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Blessing & Turnover of SSVP Homes
4 May 2013
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article thumbnailTyphoon Yolanda (HAIYAN) - Disaster Relief Report

As of DECEMBER 2013 PART II During the first phase (RELIEF) of our disaster response where immedia ... 

article thumbnailAppeal for Assistance for Typhoon Yolanda Victims

    The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is one with our brothers and sisters affected by Yolanda  ... 

article thumbnailPresident General appeals for donation


article thumbnailBlessing and Turnover Rites of SSVP Homes

May 4, 2013 will always be a red letter day for fifty survivor families of typhoon Sendong. The occa ... 

"In my life I want to become better and do a little good"

Typhoon Yolanda (HAIYAN) - Disaster Relief Report

As of DECEMBER 2013


During the first phase (RELIEF) of our disaster response where immediate attention for survival was necessary, our SSVP regional members who were not greatly affected by the calamity came to the rescue. We were advised that airports were temporarily closed and it would be difficult for us from Manila to personally attend to the needs of the survivors.

The relief operation were successfully implemented in the various areas of Region VI, VII and VIII of the Visayas Region to a total of about 6,500 families from donations received from CGI, Australia and local donors in the amount of about P 1.3M. Our regional coordinators were required and for which they complied, in preparation of their reports, submission of pictures and liquidation of funds given to them.

Realizing the need to proceed now to the second phase of our disaster response plan which is the REHABILITATION stage, the National Executive Board (NEB) decided to personally visit and evaluate the actual situation of the affected areas; ITVP Bro. Thomas Tan even joined the group in the Leyte visit.


We have seen on television, internet, read in the newspapers and all media forum the havoc created by the calamity but it will never be the same as actually seeing the destruction, the loss of lives and properties, feeling the hurts and hearing the cry of the people affected. Simply sharing time, listening to their experiences of that day they thought was end of the world was much appreciated by the victims. A simple touch, an embrace, a hug, a few words of encouragement, any form of compassion, an assurance of a new day for them, extending hope and just strengthening their faith may be far more important than the relief goods we sent.

Before distribution of relief goods, we prayed with the victims and we reminded them that the goods they received represented the generosity and support of various local and international donors who can only show their love and care by sending these tangibles to them.

We have seen the destroyed houses but we have felt the undestroyed faith in the Lord. We have seen the houses totally washed out but we have felt that the hope in them has remained. We have seen how they built makeshift houses but we have felt how they were picking the pieces together to rebuild not only their houses but their lives as well.

So many people and institutions are helping yet so many are still in need, media reported 860,000 families affected and P 37.6 M destruction to properties and 10,000 lives lost. With the available funds we received from donors, the NEB decided to extend:

Housing materials subsidy worth P 10,000-P25,000 for partially destroyed houses located in lots they own or lease.
B) Temporarily housing for totally washed out communities in relocation sites worth P 40,000- P 50,000

We have partnered with the prominent ANTIGUA family in Borbon, Cebu who has offered their 3 hectare property for housing of Typhoon Yolanda victims. Each family will be allocated 50 sq.m. of lot to be paid by the victims at P 25,000 ($ 590) in 20 years at about P 150/month ($ 3.50). We are constructing 15-17 sq.m. house at a price range of P 35,000 ($ 815) – P 40,000 (P$ 930) for housing materials alone. Labor shall be done by beneficiaries and a few skilled labor provided by the city council of Borbon. SSVP Florida has helped us out with 7 houses. Our local donors may be able to contribute 10 houses. We are targeting 50 houses at least for this area. To date we have committed 25 houses only. Cost of housing materials increases mostly due to scarcity and great demand.

We have also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Bogo through the City Mayor for the Yolanda Village, a property owned by the city government who is willing to subdivide the area with approximately 64 sq.m. lot where we can construct 15-20 sq.m. house. We have committed to initially build 25 houses from the funds given by SSVP Malaysia. The beneficiaries have the option to acquire the lot to be priced at P 60,000 payable in 20 years at P 250 ($ 6.00) / month. Other funders for the houses within the area are CBCP NASSA (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action) and World Vision. Our house construction will be supervised by the Daughters of Charity (DC) and our SSVP Conference at the St. Louise de Marillac School of Bogo.

In both cases we have called these our TRANSIT SHELTER PROGRAM. These are basically CORE houses, no dividers, red cement flooring, no individual comfort rooms since a common one will be constructed by the city government. When we receive more funds we hope to be able to commit more permanent shelter to the displaced families. We intend to develop our housing communities into faith based communities with possible adoption of families by our SSVP conferences who will continue to support them in rebuilding their lives.

These were built to immediately house the victims instead of makeshift houses which can be destroyed by just a strong wind. The lot area is big and can provide room for improvement of their houses. At this point what is needed is a strong roof over their heads and this is much appreciated by victims

Because of the immediate need to raise our people’s dignity by assisting them in the simple repair of their destroyed houses, we released the following funds to the various areas. Because of the great number of families in need we decided to give LESS so MANY more can benefit. Each application for housing materials subsidy is documented by a beneficiary’s profile, picture of the destroyed house and our SSVP member’s recommendation and authentication.


We are aware that the subsidy is barely sufficient for their actual needs but at this point TIME is of the ESSENCE in extending immediate assistance.

We hope to earmark for the Leyte areas as relocation sites still have to be determined. We have expressed our intention to the bishops of our intention to assist in relocation of families.

The task of rebuilding houses may be short and definite but the mission of rebuilding lives and sustaining them will take years or even forever. It will not be an easy task for our SSVP members as we are still campaigning for donors for permanent housing facilities for those who are temporarily seeking shelter with friends and relatives within the area, in nearby provinces or even in our Vincentian institution in Manila. Talking to victims disclose their ardent desire to go back to their roots but in the absence of a roof over their heads, a livelihood for their family and education for their children, they have opted to remain transients in various areas. For some of the school children in public and private schools, some nearby schools have accepted them for free in order to ensure that they finish their studies for this school year but next school year is an entirely different ball game.

We are still to move on the third phase of our disaster response plan which is REBUILDING of lives. This entails provision of livelihood, income opportunities, skills training, and educational assistance for children especially those orphaned by the calamity, psycho debriefing for families especially children traumatized by the incident, and spiritual formation session for displaced families.

The National Council of the Philippines will never forget our international Vincentian family who has supported us in the most tragic calamity that has befallen our country. In behalf of our members and our countrymen who in one way or the other benefitted from the contribution of everyone who had a heart beating for others, for the prayers offered, for the kind words of sympathy, for the material goods and clothing, for the financial aid, we thank you all.

We thank the CGI for its campaign for “1,000,000 Euros for the Philippines”. We have only extended partial releases for housing repairs and when funds came in we hope to supplement these soonest possible. We hope to provide permanent housing to San Dionisio, Iloilo and to Tacloban, Leyte when the areas identified have been negotiated as available for housing.

We still plead that people like you to still multiply and for donors to share their material possession “till it hurts” so that we can continue our mission for our people.

After sometime, the world may forget what happened but SSVP will continue to remember and help our victims rise up again from the ruins of the disaster. We are to spread a message to the world that the Lord uses the weak to comfound the strong. That this calamity is not a persistent but a reminder that everything in this world is temporary and when all is lost it is only the Lord and His great mercy and love which remains for you to hold on to.

National President