by Raymund Antonio
A team from the Office of the Vice President (OVP) will fly to Leyte this week to bring housing aid to victims of the 6.5-magnitude earthquake, said Vice Presidential spokesperson Georgina Hernandez.
In Vice President Leni Robredo’s radio program, Hernandez said the survivors will be given shelter kits containing construction materials to rebuild their homes.
“Iyong mga natutunan natin dito, hindi sapat na mamigay lamang ng mga gamit. (Our lessons from here, it’s not only enough to provide materials),” she said.
Hernandez, also the head of OVP’s Advocacy and Anti-Poverty programs, emphasized the need to build sturdier houses that can withstand strong earthquakes.
“Pag-aralan talaga kung paano magiging malakas ang mga bahay na itatayo. Iyon po yung tututukan po ng aming opisina. (Building stronger houses have to be studied. That would be the focus of our office.),” she said.
It was not disclosed if the Vice President will join the trip of the OVP team to Leyte. No schedule has been set yet for Robredo’s visit.
Robredo co-anchors “BISErbisyong Leni” over dzXL with broadcaster Ely Saludar every Sunday, but Hernandez took her place yesterday.
Robredo was in Hong Kong last weekend to gather inspiring stories from overseas Filipino workers as part of her “Istorya ng Pag-asa” project.
In a phone interview, Robredo said she has yet to visit Leyte, but she was able to talk to local officials, among them Leyte Governor Mic Petilla and Kananga Mayor Rowena Codilla, about the housing needs of residents.
Apart from the shelter kit, the OVP is in coordination with the partners of Angat Buhay, Robredo’s anti-poverty program, to provide psycho-social services to earthquake victims.
Just recently, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Leyte province, leaving two people dead and several others injured. The quake also damaged buildings and other establishments.
The local government units of Ormoc City and the municipality of Kananga have declared a state of calamity.
Robredo reiterated her call to the nation to develop a culture of safety and preparedness on natural disasters such as earthquakes.
“Mas mabuti parati nasa likod ng ating isip na kung mangyari ito, alam natin iyong gagawn. Ito iyong makakasalba ng maraming buhay, ito makakasalba sa ating pamilya. (It would be better at the back of our minds if this would happen, we know what to do. This is the one that can save many lives, our families.),” she said.
“Kaya iyong mga kaya natin gawin habang hindi pa siya sumasapit, gawin na natin.(That’s why the things we can do while it has yet to happen, let us do it.),” she added.
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