Antique IPs need shelter construction materials, livelihood aid

The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) is appealing for shelter construction materials and livelihood assistance for the more than 1,000 IP families in Antique’s four municipalities affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Odette.

Milagrosa Crespo, head of the NCIP in the province, said Wednesday the IPs in the towns of Tobias Fornier, Anini-y, and Hamtic in the southern part of the province, and Culasi in the north were devastated by the typhoon with their houses destroyed and their livelihood disrupted.

“The houses of the IPs, which were made of light materials, were either partially or totally damaged by the typhoon,” Crespo said.

In Barangay Igcalawagan in Tobias Fornier, where there is an Ati resettlement site, 30 houses were damaged, along with 11 houses in Barangay Portillo.

“The IPs in Barangay Portillo are just squatting on a private lot,” she said.

Crespo said in Anini-y, which is in the southernmost tip of the province and reported to be the hardest hit municipality by the typhoon, 10 IP houses in Barangay Mabuyong were wrecked.

In Barangay Tina in the nearby municipality of Hamtic, also an Ati resettlement site, eight houses were destroyed while 50 were partially damaged.

Hamtic municipal tribal leader, Barangay Captain Tina Perlita Oyong, said in a separate interview that those families with damaged houses in Barangay Tina, which is 8 km. away from Hamtic town proper, have returned from the evacuation center after the typhoon to immediately start the repair of their houses.

“The IPs in Hamtic were pre-emptively evacuated prior to the onslaught of the typhoon, but right now, they have returned to their homes in order to repair it in anticipation of another typhoon expected before Christmas day,” Oyong said.

She added these partially damaged houses need construction materials, such as nails and galvanized iron sheets for their roofing.

“We do not yet have electricity until now, that is why we were only able to report our damaged houses to the NCIP today (December 22),” she said.

Meanwhile, the IPs in the island barangays of Batbatan and Maniguin and the mountainous barangay of Flores in Culasi also suffered the same fate with their houses and livelihood wrecked.

In Batbatan, 797 IP households and 200 others in Maniguin lost their means of livelihood.

“The IPs in Batbatan and Maniguin who were engaged in fishing for their livelihood had their pump boats washed out,” Crespo said.

In Barangay Flores, four houses were destroyed while six were damaged.

“The 73 Iraynon Bukidnon farmers in Barangay Flores also lost their crops, like palay, abaca, bananas, coffee, and bamboos,” she said, adding that the families need assistance to restart.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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