‘Big Daddy’ movable stores open in Tacloban
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—A businessman has opened more than a dozen moveable stores in Tacloban City to give hungry typhoon victims access to food in the wake of complaints of slow distribution of relief goods.
The “Big Daddy Rolling Store” owned by Tacloban businessman Kenneth Uy opened on Friday on Del Pilar and Zamora streets.
The new enterprise, born in the wake of food shortages in the city of more than 200,000 people, consists of 15 tents that sell basic items like rice, canned goods, noodles, eggs, candles and clothes.
“We have to help our people who are in need and our rolling store will be a big help to them,” Uy said.
Now that the “rolling store” has opened, he added, residents don’t have to wait for relief goods or go to Ormoc City or Catbalogan City in Samar to buy food.
“We assure our people that we will sell our items at their regular prices. Our aim is to help our people and at the same time, help restore our economy,” Uy said.
Meanwhile, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, who had maintained a low profile since Supertyphoon Yolanda struck on Friday last week, said he was optimistic the province would recover from the devastation.
“Aside from our national government, various governments of the world are also helping us recover from this tragedy in terms of assistance to our people at this time,” said Petilla, brother of Energy Secretary Jerico Petilla.
He said relief goods have started to reach villages in 30 out of the 40 municipalities that make up the province of Leyte.
“The situation is slowly getting back to normal. The distribution of relief supplies is now reaching our people in the barangays,” he said.
Petilla said the arrival of relief goods was the reason widespread looting that had been reported in Tacloban City and the municipalities of Palo, Tanaun and Dulag had not spread to other towns in the province.
While the cities of Ormoc and Tacloban are located in Leyte, they are not under the administrative control of the governor as they are chartered cities. Leyte is made up of Baybay City and 40 other municipalities. Both were badly hit by high wind and storm surges whipped up by the typhoon.
A large number of policemen and soldiers have been deployed in downtown areas of Tacloban to secure business establishments from looters. Curfew has also been imposed.
Petilla called for unity among the people and their leaders so Leyte could get back on its feet, a process he estimated might take its leaders on unity among the people and the leaders to bring Leyte back on its feet especially that it might take at least five years.
Petilla, who was interviewed in Palo, where he lives, denied reports he had fled the misery of life in Leyte following the typhoon to be in Cebu. He was in his residence in Palo when the typhoon swept through the area and never left the province, he said.
Maloth Galenzoga, a businesswoman and defeated mayoral candidate, told a news conference in Cebu last Wednesday that Leyte was a “ship abandoned by our captain” because Petilla and Vice Governor Carlo Loreto were in Cebu City.
Petilla said that while the entire province was in a calamity, he had yet to officially declare a state of calamity because downed communication facilities made it difficult to convene the Provincial Board.
“I have asked some of my staff to go to the houses of our board members only to be informed that they were out. We have to officially declare a state of calamity so that we can use our calamity fund,” Petilla said. He could not say, however, how much the province had.
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