A Catholic bishop on Monday said he was appalled by the government’s slow response to the needs of the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda who remain homeless and without jobs three months after the record cyclone struck.
Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez said other than the bunkhouses put up by the government and international groups, no clear project has been implemented to help the survivors rebuild their lives, especially in Samar.
Varquez, who frequently visits the victims, noted that the government has not yet provided any livelihood assistance to the Yolanda survivors.
“I have yet to see housing and livelihood projects being set up by government. I don’t know when they would start or if these projects are still in the planning stages,” he said.
On Monday, some Yolanda survivors marched to Malacañang to personally present their demand letter to President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Sr. Editha Estoper, People Search chairman, said Yolanda survivors want the government to continue its relief operations especially in far-flung areas, stop the no-build zone policy in Tacloban and give P40,000 cash assistance to each affected household.
Under the no-build zone policy, thousands of typhoon survivors in Tacloban City and some areas in Region 8 were not allowed to rebuild their houses 40 meters from the shoreline.
Estoper said the distribution of relief goods in Yolanda-hit areas had been affected by the “cold war” between some local and national officials.
“One hundred days after the super storm, we can feel the slowness of recovery perhaps because of the discord between the local and national governments and politicians in Tacloban,” she lamented.
Urban planner architect Felino Palafox has urged the national government to make a comprehensive study in housing thousands of Yolanda survivors.
Instead of declaring a no-build zone, Palafox said the government should construct a permanent housing with a sturdy basement.
Palafox said people should not be relocated to areas that are far from their source of income.
Caritas Manila executive director Fr. Anton Pascual said the Catholic Church will continue its recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-affected areas.
He noted that the Church has already provided P70 million for the recovery and rehabilitation program aside from P100 million for relief operations.