Home for many is where one finds love, comfort, safety and security. But for the Tagbanuas in Coron, Palawan whose houses were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), it seemed that there will be no safety and security when they rebuild their homes.
With the plight of the Tagbanuas in mind, PDI in partnership with Bread for the World conducted the Coron Rehabilitation Program of Selected Communities Affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan (CRP- CASTH). A major component of the program is to build-back-better-homes for the Tagbanuas living in the outlying islands of Coron that can withstand winds of super typhoons like Haiyan and are built in places high enough and far enough from the sea to be safe from storm surges.
Last April 2015, PDI signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Tagbanua beneficiaries and conducted house blessings. The MOA is a legal document certifying to the right of the beneficiary on the house constructed and made available by the project.
Mass Wedding and Baptism
To celebrate the turnover of the new build back better homes, the community requested for the conduct of a Mass Wedding and Baptism to strengthen the bonds of the beneficiary families. Many Tagbanuas, living in hard to reach outlying islands, do not have the means or the know how to get birth certificates and licenses so this was a wonderful opportunity for PDI to help the Tagbanuas acquire the necessary documents to legalize unions and register births.
Twenty three (23) pairs of housing beneficiaries were wed in Sitio Payatpat, Coron, Palawan on April 29, 2015 witnessed by the Tagbanua community, PDI and a representative from the local government of Coron.
Twenty three (23) Tagbanua children were also blessed in a dedication ceremony conducted by their pastor.
Farmers Field School
30 farmers participated in a Farmers Field School (FFS) to learn about Organic Vegetable Farming. The group met every Thursday for 4 hours, from 7am to 12noon from June to October 2014. The course included seminars, lectures and actual application. An exam was held at the end of the training to test their capability on planting organic vegetables. After 4 months of training, 25 farmers graduated. The FFS was conducted through the partnership of PDI, DA, and the LGU of Coron.
Being islanders, a major source of livelihood is fishing and seaweed farming. But due to their limited resources, the Tagbanuas are unable to maximize yields. PDI provided assistance through trainings from DA, fishing boats, and materials needed in the seaweed farm.
As of April 2015, the Tagbanuas have increased yields of dried and fresh seaweeds. The venture is still in its beginning stage but shows a lot of potential. It is expected that seaweed farming will be a stable source of income for the family.
Due to poverty, many Tagbanuas only eat twice a day and as a consequence many of their children are malnourished. To address this problem, PDI conducted a feeding program from November 2014 to April 2015. 143 kids (72 males and 71 females) from the 5 areas of Turda, Marupo, Marcilla, Borac and Buenavista participated. At the end of the program, all of the 143 kids showed significant weight gains.
67 beneficiaries (42 Females & 25 Males) of the Non Formal Education (NFE) program graduated last April 28, 2015 (24 from Turda, 15 from Borac and 28 from Marcilla). Many of the Tagbanuas in Coron do not go to school because they need to walk long distances or travel by boat plus there is no money to purchase school supplies.
PDI’s Non Formal Education allows out-of-school youths and illiterate adults to get an education suited to their needs and taught in their language. Parateachers trained by DepEd and PDI go to far flung islands to teach literacy, numeracy and IP history.