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MMDA ‘Yolanda’ team home for Christmas

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 04:18 AM December 03, 2013

The team sent by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to conduct rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-ravaged areas in the Visayan region will be home for Christmas.

This was the assurance given by the agency to the kin of the MMDA personnel during its weekly radio show through MMDA assistant general manager for operations Emerson Carlos.

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According to Carlos, they expected the 153-strong personnel deployed to Leyte province to return to Metro Manila Monday.

More than 300 MMDA workers have been in Samar and Leyte provinces since Nov. 10, two days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” ravaged the Visayas region.

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On Friday, a thanksgiving Mass was held at the Sto. Niño shrine in Tacloban City, Leyte, as a sendoff to the MMDA personnel who were scheduled to return to the metropolis starting this month.

In his homily, parish priest Fr. Gani Petilos gave due recognition to the MMDA workers: “Their sacrifice in giving aid to their countrymen is immeasurable,” he told those present.

The MMDA cleanup unit had been tasked with clearing roads of typhoon debris, bringing in heavy equipment and hauling off 64,792 cubic meters, or 92.56 percent, of the estimated debris in Tacloban City alone.

The 30-man MMDA rapid response team that was sent ahead of the main force also took on the difficult task of cadaver retrieval and search-and-rescue operations. “They submerged themselves in waters to retrieve bodies,” Carlos said.

Carlos said the MMDA team would undergo a stress debriefing on Dec. 7. The cadaver retrieval team were the first ones to go home.

“We may be tired and bruised, but we will go home with a smile and the satisfaction that we were able to help thousands of typhoon victims,” said MMDA chair Francis Tolentino.

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TAGS: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippines, relief efforts, Supertyphoon Yolanda, Yolanda aid
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