In Barbaza, Antique, both the local municipal hall and the public market suffered extensive damage during typhoon Yolanda. Yet few would have imagined the benefits afforded by continued RAY DILG-funded rehabilitation efforts.
“There was significant damage to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) office at the second floor of the municipal building,” Sally Balgos explains.
Since then, the DSWD has transferred to a new office that is far more tailored to the ongoing needs of their clients. They can now enjoy greater privacy, and conduct closed-door counseling sessions.
Similarly, “in our previous office, we didn’t have enough space to hold meetings with our entire 29-person team,” Sally says. “We’d have to find someplace else to gather everyone together. Now, we can fit everyone in.”
Nearby, at the local public market, rehabilitation efforts have also improved conditions.
Jonita C. Bautista, a local vendor, shared that the old market was smaller and made of light materials: and as a result, was more vulnerable to weather conditions.
“Since the market was made from nipa hut material, it didn’t provide us with enough protection when it rained,” she says. “We usually experience leaks which either wet us, or the products we sell.”
The ‘new’ market has since been reinforced with concrete, making it sturdier and safer. It is more spacious, and roll-up doors make it easy for the vendors to close their stalls at night.
Stall in the newly-rehabilitated Barbaza public market – August 2015
“The RAY fund from DILG was the first and largest amount of money our municipality received for the rehabilitation projects after Typhoon Yolanda,” Mayor Gerry Necor says.
“Through these projects, the people regained their trust and confidence on the local and national government. It was an indication for them that the government works hand in hand with them towards recovery and normalcy,” he adds.