For a mother of 10 like 47-year-old Norma Antolin, the free replacement of civil registry documents means shifting their worries from processing documents to surviving from hand-to mouth existence.
“Now we can focus to earning money to buy food since a non-government organization extended their help to process my sons’ registration documents,” Antolin said, one of the beneficiaries of the Mobile
Civil Registration Project (MCRP) in Talangdawan village, Salcedo, Eastern Samar.
The project aims to give a free assistance for legal registration to the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda who lost their legal identity documents such as birth certificate, death certificate, marriage contract, and land ownership.
Norma thanked the Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS) in helping her secure new copies of the lost certificates of live births of her sons Rene, 30, and Rayven Jade, 2.
“I’m so thankful. Now I don’t need to worry that Rene and Rayven don’t have a birth certificate.”
“We still face difficulties in everyday living, we need livelihood,” answered Norma when asked about their plight eight months after the disaster that killed and displaced thousands of people.
Her husband, Crispolo, 53, a farmer, is a beneficiary of the Uma-ahon Initiative, Backyard Goat Raising (BGR) of the Department of Agriculture. BGR is a project that aims to help the Yolanda survivors to rebuild their livelihood through alternative farming.
Before the strongest typhoon hit their province, Norma’s family survived from planting crops and selling their harvest in the community. They only earned an average of Php P1,500 monthly, not even enough to sustain their large family’s basic daily needs.
But when the typhoon struck, the situation got worse, their livelihood was shattered as fierce winds destroyed their farm.
“There still some cassava left, we plant them again, and some organizations gave us seedlings, seeds of squash, ampalaya, and many others. We really work hard for us not to die from hunger.”
Antolin’s family lives in a tiny house made of plywood and with worn out tarpaulins as roofing. “We don’t have enough budget that’s why we just eat two times a day,” said Norma as tears rolled down her weary wrinkled cheeks.
According to her the hardship they experience everyday didn’t stop their fighting spirit ,rather they make it as an inspiration to keep going.
“Our life now is difficult, but I still see light in the future,” she told IDEALS. – Myla Ann Jomadiao, LNU Intern