U.N. ASKS FOR MORE ASSISTANCE FOR PHL TYPHOON SURVIVORS

As the Philippines marks tomorrow the 100 days of Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), which ravaged the country on Nov. 8, the United Nations (UN) called today for more support to rebuild the lives of millions of victims in the devastated areas. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines Luiza Carvalho, in a statement, said that millions of Filipinos still require urgent assistance to rebuild their lives and livelihood and ensure that the gains made thus far are not rolled back as devastated communities begin the difficult process of recovery. As she commended those who have already helped the typhoon victims, the UN official said that they could not afford to be complacent. "The need for durable shelter for millions of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed is critical. Millions of livelihoods were similarly destroyed or impaired when the typhoon tore down or damaged 33 million coconut trees, flooded fields with salt water and took away or wrecked 30,000 fishing vessels," she said.

ALSO: Ping: Yolanda rehab efforts to start locally

The government will not wait for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to finish its needs assessment in typhoon-hit areas and will instead start the rehabilitation effort locally. Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson said he was informed that the NDRRMC’s needs assessment would be completed by the end of March. But Lacson said he told President Aquino in a Cabinet meeting that the typhoon victims “cannot wait that long because they are suffering.” “What we did in PARR (Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery) was bottom up. Instead of waiting for the national, we went down to the local government unit and if they prepared a damage assessment, if they have a ready rehabilitation plan, we will use them, of course with proper consultation with national agencies,” Lacson said in a chance interview yesterday. He also said the ground-breaking ceremonies for new housing units, schools and buildings would start next week. Today marks the 100th day since Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated parts of the Visayas and left more than 6,200 people dead and over P36 billion worth of property damaged. Lacson admitted that only less than 10 percent of the rehabilitation effort has been completed but he said the coordination is continuous.

ALSO: Tacloban hobbles on road to recovery

Geraldine Glory, who is in full pregnancy, is having mixed emotions. She is excited to give birth to her second child but has not prepared anything for it. She also worries about the future of her growing family. Glory and her common-law husband, Kycian de Dios, live in a tent with her 3-year-old daughter at Tacloban Convention Center and rely on relief items being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Their house was among the thousands destroyed when storm surges spawned by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” leveled every structure in its path. Both in their 20s, the couple want to rebuild their house in San Jose District in Tacloban City in Leyte province but cannot do so because its distance of within 6 meters from the shoreline has been declared a no-build zone. De Dios could not return to his old job as a driver. He lost his motorcycle to floodwaters spawned by the typhoon. “We have not prepared anything for our second baby—no baby clothes, no diapers. Living in this tent is a daily reminder that we don’t live a normal life,”ť Glory said. Their plight reflects the current condition of many residents of Tacloban, which is considered ground zero after a wall of seawater reaching as high as 6 meters crashed into structures on Nov. 8 last year. At least 2,600 people were killed while a thousand more were missing. Three months after the devastation, Tacloban is still hobbling toward recovery.

ALSO: 100 days after ‘Yolanda,’ Capiz moves on

ROXAS CITY—Traffic stood still in this sleepy city on the eve of Valentine’s Day. Capizeńos came in droves to the province’s first complete and most modern shopping mall when it opened on Feb. 13, almost 100 days after Capiz province was hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” As a result, traffic was heavy in the roads leading to Robinsons Place Roxas located at the 300-hectare Pueblo de Panay commercial and residential complex here. The mall’s opening gave Capizeńos hope that the province would rise from the devastation and the economy of Capiz and northern Panay would be vibrant again. “This shows that we continue to move on and that we are optimistic of our economic development even as we rehabilitate Capiz,” Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco said. Capiz was brought to its knees after it was hit by strong winds and storm surges brought by the supertyphoon. At least 156,074 families, or 703,566 persons, were affected after strong winds destroyed 83,718 houses and damaged 76,835 others. Damage to infrastructure was pegged at P4.272 billion; agriculture, P3.83 billion, and fisheries, P759 million. Power has not been fully restored three months after Yolanda, especially in far-flung and hinterland villages.

