Donate roof sheets, Capitol workers urged

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CEBU Gov. Hilario Davide III yesterday encouraged Capitol workers to donate at least one sheet of galvanized iron this Christmas, to help survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) rebuild their homes.

At Cebu City Hall, Mayor Michael Rama urged constituents to celebrate the Yuletide season, but to keep things simple.

Preparations for Christmas have taken on a somber note this year, after a powerful earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas less than a month apart, killing nearly 6,000 persons.

Foreign and local private groups have been roaming around some barangays in northern Cebu and donating or pledging roofing materials. Nationwide, more than four million persons were displaced when Yolanda struck last Nov. 8.

Nearly a month after the typhoon, some four million persons have been displaced, and more than 586,000 homes destroyed. Another 590,000 homes will need repairs, reported the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council yesterday.

Davide said the distribution of the collected and purchased housing materials should be well-planned and well-executed.

“We should identify those who are most in need. There should be a system that is not confusing. We want to avoid giving multiple housing materials to some, while others don’t have anything,” he said.

He has suggested cancelling the Capitol’s Christmas party for at least 1,500 employees, to raise funds that could be given to the typhoon survivors instead.

“We urge them to donate, for them to feel that they (employees) have helped those victims of the super typhoon,” Davide said.

A donation also will be given by the Capitol’s department heads, Offices of the Governor and Vice Governor, and Provincial Board members, coming from their own pockets.

In Cebu City, the local government’s 12th Pasko sa Sugbo celebrations started with the lighting of the 120-foot Christmas tree in Fuente Osmeña, which had fallen during the typhoon.

In his message during the activity, Rama emphasized that no matter what happens, the Christmas celebration should not be postponed.

“Even in war, Christmas is observed,” he said.

He appealed to residents, however, to prepare for the celebrations “in the simplest way.”

As several towns in Cebu, Bohol, Samar and Leyte remain without power supply for nearly a month now, Cebu City’s residents, he said, should be thankful for their good fortune.

“We will be their light,” Rama said.

Nightly activities in Fuente Osmeña have been arranged to entertain the public for free.

In the same park, M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala will continue working on its giant Christmas tree, which it sets up every year.

The Lhuilliers, represented by Amparito Lhuillier, said they are hoping to inspire the public with the decoration, which is visible a long way from Fuente Osmeña, as it lights up the night skies. (Joyse Almojallas, USJ-R Mass Com Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 03, 2013.

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