Philippines: Conflict-affected families rebuild their communities through cash-for-work

  • In Barangay Togoron, Monreal in Masbate, workers construct a river wall to prevent flash floods and erosion from damaging houses. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    In Barangay Togoron, Monreal in Masbate, workers construct a river wall to prevent flash floods and erosion from damaging houses. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • The cash-for-work program aimed at supporting livelihood recovery through construction of community projects that would benefit the entire community. Photo: The completed river wall project in Barangay Togoron, Monreal in Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    The cash-for-work program aimed at supporting livelihood recovery through construction of community projects that would benefit the entire community. Photo: The completed river wall project in Barangay Togoron, Monreal in Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • In Barangay Bartolabac, San Jacinto, workers construct a staircase that leads to a water point. Before the construction, villagers would struggle walking up the steep and muddy hill especially during heavy rain. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    In Barangay Bartolabac, San Jacinto, workers construct a staircase that leads to a water point. Before the construction, villagers would struggle walking up the steep and muddy hill especially during heavy rain. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • Cash-for-work projects are community-led which means the community initiate and manage responsibilities related to the effective implementation of the projects. Photo: Newly constructed concrete staircase leading up to the main water source in BarangayBartolabac, San Jacinto in Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    Cash-for-work projects are community-led which means the community initiate and manage responsibilities related to the effective implementation of the projects. Photo: Newly constructed concrete staircase leading up to the main water source in BarangayBartolabac, San Jacinto in Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • Workers are selected by a committee composed of five members  including representatives from the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), farmers’ association, women’s association, Barangay health workers, religious leaders, etc. Photo: Workers improve the drainage canal to reduce flooding in Barangay Cantorna, Monreal, Masbate. Photo by by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    Workers are selected by a committee composed of five members including representatives from the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), farmers’ association, women’s association, Barangay health workers, religious leaders, etc. Photo: Workers improve the drainage canal to reduce flooding in Barangay Cantorna, Monreal, Masbate. Photo by by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • A young girl walks on a newly-improved concrete road in Barangay Togoron, Monreal in Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    A young girl walks on a newly-improved concrete road in Barangay Togoron, Monreal in Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • Workers bury  existing water pipelines to make sure these will not be damaged easily in Barangay Pinya, San Jacinto, Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    Workers bury existing water pipelines to make sure these will not be damaged easily in Barangay Pinya, San Jacinto, Masbate. Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • Resident Adelfa Delos Santos, 67, of Barangay Sto Niňo, Monreal, Masbate narrated: “I have been here since in 1963 and this bridge is a dream come true. It is very useful and very safe for those who are crossing the creek which can be very dangerous during flooding.” Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
    Resident Adelfa Delos Santos, 67, of Barangay Sto Niňo, Monreal, Masbate narrated: “I have been here since in 1963 and this bridge is a dream come true. It is very useful and very safe for those who are crossing the creek which can be very dangerous during flooding.” Photo by ICRC/J. Angolluan
  • Similar to Masepla, the Buggoc transitory site has stilt houses that are connected by a series of boardwalks that serve as access to their respective dwellings. Due to exposure to various elements and daily foot traffic, these boardwalks deteriorated and were subjected to major repairs to prevent causing injuries and accidents to residents.  Photo by: ICRC/R. Ang
    Similar to Masepla, the Buggoc transitory site has stilt houses that are connected by a series of boardwalks that serve as access to their respective dwellings. Due to exposure to various elements and daily foot traffic, these boardwalks deteriorated and were subjected to major repairs to prevent causing injuries and accidents to residents. Photo by: ICRC/R. Ang
  • “I am so happy that our boardwalks are repaired; now we don’t worry when our children play there. Everyone here feels comfortable to walk without fearing that the planks will break,” said Omar Pangalasal, one of the participants in the cash-for-work program in Masepla, Mampang.  Photo by: PRC Zamboanga/ J. Gamboa
    “I am so happy that our boardwalks are repaired; now we don’t worry when our children play there. Everyone here feels comfortable to walk without fearing that the planks will break,” said Omar Pangalasal, one of the participants in the cash-for-work program in Masepla, Mampang. Photo by: PRC Zamboanga/ J. Gamboa
  • In Masepla, the workers take their time to align and carefully fit the custom-cut wooden planks for the boardwalk. A total 178 displaced people joined the cash-for-work project implemented in Masepla and Buggoc transitory sites.  Photo by: Arben Balsote
    In Masepla, the workers take their time to align and carefully fit the custom-cut wooden planks for the boardwalk. A total 178 displaced people joined the cash-for-work project implemented in Masepla and Buggoc transitory sites. Photo by: Arben Balsote
  • After 15 days, the boardwalks have been repaired and fitted with new sets of wooden planks. Photo by: ICRC/A. Balsote
    After 15 days, the boardwalks have been repaired and fitted with new sets of wooden planks. Photo by: ICRC/A. Balsote
  • Several incidents of falling from the boardwalks due to broken planks have caused minor injuries to some people; the elderly and children were the most vulnerable. “My wife cut her leg when she fell from the boardwalk one day while she was hanging her laundry. We brought her to the hospital and the doctor stitched her wound,” shared Mohammad Riza Sabturani, a participant in the cash-for-work project in Buggoc.  Photo by: ICRC/A. Balsote
    Several incidents of falling from the boardwalks due to broken planks have caused minor injuries to some people; the elderly and children were the most vulnerable. “My wife cut her leg when she fell from the boardwalk one day while she was hanging her laundry. We brought her to the hospital and the doctor stitched her wound,” shared Mohammad Riza Sabturani, a participant in the cash-for-work project in Buggoc. Photo by: ICRC/A. Balsote
  • This access road going to the Masepla transitory site becomes unpassable during the rainy season due to its natural composition-clay type soil.This means the government-led water rationing-trucking services would be hampered, depriving the residents of water supply. Photo by: ICRC/ A. Balsote
    This access road going to the Masepla transitory site becomes unpassable during the rainy season due to its natural composition-clay type soil.This means the government-led water rationing-trucking services would be hampered, depriving the residents of water supply. Photo by: ICRC/ A. Balsote
10 January 2017

In communities where there are repeated clashes between government security forces and armed groups, locals are sometimes left with little choice but to leave their properties and livelihoods behind. In line with our mandate to protect and support those affected by armed conflict, we implemented a cash-for-work program in Masbate and Zamboanga aimed at providing affected families with a temporary source of income.

Apart from the armed conflict, Masbate endured heavy damage to houses and communal facilities after the onslaught of Typhoon Nona in 2015. The typhoon also destroyed 60 percent of their cash crops (coconut) which comprise a significant part of their income.

The cash-for-work program gave 4,120 people from the municipalities of Monreal and San Jacinto a chance to earn income by repairing classrooms and water systems, and building foot bridges and flood canals.

In Zamboanga City, three years after the siege damaged houses and livelihoods, around 11,000 people still reside in 11 temporary settlements including those in Masepla and Buggoc, awaiting the completion of their permanent houses. Masepla has 4,700 residents while Buggoc has some 1,970 residents.

Together with the Philippine Red Cross, we implemented cash-for-work activities to assist the remaining internally displaced persons in these two sites. A 120-meter road to Masepla commonly used by the government for water rationing and trucking services was also improved to avoid disruptions caused by mud and flooding during heavy rains. In Buggoc, residents identified the need to repair their boardwalk because the wooden boardwalk planks leading to their respective temporary houses deteriorated. Nearly 200 workers joined this 15-day activity.