Our hearts go out to the victims of typhoon “Odette” that did not only render families homeless but also left people dead when Christmas is just a few days away.
As always, we in the city of Manila wasted no time to help in our own little way those who have been displaced by the said tropical cyclone in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.
The moment I requested Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna to hold a special session so that a resolution can be passed by the Manila City Council for the purpose of allocating financial assistance to the typhoon-stricken families, she readily agreed, as usual.
Vice Mayor Honey is also presiding officer of the Manila City Council, whose 38 member-councilors are always just as willing to help.
On countless occasions when I would need the council’s nod on certain programs of government, she and the city councilors would readily hold sessions even on weekends, holidays and even through the night, depending on the urgency of the situation and specially in the wake of the pandemic.
Anyway, I am also appealing to the ‘Good Samaritans’ in Manila to join in the efforts to help our unfortunate ‘kababayans.’ Any help will definitely go a long way.
In relation to this, those who are interested to help may donate via the fund-raising campaign, “Tulong ng Manilenyo sa mga Nasalanta ni Odette.”
Let me jump the gun on those who would connect what we are doing to politics. Be it known that since I and Vice Mayor Honey assumed office in 2019, the city government of Manila had been regularly sending help either in manpower, relief goods or cash assistance to any part of the country hit by calamity.
During the Taal volcanic activities in Batangas last year, the city government of Manila was able to deploy a 25-man team from the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRMMO) who provided medical and evacuation assistance. The team also brought food items and other necessities such as face masks, drinking water and blankets.
Apart from manpower, we also brought to the affected areas ambulances, a water tanker, a fire engine and a pick-up truck even as personnel from our six city-run hospitals were also tapped to help.
The Manila City Council at that time held a special session and passed a resolution authorizing me to donate P2.5 million to the eruption victims and the said amount was divided among the five towns that had been hardest hit by the incident.
Personally, I believe that the help being extended by the city to its neighbors will return tenfold and that we in Manila will also get the same kind of help should the need arise.
Too, it is precisely this kind of mindset which shaped our policy in Manila of extending help to other cities, our neighbors whenever we can.
It is the same policy being observed by the city government when it opened its mass vaccination program and free swab testing and provision of COVID medicines to those living outside of Manila, all the way to the far-flung provinces of the country.
To date, patients from far-flung provinces have benefitted from the life-saving, expensive and hard-to-access anti-COVID drugs that Manila had been giving for free such as Tocilizumab, Remdesivir and Molnupiravir.
The fact that we in Manila were able to use these medicines minimally means that we are in a good place and I thank God for this. We also have a lot to be thankful for since our city and we ourselves were spared from the wrath of “Odette.”
We can pay it forward by simply helping our fellow citizens who are not that fortunate.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang mag mamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
For updates on latest developments in the city of Manila, please visit my Facebook account — ‘Isko Moreno Domagoso.’