ORMOC CITY – Richard Gomez, the mayoralty bet of the Liberal Party for this city, is coordinating with the regional mobile group (RMG) and the Philippine Army in preparing for the eventuality that supertyphoon Pablo will make landfall in Leyte and hit Ormoc and the 4th district. 

Legal counsel Atty. Coeli Fiel said that Gomez, as early as Sunday morning, has ordered the Serbisyong Gomez staff to prepare food packs and other contingencies, in case the need arises. The typhoon is expected to make landfall in Leyte Island by Tuesday, December 4, weather forecasts indicate. Fiel added that evacuation areas have also been identified and plans mapped out on how the police and Army can coordinate efforts to evacuate people, in case of need.

Gomez, who studied disaster preparedness and risk reduction in Korea, said it is imperative that officials should prepare well in advance for an expected natural calamity to hit, especially when already forecasted like a typhoon, rather than wait for a knee-jerk.  

Meanwhile, it was learned that of all congressmen in the province, Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez has the highest number of sponsored Philhealth beneficiaries for January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013, said Misael F. Paigan, OIC of PhilHealth Ormoc.

The congresswoman has enrolled 20,000 beneficiaries to the universal health program for 2012 and 2013, said Paigan, costing around P 34-million from her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).  “We have already encoded the names of these beneficiaries and now we are only waiting for the memorandum of understanding already,” the chief divulged.

For the LGU category, Leyte Province has the highest number of enrolled beneficiaries in the region, Paigan added. Paigan said that Leyte province currently sponsors 250,000 households in the whole province.

On the other hand, he added that An Waray, as party list, has committed even a higher number of household beneficiaries than that of congresswoman Gomez, but he cannot exactly say how many as PhilHealth Tacloban is handling the account.

It was also observed that Ormoc City, on the other hand, has only 5,356 households enrolled in the program, a “meager and just a fraction” of the city’s population and its annual income, said a businessman who requested not to be identified.

Paigan is optimistic that with Lucy’s huge enrolment, the impact of their programs can now be felt by their target clients.By Nino Antonio Villalino & LMJ



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