TACLOBAN CITY, Jan. 5 (PNA) -– It took a killer landslide for the two political foes in Samar to cultivate friendship after years of snubbing and bickering.
Catbalogan City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan and Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan-de los Santos found themselves talking to each other on Sunday to resolve relocation concerns, after their families cut political alliances.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional director Pedro Noval, Jr. initiated the meeting at the provincial governor’s office.
Mayor Uy-Tan, the estrange wife of Vice-Governor Stephen James Tan, younger brother of Tan-de los Santos is a member of Liberal Party while the Tans are affiliated with the United Nationalist Alliance.
In her message, the city mayor thanked the DILG official for initiating talks with the provincial government to relocate residents from landslide prone areas to safer zones.
Uy-Tan informed Noval about the city government’s plan to talk with the provincial government, which the DILG regional director facilitated.
In this time of disaster, when people need leaders who will guide them, politics should be set aside,” she said.
The two local government units discussed on plans to build more evacuation centers, pre-emptive evacuation and relocation plans, which is still up for finalization.
At least 22 people died when landslide buried them alive in Mercedes village of Catbalogan, the provincial capital of Samar province.
The city government noted that due to continuous rain from Dec. 28, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015, soil in the hilly areas of the city have become unstable, posing risks of more landslides.
Of the 57 villages, of the city, 25 are considered to be moderate to highly susceptible to landslide based on geo-hazard mapping.
Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan – De Los Santos
These villages are Bunu-anan, Guinsorongan, Poblacion 9, Poblacion 8, Poblacion 7, Guindapunan, Socorro, Lagundi, Poblacion 13, Canlapwas, San Andres, Sto. Niño, Munoz, Mercedes, Maulong , Payao, Pupua, Iguid, Silanga, Estaka, San Roque, New Mahayag, Darahuway dako, Darahuway guti and Ibol. (PNA)
RMA/SQM/ROEL T. AMAZONA/EGR/SSC