Governor appeals for unity, sobriety in the face of tedious relief efforts

December 14, 2012 11:03 pm 

CITY OF MATI, Davao Oriental, Dec. 14 — Governor Corazon Malanyaon called for unity and sobriety among her constituents during the face of the tedious ongoing search and rescue and relief missions in the typhoon-stricken province Davao Oriental.

"We need to work together and put our acts together. Everything may not be perfect but together we can build on these imperfections. In the face of this strife, I appeal to the people of Davao Oriental for unity and sobriety,” Malanyaon said during a press conference with Davao City-based media on Friday.

“This is not the time for blaming everyone. This is the time to inspire everyone and to do what is supposed to be done," Malanyaon said as she stressed that “(I) am on top of the command.”

"This is not the time to incite people to indignation. Instead, we need to inspire people to take positive action; not the time to be selfish and insensitive and pursue personal agenda; but the time to forget ourselves and empathize with those who suffered from the devastation," she stressed.

The typhoon has wiped out practically all structures in the municipalities of Boston, Cateel and Baganga, which is the economic center in the first congressional district of Davao Oriental.

And despite much preparation that included forced evacuation of residents residing in coastal villages, the typhoon’s strength was overwhelming it also destroyed all evacuation centers killing scores of people right inside the supposedly safe refuge areas.

Massive concrete buildings in the business districts including the three municipal government buildings, schools, hospitals, houses of the rich and poor were all wiped out by the monstrous typhoon.

“I would like to clear this out. The devastation in Davao Oriental was not caused by flash floods or landslides which are usually associated with illegal logging and illegal mining nor by by water surge from the sea.""

"It was caused by the velocity or gustiness of the wind at 250 kph which was beyond the standard structural integrity of most buildings set at 175 kph.," she explained.

"About 95 percent of the buildings collapsed and the coconut and fruit trees were uprooted by the strong wind,” Malanyaon said adding that villages in the three isolated towns of Boston, Cateel and Baganga have already been reached by relief and medical missions.

“We wanted an expeditious and organized process of distribution. We have to provide assistance for around 47,072 families in the affected municipalities and barangays," she explained.

"For Cateel and Boston, we have to transport goods through Mangagoy-Lingig route. We still need clearing with our command posts so that donations can be accounted for, security can be provided and consistency in provision of goods can be facilitated. And on top of these, search and rescue operation is still ongoing,” the governor said.

The provincial government, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), have set up provisional evacuation centers and bunkhouses as points of convergence to ease the distribution of relief goods and provision of medical assistance.

They have provided generators to augment power supply in the affected areas. The capitol is also working closely with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in the reconstruction of damaged bridges to restore connectivity in the three isolated towns and start the rehabilitation of agricultural areas.

“We would like to thank all our organizational donors and kind-hearted individuals for the support extended to our affected families," Malanyaon said.(PNA)



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