Heln Naddeo, the author of coffee table book titled “After the Storm: Two Years On” . photo courtesy of Naddeos's FB page.
Helen Naddeo, the author of coffee table book titled “After the Storm: Two Years On” . photo courtesy of Naddeos’s FB page.

TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) – Remembering the devastation and lessons learned in the aftermath of supertyphoon “Yolanda,” the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Eastern Visayas, formally launched a coffee table book titled “After the Storm: Two Years On” during the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Summit Friday held at the Leyte Park Hotel.

The coffee table book features stories of survival and resilience of residents and officials of local governments severely affected by the 2013 catastrophe.

The book, written by Helen Naddeo of the DILG-Office of the Project Development Service, and Lisa Gardner, an Australian volunteer, particularly narrates how DILG’s Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) batch 1 projects helped the municipalities and the survivors on the road to recovery.

The stories focused on RAY batch 1 big-ticket projects from 93 local government units (LGUs) heavily affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda. The big-ticket projects received funds that range from Php 1.5 million and above.

In partnership with LGUs, and as part of larger government efforts to rehabilitate affected areas, DILG established the RAY DILG Fund. RAY DILG assist in the reconstruction of totally and partially-damaged provincial/city municipal buildings, public markets, civic centers and barangay infrastructure, with view to building back better.

RAY aims to facilitate sustainable, long-term recovery and return to normalcy in government services and economic activities in Yolanda-affected areas.

The national government allocated PhP2.012 billion for RAY Batch 1 projects for the repair and rehabilitation of damaged municipal facilities, provincial, city municipal hall, public market and civic center.

It also covers the rehabilitation of infrastructures in DILG Region VIII, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), respectively.

Of the 14 provinces and 171 cities/municipalities within the 50km radius of Yolanda’s deadly path, 4 provinces and 146 cities/municipalities reported significant damage to local municipal facilities.

Author Naddeo said during the book launch that compiling the stories was very “challenging” in the magnitude of the destruction as well as the number of those who were affected.

“But with great effort, we were able to compile the stories from the survivors themselves and the beneficiaries of the RAY project. Many of their stories are indeed inspiring,” Naddeo said.

In line with the second year commemoration of super typhoon Yolanda, the DILG-8 held the DRRM Regional Summit cum Build Back Better Operations Manual Launching attended by local provincial and town officials, DRRM officers and other stakeholders. (PNA)