Rizal evacuees fear for own pigs
RIZAL, Philippines – While her family is safe, a member of her household died on Tuesday, August 20, due to nonstop rains that forced Concepcion Espina and her children to evacuate.
It was her pig. It was also one of her main sources of income.
“Kung nilalamig, namamatay, sobrang lamig na. Kagaya kahapon, bagyo na. Nalamigan, namatay sila. Pinatapon ko nga eh, kahapon,” the 63-year-old Espina told Rappler on Wednesday, August 21.
(When they feel too cold, they die, when it’s too cold. Just like yesterday, when the typhoon was here. Some of them suffered the cold weather and died. In fact I had them thrown away yesterday.)
Like Espina, many residents of Barangay Banaba in San Mateo, Rizal, survive on raising pigs, which they sell for up to P7,000 each.
Each disaster is traumatic for them. Torrential rains like those brought by the recent monsoon, as enhanced by tropical storm Maring, threaten their living. (Watch more in Rappler's video blog below.)
Up to 4,000 Banaba residents remain in evacuation centers as of Wednesday afternoon, said their barangay captain, Renato Sulit. Only 900 of them stayed there last Monday, August 19.
Asisclo Calipayan, who also raises pigs, said his livelihood also suffers losses whenever there’s flooding.
“Kasi ‘yung pagpapakain ng alaga ko, mahirap. Nasa tabi kasi kami ng ilog eh. Tapos binabantayan po namin nang maigi, para ma-safety ‘yung sa nakawan, kasi dati nu’ng Ondoy, nagkawalaan dito ng mga alagang baboy,” Calipayan, 47, said in an interview with Rappler.
(Our livelihood suffers losses whenever there’s flood. It’s more difficult to feed my pig, because we live by the river. Then we also guard it tightly, to keep it safe from thieves, because during the onslaught of Ondoy, many of us lost our pigs.)
The affected pig raisers, who live by the San Mateo River, request the government to provide them with safer houses.
It’s a common story for over 360,000 evacuees across the country – the loss of livelihood, or at least an interruption in their regular work.
Maring, after all, caused P67 million in damage. It also paralyzed main contributors to the economy.
Like their losses, though, their call for help is also common to all. – Rappler.com