• Aquino, resign – Yolanda victims

    10

    THOUSANDS of survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on Tuesday called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to step down as they deplored what they saw as his “insensitivity” to their plight.

    The call for the President’s resignation came almost a year after Yolanda, the most powerful typhoon to hit the country, devastated entire communities in Central Visayas.

    “Enough is enough—President Aquino must go,” Marissa Calbajao, spokesperson for the People Surge Alliance for Yolanda Survivors, said. The group, which claims to have about 20,000 members, said the President committed “grave injustice” to the typhoon victims because of the government’s imposition of a “no build zone” policy in coastal communities.

    Almost 7,000 people were killed and about 16 million people were affected when Yolanda hit land on November 8, 2013 in Visayas. Most of the people who died were swept by a storm surge that engulfed buildings and swept houses into the sea.

    People Surge said the government’s response to help the typhoon victims was not enough.

    “A full year of witnessing Aquino’s betrayal not only of Yolanda survivors, but of the Filipino people as a whole, through his anti-poor, anti-environment, pro-big business, and pro-foreign policies, tells us that there is no future for us and for the generations to come under the Aquino government,” Calbajao said.

    She lamented that the government’s negligence especially in the conduct of relief and rescue operations left thousands of typhoon victims suffering because of the break down in social services.

    “We have exhausted all means to demand for justice to Yolanda victims: we have sent letters and engaged in dialogues, reached out through media and even lobbied in Congress—to no avail. We have been ignored, deceived, mocked, maligned and repressed by President Aquino and his ilk,” Dr. Efleda Bautista, chairperson of People Surge, said.

    The group also lambasted the president for the government’s “anti-people, investment-led and debt-driven rehabilitation” that, it said, focused heavily on infrastructure “distributed among Aquino’s big business allies.”

    In a statement, the group claimed that the P20 billion rehabilitation supplemental budget this year and the P23.8 billion Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) allocations on disaster management were “plundered.”

    It also criticized the “deceptive ‘divide and conquer’ relief operations marked by empty promises of relief, conditional cash transfers, and other forms of aid being subjected to preconditions to prevent the people from participating in legitimate mass actions to redress grievances, as well as the perpetration of demolition tactics as part of the government’s beautification frenzy in time for Pope Francis’ visit.”

    Back to work
    But the Philippine Red Cross said thousands of families whose livelihood were devastated when the typhoon hit have returned to work.

    In a forum in Manila, Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon said almost 30,000 households have so far received cash grants of up to $220 as part of the Philippine Red Cross’s three-year $360-million recovery plan that aims to support 500,000 people across Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Panay and Palawan islands.

    Gordon said families have set up sari-sari stores, selling basic food needs, including live pigs, goats and chicken.

    “One year after Haiyan [Yolanda] robbed so many families of their income, we are seeing people return to work, including setting up new businesses,” he said. He noted that farming, rearing livestock and sari-sari stores are the top three livelihood that people enter into.

    Gordon said Red Cross built 6,081 houses, while 13,506 households received cash or materials for shelter repair assistance. Seven health facilities were either repaired or built and equipped, and 1,493 water systems were repaired or constructed.

    However, Gordon admitted that much more have yet to be accomplished because the devastation was so huge that it will take two more years to uplift the condition of 16 million people who were affected by the disaster.

    Red Cross Secretary-General Gwendolyn Pang said there are still humanitarian needs on the ground. She said they have yet to reach 400 barangays to help families there rebuild their lives.

    Red Cross, in a press conference attended also by International Federation of the Red Cross delegation in the Philippines head Marcel Fortier and International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in the Philippines head Pascal Mauchle, said aside from livelihood, victims need housing, medical services, water and toilets.

    Gordon admitted that people living in small islands have yet to receive the needed support because Red Cross volunteers have difficulty reaching them. He said they could not even ask help from the military since the areas are insurgency infested.

    He said some 500,000 people have yet to receive humanitarian assistance while 40,000 households who have yet to be relocated to safer homes.

    With Jaime R. Pilapil

    Share.
    loading...
    Loading...

    Please follow our commenting guidelines.

    10 Comments

    1. Whatever happened to the millions of dollars given by foreign countries like US and Canada. Sobra na ang pagnanakaw nitong administrasyon na ito…

    2. hahaha… look at the cash donations handle over the ABS-CBN almost billion cash of php, excluded the goods that said the TV station claims that all of it were belongs to itself inclusion of 400 ae fishing boats with their signature. Harap harapan na niloloko nila ang sambayanan pilipino. Ikaw pa ang mangaway ng isang international news caster oh!! hindi ba sikat sya ngayon.
      It is really shameful for AQUINO Government to the international donors for Yolanda victims that until now still there almost 3 days from now was already a year. malamang hindi nila alam kong pano nila kukurakutin kaya hindi sila basta basta naglalabas ng perang galing sa international donation. Ang perang donation na yan ay wala ng VAT at hindi na kayang pakialaman ng BIR para patawan ng buwisit. hahaha,..walang kahirap hirap si batman sa pera na yan! Ang mahirap dyan baka ipataw pa nila sa taong bayan ang pagpaparehab sa Yolanda devastation at ang perang donation ay nasa mabuting kamay na. It’ll be the worst thing to happen us mga kabayan.

    3. Pinoy is a very distant replica if compared to his father Ninoy and mother Cory. I value too much the principle and innerself of his parents. They were so very compassionate, and Ninoy is patriotic and nationalistic. I treasure his sacrifices for our country and the restoration of our democracy, although not to the fullest but somehow we enjoyed our freedom and rights. I can say that our country was deprived of a true leader, sincere and courageous in the name of Ninoy. Pinoy in the other hand is a complete reverse although that we are happy for effecting justice for the pork barrel that were lost but not complete. Other suspects were still not persecuted. I do not go for his resignation.

    4. For sure the Yolanda victims will give Pnoy a FAILING grade, no doubt.

      Papano, puro demolition job ng political enemies ang inuna.

    5. Elma M. Casimiro on

      The Yolanda typhoon devastation is one of the issues that PNoy has to address but not his priority. He should should be able to delegate this kind of problem to one of his “trusted” cabinet members.

      I wouldn’t call for his resignation.

    6. I can only give my help to Yolanda victims in supporting their actions. I am with you my brothers. No government should have acted like ours when you needed help.

    7. P. Akialamiro@yahoo.com on

      The resignation of Dinky “Balimbing” Soliman should also be demanded. Millions worth of foreign aids in kind were spoiled under her watch. Hindi bale, “buhay pa naman kayo, di ba?” May pag-asa pa, huwag na ninyong iboboto ang mga kandidatong nagmamagaling at mapag-kunwari na matulungin at ma-awain sa mga tao.

    8. For sure the Red Cross is expected to do it’s job, and one is not guessing, they are doing a great job. What is frustrating for the Yolanda victims is the fact that the government, who is supposed to be in the forefront of the rehabilitation is performing an anemic job in the rehab. I believe this is the biggest anomaly.

    9. Ang problema hindi kay Aquino. yung mga cabinet members nya mabagal kumilos like Mar Rexas, Stinky Soliman, etc. all, two years na had passed and yet those who helped the needy are the volunteers from different organizations here and abroad. Where are the moneys for the rehab. of those affected in calamities (Bilions of Pesos+Goods). Lacking here is the leadership of Pres. Aquino ang bagal magdecide. He has a lot of things to do. Kulang sa aksyon marami naman tumutulong. Pres. Aquino ONION skin approached regarding to his detractors. Impatient madaling MAIINIS. He should RESIGN.