By LaLaine M. Jimenea
VICE MAYOR TOTO LOCSIN JR. leads city officials in laying wreaths at the Ormoc Flash Flood Memorial this Sunday, November 5, to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the tragic event. With him are Councilors Bennet Pongos and Gerry Penserga. Locsin is currently acting mayor because Mayor Richard Gomez is in Washington to attend a DILG-organized seminar on Federalism. ORMOC CITY – The pro-posed “Yolanda Com-memoration Day” and the “Ormoc Flash Flood Com-memoration Day” are not yet holidays, this was the clarification of the camps of Rep. Yedda Romualdez and Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, respectively.
To recall, the two lawmakers, all from Leyte, have filed bills asking Congress to declare No-vember 8 and November 5 as lo-cal holidays to commemorate the fateful days when thousands died after natural calamities struck.
Rep. Romualdez wants No-vember 8 commemoration region-wide, while Rep. Lucy Torres-Go-mez is batting for a local holiday in Ormoc City. Philip Jude Acidre, political affairs officer responsible for the legislative affairs of Rep. Yedda Romualdez, said both bills are still up for 2nd reading in the House. He added, “the Senate counter-part has just been filed, authored by Sen. Edgardo Angara.”
“The bill was just filed last year, and acted upon by the com-mittee early this year and due for second reading when session re-sumes,” Acidre further explained. “The Senate version was just filed, but since this is a law of local ap-plication, we need to wait for the House to pass it on third reading,”
he added. Acidre also is confident that both bills would be passed in this Congress. “Similar to Cong. Lucy’s bill, the Yolanda Commemoration Bill is also gaining support in House,” he noted. November 8 was the day when super-typhoon Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas in 2013, killing 6,329 people with 1,074 still missing. November 5, 1991 was the day in Ormoc City when a 15-minute flash flood killed an estimated 8,000 people.