Local chief executives in Eastern Visayas vowed to support the mobile civil registration project, recognizing the initiative as an integral part of post-Yolanda recovery efforts.
Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said that helping people register vital events will open windows of opportunities for storm survivors who lost possessions and even jobs when the disaster struck last year.
“It’s a good thing to know that there’s such project like this. It strengthens our resolve to continue recovery efforts. We hope to reconstruct everything and get back to normal,” said Petilla, who witnessed the signing of a memorandum of agreement between humanitarian response groups, national government agencies and 20 local government units, including 10 in Leyte province.
For his part, Eastern Samar Governor Conrado Nicart is confident that the project will encourage poor families to register since there’s a team that will assist them and it’s completely free.
“Securing copies of civil registration documents will entail so much time as well as money, which discourages people not to register births, marriages, and deaths,” Nicart said.
Guiuan, Eastern Samar Mayor Christopher Gonzales said the mobile civil registration project is a perfect example of bringing down basic services to the community through a multi-sectoral partnership.
“If people can’t access government services because of some barriers, let’s bring these services to them. This project is a concrete example of how to go about it,” Gonzales said.
The official echoed the pronouncement that not only houses and livelihood should be reconstructed after the storm, but the identities of survivors as well.
In a memorandum of agreement recently signed, the city and town mayors of priority areas committed to take the lead in the processing of civil documentation on request of target beneficiaries, issue policies that would wave all processing fees, provide technical assistance in information drive and actual registration activities, deploy volunteers and other possible logistics to complement the resources of the project, ensure the safety of registration teams.
The civil registration initiative concentrated in 20 storm hit cities and municipalities in Eastern Visayas is a component of the Access to Benefits and Claims after a Disaster (ABCD) project, spearheaded by the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services, Inc. (IDEALS), a non-government organization advocating for legal assistance in the aftermath of disasters.