Tabango

Located on the northwest coast of Leyte province in the Tabango municipality, Tugas had seen no teams prior to our arrival to their barangay on day 19 after Typhoon Yolanda. Somewhat isolated due to road condition and lack of motorized vehicles, their water supply is currently not functional and water is being carried on foot by residents a total of 16km for access. Population is 1,700 individuals with 386 households 18 individuals are still in the evacuation center and 1,100 individuals are with host families with total loss of their homes reported. 70% of structures are totally destroyed and uninhabitable, with 30% damaged but inhabitable.

            –        Report:

                        Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] Rapid Needs Assessment Report
                        9 Municipalities in Leyte Province
                        UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination                                                              of Humanitarian Affairs)   
                       25-30 November 2013

Damage to the Tabango Civic Centre, following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (II)
Damage to the Tabango Civic Center, following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda 

The municipality of Tabango was among those hardest hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Here, Loreta E. Daloso, a local market vendor, remembers her preparations in haste for the coming of the typhoon.

Tabango local market vendor Loreta E. Daloso
Tabango local market vendor Loreta E. Daloso

We were told that that the typhoon was on its way, so I placed all our things inside plastic bags. Our home was damaged, and I was even more surprised when I saw the devastation in our market. No roofing was left, even the steel bars were bent.

We placed temporary tarpaulins as roofing and used tables outside the market as our temporary stall.

Luther S. Suano, a municipal planning and development coordinator (MPDC), explains the ‘unbelievable’ nature of Yolanda, as it made landfall:

Municipal planning and development coordinator Luther S. Suano
Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Luther S. Suano

It was like the end of the world. In all my life, it was the worst typhoon I have ever experienced.

We usually experience typhoons here, but Yolanda was really the strongest.

After the typhoon, our (municipal hall) lobby served as our office. Some of the employees transferred to the library and other structures that survived just to have temporary offices.

Ma. Corazon E. Remandaban, Tabango’s municipal mayor also remembers:

Tabango Mayor Ma. Corazon E. Remandaban
Tabango Mayor Ma. Corazon E. Remandaban

Two days before landfall, I convened the MDRRMC. Our MDRRM officer informed our barangays to prepare and advised the people to evacuate.

The following day, some local people were preparing, but others were hesitant since the weather was fine.

But the typhoon brought strong winds, and this is what caused the devastation.

Afterwards, everyone was busy with their families. We waited for one day for the local government officials and key persons to attend to their families, then gathered together to plan our recovery.

With support from RAY DILG

For market vendor Loreta, the repair of the local public market sees the return of regular patrons, and a return to daily market routines.

Tabango public market - July 2015
Tabango public market – July 2015

“When our market was repaired, we were comfortable again, in our stalls,” Loreta says. “Selling outside was a struggle and sacrifice especially when it rains.

“Since it is now more convenient for vendors and marketgoers, we’ve seen an increase in business.”

Nearby, at the local civic center, repairs have improved the wellbeing of the community.

The newly-rehabilitated Tabango Civic Center - July 2015
The newly-rehabilitated Tabango Civic Center – July 2015

“We’ve begun using the civic center for community activities again,” Luther says. “(The venue) also generates income for the local government from rent of the facility, and from the stalls outside.

Now, we have new offices that are more resilient than before,” he adds.

Learning and Challenges post-Yolanda

Despite continued disaster risk reduction and preparation efforts, there remain ongoing lessons and challenges in Tabango, post-Yolanda.

“After Yolanda, the people participate and cooperate with our MDRRMO,” Mayor Corazon says. “This was evident during typhoon Ruby.

Yet we still need to teach our people about discipline and cleanliness, especially when they stay in the evacuation centers. During Ruby, I visited the evacuation centers and told them to maintain the cleanliness of the classrooms we used as evacuation centers, since we are just borrowing it.”

“It is still a continuous challenge,” Mayor Corazon added. “We haven’t perfected it yet, because this is not yet part of our norms. That is why we teach our people and include these efforts as part of our community preparations for future calamities,” she says.

The newly-rehabilitated Tabango Municipal Hall - July 2015
The newly-rehabilitated Tabango Municipal Hall – July 2015

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