GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews / 28 December) — Various local groups and the local government unit of General Luna have come together to help address the pressing needs of those severely affected by typhoon “Odette” in Siargao Island.
General Luna Mayor Cecilia Rusillon met with representatives of various local groups Tuesday afternoon inside a makeshift tent erected at the municipal compound to discuss ways to offset the impact of Odette.
“We are with you in battling this crisis and we thank you for your unwavering efforts to help our constituents who are suffering from this severe crisis,” Rusillon said.
“This consolidation meeting is meant not to duplicate efforts but to optimize all our resources,” the mayor added.
Rusillon said that General Luna’s relief and rehabilitation efforts are being hampered by the outbreak of diarrhea, which claimed seven lives so far and with dozens more admitted in the hospital.
The local government declared an outbreak since December 26, according to Dr. TJ Manalang, municipal health officer.
Christine Carby, of Nissi Academy, manifested that their group, along with the Green House-Kudo Surf, has been a food hub in General Luna, touted as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines.”
“We have been giving relief goods non-stop to the villages,” she said.
Maria Czarina Crisostomo, representing various groups in General Luna, said they provided power generators to several water stations so that potable water can be distributed to the villages.
“We work together with the Department of Health to make sure that our water is safe for public use so that we can fight this outbreak,” Crisostomo said.
A representative from the Siargao Consolidated Group said they have been doing rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations to typhoon victims not just in General Luna but as far as the northern towns in Siargao Island.
“We have disaster experts with us to guide us in our undertakings,” Rob Rodrigo said.
First District Congressman Francisco Jose “Bingo” F. Matugas II also graced the meeting.
He said these concerted efforts will definitely cushion the devastating impact of Odette, a Category 5 typhoon which pummeled the island on December 16.
“Thank you so much for being with us in these tough times, together we can bring back our community and eventually we can live back to normal life,” he said, adding that more help are coming for farmers, tourism workers and construction workers. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)