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Negros Oriental, Leyte residents boost disaster preparedness

Negros Oriental, Leyte residents boost disaster preparedness

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  • Smart Communications conducted disaster preparedness trainings for Parishioners and students of Negros Oriental and Leyte
  • #SafePH training conducted by Smart help build the capacity of communities during calamities
  • The training was set just after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Luzon and the Visayas in April.

Parishioners and students from Negros Oriental and Leyte recently participated in disaster preparedness trainings conducted in partnership with Smart Communications.

Close to 100 members of the clergy and lay people from the Diocese of Dumaguete attended Smart’s #SafePH training held in Ayungon, Negros Oriental.

The activity is part of Smart’s ongoing #SafePH series of disaster preparedness trainings to help build the capacity of communities during calamities.

The training was facilitated by Dr. Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo), and Louie Domingo of Emergency Management Center.

Daep shared information on weather disturbances and the possible effects of earthquake and other hazards. There is still no proven scientific way to predict earthquakes, so it is important to make preparedness a way of life, according to Daep.

He also taught the participants how to develop project proposals for disaster mitigation in their own communities.

Domingo, meanwhile, taught the participants what to do before, during, and after a calamity and shared practical survival tips, from how to apply first aid and what to put in their emergency kits or “e-balde,” to how to protect themselves in times of danger.

The training was set just after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Luzon and the Visayas in April.

In March, about 800 students of Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) in Tacloban City also participated in a 2-day TNT Tropang Ready activity initiated by Smart. Resource speakers from the academe and local authorities shared with the students information about hazards and safety tips.

TNT Tropang Ready is a program that tours schools nationwide to help enhance the preparedness of the youth and develop them into preparedness ambassadors in their own communities. The program includes a series of talks, workshops, and teaching sessions integrated in their educational curriculum.

Smart promotes the culture of preparedness in communities with the help of technology as part of its #SafePH advocacy. It has initiated mobile solutions such as the Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS) with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and community caravans for the youth, families, and members of the Church, in the company’s efforts toward resilience.

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Orphaned boy due to typhoon Yolanda graduates despite living in the streets

Orphaned boy due to typhoon Yolanda graduates despite living in the streets

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  • Orphaned boy living in the streets due to typhoon Yolanda presents diploma and medals to deceased family
  • Netizen Renz Peque shared John Mark Pirante’s plight cleaning front yards and collecting garbage in exchange for food or money
  • Social media users were touched by the boy’s inspiring story and sent him messages of congratulations over his achievement

A netizen shared on Facebook an inspiring story of an orphan boy, who lost his family due to typhoon Yolanda, yet graduated from school, despite living in the streets since the tragic event.

“I know some of you will recognize this kid. If you see him around, please help him in any way you can, wrote Facebook user Renz Peque, who identified the tenacious kid as John Mark Pirante.

“He often comes to my store to help clean the front or collect the garbage in exchange for food or money. Earlier today, when he came over to collect the garbage, he shared his big news to me that he would be graduating today. I congratulated him as he totally deserved it and told him to come back later that afternoon because I would be giving him a graduation gift.”

The boy went back to meet Peque that evening wearing his medal and holding his diploma. After the netizen gave Pirante his gift, the boy told him that he dropped by the cemetery before heading to his store. Pirante apparently had other medals he first presented to his family’s tombstones and left them there.

“No excuses, pure grind. Happy graduation, John Mark R. Pirante! 💯 ❤️” admired Peque. Netizens joined in on the original poster’s praise, sending messages of congratulations to the determined boy.

The post has now become viral with 35 thousand reactions and 12 thousand shares online, with other social media users commenting how proud they were of Pirante’s triumph.

Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the country, had gusts exceeding 305 kilometers (190 miles) per hour and was said to be one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded on earth. Back in 2013, Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines upon landfall.

It also pushed devastating 5 m high storm surge into Tacloban City and several families were wiped out by it.

In a report by ABS-CBN News explaining why the super typhoon became deadly to the nation, it said that though the national government flagged areas that were prone to the impact of natural disasters through a geohazard mapping program that begun in 2006, “local governments failed to evacuate many of the vulnerable populations away from the danger zones, partly because they did not fully appreciate the threat and partly because they had not built enough shelters.”

According to Rappler, “Survivors and aid groups say rehabilitation has been slow, especially for the million families who lost their homes. Of the target 205,128 permanent houses for those living in so-called danger zones, only 100,709 have been built.”

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Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez speaks up about her rumored split with husband

Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez speaks up about her rumored split with husband

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  • Cristina Romualdez denied the separation rumors surrounding her and her husband.
  • She said that like normal couples, they also experience challenges but they didn’t fail to overcome those.

Tacloban City mayor and former actress addressed the rumors that she has separated with her husband, politician Alfred Romualdez.

In her public Facebook post, she called the accusations “malicious” and “politically motivated.” She admitted that in their 20 years of marriage, there have been challenges along the way but they were able to overcome such.

RECENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN MALICIOUS ACCUSATIONS HURLED AGAINST ME AND MY HUSBAND.THOSE ACCUSATIONS ARE MEANT TO DISCREDIT US AND DOUBT THE GREAT WORK WE HAVE BEEN DOING IN TACLOBAN. WE ARE MINDFUL THAT THIS MOVE IS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED . PEOPLE BEHIND THIS SCHEME SHALL BE HELD ANSWERABLE. I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 20 YEARS . SURE, WE HAVE GONE THROUGH CHALLENGES .EACH TIME WE FACE THEM ,BY GODS GRACE WE WERE ABLE TO OVERCOME . MY COMMITMENT TO OUR MARRIAGE IS BOLSTERED BY THE FACT THAT I AM RETIRING FROM POLITICS TO TAKE CARE OF OUR CHILDREN AND FOCUS ON BEING A WIFE. I HOPE THIS WILL PUT TO REST THE UNFOUNDED LIES BEING PROPAGATED BY OUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS. MY HUSBAND IS NOT DETERRED BY THIS SCHEME. HE WILL TAKE THE LEAD IN UPLIFTING THE LIVES OF THE TACLOBANONS. MAY GOD BLESS US ALL!

In a statement in a report from PhilStar.com, Cristina expressed her affection for her family and her determination to keep it together.

“I love my husband and our kids.  I love my family. Hangga’t maaari ay gusto kong buo ang pamilya namin.

“We are no different from other couples na nagkakaroon ng problema and we’re trying to fix our problem.”

The rumors started after Cristina stated that she will not be taking part in the 2019 midterm elections.

“Well for now talaga, at since 9 years na rin akong councilor at 3 years of mayor… 12 years no, kasi I was a councilor, mayor’s wife, it was quite hectic so, for me I would like really to rest muna now.”

Her husband, on the other hand, will be running as Mayor of Tacloban.

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