BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar, December 13(PIA) – In every crisis there is an opportunity.
So said Regional Director Bonifacio Uy, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 08, in his message yesterday during the Joint-Emergency Provincial Development Council (PDC), Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) Meeting at the Provincial Capitol.
Uy referred to the families and local government units which were affected by typhoon “Yolanda” and wrought havoc here on November 8.
Severely damaged municipalities were Guiuan, Hernani, Mercedes, Salcedo, Quinapondan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Lawaan and Balangkayan.
Earlier, Congressman Ben Evardone, after looking from atop via a military chopper figuratively expressed dismay and said “Eastern Samar is gone”, as he apparently described the houses and buildings that were swept away by the sea water, millions of fallen trees, collapsed school buildings, municipal halls and other government structures.
As of December 10, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office(PDRRMO) reported an estimate cost of damaged to Agriculture and Infrastructure at P3,675,408,713.98 and a total of 256 death, 34 missing and 7,241 injured.
Schools Division Superintendent Bernardo Adina likewise reported of some 21,225 elementary pupils affected, 9,985 high school students, 2,973 kindergartens and 1,507 employees.
The scenario is unthinkable so to speak, but here come government and international non-government organizations even church-based organizations, willing to grab the opportunity to help in rebuilding communities.
In his message, Dir. Uy particularly assured the Eastern Samareños through the mayors in attendance, of President Benigno Aquino’s help. According to him the President has entrusted some P100-Billion funds to former senator Panfilo Lacson, whom he recently appointed as Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction(PARR).
“Senator Lacson will have the power to disburse the huge funds, and certainly, part of it will go to Eastern Samar”, the NEDA Regional Director said.
With the assurance, Maydolong Mayor Henry Afable so moved, which was duly seconded, that a Resolution be passed by the Council, addressed to PARR, requesting the said office that LGUs be involved in planning and budgeting any financial assistance that will be intended to typhoon damaged municipalities, after all, “they are the most knowledgeable people of the interventions they need”, Afable said.
It was also learned that for its part, because of the prepositioned Relief Goods and Food Packs, the provincial government unit, through the Chief Executive, Governor Conrado Nicart, Jr. was able to deliver the items, two days after “Yolanda” struck, when the highways to the south, were partly cleared of fallen trees and debris. Later, hundreds of G.I. sheets were also sent to provide temporary shelters to the victims in Guiuan and Hernani. (PIA 8-Eastern Samar)