Trade unionís relentless relief operations to super typhoon victim-survivors

from November 28, 2013 05:00 pm to November 28, 2013 05:00 pm

 By Arturo Regis Barrit
Director, Education & Information
Mobile: 0917 800 8272 / 09255 888 333


            The trade union’s relief operations to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) was implemented vigorously with the National President of the biggest labor federation in the country, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) leading the relief operations.


            The ongoing relief operations dubbed as “Operation Tabang” kicked-off November 13 was responsible for the distribution of volumes of relief goods to the towns hardly hit by the super howler in Northern Cebu, such as Medellin, Bogo and Daanbantayan. Likewise, typhoon stricken areas in Leyte such as Ormoc and Baybay cities and the towns of Hilongos and Albuera were also visited by the union officials and were recipients of volumes of re-packed relief goods consisting of three (3) kilos of rice, canned of sardines, packs of noodles, assorted medicines and loaves of bread given by the ALU-TUCP.


            The first visit of trade union officials to Leyte area was November 15. They visited different unionized companies under ALU-TUCP and distributed volumes of relief goods to union members and their families. The adjacent barangays were also given relief goods by the union. Among the companies visited by the union officials and personnel were:  HISUMCO (Hilongos Sugar Milling Co.); IPI (International Pharmaceutical Inc.); LEYECO V (Leyte Electric Cooperative); SPMI (Specialty Pulp Mfg, Inc.); Chingbee Trading Inc.; LEYECO IV; and, PSPI (Pulp Specialties Phils. Inc.).


The relief operation initiated by the union was primarily intended to the union members belonging to its fold. But due to the magnitude of the damage to life and properties caused by the super typhoon that hit Central Philippines the top honchos of the trade union has decided to extend a helping hand to the victims of the calamity regardless they are union members or not.


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Had the road arteries and bridges leading to the ground zero were made passable during the first visit of the trade union officials in Leyte they could have been in Tacloban City some few days after the super typhoon struck the city and almost leveled the environs of the city center.    


After it was launched the “Operation Tabang” with initial funding from the ALU-TUCP it continuously made preparations by re-packing relief goods. The nerve center of the activity is located at the lobby of the JSU-PSU Mariner’s Court, Cebu City the home office of the ALU-TUCP.


On November 22, the ALU-TUCP relentlessly pursued another relief operation second time to the municipalities in Northern Cebu and some selected barangays, namely: Medellin, Bogo and Daanbantayan. The barangays who were recipients of the relief goods were: Malbago, Calape, Tapilon, Tapilon Sitio Camotes, Pasil Maya, Pasil Dauis and Tinubdan, all belonging to the municipality of Daanbantayan. An interior barangay in the City of Bogo La Libertad and the adjoining barangay were also recipients of the relief goods.


The visit at the ground zero is long overdue. The union officials and personnel are eager-beaver to do its share. The presence of the top officials of the union, the National President and the National Executive Vice President, Gerard R. Seno are leading the relief operations. Equally important on this two-day activity is the presence of the TUCP Party-list Representative Raymond D.C. Mendoza.


There are a total of 5,000 packs of relief goods that were prepared for distribution to the union members belonging to the ALU-TUCP. Employees working at DORELCO, LEYECO II, SAMELCO and Bayantel with a combined workforce of 560 employees will be the beneficiaries of the prepared re-packed relief goods and items.


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Accordingly, the union is donating 10 sacks of will-milled rice and 20 cartoons of sardines to the Office of Cong. Martin Romualdez. 


The number of will-milled rice repacked totaled to almost 1,500 sacks, 40,000 packs of noodles, 60,000 cans of sardines, 18,000 loaves of bread, assorted medicines and volumes of used clothing/apparels.  


The ALU-TUCP’s “Operation Tabang” is partly funded by the London-based International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) with coordination by ALU, the Philippine Seafarers’ Union (PSU), BWI/DPA, DyLA, JSU-PSU Mariner’s Court and MENCA Development Corporation.


Another intervention for the union members and the residents who are victims of the super typhoon that is on the pipe-line is the aid from the BWI (Building Woodworkers International) for the provision of temporary shelter/dwellings of those directly affected by the super typhoon. The BWI is closely coordinating with the Danish People’s Aid for funding/grant allocation.


The BWI/DPA program will be implemented holistically by developing a pool of manpower of construction workers in each recipient barangay to be trained by competent government agency particularly TESDA for NC II certification of their individual skills such as masonry, carpentry, wielder, painter, among others.


On this, the ALU-TUCP will come into the set-up by way of organizing and forming those trained individual workers into an association or cooperatives. The Danish aid will support also the needs of the pooled construction workers such as buying construction/carpentry tools and gadgets, among others.  


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