Mayor Cristina lauds accelerated implementation of Yolanda rehab projects by Nat’l Gov’t
TACLOBAN CITY (CIO) – Taclobanons marked the fourth anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda at the Tacloban City Convention Center (Astrodome) along with City Government Officials and dignitaries on Wednesday.
Tacloban Mayor Cristina G. Romualdez and her husband and former Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez led the Mass and Program at the Astrodome, after an early morning Commemorative Walk participated by City Hall Employees and Barangay residents.
Some 8,000 evacuees took shelter at the multi-story Astrodome during the super typhoon in November 2013, which is just beside the Astrodome Memorial.
Mayor Romualdez lauded the accelerated implementation of rehabilitation projects under the current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, and thanked the countries and international aid organizations for the “life-changing” efforts and donations received by the local government that helped it recover from the devastation of Yolanda.
The Chief Executive also reported the accomplishments of the local government in the resettlement areas which included the provision of social services, such as the establishment of the Satellite Office of the City Government to bring front-line services closer to the transferred residents, establishment of health facilities and temporary learning spaces, and distribution of livelihood assistance to 13, 262 beneficiaries.
She also disclosed that the City Government is working on ways to provide permanent water supply and electric connection to the resettlement areas; and reported that the request of the City Government for 45 new public transport franchises to ply the Tacloban North area was approved recently by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Meantime, Undersecretary Wendel Avisado, Presidential Assistant on Yolanda Rehabilitation said that it is the thrust of President Duterte to effectively respond to the needs of those affected by Yolanda.
Avisado assured that the Government is fixing the process, especially in the housing program for the typhoon victims.
As of October 31, 2017, 10,677 units have been completed by the National Housing Authority (NHA) in designated resettlement areas in Tacloban north — of the number 9,538 are ready for occupancy. Per independent validation of of the the City Housing Office, 5,580 are occupied.
Meanwhile, former Mayor Romualdez, acknowledged that all helped to bring the City back on its feet and said that Tacloban has moved on the right way.
Recalling the lessons of the tragedy, he said this of the current national administration: “We are blessed to have a President that is compassionate to the needs of his people.”
Among those present at the astrodome for the memorial activity were former Mayor Alfredo “Bejo” Romualdez, Raymund Romualdez and representatives of international aid groups.
To cap the program, Mayor Romualdez led local officials in offering prayers and wreaths at the Astrodome Memorial, where the names of the Yolanda dead are etched.
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos arrived later in the afternoon to visit the mass grave of Yolanda victims at the Holy Cross Memorial with former 1st District Congressman Martin Romualdez.
In the evening, more than 6,000 candles were lit in the traditional simultaneous candle-lighting activity along the streets of the City, which was followed by the releasing of Sky Lanterns sponsored by 1st District Congresswoman Yedda K. Romualdez. –Henry James G. Roca, photos by Tim Canes/CMO