Ormoc sends help

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Monday, December 23, 2013

ORMOC City has its own rehabilitation challenges but it hasn’t forgotten to help its neighbors.

Ormoc City Administrator Francis Pepito handed Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama a check for P300,000 yesterday. He said the cash assistance was prompted by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Cebu City and Bohol last Oct. 15.

Since then, Ormoc has suffered as a result of typhoon Yolanda, which swept across several central regions last Nov. 8, but the City made good its commitment to send Cebu City some help.

“They need it more but we also need it and it was given to us,” said Rama.

“Anyway, ginansya man sila (they still got more),” joked Rama, referring to the P1 million in financial assistance that the Cebu City Government also gave Ormoc City Government following the Yolanda disaster.

Mayor Rama said the assistance will be added to the rehabilitation fund for the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) building, which had to be abandoned immediately after the earthquake.

The quake last Oct. 15 damaged P2.25 billion worth of infrastructure, including public hospitals. When Yolanda struck less than a month later, an additional P1.27 billion worth of health facilities were also damaged or destroyed. The total damage to infrastructure and agriculture as a result of Yolanda/Haiyan has reached P36.69 billion, according to the national disaster council.

The quake also killed 222 persons, nearly all of them in Bohol Province, where several hospitals were severely damaged. Yolanda has claimed 6,109 lives so far, with 27,665 injured and nearly 1,800 still missing.

The amount from Ormoc will be used to rebuild CCMC, which will be in the same area along N. Bacalso Ave.

A new location in the South Road Properties (SRP) is no longer an option for the rebuilding of the CCMC, reportedly because too much paperwork would be needed.

“I wish it would be at the SRP but whatever will bring CCMC back is fine,” said Rama.

Architects Yumi and Maxwell Espina designed the proposed new CCMC building. Yumi serves as dean of the University of San Carlos College of Architecture.

The Espina brothers had to reconfigure the design so that the same departments will be accommodated even with the smaller space in the area along N. Bacalso Ave.

Rama said the place in Barangay Pahina Central is also convenient for the constituents of both the north and south districts.

As the rebuilding of CCMC is already on the drawing board, the City Government will also help manage the Family Rebuilding Center or the Tent City at the SRP for evacuees from Leyte.

Families have moved into their own tents provided by the Philippine Red Cross, with common, concrete comfort rooms.

It was brought up in the regular press conference with Rama yesterday that some of the survivors fear for the safety of their belongings, prompting the mayor to announce that the City is putting up lockers in the area or in the nearby warehouse.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 24, 2013.

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