TACLOBAN CITY (PNA)–It was a day of celebration for the Philip-pine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) and its partners, the United Methodist Committee on Relief and United States Philippine Society for completing the learning facilities in this city and nearby Tanauan town.
This includes fully rehabilitated Imelda school building in San Jose Central Elementary School, San Jose village, Tacloban, which has also a new library.
A ground breaking on Friday of the two-storey school building that can be converted as evacuation for 250 people followed after the ribbon cutting of the Imelda building. It will have four classrooms and toilets.
The school served as evacuation center for the many calamities that hit the city. But it was different when super typhoon Yo-landa left the city as ground zero on November 8, 2013 because 120 evacuees died in this school, according to school prinicipal Monina Gabrino.
After the turnover ceremony of the symbolic key, PDRF president Rene Butch Meily said that he has been back to the school 10 times since the calamity and he is happy that the school and the city keeps looking better than he was here the first time.
He said he is proud of the resilient people of Tacloban and Leyte and how they rebuild their lives with the help of individuals and organizations including PDRF and its partners.
Henry Howard, a founding member of the US-Philippines Society, donor partner of the reha-bilitation of the school building and the evacuation center said that the organi-zation has raised funds in the US and has been actively supporting efforts to assist communities.
Howard was a high school American Field Service (AFS) exchange student at Xavier Univer-sity in Cagayan de Oro City 40 years ago. He made a side trip to this city for this event. He has es-tablished the Henry Ho-ward scholarship program in 2001 and has sent many scholars in the university. He will receive a special award from the institution this month.
Also present during the activity were Vice-Mayor Jerry Sambo Yaokasin, Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez, Department of Education Tacloban divi-sion officials and Abante Mindanao Party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez.
On that same day, an evacuation center cum school building that rises in Tanauan II Central School, Canramos village, Tanauan, Leyte was officially turned over to the school, Depart-ment of Education and the local government unit of Tanauan.
The two-storey typhoon resilient structure was made possible through the benevolence of PDRF and the United Methodist Com-mittee on Relief (UMCOR). It has four classrooms and toilets. The building will also serve as evacuation center during calamities.
Tanauan was also badly beaten by Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to hit land on November 8, 2013. Houses were flattened, torn the roofs of buildings, uprooted trees, cars turned upside down and left hundreds of people dead.
According to Tanuan Mayor Pelagio Tecson, Tanauan is getting better every day because of the many people with good hearts, who never stopped helping the town.
The town has been selected as one of the four pilot areas of rehabilitation for its build back capacity and tourism potential.
According to Meily, PDRF has recently estab-lished an e-health center in Tacloban as part of its ongoing recovery and reconstruction efforts. In partnership with Hewlett Packard, the center is de-signed to connect patients from remote areas and will enable physicians from Manila to diagnose patients through computer-video technology.
Other interventions of PDRF in the region includes food relief, non-food items, bag of joy for students, boats for fishermen in the 4th district of Leyte, 50 butterfly-houses as temporary shelter in Tacloban, mangrove planting in Tacloban, Leyte and Samar in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Smart, temporary shelter in Mayorga, Leyte, sports clinic, among others. (PNA)