Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II (JRMP II) immediately responded to the call of the Bukidnon Karulano Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in the hinterlands of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental which was greatly affected by the onslaught of typhoon Odette last December 17, 2021.

Headed by Ms. Ruth Cely M. Jamelo, Division Manager for Institutional Development, the JRMP II team delivered immediate relief goods to the Bukidnon Karulano through National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Commissioner Jeorge M. Largado on December 23, 2021.

According to Commissioner Largado, about ninety-five percent (95) of the population of Barangay Karul-an or around 1,800 families are affected by the typhoon. Moreover, around 750 families were affected in Barangay Tan-awan or around 70% of the total population.

Families lost their houses, properties and livelihood due to flashfloods and strong winds. 

Immediate needs of the families including rice, drinking water, vegetables and condiments were the items brought by the JRMP II team from the NIA Employees Association of the Philippines (NIAEASP) JRMP II Chapter. These goods may not be enough for all of the affected families but Ms. Jamelo promised to lobby the situation of the IP community to other National Government Agencies (NGA) and Non-Government Organizations (NGO) as they need not only relief operations but permanent rehabilitation of their homes and livelihoods.

Barangay Karul-an, the main habitation of the Bukidnon Karulano, is about 47 kilometers away from the city proper of Kabankalan. Their location is a challenge for individuals and groups organizing relief operations because the main City of Kabankalan is also greatly affected by the typhoon. Trees and electrical posts are toppled, houses were either left roofless, flooded or totally damaged and properties ruined by flashfloods and strong winds. As of writing, Kabankalan’s electricity is not yet restored. /JP Flordalie Padillo