In the face of great crises, the strength of a united effort is vital and indispensible. As a nation, we were tested by calamities, one after the other but the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda was astounding in its aftermath. Months have already passed but the damage it has unleashed was still evident.
The journey of the GSFPC personnel led by PM Edwin B. Maliwat and the late Juan Casper Mercado to pursue the vision that is “Tabang Ha Tacloban” was one fraught with much work and sacrifice from the preparation of materials and collection of relief goods to the long and difficult travel.
To have reached their destination was surely a relief to the group but short-lived when they saw the reality that was left behind by “Yolanda.” The soreness from their hard travel was an insignificant memory as they caught a glimpse of the grief the people of Tacloban must have gone through and is still going through, every day of their lives. They were much more determined to extend whatever help they can. And that is what they did, from day one, working tirelessly either under the heat of the relentless sun or the spattering of rain showers.
There were six GSFPC electricians in that group toiling to install electric connections to houses at Barangay Paglaum. After five days, their labors resulted to electric installations of 80 households. Today, in Tacloban, the labor installation will costP5,000 per household as divulged by the residents. The 80 households would have needed P400,000 for labor alone. GSFPC has purchased the electrical supplies at a little more than P200,000 which it has raised with the help of NFPC (P32,000) Central Office (P20,000), other ports and GSFPC clients. Considering this, PM Maliwat recalled when he told Mayor Alfred Romualdez during their courtesy call that this project is just a small assistance from PFDA to which the Mayor promptly cited there is no small help; all is welcome. He added that this project of electrical installation is actually very unique. Noteworthy as well is not only donating materials but also providing services.
In addition to the electrical installations, the group handed relief goods in the form of dried fish, bottled water, canned goods, medicines and new clothes from NFPC. The dried fish were made from the fresh fish donated by the GSFPC clients since last December.
A local news network who interviewed PM Maliwat, divulged that in the informal survey that they have carried out among the residents, they have heard very positive feedbacks about the project. The residents seemed unanimous in their assessment of the GSFPC staff “Magduruto ngan maglaksi hira magtrabaho” (They were hardworking and fast workers). For our weary and dog-tired personnel that was almost an instantaneous energizer. When asked if they would be willing to do this over again, the sentiment was also unanimous: definitely.
Problems and challenges are inherent part of life. No modern-day technology or amount of preparedness can stop natural calamities from striking. Sadly, they leave damage and woes in their wake. But human nature is resilient. We have shown this time and time again. We may not be able to stop them but we can rise above the wreckage and anguish they leave behind. Together. United. We make a difference.