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Tabang Caraga for Mindanao communities ravaged by #OdettePH launched

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TUBAY, SURIGAO DEL NORTE, PHILIPPINES

Almost 12,000 households benefitted from the joint relief operation dubbed “Tabang Caraga” launched by three mining companies along with a non-government organization in order to help victims of Super Typhoon Odette that battered CARAGA Region and the rest of the country more than a week ago.

Immediate response

The relief operations was jointly conducted by TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI), Greenstone Resources Corp. (GRC) and the Villar Sipag Foundation.  The initiative was launched a day after Odette hit two Surigao provinces and Dinagat Islands.  Employees of the three companies immediately packed and distributed rice, canned goods and noodles to the typhoon victims.

The relief effort covered the eight barangays under Agata’s nickel mining operation, including the coastal barangays of Binuangan, Tinigbasan, Tagpangahoy and Lawigan. Also included were residents of inland barangays E. Morgado, Tagbuyacan, Colorado and La Paz.  A total of 3,163 households in the area received assistance.

The operations likewise benefitted the host and nearby communities of Greenstone in the town of Tubod.  Some 4,830 food packs were distributed to the typhoon victims while another 3,400 were given to affected households in Surigao and Dinagat Islands.  Also provided with relief goods were personnel of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

Grateful communities

Tagbuyacan Barangay Captain Carlito Balinos, Jr.  expressed his appreciated for the companies’ efforts in helping his constituents who are among Agata’s beneficiary communities.  “Daku kitag pasalamat sa Agata tungod aning ilang gipanghatag nga relief goods alang kanato. Daku kining tabang sa ato nga wala pay saktong kakuhaan ug pagkaon tungod sa bagyo nga niigo sa atong barangay. Daghang salamat Agata! (We are very thankful to Agata for the relief goods they gave us.  This is a huge help for us, especially for those who – at the moment – are not able to secure food because of the typhoon that struck our barangay.  Our huge thanks to Agata!),” the official said.

While hundreds were lining-up and waiting for the food packs, company personnel made sure of observing health protocols like wearing of face masks and proper physical distancing.  The three companies realigned close to Php7.0 million for its Tabang Caraga relief operations.

Vulnerable communities

Just a few weeks ago, TVIRD’s communities surrounding its Balabag Gold-Silver Project in Bayog Municipality were badly hit by strong floods and incessant rains brought by a low-pressure area (LPA) off Surigao del Sur.  Bayog LGU personnel were joined by TVIRD’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) to assist in the rescue operations.

The TVIRD team served hot coffee, bread and biscuits to over 500 evacuees in the town’s gymnasium until the early morning.  In addition, a total of 1,377 affected families from lowland barangays of the town received food packs from TVIRD.

Earlier this year, another devastating storm (Crising) battered Imelda town near Bayog and hit Barangay Poblacion the hardest.  TVIRD provided immediate relief and food packs to an estimated 400 families in the municipality.  Danny Gamil, leader of a barangay purok (a subset of a barangay) and neighbor Nolyn G. Palme said the arrival of the food packs helped their families survive for days after Crising brought heavy flooding.

“It was a touching gesture.  The assistance provided to us came when we needed it most.  Thank you so much, TVIRD!” said Imelda town residents who were assisted by the company.

TVIRD also provided assistance to some 250 families from Barangays Dimalinao, Kahayagan and Dipili directly after Crising ravaged the barangays with strong floods and extraordinary rainfall.  Specifically for Zamboanga del Sur, it was not the first time that a natural disaster of this magnitude brought savage destruction to homes and farmlands. (PR)

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