CALBAYOG CITY- The Department of Health (DOH)-Central Office through its Health Emergency Management headed by Dr. Carmencita A. Banatin is to give due recognition to the city government of Calbayog for being the first to bring to Tacloban City the complete response and the most needed relief efforts including psychosocial services just right after supertyphoon “Yolanda” (with international name “Haiyan”) made landfall on November 8 (a Friday) last year that resulted mass destruction and cause lose of thousands of lives in the city.

In an interview, City Health Officer Dr. Sylvia de Guzman, said that Regional Health Emergency Management Coordinator Dr. Fidelito Dico had already sent her an advance notice about the awarding scheduled on July 18 in Manila that looks toward an individual’s or the team’s heroism during such unusual event that was beyond their ordinary duties.

To receive award are Mayor Ronaldo P. Aquino, Police Supt Elmer Cinco (former Calbayog City police chief) and Dr. de Guzman. The team from Calbayog arrived in Tacloban a day after Yolanda pummeled Tacloban “with an immediate soothing relief” to the sorrow and desperation of the affected residents. Mayor Aquino personally headed the team that brought in the immediate basic needs of the survivors like food, water, and medicines.He was with P/Supt Cinco (who served as the team’s ground commander), and along with Cinco were a number of PNP uniformed personnel who also helped in the road clearing operations, rescue efforts, resource mobilization and most especially, in bringing back security presence in Tacloban as security vacuum was experienced elsewhere after the typhoon because majority of local law enforcers themselves had been victimized by the super typhoon.

Likewise, Dr. de Guzman’s team helped those injured and provided emergency and basic medical and surgical services to the affected when they temporarily manned Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) as hospital’s staffs were also victims themselves. After Tacloban, same team went also to other Yolanda-hit areas like Marabut, Basey, Albuera, Capoocan and Tanauan to deliver same services. These efforts of the city government of Calbayog with other coordinating agencies continue until survivors learn to cope with the loss of lives of their loved-ones, their homes and their livelihood. At present, Calbayog-LGU is also helping in the national government’s recovery and rebuilding efforts for the victims and survivors of Yolanda through its “Sagubay Waraynon” project. (AIMEE CATALAN/PR)