Oikocredit Philippine partners hit by Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan was the 24th typhoon to strike the Philippines this year and the strongest ever. It hit six spots in the central Philippines, creating storm surges of 6 metres, inundating towns and destroying everything in its path. Oikocredit’s regional director Southeast Asia, Maria Theresa Pilapil, reported from Manila that while Oikocredit staff and families were all safe, Oikocredit partners on the devastated islands of Leyte and Samar had not escaped.
“My team is gathering information about the situation of our partners in the Visayas islands. This includes those in other badly affected areas such as the Bicol region and northern Mindanao,” said Pilapil. “The day after the typhoon struck, we managed to get in touch with one partner in Leyte, OCCCI, and heard of known deaths among the cooperative’s members.”
The city where OCCCI is located, Ormoc, has been totally destroyed. Power lines are down so there is no electricity and there are no passable roads. Property damage is massive and communication has been almost impossible with only one telecom network operational. So far, five other Oikocredit partners are known to have been affected; LAMP, Leyte 4th and OFMPC in Leyte, and SACRED and AKMA on the island of Samar.
Oikocredit’s Philippine office is preparing a proposal for disaster relief. As an investor and lender, Oikocredit can often be most valuable during the long, rebuilding phase following initial disaster relief efforts.