Valenzuela City has vowed to help its “adopted” towns Basey and Marabut in Western Samar until both have recovered from the destruction of super typhoon Yolanda.
“From the outset, I have said that our help for Basey and Marabut would be a sustained effort,” City Mayor REX Gatchalian said on Thursday, Dec.5. “We would send whatever help we can until they are finally back on their feet again.”
Basey and Marabut are the towns which Valenzuela City has pledged to help recover from Yolanda’s havoc under the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) project “Adopt-a-Town”.
In the program, the 17 local government units in Metro Manila pledge to help the towns hit on November 8 by what has been hailed as the strongest typhoon in history.
The city government’s latest relief mission – the second – has recently returned from Western Samar, where the 31-person team stayed for four days. The group includes eight police officers from the Valenzuela Police Station who served as security escorts.
The team, which arrived in the province on November 27, built temporary shelters for homeless families in Marabut.
Mayor REX Gatchalian said the team put up a bunkhouse in each of the two barangays of Tinabanan and Binokyahan. Each bunkhouse measures 50 feet in length and 26 feet in width and can house ten families.
The lona sheets, or plastic fabric, used on the bunkhouses had been donated by socio-civic organizations in Valenzuela City.
The Valenzuela City contingent also distributed 2,000 lona sheets among those who were not accommodated in the bunkhouses.
“Our first relief team reported that the homeless in Basey and Marabut walk all day, looking for a place to shelter themselves in,” Mayor REX said.
Both Basey and Marabut residents received food, mosquito nets, used clothes and slippers from the relief team.
The relief team also brought with them 2,400 packs of food, 2,000 sets of mosquito nets, 9,850 packs of used clothes and 4,000 pairs of slippers.
Valenzuela City also donated PhP 1 million to the provincial government of Western Samar on top of the in-kind donations, Mayor REX said.
The first relief mission went to Basey and Marabut on November 15 and stayed there for four days. The group − which was composed of 50 persons, including five physicians, five nurses, 13 police officers and 14 rescuers – brought with them 16,000 packs of food and PhP 1.3 million-worth of medicines.
A third relief mission will be sent to the two towns either this December or early January next year, Mayor Rex added.
Mayor REX also said that besides aiding Western Samar, Valenzuela City is also donating a total of PhP 16.9 million to seven other provinces, five cities and 11 municipalities in Palawan and Visayas.