Sara Political rivals in Surigao del Norte set aside party lines to welcome former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte (center) who delivered P1.5 million in cash aid and 3,000 sacks of rice for the calamity victims. At left are Rep. Ace Barbers and Rep.Bingo Matugas. Photo by VER NOVENO

BBM-SARA UniTeam vows aid to all Odette stricken areas sans politics surnames

December 30, 2021 People's Tonight 594 views

SIARGAO Island – THE BBM-Sara UniTeam on Wednesday assured that its Humanitarian and Relief Mission will deliver aid to local leaders regardless of their political affiliations with the hope of uniting them in the rehabilitation of areas badly hit by Super Typhoon Odette.

More than raising funds for the victims, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) President Martin G. Romualdez said the UniTeam has been exerting all efforts to raise hope in communities ravaged by the typhoon.

“We aim to unite all political leaders, regardless of their affiliation, to work together for the common task of rebuilding lives and communities,” Romualdez, House Majority Leader and Leyte’s 1st District representative, said.

“We have learned from the lessons of Yolanda. Surnames and political colors must take a backseat for the sake of our people. Hindi po importante kung ano ang apelyido mo o kung ano ang kulay mo. Ang mahalaga, ano ang maitutulong mo sa pagbangon. Hopefully, this message of unity and hope by the UniTeam resonates not only in calamity areas, but also in other areas of the country where political divide hinders economic growth and prosperity for our people,” Romualdez added.

The UniTeam Alliance led by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has intensified its Humanitarian and Relief
Mission to provinces badly hit by Super Typhoon Odette weeks ago as the team returned to Southern Leyte and Siargao Island Wednesday morning and visited Dumaguete City in the afternoon.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, who joined UniTeam’s relief mission in Southern Leyte, Siargao Island and Dumaguete City, lauded Marcos and Duterte for their strong message of unity.

“As our people cry for help, we have to unite and work together for the common good of everyone. We respond to the call of unity and cooperation of UniTeam to rebuild and rehabilitate areas devastated by Super Typhoon Odette,” Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs and stalwart of the Nacionalista Party (NP), said.

Romualdez said the BBM-Sara tandem has been doubling its efforts to help the typhoon victims, most of whom were left with nothing after the onslaught of Odette.

“Per instruction of Bongbong Marcos and Inday Sara, there will be no letup in our efforts to deliver aid to the needy in all provinces affected by Typhoon Odette. We will not only be providing relief, but also aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of these areas. Hindi po tayo titigil sa pagtulong. Asahan ninyo, kasama ninyo ang UniTeam sa pagbangon,” said Romualdez, caretaker of Southern Leyte following the appointment of former Rep. Roger Mercado as secretary of the Department of Public Works and highways (DPWH).


At 8:30 a.m., Marcos turned over to Southern Leyte Gov. Damian Mercado another P1 million in financial assistance, 2,000 sacks of rice, and 77 units of solar flashlight with charger at the Maasin City Airport.

UniTeam and Tingog Party-list also handed over to hard-hit San Ricardo town in Southern Leyte P500,000 in financial aid and 500 sacks of rice for typhoon victims through Mayor Roy Salinas.

Salinas was not able to attend the event at the Maasin City Airport due to bad weather condition in the province.

Last December 19, the UniTeam gave Mercado P2 million in financial help and P2.5 million worth of relief goods through the help of Tingog party-list.

Also at Maasin City Airport, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, President of a PDP-Laban faction, discussed with Marcos and Romualdez the restoration of power supply in Southern Leyte during a chance meeting.

Also with Cusi is Melvin Matibag, PDP-Laban secretary general.

At 10:30 a.m in Siargao Airport, Duterte turned over P1 million in financial aid and 1,000 sacks of rice to Barbers for the victims of Super Typhoon Odette.

In the same event, Marcos handed over to Gen. Luna, Siargao Mayor Cecilia L. Rusillon P500,000 in financial assistance and 2,000 sacks of rice for typhoon victims.

The UniTeam also donated one portable solar panel system and one water purifier system for the local leaders of Surigao del Norte.

Last December 20, the UniTeam turned over to Surigao del Norte Gov. Francisco Matugas and Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Jose II “Bingo” Matugas P2 million in financial assistance and 2,000 food packs worth P1 million, 3,000 bags of rice to be distributed in Surigao del Norte (2,000 bags) and Siargao Island (1,000 bags) at Dapa, Siargao Island.

Marcos and Duterte also visited Negros Oriental 1 p.m. Wednesday to send P2 million in financial help and 2,000 sacks of rice to reelectionist Gov. Roel Degamo at the provincial capitol in Dumaguete City.

At the same time, the camp of Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves through Bayawan City Mayor Pryde Henry Teves, who is running for governor, received P1 million in financial assistance and 1,000 sacks of rice from UniTeam at the Bacong gym in Bacong, Negros Oriental.

Like Barbers and Matugas families, Degamo and Teves are not political allies.

Barbers and Bingo Matugas both joined UniTeam’s event at Siargao Airport.

Barbers initiated a fist bump that Bingo Matugas gamely responded.

Former Surigao del Norte Gov. Lyndon Barbers is running for governor against the father of Bingo Matugas, incumbent Gov. Francisco Matugas.

Last December 19 and 20, the UniTeam provided cash assistance and other relief goods to eight provinces namely Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Masbate, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Southern Leyte, Butuan City in Agusan del Norte, Bohol and Cebu.

Within the two-day period, P15 million worth of financial assistance and P23.3 million worth of relief items were delivered to the calamity victims.

The UniTeam also delivered P1 million worth of construction materials for the repair of shattered houses and several thousands bags of rice intended for distribution to calamity victims.