THE City Government of Tacloban has distributed P3 million worth of financial aid to selected towns of Davao del Sur and Cotabato that were affected by a series of earthquakes in Mindanao last October.
City Acting Assistant City Administrator Marivic Adornado, Business and Licensing Office head, Ganggay Gaspay and City Treasurer's Office representative Frenzy Hobanil personally handed the checks worth P500,000 to the three towns of Davao del Sur recently.
The financial assistance was received by Mayor Arthur Davin of Magsaysay, Mayor Quilin Sarte of Bansalan and Vice Mayor Alfredo Panerio of Matanao.
In Cotabato, Tacloban officials distributed P500,000 each to the towns of Tulunan, Makilala, and Kidapawan City.
Vice Mayor Maureen Anne Villamor of Tulunan, Mayor Armando Quibod of Makilala and Mayor Joseph Evangelista of Kidapawan City received the financial assistance.
Henry James Roca of the City Information Office said the donation was made possible through Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
In a statement, Adornado said the assistance came from Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund of the City Government and was approved for release to the affected areas by the City Council.
Tacloban City Rescue Unit (Tacru) personnel traveled to Mindanao to give the relief items from the City Government, employees, residents, Tingog party-list, and from the Office of Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
They delivered the assistance to the evacuation centers in Barangay Batasan, Poblacion and Santos Land in Makilala, North Cotabato.
"We distributed relief assistance to about 1,000 earthquake victims," Tacru Chief Lutgarda Raagas told SunStar Philippines.
Meanwhile, Tacloban Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin launched another donation
drive with non-governmental organization Volunteer for the Visayans through Director of Operations Helena Claire Canayong and Lead Volunteer Program Coordinator Judelito Bersoza.
The group went to Barangay Dalumay Evacuation Center in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur to deliver the relief items.
Yaokasin identified eight-year-old Calix Jacob Baiño as among the first to respond to his call for relief assistance.
Baiño, who survived the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda in the city, donated his belongings and favorite toys for the earthquake victims.
"According to his mother, when Calix saw the news on TV and social media the destruction caused by the successive earthquakes that happened in Mindanao, he immediately told his mother that he wanted to give some of his clothes, shoes and toys to the affected children. He said that 'I don't need much but they need more,'" said Yaokasin on Baino's response to his appeal for help.
Some of those who extended support were the Philippine Army 546th Engineer Construction Battalion, Alliance of MilSim Operators in Region VIII (Amore) through retired army Lieutenant Colonel Mario Jose Chico, Tacloban Airsofters Group, Burauen Airsoft Dynamics, Catbalogan Airsoft Task Force, Carigara Airsoft Club, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Tacloban branch employees, Where Else Restobar and Family KTV, Mister Donut Rizal Avenue Branch, and other Tacloban residents.
"Since all of them are Yolanda survivors, they are very grateful to all who helped them during the said tragedy. For them, it is now their turn to help," said Yaokasin.
According to Yaokasin, Tacloban residents have "so much to look forward to as we discovered our identity as a resilient community -- able to bounce back and recover from such a tragedy."
"We look back on God's generosity through the people who helped us back on our feet. At the same time, ask ourselves if we have grown also in generosity," said Palo Archdiocese spokesperson Fr. Chris Arthur Militante after the archdiocese provided assistance to Mindanao-quake victims.
Also, Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and his wife Representative Yedda Romualdez of Tingog party-list donated P500,000 to Dumper PTDA party-list Representative Claudine Diana Bautista and South Cotabato Representative Ferdinand Hernandez.
During the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda, the local government of Davao was among the first responders who delivered immediate assistance to the storm survivors in Tacloban and nearby towns. (SunStar Philippines)