Tzu Chi volunteers on August 12 roamed the muddy streets of Marikina and San Mateo checking on the residents’ condition and distributed relief goods to residents in evacuation centers.
After severe flooding, Tzu Chi volunteers on August 12 distributed relief goods to affected families in Marikina City and San Mateo, Rizal. They also surveyed the situation of the areas.
Streets covered in mud didn’t stop the volunteers in checking the condition of the residents. Led by Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez, they roamed the streets of Barangay Nangka in Marikina and talked to some locals cleaning their inundated houses.
“This was just like the past typhoons, although we are relieved that it was not as severe as [Tropical Storm] Ondoy (Ketsana). Right now, aside from doing the initial relief operations, we will consider further assistance for the victims ,” Yuñez said.
In Barangay Banaba in San Mateo, Tzu Chi distributed relief goods to 600 families in evacuation centers. Each family received water, medicine kit, and clothes.
One of the recipients, Cerelina Baluran, has a mother who is suffering from stroke and hard cough.
“We saved only a few of our belongings because we prioritized evacuating my mother. Even her medicines were washed away ,” Baluran said.
After the distribution of the relief goods, the volunteers continued giving loaves of bread to more evacuation centers in San Mateo. One of these houses 13-year-old Justine Ape, suffering from hydrocephalus. His family of ten is staying at Maly Elementary School.
“Because of his condition, it was very hard for us. We had difficulty in getting him to safety, especially when no one will carry him since he cannot walk.”, said his mother Cereline.
Volunteers also distributed bread to 494 inmates of the San Mateo Municipal Jail, which wasn’t spared by the flooding.
Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao, who coordinated the relief efforts for the entire day, described the situation they saw today as “heartbreaking.”
“We intend to cover three major barangays in Marikina that are badly affected, which are those near the river. Many of our volunteers are basically affected. They cannot participate much because they’re cleaning up their own homes,” said Siao.