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Post-‘Nina’: Bicol rep thanks helping hands

12:02 AM January 23, 2017

Typhoon “Nina,” packing peak winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour, struck the Bicol Region on Christmas Day, directly hitting the island province of Catanduanes along with Camarines Sur and Albay.

My district—the third district of Camarines Sur—also bore the brunt of the typhoon’s fury. That the calamity happened on the most anticipated and, supposedly, joyful day of the year made it immensely tragic.

However, the devastation and the general feeling of helplessness and deep distress in the aftermath of Nina were somehow assuaged by the collective efforts done by people from both government and the private sector to help the survivors and set them up on the road to recovery.

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Special acknowledgment should be given to President Duterte for being there, at the so-called “ground zero,” and promptly extending the much-needed assistance.

For her part, Vice President Leni Robredo (who is from Camarines Sur) organized “Tindog Bicol” (Stand up Bicol) to ensure the systematic and efficient provision of relief goods to the families affected by the typhoon. She also devoted almost a week visiting the ravaged barangays and giving assurance that rehabilitation assistance was forthcoming.

I also wish to thank my colleagues in the House of Representatives, especially Rep. Kit Belmonte of Quezon City and Rep. Edgar Sarmiento of Samar, for going out of their way to make life a bit bearable for my hapless constituents.

To fast-track the restoration of electricity in the affected areas, electric cooperatives from other provinces, notably Camarines Norte, Benguet and Samar, are deploying manpower and equipment in order to help the overwhelmed Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative. Even Meralco, through its One Meralco Foundation, has been pitching in to bring my province and district out of darkness—literally and figuratively.

Our work though is far from over. Thousands of families are still homeless and in dire need of whatever aid we can extend. This latest calamity, moreover, underscores once again the urgent need to further empower our local governments, particularly the barangays, in the area of disaster risk reduction and management.

Be that as it may, let me express my thanks to all of you. As we say in Bicol, “Diyos mabalos po!”

REP .GABRIEL H. BORDADO JR.,Third district, Camarines Sur

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TAGS: bicol, Calamity, Disaster, Duterte, letter, Letter to the Editor, Nina, opinion, Typhoon
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