DENR Sec. Paje cites two DENR personnel for typhoon Yolanda aid

Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has cited Bicol Regional Director Gilbert C. Gonzales for having dispatched a relief operation for typhoon Yolanda victims, together with its team leader, Gemma Lavilla, through Award of Commendation handed during the agency’s 27th founding anniversary in Quezon City.

DENR Bicol was considered the first regional field office outside Region VIII to organize a team that reached Tacloban City and immediately undertook relief distribution to the affected personnel of the typhoon-ravaged region. Forester Gemma Lavilla, a native of Tacloban, Leyte, helped secure aid against pilferages, set up relief operation and upon instruction of RD Gonzales, coordinated with active government units of Eastern Visayas, including the National Bureau of Investigation where the team took refuge as they negotiated human corpse-strewn roads two days after the typhoon.

RD Gonzales who felt humbled by the award especially on what Secretary Paje considers “acts of courage and bravery” said he does not expect the award.  “What prompted me was the instinct to make life easier for our neighbor-region in the Visayas”, he said.  

Amidst life-threatening situations, DENR Bicol reached Tacloban personnel.  They received relief, their predicament documented, and relayed to DENR Central Office, paving the way for increased assistance and resumption of service delivery in the region.

Press Release