ALSO: 100 days of nightmare in Leyte, Eastern Samar

Survivors: Plight made worse by criminal neglect. ONE hundred days after super typhoon Yolanda flattened Leyte and Eastern Samar, some 12,000 survivors from remote areas in these two provinces slammed the Aquino administration for its “criminal neglect” of their plight. In a weekly forum at Annabel’s in Quezon City, Sister Edita Eslopor, a Benedictine nun and leader of People Surge, expressed disappointment over the government’s negligence to look after the welfare of the other typhoon victims. “After 100 days, we at the remote parts of the Eastern Visayas have not felt any hope of recovery. Rehabilitation and relief assistance are just focused on the cities of Leyte and Eastern Samar, and not on far-flung towns also heavily damaged by Yolanda,” said Eslopor. She added that her group will press President Benigno Aquino III to meet their demands with a People Surge march on Feb. 17, 10 a.m., which will start at the Morayta area towards Malacanang where they would submit a petition to him and ask him to provide the victims with immediate financial assistance. In Congress, Representatives Luz Ilagan of Gabriela and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna of the Makabayan Bloc; and Jonathan dela Cruz of Abakada party-list of the House Independent Minority Bloc, lamented the continuing government inaction towards the typhoon victims, even as reports of looting persisted. Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon also filed House Resolution 815 to call for an in-depth review and assessment of the government’s rehabilitation plan as today (February 16) marks the 100th day since Super Typhoon Yolanda struck.


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UN asks for more assistance for Phl typhoon survivors

MANILA, FEBRUARY 17, 2014 (PHILSTAR) As the Philippines marks tomorrow the 100 days of Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), which ravaged the country on Nov. 8, the United Nations (UN) called today for more support to rebuild the lives of millions of victims in the devastated areas.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Philippines Luiza Carvalho, in a statement, said that millions of Filipinos still require urgent assistance to rebuild their lives and livelihood and ensure that the gains made thus far are not rolled back as devastated communities begin the difficult process of recovery.

As she commended those who have already helped the typhoon victims, the UN official said that they could not afford to be complacent.

"The need for durable shelter for millions of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed is critical. Millions of livelihoods were similarly destroyed or impaired when the typhoon tore down or damaged 33 million coconut trees, flooded fields with salt water and took away or wrecked 30,000 fishing vessels," she said.

The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) for the Philippines is now prioritizing programming for shelter and livelihoods, while continuing to assist the most vulnerable people with life-saving assistance and protection services, Carvalho said.

She said the support for the Philippine government's early recovery efforts was foreseen in the HCT's Strategic Response Plan (SRP), which covers the 12 months following the typhoon.

Of the $788 million required for the SRP, 45 percent has been received, she added.

The typhoon affected 14 million people and destroyed or severely damaged more than a million homes in the Philippines. It also left at least 6,200 people dead and more than 1,700 missing.

Ping: Yolanda rehab efforts to start locally By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 16, 2014 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0

FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City, Philippines – The government will not wait for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to finish its needs assessment in typhoon-hit areas and will instead start the rehabilitation effort locally.

Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson (photo) said he was informed that the NDRRMC’s needs assessment would be completed by the end of March.

But Lacson said he told President Aquino in a Cabinet meeting that the typhoon victims “cannot wait that long because they are suffering.”

“What we did in PARR (Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery) was bottom up. Instead of waiting for the national, we went down to the local government unit and if they prepared a damage assessment, if they have a ready rehabilitation plan, we will use them, of course with proper consultation with national agencies,” Lacson said in a chance interview yesterday.

He also said the ground-breaking ceremonies for new housing units, schools and buildings would start next week.

Today marks the 100th day since Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated parts of the Visayas and left more than 6,200 people dead and over P36 billion worth of property damaged.

Lacson admitted that only less than 10 percent of the rehabilitation effort has been completed but he said the coordination is continuous.

“The coordination is massive and once it starts, it will be continuous and it will be fast. You will be surprised,” he said. “If the full implementation (of the rehabilitation effort) starts, it will sprout like mushrooms.”

‘Powerhouse multi-donor fund’

Lacson said his office is guiding private groups involved in reconstruction activities on government building standards.

He also bared that a private multi-donor fund that would support rehabilitation and recovery measures may be launched within two weeks.

“The multi-donor fund is private and it will be a powerhouse… I think the donations that will come in will be huge,” he said.

Foreign governments have pledged P23 billion in assistance but so far only P700 million has been delivered.

“The gap between the pledges and the delivered amount is huge. It’s our job to follow-up on the pledges,” Lacson said.

The National Economic and Development Authority said the recovery and reconstruction activities in typhoon-struck areas would require P361 billion in investments.

The estimated total investment requirements for recovery and reconstruction would cover shelter and resettlement (P183.3 billion), public infrastructure (P28.4 billion), education and health services (P37.4 billion), agriculture (P18.7 billion), industry and services (P70.6 billion), local government (P4 billion), and social protection (P18.4 billion).

