TACLOBAN CITY- Close to a month before the first year anniversary of Supertyphoon Yolanda that pummeled this city, 607 persons remain missing.
This was disclosed by Rita de la Cruz, social worker of the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD), who added that the number of missing persons could even be higher from what they have.
“These were only the reported missing coming from their relatives and barangay officials. There were individuals who were said to have been killed during the typhoon who were not from Tacloban at that time and could not be accounted,” de la Cruz, designated to account the number of persons killed or missing due to Yolanda, said.
Of the 607 missing persons, more than 300 of them were from San Jose District, considered the worst hit area in Tacloban due to Yolanda. Others were from other villages of the city.
de la Cruz said that she could not say just yet if the number of missing persons reported to their office is final saying that there were “unconfirmed reports” that some bodies were found and later buried in other areas outside Tacloban.
“There were unconfirmed reports that dead bodies were found in some towns in Samar like in Basey and in Babatngon here in Leyte. Perhaps, these bodies were from Tacloban,” she said.
Their office has accounted 2,357 people who were killed during the onslaught of Yolanda, considered the worst typhoon to make landfall.
“I feel sorry for the loved ones of these missing persons. For them, they would rather have their bones found or recovered than have them missing all this time,” de la Cruz said.
Having with them the remains of their loved ones may be hard to accept but at least they would find some closure, de la Cruz added.
She also said that aside from not having to locate their loved ones, the relatives of the missing persons could not avail the financial assistance offered by the government for those who died during the monster typhoon.
Killed during Yolanda’s onslaught are entitled to receive P10, 000 financial assistance from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Among the requirements asked by the OCD is death certificate which could not be secured by relatives of missing persons.
As of September 10, 444 relatives of those killed during Yolanda were able to receive the P10, 000 financial assistance from Tacloban.