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RDANA TEAM. A team of XU formators and staff went to Makilala, North Cotabato, with Edgar Aquiatan of Mt Apo Foundation Inc (leftmost in the photo), to conduct a Rapid Disaster Assessment and Needs Analysis on November 9 andSuppliedllied photo.

Report by Zaira Mae Dehing, SSIAP Volunteer Program Officer

After a series of earthquakes rocked Mindanao, many families had lost their properties and livelihoods, and a number of lives were curtailed.

Three major earthquakes struck the island, particularly in the province of North Cotabato. In the midst of the turmoil, Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan did not fail to respond to disasters as part of its social responsibility. Over the years, Xavier Ateneo has saved lives, spread kindness, and built communities.

A team of XU formators and staff went to Makilala, North Cotabato to conduct a Rapid Disaster Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) on November 9 and 10. Nestor Banuag Jr, director of the Student Social Involvement and Advocacy Program (SSIAP), led the mission together with Zaira Mae G Dehing (SSIAP), Meiyoshi A Masgon (XU Sustainable Sanitation Center), William V Repulo (SuSan), Faith Elvie L Silmonet (Office of Student Affairs), and Dennise S Gonzales (XU NSTP director).  

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MAKILALA MISSION. The map shows the 12 evacuation centers in Makilala, North Cotabato, the areas for RDANA. Supplied image. 

During the mission, several groups and institutions coordinated with Xavier Ateneo to respond to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and in managing disastersMt Apo Foundation Inc (MAFI), through project officer Edgar Aquiatan, was the main contact organization of the XU-RDANA team in the area. 

MAFI was referred to XU by the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC) of the Ateneo de Davao. Aside from MAFI, the Inter-Cultural Organizations Network for Solidarity and Peace Inc (ICON-SP), through staff member Jocelyn H Aquiatan, served as the “contact building” in the area.

During the team’s courtesy call, the local government unit of Makilala through Arbil M Espadera (LDRRMO III), IC-Unified Command Irvin de Leon (Municipality Sanitation Officer), and Acting Vice Governor Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva, gave an overview of the area and how to set up a system in delivering basic services to the earthquake survivors. The LGU also provided the team with the clearance in order to conduct the said assessment. 

Out of the 40 evacuation centers, only 12 center-based evacuation centers were "highly recommended" for the RDANA to be conducted as these were the safest areas to visit for now.

With the existing efforts from various organizations such as World Vision, Save The Children, World Food Programme, other government organizations, and LGUs, the team recommended the following programs to be conducted: Psycho-social Activities, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH), Safety and Security, Provision of Healthy Food and Medical Mission.

Prior to the mission, XU conducted a call for cash donations for the earthquake victims in Tulunan, North Cotabato. The cash donation drive was held from November 5 to 16.  With the help of XU’s Social Development Cluster volunteers, XU was able to gather a total of Php69,660.96. 

The response for #XUTabangTulunan Call for Cash Donations has been positive and Xavier Ateneo hopes for the same positive response with its toy collection drive which will run until December 11. The toys collected will be brought to the area during the next mission trip on December 12-13.

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PHOTO WITH VICE GOV. Photo of the XU team together with Vice Governor Shirlyn Macasarte-Villanueva. Supplied photo. 

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KIDS OF MAKILALA. The kids showcase their smiling faces together with Faith Silmonet from XU Office of Student Affairs. Supplied photo. 

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RESTROOMS. Improvised comfort rooms set up by the Department of Health in the mission area. Supplied photo. 

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RELIEF GOODS. This box contains the common food items found in every evacuation center. Supplied photo. 

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CONSULTATION. DOH workers are consulting with the evacuees. Supplied photo. 

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