MARIBOJOC, Bohol: Gov. Edgar Chatto of Bohol said Boholanons will rise from the tragedy inflicted by the huge earthquake that devastated the province.
“Boholanons are very resilient. Bohol can rise again. We will turn around,” Chatto said as he met the humanitarian team sent by Albay province.
The death toll from the 7.2-magnitude earthquake rose to 183 on Sunday.
“We never experienced this before. This is the biggest disaster but what is important is the people are helping each other and the bayanihan of the Filipinos is indisputable,” Chatto told Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office.
The Albay provincial government and the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol sent a rescue team to Bohol, its sister province.
Chatto thanked the Albay team for responding early.
Because of aftershocks, residents stayed outside their homes or huddled in tents.
Mayor Leoncio Evasco of Maribojoc told The Manila Times the whole town has become one big evacuation center because everybody is affected.
“The entire population of Maribojoc needs to undergo a debriefing because we’re experiencing extreme trauma,” Evasco said.
“Our concern is food and water. Connect us to Tagbilaran City immediately so we could get back on our feet again. But thank you to the people of Albay for coming and sharing your expertise as it will help us recover gradually and for providing us drinking water after four days of being waterless,” Evasco said.
The town’s water reservoir was destroyed by earthquake.
“Practice makes perfect. That is why we drill. But real knowledge is derived from experiencing and responding to an actual event,” Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay said.
Bicol, specifically Albay province, is also threatened by earthquakes and tsunami, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
“This is where the idea of Team Albay becomes compelling. So, given our zero casualty goal as set by provincial policies, the secondary objective in deploying Team Albay is to flex our muscles aside from our principal objective to help our brothers in crisis situations,” Salceda said.
Donations continued to pour for the victims of the earthquake.
The Chinese government gave $80,000 and sent its “deepest condolences to the people who lost their lives . . . as well as heartfelt sympathies for all those who have been affected.”
“As a token of solidarity and goodwill for the people of the Philippines in times of need, China donates $80,000 through its Red Cross Society to the Philippines,” the Chinese embassy in Manila said.
The Aboitiz Group, through Aboitiz Foundation, dispatched teams to distribute relief goods to the hard-hit towns of Loon, Maribojoc, Tubigon and Carmen.
“The Aboitiz Group is fully committed in seeing the Visayas rise from this calamity. This is after all home to us and majority of our team members hail from the Visayas. It is where our roots and our heart lies,” said Aboitiz Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sonny Carpio.
The Aboitiz Foundation earmarked a P2 million donation for the quake victims, including a P1-million donation from Megastar Sharon Cuneta.
AboitizLand, CitySavings, and Pilmico are pooling donations and sending volunteers to support the relief operations. The foundation is also closely coordinating with various local government units, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine National Police.
WITH REPORT FROM BERNICE CAMILLE BAUZON