“We will forever be grateful to Cebu province for helping us.”
This was the remark of Kananga, Leyte Mayor Rowena Codilla after accepting the P1 million check as financial aid personally handed over by Gov. Hilario P. Davide III on Wednesday, August 9 in a ceremony at the town’s municipal hall.
“Nakita nako nga atol sa among kalisdanan aduna gyud diay daghang mga tawo nga andam motabang kanato,” Codilla said.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake rocked Leyte last July 6 with Kananga town and Ormoc City as among the places that sustained severe damage brought about by the aftershocks.
Accompanied by Baltazar Tribunalo Jr., Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head (PDRRMO), Provincial Treasurer Emmanuel Guial and Capitol consultants Rodrigo Lachica Jr. and John Cobar, Davide was greeted by town officials and employees at the municipal session hall for a modest turnover ceremony also witnessed by Vice Mayor Elmer Codilla.
Davide said he instructed the PDDRMO to immediately visit Kananga to conduct assessment after reading in the paper that the town was badly damaged by the tremor.
“Ang atong tinguha mao ang pagtabang sa atong silingang probinsiya. Kinsa man ang magtinabangay, mga silingan raman. Maong dako kaayo nakong kalipay nga anaa mi karon dinhi,” Davide said.
The governor recalled two big calamities experienced by Cebu in 2013—the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in October and Super Typhoon Yolanda in November—in which the province also got assistance from its neighbors.
“Dinhi nato nakita kung unsa ka importante ang panagtinabangay ug panaghiusa panahon sa kalamidad,” Davide said.
Last March, the Cebu provincial government extended aid to Surigao del Norte, which was jolted by a 6.7 magnitude quake. Cebu also gave P1 million-financial assistance to the war-torn city of Marawi last week.
As a way of showing its appreciation, a resolution was passed by Kananga “expressing profound gratitude for the province’s compassion in extending aid to their town.”
After the turnover ceremony in Kananga, Davide and company paid a courtesy call to Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez.
The actor-turned-politician solicited help from Davide for the city’s ongoing recovery and rehabilitation efforts for displaced families whose homes were destroyed by the quake.
“We will accept whatever help,” Gomez said.
He told Davide that while the city government directly accepts the aid, it will be a non-government organization that will manage the fund and project implementation to ensure transparency.
Davide assured Gomez that the province is very much willing to extend assistance.
Also discussed during the brief meeting was the possible partnership between Cebu province and Ormoc in disaster capacity building wherein both local government units can conduct joint operations during calamities.
They also talked about partnership on disaster response and climate change adaptation programs as well as inter-city and inter-province disaster responses.