Palace: Gov’t help won’t stop

Amid these difficulties in rehabilitation efforts, Malacańang reassured Yolanda survivors that they would continue to get help from the government.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the national government agencies continued to push for what “needs to be done” in areas hit by the super typhoon.

Valte also maintained that the government has not forgotten the residents affected by the Zamboanga City siege last September, following reports that many residents had died while staying in evacuation centers.

She said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is coordinating with the Department of Health “to increase the number of health workers in evacuation centers to take care of the people there.”

“We assure them that the DSWD and non-government organizations are focused on improving their lot,” she added.

Valte also said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is ready to extend consideration to taxpayers in typhoon-ravaged areas who would be filing their income tax returns (ITRs) this summer.

“As far as the proposal for a tax moratorium is concerned, BIR Commissioner (Kim) Henares already answered this and she said that the BIR, in those regions, will be extending the utmost accommodation to our citizens who will be filing the ITRs this coming April,” Valte said. – With Aurea Calica

FROM THE INQUIRER

Tacloban hobbles on road to recovery By Joey Gabieta, Inquirer Visayas
12:05 am | Saturday, February 15th, 2014


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2014/02/taclobanbunkhouse.jpg
FOR SOME residents of Tacloban City, living in bunkhouses built on dirt road and where there is no privacy is better than living on the streets and in darkness. RAFFY LERMA

Geraldine Glory, who is in full pregnancy, is having mixed emotions. She is excited to give birth to her second child but has not prepared anything for it. She also worries about the future of her growing family.

Glory and her common-law husband, Kycian de Dios, live in a tent with her 3-year-old daughter at Tacloban Convention Center and rely on relief items being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Their house was among the thousands destroyed when storm surges spawned by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” leveled every structure in its path.

Both in their 20s, the couple want to rebuild their house in San Jose District in Tacloban City in Leyte province but cannot do so because its distance of within 6 meters from the shoreline has been declared a no-build zone.


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2014/02/taclobanshore.jpg
THE DESIRE to rise from the destruction wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” manifests itself in the form of makeshift homes that have been built around a ship that was swept inland by storm surges in Anibong, Tacloban City. RAFFY LERMA


De Dios could not return to his old job as a driver. He lost his motorcycle to floodwaters spawned by the typhoon.

“We have not prepared anything for our second baby—no baby clothes, no diapers. Living in this tent is a daily reminder that we don’t live a normal life,”ť Glory said.

Their plight reflects the current condition of many residents of Tacloban, which is considered ground zero after a wall of seawater reaching as high as 6 meters crashed into structures on Nov. 8 last year. At least 2,600 people were killed while a thousand more were missing.

Three months after the devastation, Tacloban is still hobbling toward recovery.

Police officials maintain that the city is peaceful. Their records showed only four crimes against persons and eight against properties during the first week of January, much lower than the 44 and 137 reported, respectively, for the same period last year.

A total of 1,584 families (6,587 people) are still staying in 11 evacuation shelters, mostly in public schools. About 100 have already moved to bunkhouses located at Motocross in the city’s Apitong area, said Derrick Anido, city disaster risk reduction and management officer.

The presence of evacuees has affected the holding of classes on several campuses, including Rizal Central School, Kapangian Central School, Eastern Visayas State University, San Fernando Elementary School, San Jose Central School and Leyte National High School, which are among the biggest public schools in terms of student population.

They occupy the classrooms while the students go to makeshift classrooms.

Other displaced families have been sheltered at People’s Center, Grace Baptist Church, Street Light office (a nongovernment organization), the health center of Barangay 83-A and the Astrodome.

Much of Tacloban is still without power. Most street lights are not energized.

As of the first week of February, Leyte II Electric Cooperative Inc. (Leyeco II) had supplied power to only 7,288 households in the city or one-fifth of the total number of 51,065 households in Tacloban and the towns of Palo and Babatngon.

Ma. Rosario Avestruz, general manager of Leyeco II, said she hoped that power would be fully restored to all its 35,937 member-consumers in Tacloban by March.

The lack of power supply has forced some businesses to shorten their working hours because they rely on generator sets. Robinsons Mall, for one, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. instead of the usual 10 a.m. to
9 p.m.

The three branches of Gaisano shopping mall have yet to reopen, possibly in May.

However, most of the groceries, drug and hardware stores, bakeshops, salons and food chains are open from
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Banking hours are from 8 a.m up to 5 p.m., instead of the usual 9 a.m. to
3 p.m.

