‘Two years later, we still have Yutu in the brain’

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Posted on Jan 30 2020
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Two years after Super Typhoon Yutu hit the CNMI, recovery remains a priority, particularly in the south part of Saipan, where many families are still living in tents as homes await repair and reconstruction, and schools, such as Hopwood Middle School, have yet to revert to normality, according to Rep. Luis John Castro (R-Saipan).

“Even though it’s been two years, we still have Yutu in the brain,” he said, adding that many legislators are working their hardest to provide assistance to their constituents who are still in need.

“There’s a lot of issues that we deal with,” he said. “A lot of times, my staff has been looking at how our constituents have been helped out, because even though it’s been two years since Yutu, there’s still that little stone there, [in terms of] individual assistance.”

Up until the present, Castro’s office has been helping individuals in processing Federal Emergency Management Agency applications, among others.

“Fortunately, our staff has been very knowledgeable in these matters, not just because of Yutu, but also [Ttyphoon] Soudelor as well. It’s helping them with trying to get all the necessary documents, because sometimes our constituents turn everything in but [get] turned down because [they] miss [certain] documents,” Castro added.

Aside from assisting in applications, beautification projects are also being lined up. “In every which way, shape or form, our office has been undertaking some improvement efforts or has played a big role in assisting our other colleagues in those efforts as well. Whether it be cleaning up barriers that have turn into eyesores.”

The legislator added that his office helped clean up whatever the relief workers did not get a chance to clean up at Hopwood.

Our office took a very big step in making sure that, at least until something a little bit more firm was in place, we try our best to give them a hand. We keep in contact with the administration of Hopwood as well as the other schools that have a request for assistance in that category.”

Assistance has also been extended to other schools, such as Saipan Southern High School and Francisco M. Sablan Middle School, both having had their fair share of damage from the super typhoon. Bus shelters are also being refurbished. The legislator’s office has worked with Guam Sen. Wil Castro, to get assistance, through relief supplies, to those who are still in recovery mode, not just the previous year, but also through the holidays.

Castro wants to assure his constituents that he remains committed to helping them.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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