Iligan City, February 21, 2012

BALSA Mindanao Tent Cities will be established soon in Iligian City and in Cagayan de Oro to help around 1,000 families of survivors cramped-up in various evacuation centers of the region. D.R. Stategies, a humanitarian relief organization from Texas, will extend shelter boxes—dubbed as ’10-38 Box’—to provide for around 10,000 individuals.

Each 10-38 Box is comprised of shelter and care essentials to families affected and displaced by TS Washi. It includes a heavy-duty tent, tarp, blankets, waterstorage and purification, cooking and eating utensils, toiletries, as well as tools and other relief supplies.

“The 10-38 Boxes restore dignity to those displaced by disaster, and allow individuals to begin rebuilding their families’ lives,” according to the D.R. Strategies website.

The project will be implemented by BALSA Mindanao (Bulig alang sa Mindanao/Help for Mindanao), in partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. This will be coordinated with the efforts of the local government units of the two cities. Beneficiaries will be chosen by BALSA Mindanao.

“This is very timely now that we are seeing that after all the efforts to provide shelter for the Survivors of TS Washi, evacuation centers are still cramped. Beyond this, we have to look at the sustainability of food and other essentials needed by the families,” said Sr. Maria Famita Somogod, MSM, of the BALSA Mindanao secretariat.

UMCOR Philippine Manager Ms. Ciony Ayo-Eduarte committed support for the initial maintenance of the tent cities.

BALSA Mindanao is a broad Mindanao-wide network of church and church-based organizations, schools, disaster response NGOs, local executives, professional groups, youth and students, women, partylists, and concerned individuals created to respond to the immense humanitarian crisis brought about by TS Washi. At the core of the network are the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) and Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitation Center.