President Benigno ‘Noynoy' Aquino III has officially declared Wednesday, October 15, 2014 as a special non-working day in the province of Bohol through Presidential Proclamation No. 887 that was approved on October 9 through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. It recognized the significance of the first year anniversary of the Bohol earthquake which struck the province in 2013, causing loss of lives, destruction of properties and economic decline. The proclamation also supports the wish of the Province of Bohol to commemorate the earthquake anniversary as a day of prayer and thanksgiving. Gov. Edgar Chatto and the entire Sangguniang Panlalawigan had earlier passed a resolution to President Aquino to declare October 15 as a special non-working holiday in Bohol. The mass motion was formally passed by Board Member Cesar Tomas Lopez in a special session on September 17.
Activities have been lined up for Oktubre Kinse: The Bohol Earthquake Memorial by the Executive Committee formed through an executive order of the governor. The committee is composed of the Provincial Government, the City Government of Tagbilaran, and the Dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon. It can be recalled that on October 15, 2013 a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Bohol at 8:12 a.m. The quake was felt in the whole Visayas area and as far as Masbate island in the north and Cotabato provinces in southern Mindanao. It affected the whole Central Visayas region, particularly Bohol and Cebu. According to official reports by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 222 were reported dead, 8 were missing, and 976 people were injured. In all, more than 73,000 structures were damaged, of which more than 14,500 were totally destroyed. It was the deadliest earthquake in the Philippines in 23 years. (BY ELVIRA C. BONGOSI Ambcn/ecb/PIA7-Bohol)