THE Cagayan de Oro City Government will mark the seventh year since Typhoon Sendong with a Mass to pay tribute to the thousands of people who perished during the onslaught of the typhoon and the distribution of occupancy permits to 200 survivors who are beneficiaries of a Japan housing project.
"We will mark the seventh anniversary of Sendong with a Mass in City Hall to pray for the eternal repose of the souls of the victims who perished. We remember Sendong as well as the many painful and traumatic lessons that it has taught us," Mayor Oscar Moreno said.
This year's commemoration has a theme "Seguridad ug Malambo-ong Panimalay", which focuses on the city's efforts to institutionalize programs to achieve a robust resettlement projects for the Sendong survivors.
Over the past seven years, the City Housing and Urban Development Department (CHUDD) said it has acquired roughly 75 hectares for new housing projects for the Informal Settler Families (ISFs) in the city.
Currently, some Sendong survivors are still waiting to be relocated, particularly the 722 beneficiaries of the Japan Housing Program for the first batch of beneficiaries.
But on Monday, December 17, they will finally be given entry passes after seven years of waiting.
Entry pass means that the beneficiaries are authorized to enter the property in Pahiron, Barangay Lumbia, this city.
The city will also distribute on Monday the Certificate of Lot Assignment of GK-SMC Sendong Relocation Project in Barangay Balubal.
"Our commitment is to do everything we can to never allow another Sendong," Moreno said.
Efforts to prevent another Sendong to happen are currently in the works. One of these is the proposed City Ordinance on the Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) which entails a 25-centavo per cubic meter charge per household.
The Cagayan de Oro River Basin and Archdiocese's proposal will not only protect our watersheds but also prevent another Sendong to happen.
Over the years meanwhile, some efforts of the city to become more resilient to disasters is being recognized.
Cagayan de Oro City made a huge turnaround in this year’s National Competitiveness Council, topping as the “most resilient city".
Mayor Oscar Moreno said the award is not only for the City Government but to all the people who suffered immeasurable pain and loss because of Typhoon Sendong.
"We dedicate this prestigious award to all the victims of Sendong, and most especially to this and future generations, coupled with our firm and resolute commitment to even do more," Moreno added.