Labor Groups Provide Relief Assistance to Yolanda victims

January 7, 2014

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights together with seven (7) other labor organization that comprising the Task Force Obrero (TFO) provided relief assistance this December to victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that hit Central Philippines in early November 2013.

Children in Cala-agus Elementary School in Capiz line up to receive school supplies from CTUHR and Quezon City Polytechnic University Student Council

A total of 2,411 families benefitted from the relief operations conducted on December 5, 12, and 23, 2013 in select villages in the towns of Isabel in Leyte, Mambusao in Capiz, and Calinog and Capaz in Iloilo. Relief packages were also distributed to local organizations (mostly workers groups) based in Tacloban City, Ormoc City, towns of Maasin and Simangan in Leyte.

Aside from food packs distributed to families, toys and school supplies were also given to children. Solar-power generators, solar chargers, battery-powered led lamps, and tents were also handed to local organizations for community use.

Loss of jobs

Not only farming communities but workers in Isabel, Leyte were severely affected by the typhoon. Over 1,000 workers of the fertilizer plant, Philphos in the said town are out of work, at least for the next six months after the typhoon Yolanda destroyed even the massive structures of Philphos production plants.

According to the Philphos workers union President Pelagio Galvan, it will take at least six months before the entire production site becomes fully operational. And while some workers are currently able to work for clearing the debris, only regular workers in Philphos can be employed in the first few months during the plant’s rehabilitation process. Unfortunately for most of the 1,049 contractual employees of Philphos, either they will be on forced leave or they will work on rotation until Philphos returns to normal operation.

To date official (NDRRMC) report of casualties due to Typhoon Yolanda is already at 6,183 individuals. Total damages in both agriculture and infrastructure is estimated at PHP 36.7 B. Communication, power and water have been restored in most areas however, power outage (brownouts are still being experienced in areas affected by the Typhoon). With over PHP 1.26 B relief assistance provided to families affected by Typhoon Yolanda (through government and non-government organizations), survivors and communities are still far from recovery.

Task Force Obrero (TFO) is composed of 8 labor organizations namely: Anakpawis, Balai Obrero Foundation, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center (CBBRC), Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development (IOHSAD), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), and Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines.

Relief operations conducted by the CTUHR and TFO was supported by the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Hong Kong Justice and Peace Commission, Caritas Novaliches, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber Commerce Foundation, Quezon City Polytechnic University Student Council and individual donations. ###