#NonaPH: Agos helps bridge relief, affected communities
MANILA, Philippines – A desperate plea for assistance from Allen, Northern Samar, was successfully relayed to the national government in minutes, thanks to Agos powered by EBayanihan, Rappler's disaster risk reduction arm, and the power of social media.
A private message to Rappler's social media account started it all. The message provided the contact details of the Mayor of Allen, Northern Samar, who requested for assistance.
In a phone interview on December 17, Mayor Rod Suan of Allen complained about the slow pace of relief. "No relief sa Allen. Matagal ang government (Government is slow). No relief from national government."
Suan said he was on his way to Catbalogan, Samar, to seek assistance from international aid agencies and NGOs.
When asked if he received any assistance from the provincial government, he said, "Meeting nang meeting (All they do are meetings)."
Suan said his immediate requirement was food for 3 days for the 6,000 affected families in his jurisdiction, saying that what little he had remaining in emergency funds he wanted to use to provide shelter for his constituents.
"3,000 ang partially damaged na housing, with 2,800 totally damaged," said the local chief executive.
Agos community coordinator Lou Gepuela, stationed at the NDRRMC at Camp Aguinaldo, immediately notified the acting head of the National Response cluster, Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, who directed DSWD Region 8 Assistant Regional Director Resty Macuto to verify the information and render immediate assistance.
In a text message, Assistant Regional Director Macuto replied he already reported the assistance released to Allen on December 17.
Suan confirmed on December 18 they had received 200 sacks of rice as partial relief, but that they still required clothing, blankets, temporary shelter materials, food, and water, as he fears local water sources may have been contaminated.
Response cluster member agencies such as DSWD are continuing relief operations, staging from Catarman airport in Northern Samar.
Here's how you can help: #ReliefPH: Help typhoon victims
Agos, powered by EBayanihan, continues to source relevant and actionable information via its Agos Alert Map (agos.rappler.com) for decision-making and responder use.
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