Even government workers leave their offices before 5 p. m.

Communications lines, particularly land lines, have yet to be restored.

Of the more than 200 Internet cafés operating before Yolanda, only four are back in business.

Ryan Navarro, 33, an Internet café owner, said he lost his computer sets to the typhoon but was able to buy six new ones.

Local businesses have yet to recover. Less than five percent or only 607 of the 15,000 establishments in the city had renewed their business licenses as of Feb, 5, according to the City Licensing Office. Only 12 applied for new licenses, it said.

Tacloban collected P22.26 million from the fees generated through the renewal of business licenses and the issuance of new permits. The figures are below the P79.20 million it collected in January and February last year.

“Of course, we clearly understand why our income is low. Our businessmen were hit hard by Yolanda. Several of them suffered heavy losses,” said city treasurer Zosima Cordano.

The city government has offered local businessmen a six-month moratorium on the payment of taxes, or up to end of June, to give them time to recoup their losses.

Rhoel Ladera, 37, who designs and manufactures tarpaulins, said he chose to restart the business he started 17 years ago despite the economic difficulty.

“I am an optimistic person. I am confident that we can rebound from this setback,” Ladera said.

Incidentally, Ladera is among the 17 business owners from Tacloban and other parts of Leyte and from Guiuan town in Eastern Samar province who have received loans from the Department of Trade and Industry.

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said loans ranging from P200,000 to P2 million were offered to help the businessmen start anew.

Hopefully, the money assistance will help jump-start the local economy and bring back the robust business environment in Tacloban before the storm.

100 days after ‘Yolanda,’ Capiz moves on By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. Inquirer Visayas 3:07 am | Sunday, February 16th, 2014


FISHERMEN in Roxas City repair their fishing boats damaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” PHOTO COURTESY OF ROXAS CITY ASO

ROXAS CITY—Traffic stood still in this sleepy city on the eve of Valentine’s Day.

Capizeńos came in droves to the province’s first complete and most modern shopping mall when it opened on Feb. 13, almost 100 days after Capiz province was hit by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

As a result, traffic was heavy in the roads leading to Robinsons Place Roxas located at the 300-hectare Pueblo de Panay commercial and residential complex here.

The mall’s opening gave Capizeńos hope that the province would rise from the devastation and the economy of Capiz and northern Panay would be vibrant again.

“This shows that we continue to move on and that we are optimistic of our economic development even as we rehabilitate Capiz,” Capiz Gov. Victor Tanco said.

Capiz was brought to its knees after it was hit by strong winds and storm surges brought by the supertyphoon.

At least 156,074 families, or 703,566 persons, were affected after strong winds destroyed 83,718 houses and damaged 76,835 others.

Damage to infrastructure was pegged at P4.272 billion; agriculture, P3.83 billion, and fisheries, P759 million.

Power has not been fully restored three months after Yolanda, especially in far-flung and hinterland villages.

Capiz Electric Cooperative (Capelco), the province’s lone power distributor, incurred about P670 million in damage to infrastructure and facilities, including 30,000 toppled electric posts during the supertyphoon.

Capelco general manager Edgar Diaz said electricity had been restored in about 60 percent of the province with more than 200 barangays still without power.


BEFORE 'YOLANDA'-Roxas City is a medium-sized city in the province of Capiz, Philippines. It is considered as one of Panay Island's center of education, trade, economic activity and logistics. Once known as the Municipality of Capiz, the origin of the present name of the province, was renamed into Roxas City in honor of native Manuel Roxas, the First President of the Philippine Third Republic, after it became a chartered city on May 12, 1951.
 


AFTER 'YOLANDA' -DANIEL Z. Romualdez Airport, Tacloban City in the aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” NIŃO JESUS ORBETA


100 Days After Yolanda: The most awaited day of all Capizenos, Robinson’s Place Roxas the new premiere mall in Roxas City is now open. Located at Pueblo de Panay the new and fast rising commercial district in the city, that’s why they called it a “City within a City”.

He said full power restoration in the province could take up to March at the earliest.

It was not surprising that Capizeńos, who were still reeling from the devastation, flocked to Robinsons Place Roxas when it opened on Feb. 13.

According to Governor Tanco, going to the mall was therapeutic for his constituents, many of whom were still coping with their losses.

The two-level mall was so full that some women were seen using the men’s toilet.

“It’s like shopping in Manila,” one of them said.

The shopping mall in Capiz was supposed to open last December but repairs had to be done due to the damage from Yolanda.

