Written by: Pia Villareal
On October 10 the city of Himamaylan declared a state of calamity due to clashes between rebel forces and government troops. One of the most affected places is Barangay Carabalan which borders Negros Oriental. Considering its proximity it is no surprise that Carabalan is the first place Fr. Junifer Toreno and the Social Action Ministry of the diocese of Dumaguete can reach for the purpose of providing aid to its people. Bishop Julito Cortes, who is currently in the town of Assisi in Italy for a pilgrimage, has called on the public for prayers and assistance for the Himamaylan evacuees. He vocalizes that although we are thankful to God that Negros Oriental is relatively peaceful, we should not forget our fellow neighbors in Negros Occidental.
The Diocese of Kabankalan is tasked to mobilize relief efforts, as Himamaylan is under their jurisdiction. Relief efforts will be given with the help of the Diocese of Dumaguete. With the leadership of Fr. Junifer Toreno, the latter is gathering assistance for Barangay Carabalan in cash and in-kind. Since Sunday some of the residents have been able to go back to their homes but some still remain in evacuation centers. Either way, Bishop Cortes stresses that the aforementioned residents are in need of the basic necessities, such as food, water, and hygiene to name a few.
Himamaylan Evacuees in Negros Occidental
Classes were temporarily suspended in Himamaylan but since it was deemed safe enough for some residents to return the resumption of classes are now set on Wednesday, October 19. Mayor Raymund Tongson Jr., with the consultation of the Department of Education (DepEd), declared that two barangays can resume their classes. These are Barangay Cabadiangan and Barangay Carabalan. However, some places are exempt from this by recommendation of the Philippine Army’s Incident Management Team (IMT). Places exempted from the resumption of classes are Sitio Campayas, Medel, and Sig-ang of Barangay Carabalan.