Before Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated the municipal hall in Dumangas, Iloilo, water leaks has been a recurring problem on rainy days.
“For the longest time, it is really our problem there. Our guests would usually see the leaks or the pails catching the leaks or much worse employees mopping the floor,” explains municipal employee Angela D. Docdolu. “It is really embarrassing, especially when there’s a meeting.” The employees often joked that it was like sa ilalom ng saging (under the banana tree): though covered from the rain, you’ll still get a little wet.
Yolanda also blew most of the roofing off the local public market, affecting the day-to-day lives of vendors and patrons alike.
Nearby, neither was the civic center spared by Yolanda. The gym, strategically located in the elementary school, is often where local community activities are held – graduation and recognition programs, school activities and event practice for the fiesta activities.
“I was heartbroken when I see the devastation to our gym because it has been part of our life here in the school,” Sharon D. Lumogdan, an elementary SPED teacher explained. “After Yolanda, it was very hard because we didn’t have a facility to hold our activities. We had to rely on our school grounds and could only hope that the weather would cooperate.”
Through the RAY DILG fund, repair to the roof and ceilings have since been undertaken at the municipal hall. “Now there’s no more leaks, no more buckets, no more mops,” Angela says.
At the local market, vendor Aster S. Belita says everything is now back to normal.
“Since there’s a port in our town wherein the passengers from the roll on, roll off (roro) vehicles are dropped off, passengers usually go here also to trade and buy our products,” she says. “On Sundays, we also have a market day where transient vendors visit, from nearly towns. Having an organized and improved market is every helpful for us vendors and marketgoers.”
Similarly, repairs to the civic center were a blessing to the local school, and the community.
“It was really nice to see the students gather once again here in the gym after it was repaired. Seeing them happy once again makes you forget about the struggles and hardship we had to experience right after Yolanda,” Sharon adds.