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Activity Report on the Emergency Relief for Typhoon Ulysses

Publication date:2021-02-19
Municipal Health Officer, LGU Dinapigue IsabelaDr. Reygene Caratiquit

The Affected Area in Cagayan

Typhon Vamco or locally named Typhoon Ulysses landed in the Philippines, its 21st tropical cyclone for 2020, and hit Luzon hardest from November 11 to 12, 2020.The typhoon released forceful winds and drenching rain that killed many people, wrecked thousands of homes, and left the valley covered with flood leaving people with almost nothing but themselves as its aftermath. Ulysses, so far, has become the deadliest tropical cyclone to hit the country this year.

After Typhoon Ulysses rummaged Luzon and flooded several communities and damaged majority of commercial and agricultural properties, Filipinos were quick to respond amidst limited mobility and slow disaster response due to the unanticipated surge of rescue reports and not to mention the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the spirit of bayanihan among Filipinos, the need for effective and speedy assistance, several concerned citizens worked hand in hand in order to deliver the goods to their countrymen in need of help.

Submerged with a cry for help!

People Evacuating with Boats

The Affected Area in Enrile, Cagayan

At the pinnacle of Typhoon Ulysses’ wrath, demands for help flooded social media among other platforms as affected families in Luzon particularly Isabela and Cagayan begged for rescue and relief. Low-lying parts of Isabela and Cagayan experienced flood waters to as high as the second floor of houses, leaving families aground on rooftops or to areas where flood cannot reach them.

Aiming to organize for quicker response to aid the loses and burdens of the typhoon-struck communities, a group of civic-spirited individuals composed mainly of municipal Health Officers (Municipal Doctors), Councilors, Board Members and some private individuals of Cagayan, Isabela, and Quirino provinces with the help of Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) and Women in National Development and Security (WiNDS) call to organize for a medical and relief operation to Enrile, Cagayan (particulary in Brgy Batu with projected population of 1, 063 (320 Households) on Saturday, November 28, 2020 and Tumauini, Isabela (Brgy. Fugu Abajo with projected population of 1352 with around 350 Households)on Monday, November 30, 2020, respectively. The Medical and Relief Operations target at least 700 families in total.

Joined together and merging energies

The threat of the Covid-19 pandemic is just on the corner, but civic-spirited people and other good Samaritans used their influence on the social media and in their respective communities to promote donation initiatives as Filipinos responded to the needs of the affected families left by the recent typhoons particularly Ulysses.

The Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines ? Isabela Chapter (AMHOP Isabela) willed to work together to bring relief to those in need. AMDA gave support to the organization in this activity. The team tapped other collaborators as partners. The medical and relief operations used the term “Binnadangan” and “CA-ISAbela” as taglines. Binnadangan is an Ilokano term for Bayanihan, and CA-ISAbela stands for unity of Cagayan and ISAbela.  Efforts have been made since then and working committees had been made to have an organize, smooth, and well-coordinated delivery of all the goods. Schedule of activities were crafted to have a unified timeline for the above-mentioned endeavor, to wit;
  • November 15-24, 2020- the start of collection and consolidation of donations from different walks.
  • November 19-22, 2020- coordinating with the municipalities where to conduct  Medical and relief operations since uncoordinated activities to other areas are not accepted
  • November 25-26, 2020, Wednesday and Thursday -  buying of relief and hygiene items as well as medical supplies for the Medical and Relief Operations.
  • November 27, 2020, Friday - repacking and accounting of relief goods to be given, securing travel documents and health clearances of those who will attend the said operations for easier entry/pass through at checkpoints
  • November 28, 2020 - providing of Medical and Relief Operation to the people of Batu, Enrile, Cagayan.
  • November 30, 2020 - providing of Medical and Relief Operation to the people of Tumauini, Isabela.

November 27, 2020

The Joint Team Packing the Relief Goods

The group met at Villa Mercedes Resort at Nueva Era, San Manuel, Isabela as  venue for repacking. The venue was offered free by the owner who happened to be a cousin of one of the volunteers. Repacking of relief goods started at around 11AM and ended at 6:30PM wherein 860 set of relief goods were prepared. The set includes rice, canned goods (corned beef, sardines), bihon noodles, instant noodles, pail, towel, blanket, bottled water, hygiene kit (bath soap, detergent bar, shampoo, toothpaste), coffee, sugar and sweat shirt. This was attended by 3 Physicians, 1 Board Member, 2 Councilors, 4 Teachers and 8 other volunteers, Snacks and lunch were provided by one of the volunteers. Wearing of masks during was strictly observed during repacking.

November 28, 2020

The Medical Mission in Enrile, Cagayan

The group met at 5:30AM at Villa Mercedes Resort where repacking was done. Loading of the repacked relief goods was then started at around 6AM. Attendees include those who were present during the repacking, in addition, 1 Physician, 3 nurses, 1 Board Member, 5 drivers and 2 other volunteers.

