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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Flooding in the Metro, not the poor people’s fault – Samahang Operasyong Sagip

The government’s lack of comprehensive plan to solve flooding to including the unabated cutting down of forest trees, lack of flood defenses or control and most importantly, disaster preparedness and failure to address the root causes of people’s vulnerability to the effects of disaster, not the poor people, are the reasons why almost a hundred people died and thousands more were displaced from their homes because of “Habagat”.

This was Samahang Operasyong Sagip’s (SOS) reaction on the “typical victim-blaming” attitude of the government on the massive flooding caused by the southwest monsoon that badly hit Luzon and affected  89,114 families, left behind 92 people dead, destroyed thousands of homes and damaged P616 million worth of crops and infrastructure.

Christ Ian Mostrales, a registered nurse and coordinator of SOS said that Mr. Aquino should deeply look into the reasons why millions of Filipinos remain vulnerable to the effects of disasters year in and year out.  He stressed that “political and economic disenfranchisement further push the majority poor” into situations and places that put their lives and limbs at risk. 

Instead of blaming the poor for the flood, Mostrales said that Mr. Aquino should review his previous decision on the cancellation of 19 projects under the “Post Ondoy and Pepeng Short-Term Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project” a few months after he assumed office in 2010.  The project sought to repair damaged flood control facilities in Luzon that were ravaged by the two typhoons.  In the absence of a better blueprint for flood solution, Mostrales said that the administration even cancelled the P18.7 billion Laguna Lake dredging project which aimed to permanently solve the flooding in Laguna and adjacent provinces and cities.  Earlier this year, around 79 percent of the P7.5 billion Quick Reaction Calamity Fund was already spent – leaving only P1.6 billion for the typhoons that are expected to hit the Philippines this year. Government allotment for disaster preparedness, mitigation, and rehabilitation has had meager share in the national budget.

In exchange for these long-term solutions, the Aquino government resorted to stop gap solutions like the clearing of waterways and drainage systems of all makeshift structures that block them – with DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson saying “even going to the extent of blowing up structures that block waterways to ease flooding”.  

Mostrales reiterated that the statement is insensitive especially considering that most families whose houses have been demolished in Damayang Lagi, Quezon City and Isla Puting Bato in Tondo Manila experienced a double whammy when their new homes were ravaged by floods.  The “illegal structures” of urban poor families are not the main problem why there is flooding and demolishing these structures will not solve the problem of flooding and congestion. 

“Who would want to live in dirty esteros, landslide-prone areas, river side, break waters, or shorelines if these people were properly employed, earning a livable wage, or were not displaced from their lands in the countryside because of large scale mining and land-grabbing?” 

“The Philippines experience an average of twenty tropical cyclones per year.  Hence, the government should focus more in long-term structural enhancements and more importantly, capacitate the people by providing adequate social services and equal economic and political opportunities to mitigate the adverse effects of disasters,” Mostrales ended.

SOS is a network of organizations, volunteer health workers, professionals and students that aim to render assistance to disaster victims through various responses such as disaster preparedness and mitigation initiatives, relief and medical missions and post disaster rehabilitation efforts.  It was formed in the early 1990s in response to the big earthquake and lahar flows of Mt. Pinatubo. ##

Christ Ian Mostrales – 0923-1016178 / (+632) 929-8109
Spokesperson/Coordinator, SOS
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stranded residents on rooftops

Stranded residents on rooftops | ABS-CBN News

Once again SOS Samahang Operayong Sagip is appealling for ur help. Hundreds of Families in NCR are now displaced due to continous and Heavy rain. Any help.... FOOD, Clothings, Medicines are welcomed. Volunteers for relief and Medical Mission are also needed.

For Cash Donations, please send it through the following bank account:

Account name: Samahang Operasyong Sagip, Inc.

Metro Bank
Savings Account # 636-3-63608747-6
Swift Code: MBTCPHMM
Metrobank-Examiner Quezon Avenue Branch,
1517 Ave Maria Bldg, Quezon City, Philippines

Pls Call or Txt Ian CP# 09231016178 for details
thanks you...

Friday, February 10, 2012


February 10, 2012

To all our Volunteer and Members

Dear Friend’s of SOS

Samahang Operasyong Sagip (SOS) with Balsa Mindanao or Bulig Alang sa Mindanao is a citizen-led Mindanao wide formation responding to the crisis brought about by typhoon ‘sendong’ carrying out humanitarian assistance and environmental advocacy to Northern Mindanao. The multi-sectoral and interfaith group has already conducted its 3rd wave of relief, medical, psychosocial and documentation services especially to the hardest hit and less served communities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

Community Based Health Services – Northern Mindanao Region (CBHS-NMR) has led the medical team in providing needed health services in the affected communities in Cagayan de Oro City (CDO). Balsa Mindanao’s third wave of medical missions in CDO was conducted from January 13 – 16, 2012. Areas served were affected families at the evacuation centers at the Agusan Elementary School and Brgy. Indahag, and at the affected communities at Sta. Cruz, Brgy. Consolacion, Villa Angela, Brgy. Balulang, and Tambo, Brgy, Macasandig. These medical missions have served a total of 577 individuals.

But much remains to be done. The next phase, rehabilitation and reconstruction, is a long way process that entails a comprehensive and participatory course of action. Crucial is the role of the victims and survivors themselves.

CBHS-NMR’s assessment of the health needs of the affected families in the evacuation centers has revealed that most medical aid rendered were mostly curative, thus only addresses immediate health concerns. In this regard, CBHS-NMR aims to strengthen the capacities of communities on skills that promote health and prevent disease. Specifically, we intend to conduct health education activities in the evacuation centers and distribute hygiene/first aid kits. Listed below are the dates, target beneficiaries, and the contents of the kits.

Feb. 17 Brgy. Agusan Evacuation Center 64 families
Sitio Pita, Brgy. Bonbon 80 families
Feb. 18 Tibasak, Brgy. Macasandig 401 families
Mandumol, Brgy. Macasandig 113 familes
Buena Oro 26 families
Brgy. Indahag 57 families

In this regard, we are once again asking for your urgent support for this mission. We would like to solicit the following types and quantity of medicines for our medical kits.

Target Quantity Item Details
750 pcs. Hydrogen Peroxide (30 ml)
750 pcs. Isopropyl Alcohol (60 ml)
750 pcs. Cotton
750 pcs. Povidone Iodine (30 ml)
1500 pcs Sterile OS (4 x 4 inches)
750 pcs. Plaster
1500 pcs. Oresol Packs
150 boxes Paracetamol 500 mg tablets
150 boxes Aluminum Magnesium
150 Mefenamic Acid
750 pcs. Liniment (60 ml)
750 pcs. Skin Ointment

Yours Sincerely,

Ms. Rosalinda Tablang

Christ Ian Mostrales, R.M., R.N.
SOS Coordinator