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January 6, 2015

The Resilience of Cebu

CEBU WAS NOT SPARED

Cebu was no stranger to the firecrackers and stray bullets that greeted the new year. However, it had one more contender for its new year festivities: Typhoon Seniang. Casualties were reported for the typhoon and the Department of Health (DOH) still listed down injuries despite a 25-percent-decrease in this year’s fire cracker and stray bullet incidents.

Rey Langit, The Resilience of Cebu, Cebu, January 6 2014

Since the start of the Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction campaign of the DOH last December 23, an estimated 73 people were hurt due to firecrackers. A one-year-old child even died due to firecrackers in the region.

EBOLA VIRUS SUSPECTS

Yesterday, the two quarantined OFWs were also released and were cleared of Ebola virus suspicion. They came from the West African country of Liberia and were due to be released last Sunday but experienced a delay in the approval of their medical clearance.

TYPHOON SENIANG RELIEF

While both public and private donors have already donated clean water and water treatment facilities to the Southern Cebu towns, more is needed for them to recover from the onslaught of Typhoon Seniang. The donation of clean water is still very much needed to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE

According to our talk with Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III on our morning show Kasangga Mo Ang Langit (6-7am) on DWIZ 882Khz and also heard on RPN provincial stations nationwide, Cebu incurred substantial damage after Seniang. In fact, the region is now under a state of calamity.

“For Typhoons Ruby and Queenie, we only had 2 or 3 casualties for the whole region. Now, we have 15. Around 12 people came from one town and the rest came from several other towns,” he said.

CAUGHT BY SURPRISE

Most of the victims died due to drowning. Most of them did not expect for rains to result in flooding. “There was just so much rain. So this resulted in water flowing down from the mountains causing floods,” he said.

The people were also a bit complacent since they were over prepared for the previous typhoons. “Some did not want to go to the evacuation centres because nothing happened to them in the past 2 storms. However, when the water started rising due to the rain fall, it was already too late for them,” Gov. Davide explained.

HANDLING OF SUPPLIES

It is a good thing that the region is prepared for the handling of relief goods. “We’ve been preparing since December. All the relief packs prepared were delivered the next day. The provincial government repacks the goods then the LGUs get their share through delivery by dump trucks to the city halls. From here, it is up to them to distribute these goods to the evacuation centres,” said the governor.

This was also the system they used for the Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

DELAY ON THE EMERGENCY SHELTER ASSISTANCE FUND

We also asked the Governor if there was any delay in the distribution of the emergency shelter assistance fund. It has come to our attention that some typhoon survivors had to resort to borrowing from loan sharks to fund their day to day living due to this delay.

Gov. Davide said that the cause of delay would be the travel time since the towns were quite far from each other. “It takes at least 2.5 hours without the traffic. So we really are experiencing delays. However, we are trying our best to reach all of them as soon as possible,” he said.

QUOTABLE QUOTES

“A good half of the art of living is resilience.” ―Alain de Botton

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ―Nelson Mandela

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