ILOILO – Nearly a year after super typhoon Yolanda, the memories of the appalling devastation remained fresh in the mind of the province’s chief executive.
Although he was in Manila when the super typhoon struck the province, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. was fully aware of what was coming.
At that time, the governor has to be with his family to lay rest to his 13-month old granddaughter Erin, who succumbed to a gall bladder complication.
The next day, he took the first available flight back to this province and was told that that the devastation exceeded all their expectations.
From the airport, he went straight to the Capitol and saw the dump trucks loaded with relief goods.
One the third day, he was amazed at the sight of aid piled so high and so deep that he could hardly find his way to the elevator.
“That was how fast the Ilonggos, both from the government and private sector, responded to the call of those who lost their homes and love ones during the onslaught of the monster storm,” he said.
Of all the provinces that super typhoon ravaged, Iloilo has to face a major oil spill from the damaged Power Barged 103 owned by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation in Estancia.
The governor said he could not thank enough the countless donors who helped the province from rescue to relief up to the rehabilitation phase.
“There are so many people and organizations from local up to the international scene who helped us recovery. We are very grateful to them all,” he stressed.
Now that it is almost a year, the provincial government, in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, will commemorate the acts of heroism and charity that all of us displayed during and after the worst natural disaster in history.
The commemoration and candle lighting will be held in Iloilo Provincial Capitol on Saturday following a thanksgiving mass at 3:30 pm.
“This is not a celebration. What we will do here is more of recalling the things we have done so far and thanking all those who helped us in so many ways,” he clarified.
In fact, the governor is planning to build a memorial wall where all the names of the donors are engraved as a gesture of gratitude.
This plan will be executed following the full rehabilitation of all the government infrastructures in the hardest-hit towns of Ajuy, Anilao, Balasan, Banate, Barotac Nuevo, Barotac Viejo, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, Dumangas, Estancia and San Dionisio. #2014News