The group left for Enrile, Cagayan at around 6:30AM. Travel documents and health clearances were secured prior to the date of the Medical and Relief Operations. Tarpaulins bearing the name of the activity and its sponsors were put in front of the vehicles for a less hassle trip. The trip was an hour and a half long.

The group made a courtesy call with the Municipal Mayor Miguel “Jun” Decena Jr., together with their Municipal Health Officer, Dr. Edgardo Ricardo at the Municipal Hall. Board Member of Enrile, Cagayan (Perlita Tumaliuan) and Vice-Governor of Cagayan (Melvin Vargas Jr.) also came. According to the Municipal Mayor, at least 16 out of 22 Barangays in the town and that 7, 652 families or 32, 659 residents were affected by flooding. This accounts for around 60 percent of the whole households of the municipality. Flood level was around 6


Handed Over Relief Goods in Enrile,Cagayan

Medical and relief operations was planned initially to be conducted in Brgy. Batu, one of the most devastated barangays in the town. Batu was isolated since flooding, and was reachable 4 days after the disaster by chopper, and 6 days after by land. Due to heavy rain a day and night before the scheduled relief operations, Batu was then again isolated, hence, Brgy. Marracuru was selected by the Municipal Health Officer to be recipient of the said operations.  Brgy. Marracuru has a population of 977 with 197 households. Relief was given to each of the head of households. Giving of relief goods was held in front of the chapel, adjacent to their Barangay Health Station. A medical consultation was conducted in Marracuru Elementary Schools by 4 Physicians and 3 nurses wherein 97 individuals were catered. Top morbidities include diabetes and hypertension, respiratory infections and minor wounds. All of the recipients of relief and those consulted as well as the medical team wore face masks throughout the activity. Since the target was 350 households in the municipality and only 197 were distributed, the group asked the Municipal Health Officer for an ideal place to give extra relief, hence, Sitio Cannagan, Brgy. Divisoria, Divisoria is the last barangay of Enrile, Cagayan before Province of Isabela.  A total of 100 households were catered. Police officers accompanied the group for peace and order and security.

In the afternoon, the groupwent to Tuguegarao City, a 30-minute travel from Enrile, Cagayan. The group decided to bring relief to Brgy. Core Shelter, Annafunan, Tuguegarao City, however, due to heavy rain and water level starts to rise again, residents of the said barangay were transferred in Annafunan Elementary School as their temporary shelter. A total of 210 relief were distributed. As of this writing, there are still evacuees in the temporary shelter.

The people of Marracuru and Divisoria, Enrile as well as Core Shelter, Annafunan, Tuguegarao City would like to extend their gratitude to the sponsors. “ Mabbalat”, an Itawis (Native dialect) term for Thank you.

November 30, 2020


Local People and Relief
Goods in Tumauini,Isabela

The group met at Nueva Era, San Manuel, Isabela at 8AM and left the area at 8:30AM after loading of relief goods. Group reached Tumauini, Isabela at around 9:45AM. Courtesy call was done at the Municipal Hall with the Mayor’s wife, who happened to be a board member for Women’s group in Isabela at around 10AM. A 15-20 minute ride from the poblacion to Brgy. Fermeldy. The road is narrow and you can still see traces of flooding. There are evacuees already. Mobile signal and electricity were back to normal. Brgy. Fermeldy has a population of around 3000 with about 600 familes. It is one of the most populated barangays (Tumauini has 46 barangays). Brgys. Fugu Abajo, Tunggui, Moldero and Fermeldy are the hardest hit barangays of the Municipality. The other 3 Barangays were visited most often by volunteers already because of lesser population as compared to Fermeldy. People of Fermeldy are very organized and disciplined. A total of 360 set of relief goods were turned over to the Barangay Officials. Since there are around 600 families, the remaining relief will be supplemented by the barangay and other volunteers in the group and was sent the following day. A medical consultation was also conducted in the Barangay Hall which catered 268 individuals. Respiratory and skin infections are the most prevalent diseases in the area at the time of consultation. The people of Fermeldy yelled “Mabbalo” in chorus when the group left the area. Mabbalo is an Ybanag (native dialect in the area) which means thank you.

The above-mentioned activities are made possible through the leadership of AMHOP-Isabela with the help of AMDA and WiNDS. The efforts are then supported by other collaborators.


Relief Goods for Tumauini, Isabela

This expression of initiatives in light of the consecutive disasters that rallied our country pushed various individuals, organizations, private and public sectors to be together and pushed efforts and help consolidate relief operations, medical missions, donation drives, among others for those heavily hit of the recent calamities. Truly, Filipino resiliency and “bayanihan” efforts are evident and admirable in this trying times.
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