Tzu Chi Foundation, the largest Buddhist humanitarian organization partnered with First Consolidated Bank (FCB) opened its entries to help accelerate the distribution of cash assistance to the most affected areas by typhoon Odette.

Six towns in selected barangays in Bohol were able to receive cash assistance from Tzu Chi Foundation. Among towns were Tubigon, Inabanga, Getafe, Bien Unido, Ubay and CPG island.

On January 28, Tzu Chi Foundation distributed coupons to these places. Four teams were designated in different towns to ensure that the giving of coupons will be done in a single day.

While having the distribution, recipients truly have no idea about the type of assistance they are about to receive since volunteers want to arouse their excitement as they go along with the program.

As the volunteers announced the assistance after the coupon, as well as the amount of cash they will receive, the crowd went wild as they knew the surprise behind it.

As stated, households which are composed of 1 to 2 members will receive Php10,000; those 3 to 4 members will receive Php15,000; and Php20,000 will be given to five or more members of their household.

One recipient from Matabao, Tubigon, Bohol is Lyra Itable. She can’t hold her tears upon knowing the amount of cash she will be about to receive.

“I am very thankful for those who created and founded this foundation who made a big help for us, especially me who are living in a small tent. Thank you so much to all of you who made this such blessing. Now with this cash aid, I can be able to rebuild my home to prevent us from rain. Thank you so much!” said Lyra.

Liezel Sandot from Inabanga, Bohol is also grateful for the blessing. She has 3 children and the only source of income is fishing which is her husband’s work. Now that their home was ruined by the typhoon, it is hard for them to start anew.

“I am so much thankful that Tzu Chi reached and came here to respond our needs. For this cash aid, I am so happy that I can able to buy roofing materials and other construction needs. This is so much blessing that’s why I can’t help myself from crying. I don’t expect this to happen. Thank you, Tzu Chi!” stated Liezel while tears falling.

On the next day, January 29, where the cash distribution happened in every town’s FCB branches, volunteers, youths, PNP personnel, and LGU representatives controlled the crowd, made them lined up, and assisted them appropriately.

FCB releasing personnel volunteered to prepare the cash to give to the recipients and ensure the safety and efficient distribution.

James Ebojo, the Overall In-Charge, and a manager of First Consolidated Bank (FCB) – Ubay branch, offered his time to help distribute the cash.

“FCB is very excited and happy to accept this offer from Tzu Chi to give and assist in giving financial assistance for Ubay and CPG island recipients who were greatly affected by typhoon Odette. I can say that the Tzu Chi Foundation is very generous, and I am so thankful for their monetary help. So far, Tzu Chi has given more assistance including rice and a bigger amount of cash,” James stated as he wants to inspire people by telling them to maintain hopes and keep moving despite these trying times.

Recipients were very excited and could see hope in their faces as they hold the cash in their hands, as it is a big help for them to rebuild their homes.

“I am Joaquina Petalyar, our house was severely damaged by the typhoon. This cash I received now will be used to buy lumber and roofing materials to rebuild my home. Thank you very much to all the people behind this Tzu Chi Foundation for this great help.” Said Joaquina, a widow from Ondol, Inabanga, Bohol.

Mary Jean Timario, a beneficiary from Tintinan Island, Ubay also grateful for the cash she received. Their home found lots of damages, the pumpboat was ruined, and livelihood means were down.

“I wasn’t expecting this to happen. I thought we were not able to survive due to its severely coolness. Now, I am so thankful to the Tzu Chi Foundation for giving us cash assistance that will be used to repair our house and to meet our daily consumption needs. From this money, I will buy lumber and roofing materials. I will also use this to repair the damages in our pump boats which will be used to raise our livelihood means. Thank you so much Dharma Master Cheng Yen for this blessing!” She thankfully acknowledged.

Mayor Constantino Reyes of Ubay, Bohol wants to express his heartfelt thanks to the Tzu Chi Foundation for extending help to their town.

“There were twenty-three thousand affected households in our town and have seen heavy damages from Odette’s fury. I am so thankful to the Tzu Chi Foundation especially to Dharma Master Cheng Yen for always helping us starting from the pandemic and now we faced this catastrophe, thank you for not leaving us. The people here were given encouragement to continue living life with purpose. The rice and cash assistance were truly a great help for them to raise their hope and efforts.” Mayor Reyes thankfully stated.

“We are now in Ubay, we are giving cash assistance to the people in CPG and the residents of Ubay. They are part of the most devastated area in the typhoon we just encountered. The money would be of great help for them to recover. They can rebuild their house, they can buy roofing materials, and lumber so they can get back again with their lives. Tzu Chi has greatly helped in rebuilding Bohol. We are very thankful to Dharma Master Cheng Yen. Gan en!” said Brother Joven Uy, Tzu Chi – Bohol commissioner.

A total of 5,067 beneficiaries received cash aid from Tzu Chi Foundation.

As the team traveled home, recipients were truly grateful and blessed for such a time, Tzu Chi has been a blessing to recover themselves from the traumatic typhoon. They extended their deepest gratitude to the Tzu Chi Foundation for the love and care they felt. Surely, the money they received would help them rebuild their homes and regain their faith.