AFCCO takes steps in Disaster Risk Reduction Management

Abuyog St. Francis Xavier Credit Cooperative (AFCCO) recognizes the need for communities to be more resilient in the midst of a changing climate. After the ‘Learning Exchange: Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction” activity conducted by Peace and Equity and Foundation (PEF), AFCCO has taken steps to raise awareness on disaster emergency response and rehabilitation.

Established in 1998, AFCCO is a financial service institution based in Abuyog town, Leyte province. To date, AFCCO has over 30T members, mostly farmers, spread all over the province of Leyte.

Continuous education and information on disaster management are given to its coop members and Yolanda village communities. Tree planting activities are also done regularly. Adoption and implementation of value chain approach to production are also being done. AFCCO facilities were also converted and prepared as evacuation centers. The coop also has a ready-fund for food and medicine packs from the Community Development Fund which is earmarked annually. With the key processes of Assessment, Deployment, Accountability, Partnership, Transition and SE Recovery, PEF’s ADAPT framework on Disaster Risk Reduction & Management (DRRM) served as AFCCO’s guide on their DRRM efforts.

AFCCO, a PEF partner since 2014, is its first partner-beneficiary to have undergone such training. “We learned how to manage disasters and build resiliency as well as examine also our policies. We also were able to come up with a disaster team now which we just took for granted before.” said Luz Yringco, prime mover of AFCCO.

In the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, PEF provided AFCCO a 7.5 million ‘Agri-refinancing for typhoon Yolanda-affected areas and other Common Facility Repairs’ fund to help coop members recover, rebuild homes and restore livelihoods by providing its members access to micro-financing loans. AFCCO, in partnership with PEF,  also provided ‘cash-for-work’ activity that engaged 300 farmer beneficiaries, particularly small-scale coconut farmers in efforts to clear farmland debris.

In the town of Tanuaun, AFCCO member Chito Legaspi and his wife Mae, make a living out of their small bakery and sari-sari store. The couple, who has 2 children, lost their home to typhoon Yolanda. The storm also damaged most of their equipment. With the two loans that they availed from AFCCO, they were able to recover their livelihood and rebuild their house.

With PEF’s assistance, AFCCO aims to empower their coop members and communities to really build the cooperative way of life by helping them help themselves. It remains steadfast in its commitment to continue working for sustainable and more resilient communities.

Plowed into two types of post-disaster rehabilitation projects, Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) funds for transition and Social Enteprise (SE) recovery. First is shelter rehabilitation in safer areas. Second is livelihood and enterprise rehabilitation coupled with capacity-building for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for SE partners.