DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/16 November)– At least 1,500 volunteers from different schools swamped Saturday the Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) depot in Panacan like an army of ants to repack relief goods for survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas.
The volunteers, who were mostly college students from different schools here, were abuzz moving boxes and bags filled with food items inside the warehouse occupying around 2,500 square meters.
Twenty-year old Harvey Monderondo skipped his weekend outing with his friends to help in repacking the food packs.
Monderondo, a fourth year psychology student at the University of Mindanao, came with four of his classmates after an appeal for volunteers was made at the university.
“I pity those affected by the typhoon, they’re in harsh conditions. This is my way to help them,” he told MindaNews in Bisaya.
The volunteers repacked food packs containing three kilos of rice, three cans of sardines, five pouches of noodles and five sachets of 3-in-1 coffee.
“It’s good to help,” said Abirami Arivazhagan, an Indian medical student at the Davao Medical School Foundation, who came with her fellow Indians.
Some volunteers came as a group while others came as part of the National Service Training Program of their school. NSTP was established through Republic Act 9163 to encourage civic or military volunteerism among college students.
The DPWH depot also served as storage and repacking area of relief goods by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) when typhoon Pablo hit the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental last December 4.
Melanie Deligero, a mother of nine, was among the volunteers at the height of relief operations in December to mid-February this year for those affected by typhoon Pablo.
But today, Deligero said they are paid P226 per day under the cash-for-work program of the DSWD.
She said the program started last mid-February as relief operations for typhoon Pablo survivors are still on going in selected areas until today .
“The relief operation for typhoon Pablo is still ongoing and now we have another calamity,” the 37-year old mother told MindaNews.
On Saturday, the Eastern Mindanao Command sent at least 400 troops coming from different Army battalions to augment the recovery, relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-devastated areas in Leyte.
The contingent, which is also composed of engineers and medical personnel , brought relief goods, medical supplies and carpentry tools. (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)