US to continue helping ‘Yolanda’ victims in E. Visayas
PALO, Leyte—The United States will continue to extend assistance to Eastern Visayas that is still reeling from the impact of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) about three years ago.
This was the assurance of US Ambassador Philip Goldberg who was in this town on Friday to lead in the turnover of a 10-classroom school building.
Goldberg said the continued assistance by his government was geared toward the total recovery of the region now considered the country’s poorest after it was devastated in 2013 by the world’s strongest typhoon to hit land.
The US has so far provided $143 million in assistance to the national government for the rehabilitation of areas hit by Yolanda like Eastern Visayas.
“We are going to continue our efforts to help rebuild Leyte and Samar. We will continue that in addition to the $143 million that the United States government has given since the onset of the natural disaster,” Goldberg said in an interview.
On Saturday, the US envoy led the turnover of the two-story school building consisting of 10 classrooms to officials and students of Palo National High School (PNHS) located in Barangay Cavite West, Palo.
Palo was one of the hardest-hit areas in Leyte when Yolanda pummeled the province in the morning of Nov. 8, 2013.
In the same interview, Goldberg said he also visited Eastern Samar last week to witness the completion of the 222-kilometer road network linking the towns of Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Maydolong, Llorente, Hernani, General MacArthur, Quinapondan, Salcedo, Mercedes, Guiuan and Borongan City in Eastern Samar; and Paranas town in Samar.
The “world-class” road network was funded by the US-Millennium Challenge Corp. in the amount of $214 million.
The construction of the road network started in 2014 but was finished only on May 19, the day Goldberg visited the province, which also suffered massive devastation due to Yolanda.
During the turnover of the school building, Goldberg assured the school’s officials and students that the facility could withstand typhoons as strong as Yolanda and an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.5.
The US envoy went inside the classrooms to greet the waiting students.
In his message to the students, Goldberg urged them to study hard and give importance to education.
“Just to study hard, to use it in the way it was intended for their education for their future so that they will be educated and join the work force and help the Philippines develop,” he later said in the interview.
PNHS is Palo’s biggest secondary public school with 2,500 students enrolled last school year. It expects 3,000 students this schoolyear which will start on June 13.
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