TYPHOON DEATH TOLL CONTINUES TO RISE AS MORE BODIES RECOVERED EVERYDAY

DECEMBER 12 - Twenty-three more bodies were recovered yesterday as the death toll from Typhoon Yolanda rose to 5,959. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 27,022 people were injured while 1,779 remain missing. NDRRMC executive director Eduardo del Rosario said while the number of fatalities was increasing daily, the number of affected families declined to 2,581,677 or 12,191,201 individuals as of yesterday. The displaced families are now staying in 386 evacuation centers set up by the government and non-government organizations involved in humanitarian operations in the Visayas region. Damage to infrastructure and agriculture in parts of Mindanao, Central, Eastern, Western Visayas, parts of Bicol and Southern Tagalog, has been placed at P35.5 billion. Yolanda also destroyed or damaged 1,192,091 houses from these areas, the NDRRMC said.

ALSO:  Typhoon aid all accounted for, says DSWD chief

DECEMBER 12-  Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman gave assurance that donations for Typhoon Yolanda survivors are all accounted for and that her agency is helping victims without political considerations. “The DSWD has not received any food aid from the government of the United Kingdom, nor has it received food donations from any group or organization from the country,” Soliman said. Citing DSWD’s records, Soliman said that donations from the UK that entered the country were non-food items such as shelter box, communications equipment, solar lights and blankets. These were all consigned to non-government organizations and United Nations agencies. The only items that were consigned to the DSWD were 504 tents which arrived in Manila on Nov. 25 and another 576 tents and 224 shelter boxes which arrived on Nov. 13.

ALSO: UN Sec Gen Ban Ki-moon arriving Dec. 21

DECEMBER 15 -United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will arrive in the country on Dec. 21 to see for himself the extent of the damage of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Visayas region. Ban will visit the hardest-hit city of Tacloban, bringing with him the pledge of donations for the UN fund in the amount of $404.6 million (P17.803 billion).The UN official had made an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. “The most vulnerable people on earth depend on your support to enable this work to continue,” Ban said in his opening remarks at the High-level Conference for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). “That is why I ask that you give as much as possible to this important fund. These are uncertain economic times for many, but I urge you to give generously and to give early, so CERF can help as many people as possible in 2014,” he said.


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Typhoon death toll continues to rise as 23 more bodies recovered



TACLOBAN, DECEMBER 16, 2013
(PHILSTAR) By Jaime Laude - Twenty-three more bodies were recovered yesterday as the death toll from Typhoon Yolanda rose to 5,959.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 27,022 people were injured while 1,779 remain missing.

NDRRMC executive director Eduardo del Rosario said while the number of fatalities was increasing daily, the number of affected families declined to 2,581,677 or 12,191,201 individuals as of yesterday.

The displaced families are now staying in 386 evacuation centers set up by the government and non-government organizations involved in humanitarian operations in the Visayas region.

Damage to infrastructure and agriculture in parts of Mindanao, Central, Eastern, Western Visayas, parts of Bicol and Southern Tagalog, has been placed at P35.5 billion.

Yolanda also destroyed or damaged 1,192,091 houses from these areas, the NDRRMC said.

Cost of government and non-government assistance to typhoon survivors has gone up to P1.06 billion from P1.04 billion the other day.

The NDRRMC said the Department of Social Welfare and Development is ending its food distribution operations to evacuees this month.

Government help for evacuees next year would be in the form of food-for-work program, a scheme that would give jobs to displaced residents in devastated communities.

Typhoon aid all accounted for, says DSWD chief By Jaime Laude and Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 12, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman gave assurance that donations for Typhoon Yolanda survivors are all accounted for and that her agency is helping victims without political considerations.

In a press briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City yesterday, Soliman said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is doing its best to help Yolanda survivors without any political undertones.

She was reacting to the reported bickering between Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez in the aftermath of the monster storm.

Roxas and Romualdez have been blaming each other for the government’s alleged failure to respond quickly to the needs of Yolanda survivors in Tacloban City, where thousands of residents perished at the height of the typhoon.

Soliman also belied reports that food donations from the United Kingdom intended for Yolanda survivors were diverted.

“The DSWD has not received any food aid from the government of the United Kingdom, nor has it received food donations from any group or organization from the country,” Soliman said.

Citing DSWD’s records, Soliman said that donations from the UK that entered the country were non-food items such as shelter box, communications equipment, solar lights and blankets. These were all consigned to non-government organizations and United Nations agencies.

The only items that were consigned to the DSWD were 504 tents which arrived in Manila on Nov. 25 and another 576 tents and 224 shelter boxes which arrived on Nov. 13.

Earlier, a television station also reported that MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) issued to United States servicemen deployed in the Philippines were being sold in a Makati supermarket. It turned out later that the MREs were not food donations for the typhoon survivors.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that these MREs were being sold at Cash and Carry supermarket in Makati City and in Dau, Pampanga long before Yolanda hit the country.

