Last September 15, 2018 Typhoon Ompong, with International name Mangkhut, made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan. Cagayan is almost 400 kilometers away from Benguet, however Baguio City and the adjoining municipalities received the highest amount of rainfall that swelled sewages and caused widespread flooding and landslides.

Jaime V. Ongpin joined Relief International, ACTED and Action Against Hunger in a two-day rapid assessment in Itogon, Tuba, Sablan and Kapangan, Benguet. Although Typhon Ompong stayed for just a few hours, it left a devastating effect on farm lands, greenhouses, infrastructures and homes. After the two-day assessment United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) coordinated an exit conference at the Governor’s office last September 20, 2018 for all international NGOs to give their feedback of their assessment.

Below is the consolidated report of UN OCHA from all the needs assessment of the different NGOs, including JVOFI.

On Food Security, Agriculture and Nutrition

  • Cash assistance for farming households to ensure they can access adequate food or rebuild their livelihoods
  • Targeted food distributions for the most vulnerable households, including those who have lost their homes
  • Food supplements for children, and pregnant and lactating women at risk of malnutrition.
  • Timely agricultural inputs, including rice and corn seeds for the November/December planting season, fertilizers, hand tools, repairs to storage facilities, replenishment of fishing equipment losses
  • Assistance to help families’ replant kitchen gardens

On Shelter, Camp Coordination, Camp Management

  • Cash assistance to repair or rebuild homes
  • Cash assistance to host families who are supporting displaced people
  • Shelter repair materials, with a strong messaging component on build-back-safer and construction techniques to reinforce timber frame houses and lightweight roofs

Relief has been abundant after Typhoon Ompong. These were given by several groups and individuals to the communities in need especially in Itogon, Benguet. However, after the hype of the aftermath, outpouring of relief for certain communities could slow down as people will be returning to their normal lives. To some of the victims, they cannot return to normal since parts of the areas where they used to live were deemed uninhabitable. They not only lost the lives they have been used to for several decades, but their livelihoods and even some loved ones.  It is our hope that these victims will be able to get back on their feet through permanent help like skills training and livelihood assistance.