Visayas newsbits for December 21, 2013
Tacloban City (PNA) — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is slated to grace the inauguration of a school-in-a-box project and distribution of school supplies to pupils of Manlurip Elementary School here today, Saturday. The school is among the damaged learning institutions in this city following the onslaught of super-typhoon “Yolanda.” To show appreciation, the pupils of the school will be rendering songs before the secretary general. Meantime, he is also expected to survey the damaged area near the school. The secretary-general is expected to arrive here in the afternoon of Saturday where he will be met at the airport by Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
PALO, Leyte (PNA) — Members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) asked the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) to come up with more comprehensive report on typhoon impact and recovery efforts. In a meeting yesterday, some officials of the region’s highest policy-making body asked the OCD to gather more reports from different local government units and not just from Tacloban City. “We have to remember that it’s not only Tacloban that were affected. The towns of Palo, Tanauan and Tolosa were also badly hit by the typhoon and storm surge. You should mention that in your report,” Palo, Leyte Mayor Remedios Petilla told OCD. Petilla, one of the nominees for RDC chair, proposed for the creation of the task force that would gather reports. “It’s been more than one month after the storm. We should have a comprehensive report on impact and recovery activities,” she added.
TACLOBAN CITY (PNA) — Some 2,000 children from this city were treated yesterday to a Christmas party by the Department Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in partnership with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) Foundation. The party gathered some 1,500 children from 17 villages of the city and 500 children-evacuees who are staying at the evacuation center just outside the Tacloban City Convention Center, which is the venue of the activity. ICTSI deputy executive director Filipina Laurena said the fund for the supposed Christmas party of their employees was utilized to purchase gifts for kids and Noche Buena package for their parents. Kids four to six years old were each given a teddy bear stuff toy because of its therapeutic effect. Their guardians in addition to the Noche Buena package also received condiments and one whole chicken.
ILOILO CITY (PNA) — A 4.3 magnitude tremor was felt at slightly past 1 p.m. in several towns of Antique. Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) executive officer Broderick Train stressed in its advisory that it was not alarming. Train said the quake was felt in the towns of San Jose, Bugasong, Barbaza, Culasi and Tibiao. Office work and other official transactions at the provincial capitol of Antique and other government edifices continue uninterrupted Friday. Schools also continue to have their Christmas parties as December 20 was the last day for children before they take their holiday break.
BACOLOD CITY (PNA) — Employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental conducted a gift-giving activity for about 400 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Barangay Magsaysay, Cadiz City, situated 70 km north of Bacolod. The ARBs in the village are among those badly-hit by super-typhoon “Yolanda” in northern Negros. Voluntary contributions from employees, who decided to forego their Christmas party this year, augmented the funds for the purchase of gift packs distributed on Dec. 17. There are 398 farmer-beneficiaries in Barangay Magsaysay headed by village chief Archie Lamis. Lamis said 67 houses in their village were totally damaged while 316 others were partially damaged. DAR Assistant Regional Director for Operations Florentino Siladan said the activity was conducted by their employees in the spirit of Christmas season. “Despite the calamities, we are very hopeful and we remain steadfast.Never lose faith in God for a better tomorrow awaits all of us,” he added. Mercedita Diamante, 44 and mother of four, said she is elated to have received a gift pack from the DAR employees. She added that before the DAR reached out to them, the Department of Social Welfare and Development also brought relief assistance to their village three days after Yolanda struck the Visayas.