CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, March 26 (PIA) – If he had to choose, Ben Furuganan, 52, won’t have to collect the P25 thousand that the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) gave him that day.

Furuganan was one of the 6th batch of recipients of OCD’s cash assistance to those who died and were injured during Typhoon Yolanda as it brought a fierce storm surge to Basey and Tacloban City  on November 8, 2013.

Three personnel from OCD-8 were at the Basey town hall to distribute the cash assistance, March 20.

“Php 10 thousand for the dead and Php 5 thousand for the injured,” the OCD personnel said.

The recipient said he lost his mother and a sister, both senior citizens while he was injured in the strongest typhoon that hit the region.

When asked how he would spend the money, Furuganan said he would make the tombs of his departed loved ones concrete.

“They were just buried using mounds of earth, that time we had nothing and there was still confusion,” he recalls the day after the typhoon.

After more than a year, his family has tried to move on using the motorboat given by a local donor to catch crabs and sell them.

In his island barangay Salvacion, just across Basey town, 52 islanders died while some 400  also perished in the town proper.

With the help of the national and local governments, NGOs both local and foreign, the Salvacion folks (aka JINAMOK) have been provided with better shelter and livelihood.

But if they will have it their way, despite the many good assistance they are getting, they would rather be poor than be hit by Typhoon Yolanda. (najc/nbq/PIA 8-Samar)