Leyte congressman: Rehab ‘far from over’

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An entire seaside community in Tacloban is wiped out as Yolanda tore across the city on November 8 last year.  In Ormoc City, typhoon victims and volunteers from the Tzu Chi Foundation install roofing of bunkhouses built at a 50 hectare-land donated by city mayor Edward Codilla on Friday. PHOTOs   MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

In Ormoc City, typhoon victims and volunteers from the Tzu Chi Foundation install roofing of bunkhouses built at a 50 hectare-land donated by city mayor Edward Codilla on Friday. PHOTOs MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

It has been a year after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda but,  a lawmaker from Leyte said on Friday, rehabilitation of the province is still “far from over.”

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Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, also leader of the independent bloc at the House of Representatives,  called on all concerned government agencies not to stop pushing forward to speed up recovery of the typhoon victims and their families.

“We know that the work is far from over. A year after Yolanda, the effort to rebuild Leyte continues, so let’s keep moving, trabaho lang [it’s just a job],” Romualdez said in a statement on Friday.

He added that they are making a priority  “reconstruction and disaster preparedness” for Leyte, which was said to be the worst-hit by Yolanda.

Commemorative activities to mark the typhoon’s first anniversary, Romuladez said, “serve as a good reminder that the work continues a year after Yolanda, and that everyone can contribute to this massive effort to get Leyte back on its feet.”

On November 8 last year, the  super typhoon ravaged Leyte, leaving 6,000 fatalities in Tacloban City (capital of Leyte province) alone.

Yolanda moved the international community, which poured donations in cash and kind.

Romualdez expressed gratitude to all local and foreign donors who extended help to the typhoon victims and their families.

“It has officially been a year after Yolanda. On behalf of the whole province of Leyte, we say thank you for the overwhelming support extended to us in our most desperate time of need,” he said.

According to Romualdez, they “saw the outpouring of support not only from the international community but from private citizens as well.

Aside from the innumerable food and medical supplies donated to the relief efforts, we cannot quantify the countless hours people spent volunteering, rescuing and providing relief to the affected communities.”

For today’s commemorative activities, the city government of Tacloban had lined up the awarding of livelihood projects to the typhoon victims.

The Philippine Red Cross had organized “Light the Darkness,” a race from Tolosa town to PRC-Leyte Compound.

At the City Hall grounds, the World Health Organization had planned a collaborative artwork activity.

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  1. One year of reconstruction is too short for the ravaged provinces of Leyte, Samar, Iloilo, etc. Not only recovery plan should be pushed but there should be 5, 10 and 20 years of development plan for the affected provinces. There are many lessons to be learned such as design of houses and buildings, improve infrastructures, livelihood programs, construction of water breaks and develop into roads and parks, selection of industries suited to the provinces, improve medical response, improve education and training of people, improve housekeeping and hygiene, etc.