November 8 to be declared holiday in Eastern Visayas, ’Yolanda Resiliency Day’


The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading House Bill 6591 declaring November 8 of every year a special non-working holiday in the Eastern Visayas region.

The day will also be known as “Typhoon Yolanda Resiliency Day” to commemorate the massive destruction caused by Supertyphoon Yolanda or Haiyan in the Visayas region.

Principally authored by Leyte first-district Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, the bill “honors all those who perished” in the tragedy.

“It is also intended as a salute to the resiliency and selflessness of volunteers and organizations that took part and contributed to the recovery and rehabilitation of all communities affected by Typhoon Yolanda,” according to the measure.

Covered by the declaration is the Eastern Visayas region which is composed of the highly urbanized City of Tacloban, and the provinces of Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Northern Samar, Western Samar and Eastern Samar.

For the last three years, these areas, through a local executive order, have been observing an annual commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda.

The storm surge precipitated by Typhoon Yolanda claimed thousands of lives and wrought massive destruction to private and public properties. An estimated 12.2 million people (2.6 million families) were reported to have been affected by the disaster, with more than 90 percent coming from the Visayas Region.

As of December 12, 2013, there were 5,982 reported fatalities, more than 80 percent of whom were from the three Leyte towns of Palo, Tacloban and Tanauan. Moreover, 27,022 people were reported injured, with 1,799 persons still missing.

The total damage and property loss from Typhoon Yolanda was initially estimated at P571.1 billion (equivalent to US$12.9 billion). A total of 1,192,091 houses were reported damaged, of which 593,785 incurred more than 50 percent damage, leaving tens of thousands of internally displaced individuals.