The City Government of Valenzuela on Friday, November 15, sent a 36-person relief and medical mission to the Western Samar to aid 16,000 families in the municipalities of Basey and Marabut which had been wrecked by super typhoon Yolanda.
City Mayor REX Gatchalian said that the contingent, which includes five physicians, five nurses and 13 police officers, will stay in the province for seven days. The team brought with them 16,000 relief packs and PhP 1.3 million-worth of medicines.
The humanitarian effort came after the Metro Manila Development Agency (MMDA) on November 14 assigned each of the 17 local government units in Metro Manila to “adopt”, or provide a ten-person medical team to specific municipalities in the 6 provinces in Palawan and the Visayas.
Prior to this relief and medical mission, a 14-person rescue team from Valenzuela City had arrived on Western Samar on November 14. Valenzuela City is set to send another 16,000 relief packs to its adopted municipalities early next week.
Mayor REX said that this will be a sustained effort, “This isn’t going to be a one-shot deal where we’ll send them relief goods once and then we’re done.”
On November 19, Tuesday, Mayor REX met with socio-civic organizations encouraging them to donate six-feet-by-20-feet lona sheets, which will be used to build temporary shelters in Basey and Marabut, which are Valenzuela City’s adopted municipalities.
For the medium-term plan, the City Engineering Office will be on top of the construction of temporary shelters made of “lona,” or plastic canvas fabric. Each shelter will measure 50 feet by 26 feet to accommodate 10 families. Smaller tents that can house one family will also be provided.
A total of PhP 17.9 million has been allocated by Valenzuela City for cash donation to 24 municipalities, towns and provinces. The city government employees are also foregoing their Christmas party this year and donating the budget for the celebrations to Yolanda victims.
Yolanda, also known by its international name Haiyan, hit Visayas, Southern Luzon, and Palawan on November 8, ravaging 44 provinces and displacing more than 4, 400,000 people. As of 6 a.m. of November 20, death toll has reached 4, 4011. Damages that has been incurred cost around PhP12 billion.