By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
July 31, 2014
ARTESIA, Calif. – After nine months of clean up and rebuilding following Typhoon Yolanda, the mayor of the one of most hard hit cities brought a message of hope to his US constituents.
Mayor Alfred Romualdez and his wife Kring Kring visited the An Taclobanon Association of Southern California to give an update on the rebuilding efforts. He said the city is about half way rebuilt, especially the businesses.
“Each mall by our calculations gives 1,500 to 2,000 jobs, that will help obviously,” Romualdez said. “We have about 1,000 families still in tents. But now the city is building as fast as we can temporary shelters. We should be back on our feet by November.”
The news gave hope after many lost family members and property. Residents accused the national government of being slow when it came to releasing financial aid.
“What makes it more optimistic is the description of his plans,” President of An Taclobanon Association of SoCal Bobby Aguilos said. “I am glad that he has responded to the needs of the time but I’m hopeful also there will be cooperation with the national government.”
The mayor was in the U.S. during President Aquino’s most recent State of the Nation Address where Aquino touted on going relief efforts and urged Congress to release more funds to flood hit areas.
Romualdez admits he did not see the SONA and is yet to read the full transcript. But he welcomes any aid to typhoon victims, especially if the funds can be released quickly and efficiently.
“With that money, that should help in building in more shelters,” he said. “I have no other choice but always to be hopeful. If the money is released I hope there are no additional requirements.
Romualdez’ visit to California comes as the Vatican released Pope Francis’ travel details.
He assured the community that the town will be ready for the January 2015 tour which will bring the Pope to Tacloban.
While another storm season will be approaching in the coming months, both the mayor and his stateside townspeople are confident that after last year’s trials and tribulations the town will be better prepared to deal with any potential disasters.
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Does he know how to read ?