TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte: The Department of Social Welfare and Development on Thursday urged Yolanda survivors who are capable of working to look for jobs and stop depending on relief assistance.
“It is high time [for them]to stand up,” Eastern Visayas Regional Director Nestor Ramos, reacting to complaints from business groups on the difficulty of finding workers such as masons and carpenters because some typhoon survivors prefer to stay at home and wait for relief assistance from international non-government organizations (iNGOs).
“Our internally displaced persons [IDPs] are waiting for iNGOs to visit their residences because when they are not around they will not be given assistance. They will not go to work, they would rather wait for the relief,” he noted.
Nonetheless, Ramos said that relief distributions are still continuing but on a limited scale and directed only to families living in bunk houses, tent cities, vulnerable sectors and those who remain jobless.
The food assistance comes in twice a month with 25 kilos of rice per release.
“The initiative will continue until they would be able to find means for their livelihood,” said Ramos, adding that only DSWD distributes relief assistance now unlike before.
Recently, the Tsu Tzi Foundation augmented a 25-kilo sack of rice to targeted survivors.
“We are supposed to be in rehabilitation now. That is the pronouncement of the President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd. But we at the DSWD, even without the pronouncement of the President, are still embarking on selective relief distribution,” Ramos said.
He cited Aquino’s message during Monday’s State of the Nation Address telling the United Nations that “relief is no longer needed”.
Ramos explained that it is not only the survivors of Yolanda that are in need of relief.
He said the DSWD is also distributing relief goods to those affected by typhoon Glenda in Northern Samar last week.
Meanwhile, Ramos praised Aquino’s speech, saying “he doesn’t blame, he just reported on his achievements and what he has not achieve. I think that was so clear. The highlights he mentioned was the approval of the provincial rehabilitation plan that passed through scrutiny of the Cabinet secretaries. We hope by that pronouncement, we would be able to start rehabilitation immediately”.