Officials of Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), led by its president, Frederick Go, and its vice chair and deputy chief executive officer, Lance Gokongwei, gave their full support and expressed optimism in the province’s business and economic prospects.

“We feel that Roxas, being the center of Capiz, will be able to draw in the market not only of Capiz but also of northern Iloilo and even as far as Masbate,” Arlene Magtibay, RLC senior vice president and general manager for commercial centers, told the Inquirer.

Robinsons Place Roxas is the chain’s second branch in Panay, next to Iloilo, and the 36th nationwide.

The mall has a total floor area of 37,400 square meters and a gross leasable area of over 23,000 sq m. It hosts boutiques, popular fast-food and quick-service restaurants, an amusement center, a food court, an al fresco dining area and four modern digital cinemas.

While Roxas may be a relatively smaller city compared to Iloilo City, the regional center, Magtibay said they had seen the province’s “steady economic progress.”

“It is a sizable market and it can actually now sustain a full service mall like Robinsons,” she said.

Business magnet

Trade and Industry provincial director Ermelinda Pollentes said the entry of Robinsons in Capiz “signals the opening of Roxas City and its readiness for big investors.”

Danilo So Chan, chair of the Provincial Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council, said that while the giant shopping mall would offer competition to small businesses, it would also create a bigger market because it would attract more businesses, traders and consumers from Aklan, northern Antique and parts of Mindoro and Masbate provinces.

The opening of the shopping mall is also expected to benefit the province’s tourism industry, one of its economic drivers aside from its famous seafood.

“This will attract more travelers and tourists here because we have expanded modern amenities in the city,” said Donnel San Antonio, president of the Capiz Tour Operators Association.

Roxas City Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas said the opening of Robinsons Place Roxas would encourage other big investors to come in.

“It shows that Roxas City and northern Panay have the market for big investments,” he said.

But even as communities on Panay Island are hopeful of early recovery and economic development, several battered areas are still struggling to rise above the situation.

Struggle to rise

In Estancia town in Iloilo, nearly 700 pupils of Botongon Elementary School are still attending classes in tents about 100 meters from the devastated school.

The school, which was among those contaminated by an oil spill from a power barge, has also been declared part of the no-build zone.

“The makeshift classrooms are not conducive for learning because only blackboards divide the classes. The area also gets muddy when it rains,” said school teacher Leo Amisco.

Five classrooms, the principal’s office and the computer room were destroyed. About 700 books and 450 chairs were also washed away or destroyed.

Amisco, also the spokesperson of Task Force Buliganay-Estancia, said electricity had been restored only in parts of the town proper.

Residents have also been demanding the fast-tracking of the cleanup of bunker fuel that has contaminated the shoreline of Botongon and neighboring villages.

About 900,0000 liters of bunker fuel leaked after the National Power Corp.-operated Power Barge 103 slammed against the rocky shores of Botongon on Nov. 8 last year at the height of the supertyphoon.

The oil spill contaminated the coastline and mangrove areas, and forced the evacuation of about 2,000 residents of Botongon on Nov. 23 due to a significant increase in air toxicity level.

All except about 100 families were allowed to return to their homes on Dec. 20.

FROM MANILA STANDARD

100 days of nightmare iin Leyte, Eastern Samar By Rio N. Araja | Feb. 16, 2014 at 12:01am

Survivors: Plight made worse by criminal neglect

ONE hundred days after super typhoon Yolanda flattened Leyte and Eastern Samar, some 12,000 survivors from remote areas in these two provinces slammed the Aquino administration for its “criminal neglect” of their plight.


Sister Edita Eslopor, a Benedictine nun and head of the “People Surge,” an alliance of Yolanda victims, takes
up the plight of the super typhoon survivors during a news forum at Anabel’s in Quezon City on Saturday.
MANNY PALMERO

This developed as opposition lawmakers renewed their appeal to the national government to come up with a comprehensive plan that will address the needs of the typhoon survivors.

In a weekly forum at Annabel’s in Quezon City, Sister Edita Eslopor, a Benedictine nun and leader of People Surge, expressed disappointment over the government’s negligence to look after the welfare of the other typhoon victims.

“After 100 days, we at the remote parts of the Eastern Visayas have not felt any hope of recovery. Rehabilitation and relief assistance are just focused on the cities of Leyte and Eastern Samar, and not on far-flung towns also heavily damaged by Yolanda,” said Eslopor.

