Rebuilding lives and livelihood in the Cordilleras after Typhoon Lawin
Mar 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM
Belonging to the Pacific typhoon belt, the Philippines is one of the most storm-exposed countries on earth, experiencing an average of 9 destructive cyclones a year. In October 2016, Typhoon Lawin (internationally known as Haima) hit the northern Philippines including Cagayan which is a top rice and corn producer, causing P2.5 billion worth of damages.
Among the ravaged communities are agricultural areas Cagayan, Apayao, and Isabela. For most of the citizens there, the only source of income is crops production. According to an expert assessment by Oxfam and Humanitarian Response Consortium, the aftermaths of the storm in the said areas could potentially result in food gap for a period of one to two months due to harvest and income loss.
One effort to rebuild the affected communities is the financial inclusion project of Oxfam and PayMaya Philippines.
The program deals with the rapid disbursement of financial support to more than 2,000 farmers and other citizens affected by Typhoon Lawin. They can use these PayMaya cards to pay for basic needs such as food and medicine from groceries and other physical stores that accept card payments.
For added convenience, they can also download the PayMaya app and link it to their cards to monitor their balance and transactions. Once they have the app, they can transfer money to other PayMaya users and access more in-app services such as bills payment. They can also directly buy prepaid load and data within the app, which is more affordable than the regular retail price.
Beneficiaries can reload their PayMaya at any of the more than 15,000 stations nationwide including Smart Padala Centers, 7-11 with Cliqq Kiosks, Ministop with Touchpay Kiosks, 2Go outlets*, SM Business Centers, Shopwise, Wellcome*, Robinsons Departments Stores, Union Bank ATMs, and online banking via BDO.
“The power of digital payments is not just for commerce, but more importantly for making a difference in the lives of Filipinos. We at PayMaya take a deep sense of fulfillment in bridging Oxfam to its beneficiaries in Cagayan, Isabela, and Apayao so that help gets faster where it is sorely needed,” said Orlando Vea, President and CEO of Voyager Innovations and PayMaya Philippines.
The project is in partnership with People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network of Cagayan, Citizen’s Disaster Response Centre of Apayao, and Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation of Isabela.
“As disasters become stronger and more frequent due to climate change, we hope that this digital platform will encourage families to access financial services and save money as a means of preparing for future disasters,” said Oxfam Country Director Richard Mawer.