ORMOC CITY – Her Royal Princess Anne of England was in this city to meet with Leyte governor Dominic Petilla and mayors of various towns where Save the Children, a UK-based international humanitarian organization, has been giving relief and assistance after Yolanda slammed into the region on November 8, 2013.
She met with them in the Hacienda Banquet Hall of the Ormoc Villa Hotel. The Princess was personally met by hotel manager Teresa Larrazabal-Sabarre and daughter Andrea S. Gica, as protocol dictates.
Mayors present include Edward Codilla and vice mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr., Elmer Codilla of Kananga; Michael Torrevillas of Matag-ob; Antonio Martinez of Merida; Jorge Veloso of Villaba and Federico Carolino of Capoocan.
Leyte governor Petilla said that as governor, he was honored that the Princess visited Leyte, putting the province once more in the map of humanitarian efforts. He hoped the Princess would see how Leyteños weathered Yolanda and expressed his appreciation for Save the Children’s help.
Before coming to the hotel, the Princess dropped by their office here, to speak with the personnel. A source who requested anonymity, said the Princess spoke to the staff, particularly those who have been with Save the Children at the start of the relief efforts. Save the Children took root in Ormoc just days after the typhoon hit, and is currently part of the education and WASH sectors of the humanitarian effort.
It was also learned that after touching down at the Ormoc airport at around 10:30AM, the Princess immediately proceeded to Brgy. Tagaytay in Kananga, Leyte to visit the site where 81 houses funded by Save the Children have been constructed.
Mayor Elmer Codilla said the Princess went inside two houses, to see its construction, and interact with the recipients. The mayor added she even inspected the houses’ comfort rooms.
Save the Children is taking the lead in the Zero Open Defecation program in the towns that they serve, and have declared at least 15 barangays as “ZOD” already.
Mayor Codilla added that the Princess was even interested in seeing the well where people got their water from, but was dissuaded because it was downhill and steep.
After her meeting with LGU officials, she went back to Kananga, Leyte to visit the school at Brgy. Naghalin that Save the Children helped repair.
Mayor Antonio Martinez of Merida, Leyte, who was first to come out after the Princess left, said the English royal interacted with them but did not make any promises.
Vice Mayor Toto Locsin Jr., on the other hand, said the Princess asked him what he did before joining politics and told her he was a farmer, which piqued the interest of the English royal.
Princess Anne is the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, England’s longest reigning monarch. She is 11th in line to the throne. By Lalaine M. Jimenea