Brilliant work and active support provided by TORM Philippines to the communities in need.
TORM Philippines Education Foundation, Inc. initiated this activity in partnership with the TORM Employee Committee. Among the beneficiaries were the Agta communities in four villages of the three municipalities of Gattaran, Rizal, and Lasam in Cagayan Valley.
Agta community in Cagayan Valley
Agta members in Cagayan Valley were among those who survived the tropical storm “Nalgae” which hit the Philippines on October 27, 2022. As a result of their remote location and mountainous terrain, they rarely receive government support and assistance. TORM Philippines volunteers traveled for 12 hours by bus to Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley, on December 9, 2022, and arrived early in the morning on December 10, 2022. As soon as the relief goods were purchased, repackaging was done in the afternoon with the help of volunteers from a private charity organization, which provided a facility for the repacking.
The team at work!
Early in the morning, the team traveled nearly three hours to Sitio Bato in Capissayan Norte, Gattaran, where 28 Agta families were waiting to receive relief goods such as 10 kg. rice, various canned goods, packs of rice noodles, packs of native coffees, packs of sugar, bottles of vinegar and soy sauce, as well as household necessities such as mosquito nets, blankets, and slippers. As part of the project, the team provided learning materials, such as reading and writing books, to Agta children in the community, who receive tutorials from volunteer teachers from another community and from private charity organizations. Three solar lamps were also installed in the community’s multi-purpose hall to give light to the community.
In order to reach Bural (Zinungdungan), another Agta village in the municipality of Rizal, the team had to go for a second two and a half-hour journey. The same emergency supplies that were given to Sitio Bato were given to 27 Agta families. Likewise, bags of bread were distributed to Agta communities in Sicalao and Peru in Lasam in collaboration with another charitable groups. 85 families in total received assistance.
The “relief and gift giving” were effective despite the heavy rain and the team’s difficulty traveling quickly due to the bumpy and muddy roads. The provincial office in Tuguegarao City supplied assistance in the form of vehicles to bring the relief supplies to the four remote Agta settlements.
The TORM Philippines volunteers found the activity to be rewarding, and the team’s general upbeat mood helped to lessen the first difficult task. As soon as they got the items, the Agta’s started roaring with delight. As the community leader noted, it was also a present to them in advance of Christmas. By evening, the event was completed, and the crew had taken a 12-hour bus ride back to Manila.