Mayor Step gives temporary shelter to typhoon-affected families

Seventy-two families will now be able to start anew after being displaced from their homes when Typhoon Glenda struck two months ago. After weeks of being cramped in evacuation centers, the said families were able to move into their home in a place with a community-like ambiance.

What seemed like a dream for then finally became a reality after the City Government turned-over the constructed wooden bunkhouses to its intended beneficiaries under the Share a Temporary Home Program (STEHP). The turn-over ceremony was conducted last September 22, 2014 at the Villa Paula Subdivision, the site where the resettlement area was located.

The said program was undertaken with the support and assistance of various agencies as well as overseas Catbaloganon organizations. The Katbaloganon’s Association-East Coast, Katbaloganon’s Association-Canada and Katbaloganon’s Association-USA, along with DJ MOD, the resident disc jockey of the afternoon variety show “It’s Showtime” were given plaques of appreciation for donating funds for the construction of a playground in the resettlement area.

Also given the same citation were the Villa Paula Subdivision for lending a portion of their property for this program as well as service providers like the Samar Electric Cooperative II (SAMELCO) and Catbalogan Water District (CWD) for their assistance in enhancing the facilities of the said area.

City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan also expressed her gratitude to the Department of Social Welfare and Development – Regional Office VIII for its donation of 100 sacks of rice in the typhoon’s aftermath and the Department of Health – Regional Office VIII for its pledge of medicines intended for a planned anti-tigdas immunization for the children in the resettlement area. Representing the two agencies were DSWD – RO 8 Assistant Regional Director Nestor B. Ramos and DOH Representative Dr. Tony Tirazona respectively.

The Memorandum of Agreement signed by the City Government, represented by Mayor Uy-Tan and the Villa Paula Subdivision, represented by its owner Rosario Tan-Pomida, stated that the short-term relocation site shall be occupied for a period of 8 months from September 22, 2014 until May 22, 2014.

Aside from the 810 square meters meant for the bunkhouses, the site also included a 66 square meter comfort room and wash area and 72 square meter – mini playground. The beneficiaries shall be staying there while a permanent relocation in Brgy. Lagundi is still being prepared.

Typhoon Glenda ravaged the city last July 15, 2014, resulting to the displacement of 586 families most of whom were residing along the sea wall and coastal areas of Catbalogan City. Whereas other survivors were able to find relatives that will temporarily take them in, 72 families were still left at the evacuation centers with no options.

Despite the damages caused by the typhoon, the mayor remained optimistic that the good consequences still outweighed the bad – particularly in showing the resilience and unity of Catbaloganons.

“This particular episode has indeed made us realize how blessed we are to be in a community where charity, compassion and concern for others are a way of life. Hinaot kunta nga magpadayon kita ha pagburublig para malapusan an iba pa nga mga challenges nga maabot ha aton”, she said.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay; Photos by Paulus Aragon)

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