US Hands Over New Facilities and Livelihood Support for Yolanda Survivors in Tacloban City and Leyte Province

US Hands Over New Facilities and Livelihood Support for Yolanda Survivors in Tacloban City and Leyte Province

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 22, 2015

United States Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg led the inauguration of a climate-resilient school building and health facility, as well as 100 new sari-sari stores in Tacloban City.

These projects are part of the U.S. government’s over Php6.3 billion ($143-million) Typhoon Yolanda assistance implemented through the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Rebuild project.

Ambassador Goldberg said, “The resilience, courage and determination of the people of Leyte to recover and build back better truly inspire all of us. The U.S. government remains committed to restoring normalcy to the lives of affected families and we will continue to work closely with our friends in the Philippines to help rebuild this region better and stronger.”

Ambassador Goldberg and USAID Deputy Mission Director Reed Aeschliman turned the school building over to the Department of Education (DepEd) and the City Government of Tacloban, represented by DepEd Region 8 Director Dr. Luisa Yu, DepEd Tacloban City Division Superintendent Dr. Gorgonio Diaz, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez, and Leyte 1st Congressional District Representative Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez. Over 1,850 children and teachers in San Fernando Central School will benefit from the eight new classrooms.

The assistance also includes classroom furniture and teaching kits and is part of the U.S. Government’s larger effort to construct and furnish more than 250 classrooms in Tacloban City and Leyte Province, which will benefit approximately 30,000 students.

Ambassador Goldberg also inaugurated a two-story health facility at the Tacloban City Health office that will house a tuberculosis treatment clinic. Mayor Romualdez, Rep. Romualdez, Department of Health (DOH)- Region 8 Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna Jr., and Tacloban City Health Officer Dr. Joedina Gumagay accepted the project on behalf of the Government of the Philippines.

The new facility, and attendant medical equipment, will benefit about 39,000 residents from 45 barangays. A total of 12 health facilities will be constructed by the U.S. government in partnership with DOH and local government units in areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

“The classrooms and health facilities are designed to be typhoon and earthquake-resilient and are capable of withstanding high velocity winds up to 360 kilometers per hour and an earthquake magnitude 8.5 on the Richter scale,” Deputy Director Aeschliman said.

To help restore the livelihoods of Yolanda survivors, Ambassador Goldberg turned over 100 sari-sari stores to micro-entrepreneurs in Tacloban City and Palo, Leyte. These are among the 1,000 stores that will be constructed and restocked with inventory by USAID in partnership with U.S. companies Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble (P&G).

Coca-Cola and P&G will train store owners on basic store management to help ensure that they will be able to sustain their enterprises. USAID will also support business expansion by making microfinance available to eligible sari-sari store owners. This will be facilitated through the Php176-million ($4 million) Micro Enterprise Disaster Assistance Fund for Resiliency or the MIDAS Fund, a credit facility which is implemented in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress.

The event, which was held in Fatima, Tacloban City, was attended by Mayor Romualdez, Rep. Romualdez, Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Cynthia Nierras, Coca-Cola Philippines VP for Public Affairs Atty. Adel Tamano and P&G Country Brand Manager Anna Legarda.

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