On Day 9, relief goods finally reach all 40 Leyte towns


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Distribution hubs in Tacloban and Ormoc released 114,438 food packs on Saturday – more than twice the amount delivered on Friday

AFTER THE STORM. Relief operations at the logistics hubs in Tacloban City, Leyte are ongoing. Photo by Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – It took 9 days but all 40 municipalities of Leyte now have access to relief supplies. 

In a press release on Sunday, November 17, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said local officials in the towns of Hilongos and Palompon were finally able to touch base with the government’s logistics hub in Ormoc. 

“Now we can say that all towns in Leyte have been supplied with relief goods,” Roxas said. 

Earlier, the government established relief hubs in Ormoc City in Leyte and Guiuan in Eastern Samar, in addition to Tacloban City, in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

For Leyte, the distribution of relief goods has been divided into two –  24 towns will get their supplies from Tacloban, while 16 towns will receive their supplies from Ormoc. All hubs are open 24/7. 

Leyte was one of the provinces that suffered the brunt of Typhoon Yolanda. Out of the 3,681 people who died due to Yolanda as of Sunday, 3,017 individuals came from Leyte. 

Gov’t speeds up relief efforts

In the aftermath of the typhoon, the Aquino administration came under fire for the slow delivery of relief services. On the 6th day of the calamity, the United Nations also admitted its frustration over the fact that even international agencies have not managed to reach all affected areas. 

As relief goods poured in, the delivery of massive food supplies started speeding up on Saturday, the 8th day of the calamity. 

Roxas said the logistics hubs in Tacloban and Ormoc were able to distribute a total of 114,438 food packs on Saturday – more than twice the amount delivered on Friday (45,162 food packs) and Thursday (15,447 food packs).

The food packs include 6 kilos of rice, 6 canned goods (3 sardines, 3 corned beef), 8 instant noodles and 6 sachets of coffee. Roxas said each food pack is designed to last for 2-3 days for a family of 5. 

In Leyte, food and other supplies are either picked up by local officials or delivered to evacuation centers.  

On Saturday, however, only 32 Leyte towns were supplied with relief goods. Roxas said officials from these municipalities ran out of fuel and could not pick up their supplies.  

“Local officials regulary get their supplies everyday but they were not able to return yesterday because some of them ran out of fuel, while the vehciles of others stalled,” Roxas said. 

The devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda has prompted widespread relief efforts across the country and around the globe. As of Friday, various counties have pledge at least P5.4 billion or US$126.8 million worth of donations. – Angela Casauay/Rappler.com

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