Report on the Typhoon Damages to Indigenous People in the Philippines

Land is Life's partner TUMANDUK (Indigenous Peasants in Defense of Land and Life) shared with us this recent report on the damages in Tapaz, a municipality in the Capiz province, and in Calinog, a municipality in the Iloilo provice, both on Panay Island. The report shares the severe damage to the livelihoods of the Tumandok peoples in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda which battered the area on November 8th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. TUMANDUK reports as follows: 



In Calinog town, affected IP areas include barangays (villages) Masaroy, Garangan, Aglinab, Alibunan, Cahigon and Simsiman. More than 5,000 indigenous peoples Tumandok or at least 500 households were affected. Houses were destroyed by strong winds and falling trees. Barangay roads are impassable with debris and electricity posts gather in roads.

In Tapaz, we have the following 22 indigenous barangays: Abangay, Acuna, Aglinab, Agpalali, Artuz, Bato-bato, Buri, Daan Norte, Daan Sur, Hilwan, Katipunan, Lahug, Minan, Nayawan, Rizal Norte, Rizal Sur, Roosevelt, San Miguel Ilaya, Senonod, Tacayan, Taganghin, Wright. These barangays hold at least 15,000 indigenous peoples or 2,500 households. Almost 80-100% of the houses in these communities have been totally destroyed. Trees and electric posts blocked transportation and vehicles on the main roads. 

For both towns, banana trees bow their heads down to the grounds. Tumandoks who are having at least 2-4 sacks of banana harvest in two weeks' time will have zero since not a single tree was spared by Yolanda. Coffee trees were uprooted and coffee beans, which are expected to be harvested this November until December will no longer be available.



In December 26, 2012, indigenous peoples also suffered from the onslaught of typhoon Quinta which caused 70-90% damages to Tumandok sources of livelihood (i.e. banana, coffee, rice fields) due to heavy rains which caused landslides and soil movements in upland barangays. Government support never reached those areas in the aftermath of Quinta and with the events caused by Yolanda, even greater help is needed now.



TUMANDUK organization has launched clearing operations and rebuilding activities. The "dagyaw" system of cooperation and collective work makes it possible for Tumandoks to lift themselves up and recover faster. The cooperative skills of Tumandoks have made them resilient and strong towards any calamity and disaster. But with very limited materials, quick recovery is impossible. Food, health and medical support are also limited, putting livelihoods at great risk.



For now, Tumandoks are in need of financial assistance to augment the scarcity of food in the area and the lack of livelihood opportunities at the moment. Construction materials, psychological and social debriefing services are also needed. 

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