Typhoon survivor grateful for aid
Alberto Miole, 88 years old one of the recipients of the jerry cans and vouchers for purified drinking water distributed by Oxfam Pilipinas and partner Exodus from Child Labor to Integration, Play Socialization and Education, Inc. (ECLIPSE) as part of the emergency response for STY Rai. (Photo: ECLIPSE, Inc.)
Alberto Miole, 88 years old, is a widower who lives alone in his small hut, which was totally damaged by Super Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) as it made landfall in Southern Leyte province on December 16, 2021. His wife passed away three years ago. They had six children who now have their own families and reside in far-off places like Manila.
He is one of the recipients of the jerry cans and vouchers for purified drinking water distributed by Oxfam Pilipinas and partner Exodus from Child Labor to Integration, Play Socialization and Education, Inc. (ECLIPSE) as part of the emergency response for STY Rai.
Tatay Berto also receives social pension from the national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the amount of P500 per month. The social pension is usually given once every six or 12 months at P3,000 or P6,000, respectively.
The social pension is a program of the Philippine government intended for Filipinos who are not receiving regular monthly assistance from SSS or GSIS and those living alone.
Berto shared that when he was young, he was a certified farmer who tilled coconut farms owned by neighbors. He also did fishing as a livelihood because the town of Macrohon is both coastal and upland. But before Typhoon Odette’s landfall in their place, he was taken by his eldest son to temporarily shelter with him in Barangay Ilihan of the same town.
Typhoon Odette completely destroyed Tatay Berto's house. Despite what happened, Tatay Berto happily received the jerry cans distributed by Oxfam Pilipinas and ECLIPSE in their community.
“Dako kini og gamit, malipay gihapon sa ihatag.”
(This is a great help. We are happy with the assistance provided to us.)
Despite his old age, Berto did not oblige his children to send him financial support but would wait if they had “extra money”. He is never fond of asking for help because they have their own family to feed and children to send to school.
He is thankful to the people – neighbors and strangers alike – who voluntarily helped him fix his home after Odette’destroyed it.
Tatay Berto is well-loved in Barangay Ichon, which the team observed when many volunteered to carry his water containers from the gymnasium where the distribution took place to his house.
His fervent wish is for organizations to distribute housing materials in their community.