A non-government organization strongly advocating post-Yolanda legal assistance is optimistic of reconstructing destroyed civil registration records of 100,000 typhoon survivors in Leyte and Samar provinces before the end of this quarter.
Glenn Ymata, project manager of Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) said that 200 community organizers have been deployed in 20 cities and municipalities of storm-hit Eastern Visayas to carry out the three-month massive civil registration drive.
“The target is to assist 100,000 residents in registering vital events, get authenticated copies of their identity records and reconstruct damaged civil records by June 30,” Ymata said.
Early this month, IDEALS oriented and deployed community organizers to raise public awareness on the recording of births, marriages, and deaths, as well as facilitate registration of these vital events.
“The usual process lasts for three to six months, but through mobile registration project, we want to finish the registration in one week, given that all supporting documents are ready,” he added.
Recognizing the manpower constraints in local civil registrar (LCR) offices, IDEALS pushed for civil registration initiatives that would pave the way for easy access to basic social services that requires identity records.
In addition to augmenting staff in LCR office, the IDEALS also distributed laptops, copiers, educational materials, forms, desktop computers, generator sets, and pocket cameras for use in civil registration.
“For late registration, we have a team of paralegals and lawyers tasked execute legal instruments needed. We will deploy them to different areas as needed,” Ymata said.
The total project cost is estimated at P60 million, largely donated by the United Kingdom Aid through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee.
Listed as priority areas are Tacloban City, Palo, Tanauan, and Tolosa in the eastern part of Leyte; Villaba, San Isidro, Tabango, Isabel, Matag-ob, and Ormoc City in the northwestern part of Leyte; Basey and Marabut in Samar; Lawaan, Balangiga, Quinapondan, Giporlos, Guiuan, Salcedo, Mercedes, and Hernani in Eastern Samar.
Local government units in these areas were asked to waive all fees in the processing of civil registration documents.
The civil registration project is being is upported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippine Statistics Authority – National Statistics Office, 20 local government units (LGUs), local civil registrar’s (LCR) office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of the Civil of Defense (OCD), Oxfam, and Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO).