LEYTE Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez is pushing for the passage of a proposed law declaring November 8 of every year a special non-working public holiday in Eastern Visayas to honor those killed by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013 and to recognize the volunteers who helped the victims.
Romualdez, a registered nurse and Miss Philippines-International 1996, said her House Bill 4383, which would be known as “Yolanda Commemoration Day,” was aimed at paying tribute to the super typhoon’s victims.
“This bill is intended to be a fitting tribute to the memory of all who died in the said 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,” Romualdez said.
She is the wife of former Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez who is president of the Philippine Constitution Association and the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.
Romualdez made her statement even as around 5,000 survivors of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” on Monday launched another protest march from Tacloban City to Palo, Leyte, demanding a stop to tide embankment and the anomalies in shelter projects.
The group of protesters came from the Community of Yolanda Survivors and Partners, an alliance of 163 community organizations of typhoon survivors and 10 non-government organizations with the backing from Caritas Philippines.
In their seven-kilometer march to the regional offices of the Department of Public Works and Highway in Palo and the National Housing Authority in Tacloban, they also burned the picture of a house to symbolize their indignation at the anomalies in the housing projects for “Yolanda” survivors who continued to be neglected since the term of then President Benigno Aquino III up to the administration of Rodrigo Duterte.
Romualdez said her proposal covered 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 those in Tacloban City who were able to recover from the tragedy.
She reiterated her commitment to making permanent homes and providing better job opportunities and sustainable livelihood to the typhoon survivors.
“Now we have seen that so much progress has been achieved in building back our communities even better, and we have to thank our Filipino and foreign friends as well as our national and local government for their continued leadership and support in the rehabilitation efforts,” Romualdez said.
On November 8, the Romualdez couple led the third year commemoration of the “Yolanda” tragedy under the theme faith, hope and love.
Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez said 70 percent of Tacloban City had fully recovered as new malls, restaurants and hotels had risen since “Yolanda” hit the country on Nov. 8, 2013.
Martin Romualdez said local leaders were doing their best to put an end to the struggle of “Yolanda’s” survivors who experienced slow delivery of promised help and relief during the previous administration.
“Yolanda” killed 6,300 people and injured 28,689 while 1,061 went missing. It also affected 1.5-million families.