Yolanda: A testament to Filipino resilience, says Romualdez
MANILA, Philippines — The distribution of land titles to victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban demonstrates the government’s commitment to rehabilitation and improving people’s lives, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Wednesday.
In a speech before beneficiaries of the government’s Pabahay program, Romualdez emphasized the importance of the lessons of Yolanda — which battered Eastern Visayas 10 years ago — to ensure the safety of future generations.
In 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda, one of the strongest cyclones ever to make landfall, barreled through Eastern Samar, especially Tacloban in Leyte, leaving over 7,500 people dead and thousands missing, with millions displaced.
“As we commemorate this day, let us also celebrate the resilience, unity, and hope that have defined our recovery journey. The road has been challenging, but with each passing year, our collective strength and determination grow even more evident,” Romualdez said.
“A significant milestone in our journey to rebuild and uplift our community is the ceremonial distribution of land titles to our Pabahay beneficiaries. This is not merely a piece of paper; it represents our commitment to providing a stable and secure future for our people. It symbolizes hope, permanence, and the dream of every resident of Tacloban to have a place they can genuinely call home,” he added.
According to the Speaker, he will constantly be reminded of the destruction that hit Tacloban and ensure that measures are in place to make communities more prepared and more resilient to natural calamities.
Romualdez represents the 1st District of Leyte, which includes Tacloban City.
“Now, as I continue to represent our district in the 19th Congress, I am continuously reminded of the lessons Typhoon Yolanda taught us. It is my solemn pledge to serve relentlessly and do everything in my power for the welfare and progress of our people, ensuring that we are better prepared and more resilient for any future challenges,” he said.
“Hindi tayo mapapagod sa pagkilos para sa kagalingan ng mga kababayan natin dito sa Tacloban. Hindi tayo titigil sa pagbangon hanggang hindi natin natitiyak na may magandang kinabukasan ang ating mga anak at ang susunod na henerasyon,” he added.
(We would not get tired from doing things that would be for the betterment of people from sa Tacloban. We will not stop until we can ensure that our children and the next generations have a better future ahead of them.)
Despite a decade after Yolanda’s onslaught, several residents still find it hard to move on, with landmarks removed and thousands still missing — preventing people from finding any closure for their lost loved ones.
Yolanda set off one of the worst humanitarian crises that the Philippines has seen. Official figures state that around 16 million people from 44 provinces were affected when Yolanda hit Visayas on November 8, 2013.
Inquirer Research stated in 2018 that more than a million families, or about 5.13 million people, were evacuated at the height of the typhoon.
Damage cost was estimated to be at P95.5 billion.