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Coop helps Sevilla quake survivors get back on their feet

By: Melissa Q. Cabahug June 01,2015 - 11:33 AM



She almost lost everything when the 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol province on October 15, 2013, but she did not lose hope and believed that she could survive the greatest challenge of her life.

Annabelle Paler, 49, said she didn’t know what to do after the earthquake hit.

She was then working as a househelper in Tagbilaran City, Bohol and she was worried because she was far from her husband Ruben and 14-year-old daughter, who were in Sevilla town, which is about 36 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

It took her three days to return home because the bridges leading to her town were impassable.

She said upon reaching her hometown, she was relieved to learn that her husband and daughter were safe  but she also found out that the earthquake destroyed their house made of light materials.

The family was living in a tent in their town’s plaza.

Paler said it took a while for them to recover from the devastation.

The Community-Managed Savings and Credit Association (Comsca), a cooperative composed of members of the Sevilla community and of which Paler was a member,  extended the help they needed to get back on their feet.

“The cooperative was a big help to us and to our children because without the coop we could not have anybody to run to for financial assistance during those hard times,” she said in Cebuano.

Paler said with the cooperative’s help, she and her family eventually set up a roasted pig business, where she earned P1,000 to P1,200 for every roasted pig she sold.

There are 15 members in their purok.

Rubylyn Gonzaga, economic development manager of the World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. said Comsca started in South Cotabato in 2009.

There are now 99,576 members nationwide, 4,691 groups and savings of P187 million.

She said during the first World Vision Summit at Bayfront Hotel last Friday, aside from the adult members, 464 groups of the total 4,691 groups of the co-op are children.

Paler said her daughter, Rubiliza, an incoming grade nine student, is also a member of Comsca.

She said she’s not worried by the school expenses and allowance of their daughter because the co-op will help her with it.

She said Rubiliza will set aside P50 a week as her savings in Comsca.

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TAGS: bohol, cooperative, earthquake, survivors

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