An international organization has awarded a Pasay City official for her exemplary service in helping families displaced by super typhoon Yolanda two years ago.
Rosalinda Orobia, head of the Pasay City Social Worker Department, bagged the trophy for the Exemplary Registered Government Social Worker Award given by Consuelo Foundation, an international group with bases in Hawaii and the Philippines. The foundation supports programs that prevent the abuse and exploitation of children, women and families.
“I feel surprised and at the same time grateful that an international organization noticed our dedication to our work. At the end, we are just doing our job. The recognition and appreciation is a source of inspiration, I would like to pass my knowledge to the younger social workers and train them in providing better services to the community,” Orobia said.
A 32-year service veteran, Orobia said social workers should understand and fight for what the community needs and possess the human touch to properly assess situations of their clients.
“Aside from a 4-year course and the board exam, a social worker should be able to look deeper in the situation to provide appropriate action, like in the case of child offenders, one should also check the family background and the possible reasons why the act was committed,” she added.
Orobia spearheaded the immediate relief and rehabilitation effort for the Yolanda survivors who were temporarily relocated in Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
“We made sure that by the time they went back to the province, they will have something; we provided them financial assistance and at the same time we became part of the healing process of those who were affected because I believe that aftercare is also part of a social worker’s job” Orobia said.
Days after Yolanda struck, the city government of Pasay built a “Tent City” in Villamor Airbase to attend to the needs of an initial 100 affected families.
At least 50 tents with 200 beds were set up at the Villamor Airbase Elementary School situated just outside the base, which had become the drop-off point of evacuees fleeing the typhoon-ravaged towns in Eastern Visayas.
The tent city at that time served as temporary shelter for typhoon victims who have yet to contact their relatives in Metro Manila, or are undergoing processing by housing agencies, or have otherwise nowhere else to go.
At least 5,000 refugees, mostly from Leyte and Samar, arrived at the Villamor Airbase following the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013. The victims were mostly flown in by the Philippine Air Force C-130 cargo planes transporting relief goods to the calamity areas.
In August 1993, the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation set up Philippines operations, supporting programs for the prevention of abuse, the protection and recovery of victims of abuse, and the creation of opportunities for disadvantaged children, women and families.