 

She added that her group will press President Benigno Aquino III to meet their demands with a People Surge march on Feb. 17, 10 a.m., which will start at the Morayta area towards Malacanang where they would submit a petition to him and ask him to provide the victims with immediate financial assistance.

In Congress, Representatives Luz Ilagan of Gabriela and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna of the Makabayan Bloc; and Jonathan dela Cruz of Abakada party-list of the House Independent Minority Bloc, lamented the continuing government inaction towards the typhoon victims, even as reports of looting persisted.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon also filed House Resolution 815 to call for an in-depth review and assessment of the government’s rehabilitation plan as today (February 16) marks the 100th day since Super Typhoon Yolanda struck.

Ridon noted that while Congress passed a P14.6 billion as supplemental budget for the typhoon survivors and international pledges have reached over P24.9 billion, the government has done little to improve the situation in the typhoon-ravaged provinces.

“Despite the release of billions in public funds and the outpour of international support, rehabilitation and reconstruction in affected areas have remained at a very slow pace. A hundred days since the disaster and almost two months after the release of RAY, no pertinent plan of action has been implemented to address the needs of the areas struck by Typhoon Yolanda, leaving our countrymen helpless and dependent on humanitarian aid,” Ridon said.

Released last December 16, RAY (Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda), is a 30-page rehabilitation plan that sets the Aquino administration’s coordinated relief, rehabilitation, and rebuilding efforts for areas affected by Yolanda.

Ilagan, meanwhile, lamented the rising number of deaths in evacuation centers in Zamboanga City, with many families displaced after the bloody terror attack by members of the Moro National Liberation Front on September last year.

Some of the Yolanda survivors and victims’ families display placards demanding action from the Aquino administration and seeking an end to government’s “criminal neglect” during a protest in Quezon City to mark the 100th day of the calamity. MANNY PALMERO

“It is more than Noynoying. Noynoying simply means dillydallying, or being slow in taking action. What is happening in the Yolanda areas (three months ago, even in the Zamboanga siege (five months ago) and in Pablo areas two years ago) that are all waiting for proper rehabilitation and rebuilding, indicate incompetence, inefficiency and insensitivity. Add to this inglorious list-corruption,” Ilagan said.

Ilagan criticized the national government for failure to cooperate with the local government officials to fast-track the delivery of basic social services for the victims of calamity-stricken areas.

“The money is there (billions!), the LGUs are more than capable and willing to work but the national offices are still as distant as the moon,” Ilagan added.


EVACUEES continue to take temporary shelter at Rizal Central School in Tacloban City on Sunday even as classes resume in the city today, almost two months since Supertyphoon “Yolanda” toppled schools and houses on Nov. 8 last year. NIŃO JESUS ORBETA

Zarate agreed with Ilagan. “The Noynoyingly slow and inadequate response to fast-track the rehabilitation of Leyte, Samar and other devastated areas is so telling in the rising number of casualties one hundred days after Yolanda’s wrath (last November 8),” Zarate said.

“Worse, it appears that the push for privatization of the Aquino administration is not only limited to our public utilities and hospitals but also included disaster areas as it also plan to hand the rehabilitation to its favored private partners,” he added.

Dela Cruz, on the other hand, urged the national government to work hand in hand with the LGUs so that the day to day basic necessities of the Yolanda survivors and victims are well-taken care of.

He also blasted the Aquino administration’s ‘ever slowing response’ to the problem.

He warned that “too much centralization and control will breed red tape, lethargy and corruption.”

Espolor, meanwhile, said there is now mounting anger over the government’s neglect to lift the victims from misery, she said.

“We, some 12,000 victims, gathered in one place, raised our complaints and expressed our anger. We expected the government would focus on rehabilitation and continued relief assistance, to no avail,” she added.

“People are too angry with the government. There is too much poverty and hunger in remote areas of the typhoon-affected areas,” she said.

Eslopor said People Surge was organizers after a group of survivors in remote areas in Eastern Visayas felt neglected by the national government.

The nun added that victims need safer relocation sites, agricultural support, cash relief of P40,000 each family, food and relief assistance, and not bunkhouses and infrastructure rehabilitation.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman also earned the wrath of the typhoon survivors over the conversion of a $6-million aid from the United Nations Children’s Fund into the government’s dole-out scheme under the conditional cash transfer.

“The problem with the DSWD is that it is claiming credit where it is not due,” Eslopor’s statement read.

The nun said Soliman was merely riding on the UN aid to cover up for the government’s “criminal” negligence. With Maricel V. Cruz


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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