An official of the People Surge—an alliance of Yolanda survivors in Tacloban—has challenged President Benigno Aquino 3rd to live in a tent or in a bunkhouse and to eat porridge for the rest of the year for him to feel the grievances of the neglected survivors more than three months after Super Typhoon Yolanda ravaged Eastern Visayas.
Yolanda survivor and alliance executive vice chairman, Dr. Efleda Bautista, said Aquino seemed to have an insensi- tive and cruel disregard for Yolanda survivors.
Bautista’s remarks came after the President rejected their request for P40,000 cash assistance for each family of victims.
Aquino said 1.4 million families were affected by the monster typhoon and 918, 000 individuals who need assistance, which would require P56 billion if they were to give P40,000 to each of the families affected, he said.
Instead, Aquino said, the government has decided to distribute construction materials to those living in safe areas.
Bautista explained that the P40, 000 emergency cash assistance requested for each family was mainly intended to “tide over the majority who are peasants until they could recover their crops.”
She said the residents in Eastern Visayas only depend on agriculture and fisheries, which were heavily damaged by Yolanda.
“We want to emphasize that this is a big issue for the peasants who were left penniless by Yolanda, to make it clearer to an ‘haciendero’ president to grasp a matter of life and death for millions in Eastern Visayas,” Bautista lamented.
The group further noted that the Aquino administration was even more “calamitous” than the natural disasters that hit the country.
Next week, Aquino will re-visit Visayas and Mindanao to inspect the progress of rehabilitation efforts of the government amid criticisms of sluggish and ineffective response.
Bautista said that the President will be “warmly” welcomed by thousands of protesters against his failure to assist the Yolanda survivors.
She further reminded Aquino of the historical lesson of the 1986 EDSA uprising.
“We believe now the Filipino people have suffered long enough and it is time to save ourselves from the disastrous President Aquino,” Bautista warned.