110 families ask shipping firms for financial aid

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Monday, May 26, 2014


MORE than a hundred families in Barangay 70 Rawis-Anibong, Tacloban City have blocked attempts to remove four vessels that were washed ashore during a storm surge caused by super typhoon Yolanda.

The 110 families, represented by Barangay Captain Shirley Boca, asked shipping firms for financial assistance of P50,000 per family in exchange for the removal of the vessels.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Governments of Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte and Samar, and the Tacloban City Government will present on Friday in Cebu City their rehabilitation plan to Vice President Jojemar Binay, Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Panfilo Lacson and four Cabinet secretaries involved in post-Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery.

In Tacloban City, 110 families blamed the vessels—MV RKK 1 of Unilink Shipping Corp., owned by Alfred Yanglua of Cebu; MV Star Hilongos of Roble Shipping Corp., owned by Joey Roble of Cebu; MV David Legaspi of Candano Shipping Corp., owned by Elena Candano of Albay; and LCT Rosman, owned by businessman Richmond Ng of Manila—for the destruction of their houses in Barangay 70 Rawis-Anibong last Nov. 8.

Letter

In March 2014, Boca wrote the shipping companies to request for financial assistance for the families living near the vessels.

The village chief told Sun.Star Cebu that Roble, Candano and Ng pledged to give financial assistance but they said they had to assess the amount.

But Boca said Unilink owner Alfred Yanglua refused to meet her and Leyte-based Bayani
Magazine publisher Jean Solomon in Cebu to discuss the issue.

Boca said that despite repeated follow-ups, Unilink did not reply to her letter.

She said that last week, five reported to her that they were given P5,000 each and promised another P5,000 by Aurelio Pitogo, who claims to be a representative of Unilink.

Boca said that she and Solomon came to Cebu yesterday upon the suggestion of Pitogo to discuss the financial assistance. In their meeting, Unilink Cebu manager Manuel Manalili urged Boca to accept the firm’s offer of P500,000 to all 110 families.

She said the company official told her that she should “take” the offer “or leave.”

Boca said she will consult the barangay council because the offer means each family would get only P4,550. She said the amount is not enough to build a nipa hut.

Destruction

Solomon said the shipping firms should help the 110 families because their houses would not have been destroyed if the vessels were not washed ashore.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to contact other shipping firms for comment but only Roble replied.

He said his firm extended assistance to the families by paying them to watch the vessel. He also donated materials for the construction of chapels.

But he said he cannot afford to pay the families’ demands ranging from P800,000 to P1 million.

Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., on the other hand, said Binay—along Lacson, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson—will meet officials of Yolanda-affected local government units at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

Cebu has completed its rehabilitation plan for 16 local government units in the north that were badly affected by typhoon Yolanda last Nov. 8.

Yolanda displaced 152,746 families in 328 barangays in Cebu. Capitol’s recovery
program costs P10.45 billion .

Gov. Hilario Davide III said that governor of Leyte and the mayor of Tacloban City will be in the meeting.

Once the PARR Cabinet cluster approves the rehabilitation plans, these will be forwarded to the Office of the President for final approval and release of funds. EOB/FMG

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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