Residents, the local government, and Tzu Chi volunteers all pitched in help to clear the debris left by the relentless rains in Barangays Nangka, Tumana, and Malanday in Marikina City within only two days.
Cleaning up Marikina City of the debris left by the relentless rains took only two days with residents, the local government, and Tzu Chi volunteers – collective effort.
The cleanup drive in Barangay Malanday, Nangka, and Tumana ended on August 17, two days after Tzu Chi Foundation had launched the program. Said villages were the worst-affected by the flashfloods brought about by the monsoon rains. The Buddhist group gave Php800 daily allowance to each of the residents who participated.
Days after the calamity, most residents had already cleaned up their homes. However, garbage had remained a problem.
The local government and the office of Marikina City’s first district representative had been deploying dump trucks and payloaders to collect debris from the affected villages. However, according to Barangay Malanday chairman Mark James Alfonso this had limitations. The heavy equipment could not penetrate the narrow alleyways. In this regard, Tzu Chi’s cash relief cleanup drive came as a big help.
“The debris from those alleyways that backhoes cannot penetrate were collected little by little because there is manpower to gather them and take them out in the highway manually. That’s why our hearts here in Barangay Malanday are full of gratitude to Tzu Chi,” said the chairman.
Rose Soliverez, 58, echoed this. Her house is located deep in the narrow alley in Sitaw Libis Street, Malanday,
For days, a heap of trash had been sitting on her front yard, posing health risk to her family especially to her two grandchildren who would play games with their friends, oblivious to the danger.
Participants of Tzu Chi’s cash relief cleanup drive program helped Rose take all the debris out in the highway, where it can be collected by the local government’s heavy equipment.
“I am relieved that the trash has been removed. We won’t have to endure the bad smell especially since I have grandchildren who live with me and are exposed to all this garbage every day,” Rose happily says.
Local Tzu Chi volunteers in the area also went out to help in the cleanup.
“In situations like this, it doesn’t matter who you are. Neighbors should help each other since they live in only one community,” said volunteer Lani Quirante, 53.
In Barangay Tumana, Danit Sarino, 46, lauded how Tzu Chi had brought out the spirit of unity among the villagers.
“After the flood, we only cared about cleaning up our own homes. We paid no attention to others. But now we are working together to clean up the whole neighborhood as fast as possible,” she shared.
Tommy Davag, a staff from the office of Marikina City’s first district representative, only had good words for Tzu Chi.
“Ever since Ondoy, they are the biggest and the first to help Marikina not only in the cleaning but also in providing relief goods, and rice so Tzu Chi Foundation has really done so much for our city,” he said.
During the cleanup drive’s closing program, Marikina City mayor Marcelino Teodoro attended. He also took part in the distribution of cash aid to the participants. Apart from the material help, the mayor thanked Tzu Chi for inspiring the goodness of his constituents.
“I witnessed upon receiving their allowance, they gave back a little of what they can afford for everybody to benefit from it. And right now, I feel that there is hope for a better tomorrow because there is a community of goodness here in Marikina,” he ended.