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November 8 a special non-working day in Tacloban City

In this Nov. 8, 2016 photo, families light candles and offer prayers for victims of Yolanda in Fatima Village, Tacloban City. EDD GUMBAN, File

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has declared Wednesday, November 8, 2017, a special non-working day in Tacloban, the central Philippine city worst-hit by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), to commemorate the lives lost in the disaster four years ago.

The Palace made the declaration via Proclamation No. 348 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on November 7.

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Tacloban be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” Medialdea said.

In 2013, typhoon Yolanda, the strongest storm to make landfall, flattened Tacloban with its 250 khp winds and seven-meter high storm surge, destroying around 90 percent of the city in Leyte province and leaving more than 6,000 people dead.

The rehabilitation of the affected communities has been slow and the past administration was widely criticized for its perceived inefficiency.

Four years since Yolanda devastated the country, many are still homeless and are in temporary evacuation sites.

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In a statement, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, while listing down the efforts of the Duterte administration in the rehabilitation of Yolanda-affected communities, urged the public to "offer prayers to those who lost their lives.”

“We also keep in mind the lessons learned brought by such great tragedy. Yolanda is a story of faith and hope that characterizes our people as it is an account of tapang at malasakit that we must demand from our leaders,” Roque said.

“As we move forward, we must continue to stand united and exhibit the strong and resilient Filipino spirit as we build a better nation where there is comfortable life for all,” he added.

Last August, President Rodrigo Duterte created an inter-agency task force that would implement and monitor the government’s rehabilitation program for areas and individuals affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

READ: Duterte creates task force to monitor Yolanda rehabilitation

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