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Aetas Relief Operation

March 11, 2020 Volcano Eruption Primary Relief Operation: Agoncillo with additional support for relocated AETA village in San Luis, Batangas.

This mission was a cooperative effort between DSWD which identified the needs of the people to be served, the Alfonso Mayor’s efforts which authorized the release of emergency supplies and RIMM (Rotary International Multinational Manila) which paid P8,000 for the rental of a big truck to transport the majority of the supplies. Trip preparation started at 4:00am with loading of the big truck rented for this purpose and was completed by 7:30am along with the loading of the Academy of World Healing Foundation (AWH) /Rotary van and a second private van driven by DSWD and Alfonso City volunteers.

The three-vehicle team first drove to Agoncillo town where supplies were dropped off for 143 volcano-affected City employees as well as for 240 families in heavily earthquake and ash-damaged Brgy (village) Adia. It then continued to San Luis where the 13 recycled metal drums earmarked for the relocated AETA village were unloaded along with supplies for distribution to 102 nearby residents identified by DSWD during the March 5 trip to the AETA village. The empty truck then returned to Alfonso as it was too big to navigate the small roads in the Agoncillo barangays (villages). After a quick lunch stop our two private vans then drove to Brgy Adga (village) in Agoncillo where its relief supplies were unloaded along with the supplies that had been delivered to Agoncillo in the morning and had been repacked for delivery by jeepney for distribution to the waiting 240 families. This took several hours.  

Jan. 2020 – Ash-covered Agoncillo within 7km of the center of Taal Volcano.
(Photo credit: Copernicus Sentinel-2. Description update by RIMM)

AETA relocated indigenous peoples village in San Luis: 

On March 11 Rotary club RIMM (in addition to its two DSWD-supported initial relief operations on February 28 and 29, 2020), provided a small generator, a 10 liter gas can with gasoline, a 20-inch chain saw, 2 liters of small engine oil, and six small cans T-2 oil for a two cycle engine (chain saw). P5,000 was also provided in cash for further direct purchases of needed materials  by the villagers such as requested hollow tile for initial “permanent” erosion control measures protecting the newly constructed meeting hall.  13 metal drums, toys, 64+ banigs (floor sleeping mats), etc. were also provided by from Alfonso’s emergency relief supplies.   Club Rotarian Jun demonstrated how to operate the generator and chainsaw. One of the villagers is a chainsaw operator on his part-time job.  Jun had already spearheaded the delivery of a truckload of 100 12-15 feet long good bamboo purchased by RIMM as well as P15,000 in cash to the AETA village on his day off on Saturday, March 7.   

With the bamboo and part of the cash the villagers had already purchased needed materials and had framed their new meeting hall while waiting for the ordered metal roofing sheets to be delivered. RIMM, further supported by a P50,000 grant from its Rotary District 3810, is committed to provide additional bamboo, roofing and other materials as needed. However, in preparation of the prolonged summer rainy season and expected mudflows, much more in terms of erosion control measures has to be quickly approved and implemented by the village council and its chief in the “village” itself. With the mountain access path along the creek bed and also through the creek becoming unpassable during the rainy season, children are then not able to go to school for at least two months and are forced to “study” at home w/o electricity while the men only face limited employment in the construction and service industry during this time period.

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