This year, in celebration of Georgian Independence Day on May 26 and to honor Georgian-Filipino Friendship, the Consulate of Georgia in the Philippines (NL) led by Consul (a.h.) Thelmo Cunanan Jr., in cooperation with its partner-stakeholders, is donating relief goods and light construction equipment to the town of Palompon, Leyte. The project is an initiative of the Consulate’s Educational Cooperation Programs Director Norman Camungol.
Palompon was severely damaged during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which pummelled the Visayas Region in the central Philippines last November 2013. Though the town suffered relatively few casualties due to the disaster management planning of local government authorities led by Mayor Ramon Onate and Vice Mayor Georgina Arevalo, numerous structures were destroyed, including the general hospital, municipal buildings, schools, and other public infrastructure.
The donation came primarily from Consul Cunanan and his colleagues and friends of Georgia. There was also the special contribution of assorted power tools and other high-quality construction gear, from the people of Kent County in the United Kingdom, led by Mr. James Colwell, another close friend of Consul Cunanan and Director Camungol.
On May 22, Consul Cunanan and Director Camungol, joined by Dr. Rodrigo Ong, the medical director of Rescue 926, and Public Relations Director Melissa Dizon, inspected the equipment and supplies, which recently arrived from the UK. The shipment was addressed to the Consulate’s satellite office in Metro Manila.
Dr. Ong and his colleagues will supervise the shipment of the equipment to Cebu City and onward to Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, and finally to Palompon. Consul Cunanan and Director Camungol will then formally turn over the donation to Mayor Onate and Vice Mayor Arevalo in June.
In November 2013, immediately after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck, Consul Cunanan, Director Camungol, and Dr. Ong were instrumental in the deployment of 40 doctors, nurses, and emergency medical personnel, including ten tons of supplies, to Palompon. The joint medical team spent over a month in the area, conducting numerous medical missions and providing assistance to local communities. The Georgian Consulate’s officials worked closely with the Philippine Coast Guard, under Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena.