Ledesma: The best of virtues in the face of tragedy (Last of two parts)


JUST when I thought am done writing about Davao City Water District’s (DCWD’s) interventions in disaster areas, chairman Bangayan, who is concurrently a director for Southern Mindanao of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce, texted me to share good news that he was able to get a donation of P3 million from FFCCC out of which he said the DCWD brigade will purchase relief items good for 10,000 bags at P300 per bag. In addition, JVA Construction, the partner of Aboitiz Ventures in Apo Agua Infrastructura also donated 100 sacks of rice which is now being repacked by DCWD volunteer brigade. Apo Agua is of course the partner of DCWD in its multi-billion bulk water project.

I learned from an unimpeachable source that a friend who had twice defended me from libel cases, gratis et amore, had quietly made deliveries of relief items to victims of the quake in Concepcion, Makilala. A former Governor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Atty. Ed Batacan’s BMV Law firm and his peers at the IBP gathered and delivered the following: 100 pieces in 5-liter water jugs, 500 pieces bottled water, 400 pieces cup noodles, 400 pieces sardines, 400 pieces 10 pack crackers, 600 pieces soap, three sacks of rice, 200 pieces malong and 50 pieces double size banig.

Ed, who earlier had difficulty delivering their donations because of a confusing directive from the Defense Department that requires donors to be accredited, said that their next delivery will be in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur on Saturday.

What I’m describing here are two instances of spontaneous response of Mindanaons in time of emergencies and protracted calamities like what gripped the provinces of Davao and North Cotabato. Davao City had been jarred by 6.5 temblors but except for one isolated case of a collapsed wing of a condo unit, there had been no reported damage to other commercial buildings or private residences.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio nevertheless had activated the city’s relief and rehabilitation operations at Task Force Davao in Sta. Ana pier. From day one when news of tragedies in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato filtered in, the headquarters started receiving unquantifiable volumes of varied relief items from city residents, local government units civic, professional organization from all over Mindanao and then later from all over the country. These, despite the unkind malediction from bitchy characters like Yolanda Villanueva-Ong and a failed actress and singer Leah Navarro.

Davao City has become a drop point for relief goods for Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. “The donations keep coming and we are happy to assist and deliver to where these are intended,” Mayor Inday said.

The aftershocks had diminished in strength and frequency but in many parts in Cotabato the devastation and sufferings among remote mountain dwellers have just come to the fore. There are habitations at the foothills of mountains in the province of Cotabato that have to be evacuated because of threats of landslides. The tremors have obviously impacted on the earth crusts. More challenges ahead but Mindanawons will overcome.


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