Dignity After Disaster

In dealing with disasters, international bodies have formulated and launched a project called SPHERE handbook for global conformity of standards and procedures before, during and after a major calamity. One of its major philosophies is to promote the rights of those affected to a life with dignity.


In a study formulated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a livelihood following a major disaster is only proven sustainable if it enables the people to cope with and recover from shocks and stresses the disaster brought. It should primarily enhance their well-being and ensure them of their financial security without undermining the natural environment. [1]


With the loss of livelihood and slow yet gradual recovery of the economy in Tacloban and neighbouring provinces, livelihood assistance must be given priority in 2nd class municipalities such as Carigara, Leyte. In line with this, International Needs Philippines, along with local partners, launched the distribution of pedicabs, habal-habal and a grocery outlet for both INCAP and non-INCAP families.


People in Leyte basically rely on pedicabs and habal-habals for their daily mode of transportation, the pedicab within the vicinities of one small town and the habal-habal for travelling to nearby towns. 


Ten beneficiaries will receive ten pedicabs while another batch of ten will receive habal-habal, a popular mode of transportation in the countryside where the motorcycle is inserted with steel extension to accommodate more people

A grocery outlet called IN Store will also be opened in the new IN office at Carigara, Leyte. It will be managed by local volunteers from the office or interested INCAP housewives.



Before the launching, beneficiaries are rigorously screened and interviewed by the Area Supervisors to assess their economic background, capacity to earn income for their families, and willingness to commit to the program and goals of INPH.

At the launching last August 15, 2014, Executive Director Julio Concepcion talked about the importance of being self-reliant, even in the aftermath of a destructive calamity. Mrs. Aida Paner from the Municipal Social Welfare Development – Carigara also dropped in to talk about the role of both the NGO and local government on “helping the people to help themselves”.  


Dominador Rotairo, a butcher and father of 5 children and one of the recipients of Habal-Habal still can’t believe that he will be one of the first batch of beneficiaries of INPH. With his five children in school, Dominador can also utilize the motorcycle to drop them or pick them off after their classes.


In addition to the benefits received, recipients will also be subjected to various values-formation seminars every week. Fathers and heads of the family will also get a chance to learn more about the program and its desire to empower people guided by Biblical teachings.



It has almost been a year since Typhoon Haiyan devastated Leyte and other Visayan provinces. Now, more than ever, the effort to provide a sustainable living should be prioritized by both the government and organizations. For it is when giving a livelihood, you are giving a life. A life of dignity, that is. 






But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

- 2 Corinthians 12:9

[1] What is a livelihood? International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Retrieved 29/08/2014


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