Before leaving Region VIII, Yolanda would not spare the smaller province of Biliran.
“Yolanda taught us what a ‘storm surge’ is like,” says Alberto S. Tan, a local administrative aide.
High water levels, along with gale-force winds, proved devastating. “There were debris everywhere,” provincial engineer Ventura B. Barbanida. “Trees were uprooted, electric posts were down.” The provincial capitol building, civic centers, local gyms, schools and buildings each sustained extensive damage.
“Our (municipal) office looked like a junk shop,” Alberto remembers.
RAY DILG funds
As extensive post-Yolanda recovery efforts began, engineer Ventura learned of RAY DILG funds. “We immediately identified our motor pool and engineer’s office as facilities for rehabilitation,” he says. “These had been completely damaged.”
Funded repairs saw the old buildings demolished, and new, more resilient structures built in their place. “We’re really happy here in the (new) engineer’s office,” Nimfa S. Sandigan, a long-time local engineer, says. “We have enough space work, and it’s an inspiring place to be.”
The new motorpool office is also much improved. “Employees from other departments are very impressed, and our stockroom is also more secure, minimizing our losses,” Alberto adds.