Typhoon Lando’s strong winds and rains struck the country hard in October. Trees, electric posts, and walls were no match for Lando’s extreme heavy rainfall and strong winds. A total of 1, 570 families have been evacuated due to landslides and flooding in the Cordilleras. There are 130 reported incidents of fallen trees, 58 landslide, soil erosion, and eroded riprap incidents, 38 reported incidents of electrical problems and four flash flooding incidents. The aftermath of typhoon Lando affected hundreds of families in the region. Aside from losing a roof over their heads, some of them lost their loved ones. Twenty-one deaths and 18 injured victims have been reported due to landslides and drowning.
In the spirit of the Cordilleran binnadang culture, Goshen Land was able to raise an initial amount of P 200, 000.00 shelled out by Goshen Land CEO Atty. Alexander Bangsoy, Premier Horizon Alliance Corp. (PHA), and also from Goshen Land’s anniversary budget. Through the amount raised by Goshen Land, volunteers from Goshen Land partners distributed a small amount of cash and relief goods such as mats, blankets, toiletries, and milk to 84 families in remote areas in Baguio and Benguet who were victims of the typhoon. The Goshen Land volunteers reached the victims first in remote Benguet barangays even before government aid came.
Goshen Land’s Entrepreneurial Social Responsibility (ESR) arm was able to put up a fund drive for families in far flung areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region which was posted on social media. With the help of individuals, the total sum raised for our binnadang amounted to P 105, 475.08. Cordillerans located in different parts of the world responded accordingly and sent their donations in a joint account set up for the typhoon victims. With the total raised amount collected, Goshen Land ESR was able to help five families in Itogon, Benguet, two families in Tabuk, Kalinga, and 1 family in Baguio City. Goshen Land ESR also supported a dinner for a cause for a family in Cruz, La Trinidad whose house got damaged in a massive landslide.
The Cariño family at City Camp Central was one of Goshen Land Binnadang’s beneficiaries. During the typhoon, City Camp Central was one of the worst hit barangays in Baguio. The area where the Cariño’s residence stood was flooded up to their roof. All their belongings were drenched during the typhoon. They evacuated to a nearby health center along with some other City Camp Central residents. Rommel Cariño, a laborer, Rosalinda, a housewife, son Russel, 19 years old, Prince, 4, third born, and Christine, their three-month-old baby lived together in a cramped shack in City Camp. Russel Cariño is one of the scholars being taken cared of under the Goshen Land’s Caring Hands program and is also a member of the Cordillera Goshen Land Football Club.
Despite what had happened during the typhoon, Russel and his family are grateful they are still together even if all of their possessions got drenched in the flood. Some of their electronic gadgets also got damaged. When a team of volunteer Goshen Land partners visited them to give some relief goods, they noticed that all their stuff were brought out of the house to dry in the sun as they were trying to salvage things that are still usable. Through the generosity of private individuals who supported the binnadang fund drive, Russel and his family now have a better roof over their heads for Christmas.
Through Goshen Land’s ESR, the company is also coordinating with TESDA and Gawad Kalinga to provide livelihood projects for the orphaned families of miners who were buried in a landslide in Mankayan, Benguet. Goshen Land ESR’s vision of binnadang is to provide sustainable long term support like shelter, education and livelihood projects. Though the results may not be seen immediately, Goshen Land ESR is willing to work hard for the long term which in the company’s experience is the most effective way to solve poverty.*** –Louella Pader