TACLOBAN City – Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez yesterday vowed to remain steadfast in making permanent homes, better job opportunities and sustainable livelihood for super typhoon Yolanda survivors as the nation commemorates today the third year of the monster storm.
“Now we have seen so much progress has been achieved in building back our communities even better, and we have to thank the help of our Filipino and foreign friends as well as our national and local government for their continued leadership and support in the rehabilitation efforts,” said Romualdez, who is scheduled to deliver her solidarity speech today after the 7 a.m. Mass at the Tacloban Astrodome in commemoration of Yolanda’s third year under the theme: Faith, Hope and Love.
Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez said that 70 percent of Tacloban City has fully recovered as new malls, restaurants and hotels have rose since Yolanda hit the country on Nov. 8, 2013.
“Business is restored in the downtown area. New hotels, malls and restaurants have mushroomed and this is a very good sign,” said Gonzalez.
Aside from Romualdez and Gonzalez-Romualdez, former House Independent bloc leader and ex-Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, former Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, Senators Richard Gordon and Cynthia Villar will also give their respective messages.
Singer Kitchie Nadal will sing the “song of love and faith” while Leyte Dance Theater will play the “dance of hope” and the City Acoustic Band the closing song.
Martin Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association, said local leaders are doing their best to put an end to the struggle of Yolanda survivors, who experienced slow delivery of promised help and relief during the previous administration.
“Walang imposible basta nagmamalasakit tayo sa isa’t-isa. Puwede at posible ang lahat,” Martin Romualdez said.
He said the fight of Yolanda survivors will continue as many of them have remained homeless.
“Yolanda” affected 1.5 million families, of whom 918,261 were displaced.
The former administration official figures placed the deaths at 6,300, 1,061 mssing and 28,689 injured.
The Romualdez family led the commemoration of the third year of Yolanda anniversary that began yesterday with the Mass and wreath-laying at the Holy Cross Cemetery and another Mass at the Anibong Shipwreck Memorial Marker.
During the Yolanda onslaught, Martin Romualdez has initiated the relief operations from Manila to Tacloban City, where he was able to send 59 dump trucks that fed more than 360 barangays, with an estimated population of 1,318, 895.
He also conducted feeding operations to the 360 barangays in an almost daily basis for at least two months.
The former three-term lawmaker initiated medical missions all over Region VIII and distributed medicines at the height of the rescue and retrieval operations from November 2013 to December 2013.
He and the local government also led the search and retrieval operations, in partnership with Global DIRT USA, and through the assistance of the Makati Rescue, Cavite Police, National Bureau of Investigation and the Tacloban City government.