THE House of Representatives’ committee on revision of laws on Tuesday endorsed for plenary consideration a bill declaring Nov. 8 of every year as “Yolanda Commemoration Day” in Eastern Visayas to honor those who died during the typhoon that destroyed Tacloban City and other parts of Eastern Visayas in 2013.
Pangasinan Rep. Marilyn Primicias-Agabas, the panel chairperson, approved House Bill 4383 or the “Yolanda Commemoration Day” filed by Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez to remember the Yolanda victims, and declare a special non-working public holiday in Eastern Visayas.
The bill recognizes the help of volunteers during the onslaught of the super storm almost four years.
During the hearing, Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano moved for the approval of the bill that was seconded by ABS party-list Rep. Eugene de Vera after Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza asked Romualdez to co-author her measure.
Later, all lawmakers who were present in the hearing which included Yacap party-list Rep. Benhur Lopez Jr., An Waray party-list Rep. Victoria Isabel Noel, Zamboanga Sibugay party-list Rep. Wilter Wee Palma II, Pasig City Rep. Richard Eusebio, and others joined Daza as co-authors of the measure.
“I thank my colleagues for their overwhelming support on my proposal,” Romualdez, vice chairperson of the House committee on government enterprises and privatization, told lawmakers.
In defending her measure, Romualdez told the committee the bill was a “fitting tribute to the memory of all who died in the disaster and to salute the selflessness of all volunteers and organizations who took part and contributed in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts of the communities affected by the typhoon.”
“Finally, November when we celebrate—not the tragedy—but the strength and resilience of our people, of our phenomenal capacity to survive that could prove to be an inspiration to our fellow Filipinos, many of which lie amidst adversities caused by disasters and conflict. In view of the foregoing, the passage of this bill is earnestly sought,” said Romualdez.
HB 4383 states the holiday covers the highly urbanized City of Tacloban and the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Northern Samar, Western Samar, and Ormoc City in Eastern Samar or Region 8.
She also cited the resilience of the people from Region 8, especially Tacloban City who were able to recover from the tragedy.
“The pain caused by Yolanda is somewhat negated by the phenomenal opportunity to be able to build back better, given the overwhelming support that comes our way in many forms – humanitarian aid for immediate disaster relief, funding assistance for rehabilitation and recovery projects, and even technical assistance willing to be shared by experts on understanding better the disaster that hit us and preventing another one from hitting us in the future,” said Romualdez.
She reiterated her commitment to make permanent homes, better job opportunities and sustainable livelihood for super typhoon Yolanda survivors a dream come true.
Super typhoon Yolanda affected 1.5 million families of whom 918,261 were outright displaced.
The former administration official figures were placed at 6,300 deaths and 1,061 missing aside from 28,689 injured.
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