Camotes Islands Hit Hard by Typhoon Haiyan; Relatives Appeal for Help

November 14, 2013 Updated: November 14, 2013

The Camotes Islands were among the areas in the Philippines that were hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan and need help recovering.

Like many of the areas hit, there isn’t much information about what happened on the Camotes–a group of islands made up of Poro Island, Pacijan Island, Ponson Island, and Tulang Island.

The Cebu Provincial Government said that it is still waiting for reports from social workers on the islands.

But Goring Clement Borromeo said via Facebook that she has received texts from relatives that are on the islands.

“They are starving, homes partially or completely destroyed, no power, no water, no boats, no stores,” she said. “PLEASE HELP CAMOTES.”

Likewise, Rhea Castaritas appealed for help for residents of the island, saying that her aunts and uncles are visiting the island this week to bring sacks of rice and canned goods.

“Pilar Camotes Island, Cebu is a small island in between Ormoc and Cebu City. All the towns in this island have been affected by typhoon Yolanda,” she said via Facebook. “They lost their homes, crops, livelihood and has not received relief goods since the typhoon struck. A few people from Manila was able to visit their relatives this week to bring food and financial assistance but many have no relatives and are desperately asking for help.”

More than 50 beach and dive resorts in Cebu province’s northern islands of Bantayan, Camotes, and Malapascua were destroyed by Haiyan, Rowena Montecillo, the tourism regional director, told the Malay Mail. “The storm destruction has affected so many families and tourism businesses,” Montecillo said. 

To help speed the recovery of these tourist hot spots, several organizations and government agencies are in discussions to come up with a master plan, Cenelyn Manguilimotan, newly-appointed Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu, told the Cebu Daily News.

“These are popular dive sites in Cebu and we can’t just wait and see where they go with recovering from this devastation. Bantayan Island is known for its fine white sand and has been compared to Boracay. Malapascua is a diving capital and personally I always go diving there while Camotes Island is known as an iconic island of Cebu which still has a lot of potential for growth,” said Manguilimotan.

Among the ideas are a “tourism sale” where all stakeholders, including tour operators and airlines, will offer discounted packages.

The master plan will also take on the act of speedy recovery to re-start tourism quickly.

“Before the typhoon, we had plans for Bohol already and had met several times with tour operators for packages that will highlight Bohol again. With this, we have to plan again to promote Bantayan, Malapascua and Camotes island,” she said.


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