheets as well as hands-on repair assistance from the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and private contractors.

Dubbed "Team Balai," (Team Bahay) they are part of a roving team, composed of PGIN frontline offices, distributing and offering relief supplies and services under the tagline, "Paspas Takder."

According to Officer in Charge (OIC) Provincial Engineer Luciano "Lucy" Domingo, they are only able to cater to partially damaged houses for now.

"Babalikan namin yung mga totally damaged na bahay kasi nagre-request pa lang kami ng karagdagang materyales. Mga yero pa lang ang mayroon sa atin ngayon."

He also asks for patience on part of those still waiting for relief: "Sa mga nasalanta na kababayan natin dito sa Ilocos Norte, magtiyaga muna tayo kasi marami talaga kayo. Hindi namin kayang pagsabay-sabayin kayong puntahan at tulungan. Magtiyaga muna tayo habang naghihintay ng tulong mula sa probinsiya."

As of September 28, Team Balai had visited a total of 18 barangays in Laoag City, the City of Batac, and the towns of Pasuquin, Bacarra, Badoc, Currimao, Vintar, and Piddig. In these, a total of 3,362 GI sheets have been distributed and used to repair lost roofs.

There are 3,372 more sheets to be allocated for other barangays and towns.

These were donated by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

In addition to home repairs, "Paspas Takder" relief operations include medical missions, veterinary services for livestock, and the distribution of food packs, medicines, and seedlings.

"Paspas" is an Ilocano term for "hurry," while "takder" translates to "stand up."

From October 1 to 5, they are scheduled to visit and distribute more relief in over 30 barangays in Bangui, Burgos, Bacarra, Vintar, Batac City, Paoay, and Solsona.

by Stewart Ocampo, Mizpah Grace Castro



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