The DSWD has also maintained that their relief food distribution has reached even the most remote communities in Eastern Visayas affected by Yolanda, following allegations that food donations did not reach barangays and are just locked up in warehouses.

In a statement, the DSWD said that coordination with the Philippine Air Force has allowed the air transport of food packs to communities in island barangays and mountain areas.

The DSWD also said that it is regularly monitoring the movement of relief items, and that it has set up a text hotline (0920-9463766) that is open for appeals for assistance or complaints.

Training on carpentry

Meanwhile, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) yesterday said that the agency would provide training to 2,500 Yolanda victims in Samar and Leyte in the next three months.

TESDA chief Joel Villanueva said the typhoon victims would undergo a crash course on basic carpentry and house wiring to enable them to help in reconstruction work in their communities.

The training will be for 15 days, covering short sessions on the principles of carpentry, basic electrical repairs and hands-on application supervised by trainers.

The trainees can take a competency assessment test after the training to be a certified TESDA graduate.

“Aside from having the knowledge and skills to build their homes, the graduates can also be employed in the construction projects of the local government units, the National Housing Authority and the Department of Public Works and Highways. They can also be self-employed,” Villanueva added.

TESDA Eastern Visayas regional director Cleta Omega said the training has started with 300 beneficiaries in 15 sites in the region, including six sites in Tacloban City and four sites in Palo, Leyte and four sites in Eastern Samar and one site in Basey in Samar.

In Bantayan, Cebu, TESDA also has an ongoing training on construction with 200 beneficiaries. – With Mayen Jaymalin

Ban Ki-moon arriving Dec. 21 By Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 15, 2013 - 12:00am 3 73 googleplus0 1


Photo by SANDRO CAMPARDO/AP

MANILA, Philippines - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will arrive in the country on Dec. 21 to see for himself the extent of the damage of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in the Visayas region.

Ban will visit the hardest-hit city of Tacloban, bringing with him the pledge of donations for the UN fund in the amount of $404.6 million (P17.803 billion).

The UN official had made an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid for the typhoon victims in the Philippines.

“The most vulnerable people on earth depend on your support to enable this work to continue,” Ban said in his opening remarks at the High-level Conference for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

“That is why I ask that you give as much as possible to this important fund. These are uncertain economic times for many, but I urge you to give generously and to give early, so CERF can help as many people as possible in 2014,” he said.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Louisa Carvalho also stressed the need for continued aid for the typhoon victims in the Visayas.

Carvalho cited the need for support to people wanting to rebuild their homes. She noted the efforts of many people in the hard-hit areas looking for rebuilding materials.

Carvalho went on a donor mission tour of the Yolanda-ravaged areas in Eastern Visayas with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Soliman.

The donor mission included representatives of the embassies of Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and representatives of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation.

The mission group went in and around Tacloban City, made a visit to the Palo Central School, the DSWD operations center for Eastern Visayas region, the logistics hub for aid flowing into the area, and Barangay 88, a community where 1,000 people was said to have perished.

In Guiuan, the delegation saw emergency shelter for families whose homes were wiped out by the monster typhoon and the powerful storm surge it brought.

In Ormoc City, the mission saw several people clearing debris from a schoolyard, with the crew members being Yolanda survivors, and getting paid by the government under the cash-for-work scheme.

Soliman, for her part, said the DSWD would cease the distribution of food packs to the survivors and instead get them employed under the government’s food-for-work scheme.

On the other hand, the number of casualties from the typhoon has further increased, with 24 more bodies retrieved yesterday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Council (NDRRMC) said the death toll has increased to 6,033.

The NDRRMC, however, did not include the 24 bodies recovered.

NDRRMC executive director Eduardo del Rosario said majority of the casualties were from Eastern Visayas with 5,679 deaths (5,184 in Leyte; 265 in Eastern Samar; 224 in Samar; and six in Biliran). Close to 5,000 bodies remain unidentified.

The NDRRMC said the number of missing people remained at 1,779 with 1,671 in Leyte; 38 in Samar; 24 in Palawan; 20 in Eastern Samar; 15 in Antique; five in Cebu; four in Iloilo; and one each in Guimaras and Capiz.

At least 27,468 were injured while 3,423,501 families or 16,074,392 people were badly affected.

The cost of damage increased to P35,547,986,330.67 with P18,226,835,334.29 in infrastructure and P17,321,150,996.38 in agricultural products.

At least P1,095,137,479.67 worth of relief assistance has been provided to the affected families by the DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), local government units, and non-government organizations.

Foreign countries, including Japan and Italy, are still providing humanitarian assistance to the storm survivors. – Jaime Laude, Jose Rodel Clapano, Marvin Sy


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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