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Gov asks constituents not to leave as Leyte continues recovery from Yolanda

November 26, 2013 12:51am

Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla on Monday asked his constituents not to leave the province as recovery efforts from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda continue.

"The biggest asset of any organization is yung tao," Petilla said during a flag-raising ceremony at the Leyte Capitol grounds, the first time a formal flag ceremony was held since Yolanda hit the province.

According to a report aired over GMA 7's “24 Oras”, it was an emotional moment for provincial-government employees as they hugged each other on seeing their colleagues and learning that some had perished.

Petilla added that it was the efforts of Leyte's citizens that was most needed for the speedy recovery and rehabilitation of their province.

However, the governor was aware that it would be difficult for people to stay and work as all of them have been affected by Yolanda.

"Ang mga staff demoralized, o traumatized o terrified dahil sa mga pangyayari after ng bagyo," Petilla conceded.

'Years, several years'

After the brief flag-raising program, Petilla talked to the provincial-govenrment employees and promised them that their salaries would not be delayed.

He added that the Leyte government would be hiring 30 additional staff to help in the clearing operations and rehabilitation of the damaged provincial hall. This will be part of the cash-for-work program of the provincial government.

Though some businesses have resumed operations, Petilla admitted that it would take years before the province fully recovers from Yolanda.

"It has started on a small-scale basis pa lang. Kung makapagtanim kami ng rice next month, pag harvest niyan sa March malaking income. But if you are talking about the situation right before the typhoon, it will really take years, several years," he lamented.

Some of the establishments that re-opened were a dental clinic, banks, a money remittance center, auto repair shops and eateries.

Petilla has yet to provide an estimate on the damage incurred by the province due to Yolanda, though total damage in all affected provinces was estimated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to be P23.8 billion. Amita Legaspi/DVM, GMA News
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