Iligan City – Iligan City Government officials and employees headed by the City Mayor Celso Regencia gathered to attend the flag raising ceremony in observance of the 7th Year Commemorative Program for the Sendong Victims held at Sendong Memorial Site, Bayug Island, Brgy. Hinaplanon, this city on December 17.
The ceremony started with a mass followed by the usual program of the flag raising ceremony. Some lit candles and offered prayers at the memorial stone.
This ceremony was celebrated to memorialize those who passed away during the onslaught of Typhoon Sendong, the worst tragedy that hit the city on December 17, 2011 which took 1,531 lives, damaged more than 25,000 houses, and destroyed billion pesos worth of public and private properties which affected 37% of the city’s population.
“Ang paghandom usa kini ka higayon diin atong balikan lantaw ang maong kasaysayan, bug-at, sakit sa kadaghanan apan kini naghatag usab ug leksyon alang kanatong tanan. Magpasalamat kita sa Diyos gumikan kay kita karon buhi labi na usab sa mga nabiktima sa maong kalamidad, magpasalamat kita tungod kay ang Diyos nagprotektar kanato ug kita gilikay ug giluwas sa maong katalagman,” (This occasion is a chance for us to look back in our history, heavy, painful to many but this gave a lesson for everybody. Let us thank the Lord as we are still alive today especially those who were survivors of the calamity, let’s be thankful because the Lord protected us and saved us from the tragedy.), Vice Mayor Jemar L. Vera Cruz stated on his speech.
On the 7th anniversary of the tragedy, Mayor Celso Regencia demanded that the government officials expedite the Mirador relocation site as he inspected the site recently. “Kung makatukod na ug 330 ka panimalay sa relocation site, sugdan na dayun ug tukod ug panimalay para sa mga biktima nga wala pa’y panimalay. City Social Welfare and Development Officer, Ms. Grace Saquilabon, andama ang mga “green cards” nga maoy atong basehan aron mahatagan sila ug panimalay. Sunod bulan, 130 ka balay sa Upper Hinaplanon ang ihatag sa mga walay panimalay,” (If we could already build 330 houses on the relocation site, let’s start those immediately for the victims who don’t have houses yet. City Social Welfare and Development Officer, Ms. Grace Saquilabon, prepare the “green cards” that would be the bases for the release of the houses. Next month, 130 houses at Upper Hinaplanon would be given to those who do not have houses.) Mayor Regencia said.
With this, the City Mayor is hoping that as soon as possible, all of them would be relocated to their new homes.
Bayug Island has since been declared as a “no-build zone”. A Sendong Memorial Stone, which bears the names of the victims, was erected in memory of those who perished. – – IMFN/CIO