The 5-day travel along with convoy of 19 buses and trucks seem endless but incomparable to the eerie sadness and pain each one felt upon seeing the devastated Samar and Leyte provinces particularly Tacloban City.

Thus, was shared by Social Worker Clarivel Banzuela who experienced 11 days of deployment to DSWD National Relief Operations Center  (NROC) and in delivering goods to Tacloban City.

As mentioned, upon seeing the total wrecked communities, only silent sighs and deep upset consumed her. “There is a lot of work to do. Houses and buildings seemed stirred and pulverized by a hammer. Survivors were left with nothing,”  Banzuela mentioned.

As observed, relief operations in Tacloban City is systematic. The hauling and distribution of goods are tough but every worker is focused on their assigned tasks, she continued. Coordination with the Local Officials on relief distribution is done even up to the  barangay level.

As said, the Social Workers cannot get away from conducting counseling activities, whenever they get in touch with the victims who are still in trauma and fear.

One survivor said, “nakakaiyak yung nangyari na nawalan kami ng ari-arian at mahal sa buhay pero mas nakakaiyak ngayon na makita galing pa sa iba’t ibang lugar ang tumutulong sa amin (we can’t help but cry because we lost our properties and love ones but it is more hurting that people from other places are here to  help us).

Upon return to Manila, about 508 survivors went along and were dropped off to Villamor Airbase for temporary shelter and debriefing sessions.

Moreover, Regional Director ‘Jun’ Castillo together with other regional directors  alternately supervise  the NROC together with other line agencies. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)