[Urgent Alert] Floods caused by torrential rains threaten food security of fishermen and urban poor in CALABARZON -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION — HUNGER ALERT PROGRAMME
Hunger Alert Case: AHRC-HAC-005-2012

August 28, 2012
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PHILIPPINES: Floods caused by torrential rains threaten food security of fishermen and urban poor in CALABARZON
ISSUES: Environmental protection, Impunity, Land rights, Poverty & adequate standard of living, Right to food, Right to health, Rule of law
—————————–

Dear friends,

Asian Human Rights CommissionThe Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Workers Assistance Center Inc about the floods caused by torrential rains that has imperiled the food security of a vast population in the CALABARZON area of Philippines. Here, the floods affecting more than 3 million people have already taken a toll of 95. The severity of the situation is compounded by the submergence of a large area with residual/retreating water affecting more than 480 baranggays; 175,733 families and 830,700 people in the CALABARZON area alone, as per the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

CASE NARRATIVE

As if the disastrous consequences of the Typhoon Saola were not enough to put the life of ordinary citizen of Philippines, 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains causing heavy floods have worsened the situation even more for them. The floods caused by the successive natural disasters have left the country battered with more than 3 million people directly affected.

Typhoon Saola (Gener) wreaked havoc on NCR and nearby provinces like For more than a week (since July 21 to end of July) Typhoon Saola (Gener) drenched NCR and nearby provinces like CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal & Quezon) and Central Luzon, and in Ilocos. The Southwest Monsoons followed by Typhoon Haikui approaching China further aggravated the situation. The flooding was unprecedented for some places like barangays in Bacoor, Cavite, which have not experienced it before.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council puts the estimates of flood affected people at around 3 million with a corresponding death toll of 95. In the CALABARZON area alone, 480 baranggays, 175,733 families, and 830,700 people are directly affected by the floods. This includes 209 baranggays, 44,007 families and 211, 929 people in Cavite alone.

The fishermen and the urban poor has borne the brunt of the flooding and are the worst affected. The towns affected in Cavite include Bacoor, Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario. Deteriorating the situation further, floods have rendered roads to Rosario, Noveleta, and Bacoor unfit for transportation and thus cut them off from rest of Philippines for a few days.

Even the offices of WAC were not let off the fury of the nature and stand submerged in Rosario and Cavite. The members of the organization working in CALABARZON areas as well as ones working in the communities in Rosario, Cavite have communicated about the scarcity of basic necessitates like food, clothes, medicine and even clean drinking water and have been asking for help. Also, there is a manifold increase in the cases of Leptospirosis (also known as Canefield fever for its high prevalence in wet areas) and athlete’s foot from the flood along with common strains of cough and colds The situation is worse for the fishermen who got displaced because of the heavy rains. As if it was not enough, Tropical Storm Helen, internationally known as Kai-Tak lashed the country yet again.

In this light, the picture emerging out of the area is a grim one of worsening food and livelihood security of the people living in the area and requires immediate and urgent interventions from both the state and international community and respond to WAC’s call for food, preferably ready to eat, potable and clean water, mats and blankets, clothes, waterproof boots, and medicines to averting hunger and outbreak of disease in the area.
SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding immediate intervention in Ms. Sarathi Mondal’s case. You may also demand an inquiry into why she was not provided with ration card and benefit of other welfare schemes that she is entitled to.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _______,

PHILIPPINES: Floods caused by torrential rains threaten food security of fishermen and urban poor in CALABARZON
I want to draw your kind attention to the pitiable and pathetic situation local communities are compelled to live into because of the several natural calamities in quick succession. As if the disastrous consequences of the Typhoon Saola were not enough to put the life of ordinary citizen of Philippines living in the area, 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains causing heavy floods have worsened the situation even more for them. The floods caused by the successive natural disasters have left the country battered with more than 3 million people directly affected.

Typhoon Saola (Gener) wreaked havoc on NCR and nearby provinces like For more than a week (since July 21 to end of July) Typhoon Saola (Gener) drenched NCR and nearby provinces like CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal & Quezon) and Central Luzon, and in Ilocos. The Southwest Monsoons followed by Typhoon Haikui approaching China further aggravated the situation. The flooding was unprecedented for some places like barangays in Bacoor, Cavite, which have not experienced it before.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council puts the estimates of flood affected people at around 3 million with a corresponding death toll of 95. In the CALABARZON area alone, 480 baranggays, 175,733 families, and 830,700 people are directly affected by the floods. This includes 209 baranggays, 44,007 families and 211, 929 people in Cavite alone.

The fishermen and the urban poor has borne the brunt of the flooding and are the worst affected. The towns affected in Cavite include Bacoor, Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario. Deteriorating the situation further, floods have rendered roads to Rosario, Noveleta, and Bacoor unfit for transportation and thus cut them off from rest of Philippines for a few days.

Even the offices of WAC were not let off the fury of the nature and stand submerged in Rosario and Cavite. The members of the organization working in CALABARZON areas as well as ones working in the communities in Rosario, Cavite have communicated about the scarcity of basic necessitates like food, clothes, medicine and even clean drinking water and have been asking for help. Also, there is a manifold increase in the cases of Leptospirosis (also known as Canefield fever for its high prevalence in wet areas) and athlete’s foot from the flood along with common strains of cough and colds The situation is worse for the fishermen who got displaced because of the heavy rains. As if it was not enough, Tropical Storm Helen, internationally known as Kai-Tak lashed the country yet again.

In this light, the picture emerging out of the area is a grim one of worsening food and livelihood security of the people living in the area and requires immediate and urgent interventions from both the state and international community and respond to WAC’s call for food, preferably ready to eat, potable and clean water, mats and blankets, clothes, waterproof boots, and medicines to averting hunger and outbreak of disease in the area.

I therefore urge you to ensure
1. Immediate action to send food packets to the affected area;
2. Ensure availability of potable and clean water;
2. Arranging temporary shelters for all those who are displaced;
3. Ensure disbursal of blankets, mats and waterproof mats;
4. Ensure supplies of medicine to contain outbreak of disease/epidemic in the area;

Sincerely,
________

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Corazon Juliano-Soliman
Secretary, Department of Social, Welfare and Development
Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex,
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Tel/Fax: +63 (2) 931-81-91

4. Sec. Joel Rocamora
Lead Convener
National Anti-Poverty Commission
3rd Floor, Agricultural Training Institute Building
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 927 9796 / 426 5249
Email: napc.gov@gmail.com

Thank you

Hunger Alerts Programme
Right to Food Programme (foodjustice@ahrc.asia)
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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