LEYTE MARKS SIMPLE ‘YOLANDA’ COMMEMORATION
'YOLANDA' REMEMBERED. Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla lights a candle in front of provincial capitol during a simple commemoration of of super typhoon Yolanda on Thursday (November 8, 2018). (Photo by Roel Amazona)
TACLOBAN CITY -- Leyte’s provincial government on Thursday afternoon paid tribute to the thousands of people, who perished during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda, in a simple ceremony held at the capitol grounds here.
“What we want is to remember and honor those who died and give sympathy to the family of the victims. That is why we keep this simple as always since we started commemorating after ‘Yolanda’ happened,” Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said.
The province’s annual “Yolanda” ceremony is also a chance to remember the people, non-government organizations, international community, and the national government that contributed to the fast recovery of the province, Petilla said.
“But most of all we should not forget the resiliency of the provincial government worker. Your resiliency and what you have done as worker in a local government to help is the recovery effort despite being victims of the super typhoon is really commendable,” he said.
“The lessons from the recovery should not be forgotten as we continue to improve to prepare for future disaster and calamities that may affect the province,” he added.
Petilla said five years after the killer typhoon, recovery is already visible, but there are still areas that need more attention, such as resettlement and livelihood support.
After the program, the governor led a wreath-laying and candle-lighting ceremony in front of the capitol grounds.
Meanwhile, Tacloban Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin said the commemoration is their way of thanking true friends who came to help the city.
“Amidst the grief and pain, a mayor from Mindanao in the name of Rodrigo Roa Duterte went all the way from his city of Davao to Tacloban to give us the needed help and hope. He reminded us that we were not alone in our time of need. President Duterte will always be a true friend to Tacloban,” he said.
Yaokasin said he believes that five years after the typhoon, it is time to thrive, time to move on, and move forward.
“The time of helplessness is over. We need to build on our newfound strength. We need to move forward into the future, confident that the challenges that came with Yolanda, we have now a city ready to achieve its fullest potential,” he said.
“We are thankful for the strong and compassionate leadership of President Duterte. Because of his administration, the huge backlog in the Yolanda reconstruction is now near completion” he added.
About 80 percent of the 15,000 permanent housing units in the city have been completed. Electricity has been provided to households while provision of water supply is now in the works, in response to the President’s order. (PNA)