Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Bohol Provincial Board) had declared Bohol under a state of calamity on October 15, 2019 due to the shortage of water supply. The farmers were greatly affected by El Nino and were not able to plant their crops or even harvest them due to shortage of water supply and lack of irrigation system. Because of this, the farmers are having struggles when it comes to providing their family’s daily needs.

With that reason, Tzu Chi decided to take an action to help these farmers.

Tzu Chi Foundation went to Antequera, Sagbayan, Loboc, Sikatuna, and even in the island of Pitugo to pull out the Taiwan rice which will be given to the indigent farmers of the affected areas. After everything was set to place, Rice Relief Distribution has been conducted to the most affected towns of Bohol.

Thousands of Boholano farmers were very happy for what they have received. One of which is an 83-year old Eucadia Barassi, from the municality of Antequera, who is very thankful for receiving a sack of Taiwan rice.

“I am Eucadia Barassi, 83 years old. I am very glad to receive this rice from Tzu Chi. Thank you so much Tzu Chi Foundation because I really can’t buy rice right now. Thank you so much for this.” The old woman expressed gratefully.

Esabilita Quitoriano from Sikatuna, Bohol is also a farmer who received a sack of rice from Tzu Chi Foundation.

“I am Esabilita Quitoriano and I’m really grateful for this help from Tzu Chi Foundation.” She said sincerely.

Tzu Chi Bohol volunteers travelled 3-4 hours and had crossed the sea to also reach out to the farmers at President Carlos P. Garcia, Pitugo Island, Bohol. Knowing that there is no irrigation system in the island, the farmers can no longer till their lands with rice.

Martin Guillermo is also one of those. Now that he cannot plant his crops, he is having a hard time to meet his daily needs especially that he is a blind man living alone in his small nipa hut. Today, he is very thankful as well with a sack of rice he had received.

“Thank you so much Tzu Chi Foundation for giving me this rice. It will really help me a lot for my food every day.” Tatay Martin said.

Gloria Monden is also a woman who grew up being a farmer in the island. She is one of the recipients for the Rice Relief Distribution in the island.

“My name is Gloria Monden and I am very thankful for these blessings given to us. I hope that whatever help you are giving will be an inspiration for the people to give help to others. Thank you Lord for Tzu Chi Foundation.” She said.

Gloria also gave her donation along with the coupon, with a purpose to also give what she has for others.

“I donated because in my own little way, I want to give back the help you gave to us. For us, that’s our way in showing how grateful we are.” She added.

The mayor of the island is also very thankful for Tzu Chi Foundation in giving aid to his people, especially that his island was considered as one of the poorest municipality in Bohol.

“I am Mayor Fernando Boyboy Estabilla, the ‘father’ of the people in the town Carlos P Garcia. I am so grateful to Tzu Chi Foundation for the rice relief they have given today, upon seeing how our island is considered as the poorest municipality of Bohol since it is isolated and was apart from Bohol.” Mayor narrated.

According to Mayor Fernando, when it was said that Bohol is in the state of calamity, he asked help from the different organization, but it was Tzu Chi that responded to his people’s needs.

“When the sangguniang bayan declared that we are under a state of calamity, I asked help from the different organizations, but I am really thankful to Tzu Chi Foundation because they are the ones who responded and do an immediate relief, since my people really need help especially when it comes to rice which is needed by them. I think their Christmas will be a merry one for what they have received today. And I also hope that our municipality can help other people through Tzu Chi Foundation.” Mayor Fernando added.

The Rice Relief Distribution will never be a success without the volunteers who had helped the senior citizens and the PWD’s to carry the sack of rice to the nearest station of transportation. Fernando Talingting is a rice beneficiary who volunteered himself happily to help others as well.

“My name is Fernando Talinting who volunteered myself in Tzu Chi Foundation to help the elderly. My heart is very happy in helping others, that’s why I choose to do this.” He said.

Rice Relief Distribution paves way to see the unity of the Boholanos in times of calamity. Through this, Tzu Chi have shown love and kindness to the people who need it the most, and had inspired a lot to do the same thing as well.