“Boljoon is a postcard town. We will help it get back on its feet,” said Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday after viewing the damage in the southern town, one of four badly hit by typhoon “Pablo”.
She looked at the town’s wrecked seawall, where a landscaped baywalk near the municipal hall was battered by strong waves.
Garcia said the Capitol will help restore Boljoon’s Wi-Fi plaza within three months.
Damage there was placed at P6 million along with another P4 million for 20 houses destroyed in sitio Talisay, barangay Poblacion.
Boljoon Mayor Teresita Celis said there were 18 families left homeless by the storm, which had southern Cebu placed storm signal No. 3 when typhoon Pablo blew across Cebu on Dec. 4.
The initial estimate of infrastructure damage was placed at P14 million by Enr. Esmeraldo Getubic, the municipal assessor who heads the town’s disaster risk reduction and management council.
A state of calamity was declared by the Boljoon municipal council.
Vice Mayor Merlou Derama said all 11 barangays were badly hit by the typhoon. A private beach resort whose seven cottages were destroyed, suffered P1-million in damage. The riprap of another resort and about 80 motorboats and pumpboats were also destroyed with a value of P3 million.
Mayor Celis convened the disaster council the day before the storm to prepare for it.
Policemen and engineering crews were deployed. All heavy equipment were on standby.
Still, the magnitude of the damage took them by surprise.
“We were not expecting this to happen… This is the first time it happened,” she said.
Celis said past super typhoons like ‘Ruping’ in 1990 and and ‘Nitang’ in 1984 didn’t cause this much damage.
In the coastal barangay of Talisay, 18 houses were destroyed while 27 were damaged.
A day after the typhoon, affected residents sought Celis’s permission to rebuild their homes but the mayor wants to offer them lots in the mountain barangays as a safer alternative.
Celis said she will present this proposal in a meeting with residents next week.
For now, evacuees are staying at the Bojoon church. The municipal government is providing food.
Governor Garcia together with reporters also visited the southeast towns of Samboan, Santander and Oslob where she distributed relief goods.
Families whose members died received P5,000 as financial assistance along with burial aid.
Garcia said she would return to these towns on Dec. 13 to distribute more aid.
Electric power was slowly restored in Oslob town which is celebrating its town fiesta.
Whale shark watching was temporarily closed for tourists for two days. due to the storm.
In Samboan town, Governor Garcia pledged to replace the roof of Samboan town’s sports complex where portions were ripped off by the wind.
Samboan Mayor Raymund Calderon provided housing materials. The governor said the Capitol will send more materials next week.
In Santander town, Mayor Marilyn Wenceslao also received assistance from the Capitol like rice and canned sardines.
The mayor of Santander and Samboan are aligned with the opposition Liberal Party after leaving the Once Cebu Party of Garcia a few months ago.
Nevertheless, both Wenceslao and Calderon thanked the governor for the Capitol’s assistance. /Carmel Loise Matus and Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondents