‘Yolanda’ refugees in Pasay return home

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AFTER staying for almost two months in Metro Manila, some 93 Yolanda survivors at the Pasay “tent city” are finally going home to Eastern Visayas.

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Mayor Antonino Calixto of Pasay City on Tuesday closed the “tent city” that was put up on November 19 last year by the city government.

The Pasay “tent city” at the Villamor Air Base Elementary School served as temporary shelter for hundreds of Super Typhoon Yolanda victims who went to Metro Manila after the calamity.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office said five buses will transport the evacuees to Samar and Leyte.

Besides relief goods, Calixto said, each family will go home with shelter kits and a pedicab from the Pasay City Government, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and private organizations.

He also thanked those who extended help to the city especially the “Oplan Salubong,” a private sector-government partnership, Caritas Manila and other non-government organizations and individuals.

Other survivors in the tent city have been transported to their relatives in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

Earlier, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd lauded the local officials of Pasay led by Calixto for putting up the tent city.

The tent city was Calixto’s response to the call made by the DILG for local government units not affected by the typhoon to support and augment the National Government’s Yolanda disaster response.

Relatedly, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced that it is now providing transportation assistance to survivors who wish to return to their respective hometowns through its Balik-Probinsiya Program.

DSWD-National Capital Region (NCR) Field Office social workers are currently assessing those who have signified their interest to avail of the program.

A total of 5,572 displaced families, or 23,489 individuals arrived in Metro Manila from November 16, 2013 to January 2, 2014 during the “Oplan Salubong” Operations at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

As of January 15, some P7 million has been disbursed by the department for the transportation needs of more than 1,200 families since it started the program on December 20, 2013.

Those who want to avail of the program may call the DSWD-NCR Emergency Assistance Section at 734-8635 for more information.

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