After one of the world’s strongest tropical cyclones, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged Aklan in early-November of 2013, the LGU immediately embarked on a massive relief distribution effort. It was established that relief can only address so little of the huge concerns of the disaster-stricken constituency. Reports indicate dismal figures with Aklan’s affected population reaching 421,735 persons, damage to housing partial and total combined reaching 85,004, agriculture damage reaching PhP76.3 million and fishery damage reaching PhP93.8 million.
Faced with a complicated situation of how to go about initiating activities for rehabilitation and recovery, the provincial government conceptualized an uncomplicated approach in the delivery of the much needed front-line services. The new LGU leadership resolved that the constituency especially in the far-flung barangays of Aklan should have the same easy access to all the health, agricultural, social, employment, veterinary, legal, technical, engineering and other services as those living in the central barangays. This is in appreciation of the sad fact that for Aklanons in these areas, the simple lack of money for fare, physical condition or dilapidated roads hinders their enjoyment of government service. They are most vulnerable to the challenges of survival after livelihoods have been lost, such as the damage to their farms and loss of livestock, damage to health facilities in their area, and damage to school facilities.
In early 2014, the LGU launched the “Gobyerno sa Baryo” (GSB) program through a pronouncement by the provincial governor in his 1st State of the Province Address. This program aims to deliver all the frontline services of the government directly and on-site in the barangays. A barangay will serve as host for participation by the targeted cluster of barangays wherein all their constituents will be entertained and provided service by participating provincial offices composed of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH), Altavas District Hospital (ADH), Ibajay District Hospital (IDH), Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET), Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), Provincial Engineer’s Office (PEO), Provincial Treasurer’s Office (PTO), Aklan Public Employment Service Office (PESO), national agencies composed of the Aklan Congressional District Office, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Army (PA), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Provincial Legal Office Integrated Bar of the Philippines and non-government organizations such as the Philippine College of Physicians, Philippine Red Cross, Aklan Medical Society, Association of the Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines – Aklan Chapter, Philippine Dental Association – Aklan Chapter and PetroWind.