The government’s relief efforts for the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda may be too late. As of this writing, thousands of victims have not received any help from the government despite the billions of pesos of aid from abroad and the tons of relief packs of the Social Welfare department.
I almost fell of my seat when I heard Pnoy denying the slow response of his administration when interviewed by CNN Anchorwoman Christian Amanpour. The President even bragged that had it not been for the preemptive evacuation and planning of the government, the casualties could have been unimaginable.
Really now, Mr. President? However, the issue here Mr. President is not the preparations but the seemingly slow delivery of aid despite the fact that you have been in the office for more than three years and several dozens of calamities have struck the country. The government has not learned anything from its lapses or failures in the past, particularly in relief distribution and security of devastated areas.
Even CNN’s Anderson Cooper noticed the ineptness of this administration in delivering the much needed food and water to the multitude affected by the devastation. Cooper, who has been covering the aftermath of storms in third world countries, could not believe what he saw in Tacloban.
With all the resources of the government, such as aircraft, sea vessels, hundreds of vehicles and earth moving equipment, including thousands of police and military personnel, the much awaited relief goods of the Social Welfare office have not reached the hungry victims, bury the hundreds of dead bodies, or restore peace and order in typhoon-hit areas.
Instead of taking the criticism constructively, several Cabinet members were irked by Cooper’s observation, saying he does not know a lot of things about the country especially when it comes to the limited resources of the government.
While it is true that this administration is quick in running after corrupt officials, it is as inutile in helping its citizenry in need. This should be the shining moment of the Pnoy administration, however, it looks like this may be its biggest blunder or failure so far.
Let’s just hope that those who picked Pnoy to lead this nation did not waste their votes. Or did they?
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As me and my news team left Tacloban City last Saturday en route for Cebu, hundreds of typhoon victims in the area entrusted me with one plea, knowing I will broadcast their appeal when I get back to Manila.
Their message was clear and simple: food, water, and dry clothing as soon as possible.
The nation was moved after seeing videos of men, women, and children crying for food and water with their devastated homes as the backdrop while hundreds of corpses littered the streets not only in Tacloban City but in other parts of the province as well.
Thus, by Sunday morning, private corporations, individuals, and non-profit organizations, including the Alagang Kapatid Foundation of TV5 and the One Meralco Foundation, started raising funds for the victims.
By Monday morning, tons of relief goods were brought to the warehouses of various foundations and drop off centers in Metro Manila and other provinces. Hundreds of individuals volunteered to help pack these relief goods.
From the people in Tacloban who entrusted me with their plea when I left, their sincerest thanks to those who listened to their call for help and shared what they have for them.
“Maraming, maraming salamat daw po.”