THE commemoration of typhoon Yolanda provided a venue for typhoon survivors in Bantayan Island to share their concerns and gratitude with the Provincial Government and their leaders.

In Bantayan, Sanlakas and Freedom from Debt Coalition marched around the town plaza and questioned the delay of assistance from the Government.

Some residents of the town also asked Capitol officials when they will receive the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) emergency shelter assistance (ESA).

Aaron Pedrosa, national secretary general of Sanlakas, said there are more or less 300 members and non-members of Sanlakas who joined the march.

“This is in solidarity with the different actions that are taking place throughout the country to register a simple message. One message is that rehabilitation by the Government is still less than one percent in terms of permanent housing. There are still 200,000 families without proper housing to this day,” Pedrosa said.

“Where’s the rehabilitation? That’s why the core message of our people’s march is justice for all the victims for Yolanda,” Pedrosa said.

Nally Murillo, Sanlakas organizer and Bulig Visayas-Cebu area coordinator, said the residents who joined the rally are from Barangays Ticad, Mojon, Suba, Binaobao, Patao and Bantigue of Bantayan; Barangays Poblacion and Talangnan of Madridejos; and Barangay Mariciban of Santa Fe.

The march rally was held early in the morning before Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale came to attend the program in the plaza to commemorate Yolanda.

In his speech, Magpale said the commemoration is for everyone to remember what happened and think of the lessons learned.

Magpale thanked all non-government organizations who have been helping the municipalities and the Province in the rehabilitation.

Dialogue

A 20-minute dialogue was done at the end of the program. The barangay captain of Kabangbang asked if the families who just started building their houses would still get DSWD’s assistance.

When Davide visited Barangay Sillon’s relocation site, a barangay official also asked the same thing.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Baltazar Tribunalo said that if a family member is included in the list of the ESA’s beneficiaries that was submitted to the DSWD, then the family will receive the assistance.

Destroyed, damaged

Based on the DSWD’s updated data last Oct. 17, the 16 local government units affected in the Province will receive P2.454 billion for the ESA. DSWD recorded 64,045 destroyed houses and 58,596 damaged houses that need ESA.

Owners with destroyed houses will get P30,000 while those with damaged houses will get P10,000.

Currently, only six LGUs have received the assistance, including Madridejos, Santa Fe, Tabuelan, Sogod, Tuburan and Bogo City.

So far, the DSWD has given P118.505 million to the said LGUs.

“There are still a lot of things to do. That’s why we have been following things up in Manila,” Davide said.

After Bantayan, Davide went to Madridejos to distribute galvanized-iron sheets.

Davide and Magpale, then went to Santa Fe’s 2.3-hectare relocation site in Barangay Maricaban, together with Santa Fe Mayor Jose Esgana.

At the relocation site, he was met by the beneficiaries of the 215 duplex houses sponsored by the Habitat for Humanity.

There are 100 duplex houses that are initially built in the area. FMG