Fil-Am organization raises concerns of climate change, three years after Super Typhoon Haiyan
SAN JOSE, CA — It’s been three years since the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan impacted the Philippines.
Despite the international support and promises of rebuilding by the government, some Filipino-Americans traveled to the affected areas this past summer to see the efforts first-hand, and what else needs to be done in the area.
The Disaster Support Network for the Philippines sent Fil-Ams over to the eastern Visayas, who are reporting back to the Bay Area community about what they saw.
“We’re looking at the more rural communities, a lot of the farming communities, the fishing communities; they’re the ones that have been most affected,” says Julian Jaravata, from the Disaster Support Network for the Philippines. “They continue to struggle to maintain their livelihood because their crops — like the coconut trees — were devastated by the typhoon.”
“A couple of the fisher folk communities that I stayed at they still lived in temporary shelters, temporary housing, many of which were built by international organizations,” said Christian Ollano, from KBKN. “Meanwhile if you go inland, government is building some of these cement subsidized housing — but they are not completed even more than three years after [the typhoon].”
These young Fil-Ams self-funded their trip to the Philippines, while also raising $2800 to be given to the Leyte Center for Development.
“We were able to give a rice mill and a carabao to a community in Marabut, in Samar,” says Javarta. “That’s toward helping them with their livelihood, and establishing food security.”
The issue of climate change and how it applies to those in the US was stressed in the group presentation.
“We’re in the most polluting country in the world, so I think that when being informed why climate change is important to us here,” says Jaclyn Joanino. “Being able to advocate for lifestyle change amongst ourselves, but also for policies which do not expand the use for fossil fuels and true accountability, in terms of pollution — those are things we can do here.”
The Disaster Support Network for the Philippines says they are waiting to mobilize for the next typhoon.
They are currently preparing communities abroad with supplies in anticipation for the next calamity, while also educating them about the possible risks, and working with the government to put measures in place to protect them.