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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

REMEMBRANCE DAY ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11

CANADA HONORS & REMEMBERS! LEST WE FORGET ALL VETERANS OF ALL WARS


Members of the public place poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial at Confederation Square in Ottawa.

WATCH THE VIGNETTE...
 
https://youtu.be/hOuoVoq0Na8

SECOND YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF YOLANDA: 1 MILLION STILL HOMELESS


NOVEMBER 7 -Second anniversary. Climate activists light candles in Manila on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the devastation wreaked by Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda.’  This coastal city marks the second anniversary of the destructive visit of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” Sunday with more than one million survivors still without safe homes—but also a symbol of hope from the Vatican. Pope Francis earlier this week blessed a two-foot image of the Sto. Nino de Tacloban, patron saint of Tacloban City. PHOTO BELOW. The image is being brought back to the city in time for the second anniversary rites by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who hand-carried it so the Pope could bless it in an audience at the Holy See arranged by Philippine Ambassaodr Mercy Tuason. “Despite the suffering and deaths caused by Yolanda, we can only remain hopeful and positive,” Romualdez said. “After all, He has proven that indeed there is always a rainbow after the storm. Because of the overwhelming outpouring of compassion from all over the country and the whole world, we were able to rise above the tragedy. Even as we mourn the loss of our friends and loved ones, as we remember Yolanda, let our experience be a reminder to celebrate life and new beginnings.” In Tacloban, which was nearly completely destroyed and where thousands died, restaurants and shops are bustling again--showcasing the best of a remarkable resurrection for many communities. But on the city’s outskirts and elsewhere, many people endure deep poverty as they live in flimsy new homes that make them extremely vulnerable to future storms that will inevitably whip in off the Pacific Ocean. READ MORE...RELATED, Mass graves of Yolanda victims blessed...

ALSO: 9,200 protest ‘irregularities’ in Yolanda housing aid


NOVEMBER 8 -Survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” join a protest action in Roxas City in Capiz to decry “irregularities” in the distribution of the government’s shelter assistance (Contributed photo to Inquirer Visayas)
ILOILO CITY– Some 9,200 typhoon survivors and their supporters on Sunday joined rallies on Panay Island marking the second anniversary of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
At least 5,000 joined the rally in Roxas City in Capiz, 3,200 in Iloilo and 1,000 in Aklan. The survivors from different towns in Capiz converged in Roxas City for a protest march on the city’s main streets. A mass was held in the morning at the city Bandstand in Roxas City where a rally led by the Bagong Alyansang Mabayan (Bayan) was held in the afternoon. The protesters decried cases of corruption, politicking and delays in the distribution of shelter assistance by the government. They also called for the scrapping of Memorandum No. 24 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which has prescribed guidelines on qualification of beneficiaries of the Emergency Shelter Assistance. Under the memorandum, survivors whose houses were destroyed or damaged in the supertyphoon are ineligible to receive cash assistance if their family has a monthly income of more than P15,000 and if they are residing in areas considered as danger zones including those 40 meters from the coastline. Survivors who have received full shelter subsidy from non-government organizations also cannot receive the cash grant of P30,000 for those whose houses were destroyed and P10,000 for those with damaged ones. Capiz was among the provinces worst hit by “Yolanda,” which packed winds with a velocity reaching 300 kilometers per hour. In Iloilo, about 2,500 survivors in Estancia town in Iloilo and 700 in Iloilo City joined separate protest rallies led by Bayan and Task Force Buliganay. The protest action in Iloilo City pushed through even if the city government did not grant a permit for the protesters to march along the city’s main streets. READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace counters ‘Yolanda’ critics
[MALACAÑANG: WE DID BETTER THAN US POST-KATRINA]


NOVEMBER 8 -Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Malacañang on Saturday pushed back against persistent reports of not enough being done for the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), directing critics to official records to see how much the government has done in rebuilding and rehabilitation two years after the strongest typhoon on record devastated Eastern Visayas.
Leyte province, which took the brunt of the devastation, marks the second anniversary of Yolanda on Sunday with the opening of a memorial park in Tacloban built to remember the thousands who perished and the lighting of 50,000 candles on a 22-kilometer route through the streets of the city and three nearby towns. Also to be unveiled in Tacloban today is a marker on the spot on the airport tarmac where Pope Francis stood on Jan. 17 to deliver his message of mercy and compassion to 200,000 typhoon survivors and pilgrims. Speaking on state-run radio, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Benigno Aquino III’s “meticulous attention” to details ensured the accomplishment of rebuilding and rehabilitation plans, making the Philippine response better than those of other countries that had suffered similar disasters. Valte said all concerns about rehabilitation reached the President. “That is why every time the President calls for a Yolanda rehabilitation-related meeting, all data are shown [to him] and the President is not content with just the data. He doesn’t just accept numbers if he sees there is something wrong or insufficient,” Valte said. The President, she said, wants agencies connected with any rehabilitation plan to be able to fully explain to him the status of every project. The administration has found itself in the hot seat in the days leading to the second anniversary of Yolanda, which left more than 6,300 people dead and rendered 4.1 million others homeless in the Visayas. To this day, more than 1,000 people remain missing. Critics of the administration claim slow rehabilitation efforts. Two years after Yolanda, tens of thousands of survivors remain in temporary shelters, still waiting for the government to deliver on its promise of permanent homes for them. But Valte said the Aquino administration had done quite better than even the US government, which continues to grapple 10 years after Hurricane “Katrina,” which sank New Orleans and caused severe devastation in states along the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida to Texas. “Even a country [that] is considered First World like the United States was struggling [with] post-Katrina rehab and I believe Yolanda was even stronger. So even multilateral agencies like the United Nations, the World Bank have pitched in for the rehab efforts, and they themselves say that we are making good progress in our rebuilding efforts,” Valte said. READ MORE...RELATED, PNoy remembers generosity, rehabilitation help on Yolanda anniversary - Lacierda ...

ALSO: Catholic Church leads ‘Yolanda’ commemoration in Cebu


NOVEMBER 6 -NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez and Archdiocese of Cebu - Relief and Rehabilitation Unit Program Director Fr. Charles Louis Jayme led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the photo and products exhibit of Typhoon Yolanda survivors in the nine provinces worst-hit by the storm. The Catholic Church through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, led the second year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda in Cebu City through a series of activities from November 6 to 7. With the theme “Faith, Hope and Caritas”, this year’s commemoration discussed the lessons learned and progress of the Philippine Catholic Church’s on-going three year rehabilitation program called #REACHPhilippines. It also served as a venue for the government and other non-government organizations to renew and sustain its commitment to typhoon survivors. “We treasure our faith as the power source of Filipino resiliency. This is the reason why we chose Cebu to host this year’s commemoration. Aside from being one of the areas worst-hit by the typhoon, it is also the seat of Christianity in the country,” NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez said. The activities include the Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) Summit with the Archdiocese of Palo- Relief and Rehabilitation Unit sharing how its communities are now actively involved in various disaster mitigation measures. There is also a photo gallery exhibit, showing the faces of Yolanda survivors in the nine provinces, and the various phases of the Yolanda reconstruction, which would run until November 8 at the Ayala Center Cebu. READ MORE...

ALSO: Life gets better in Caraga, Agusan, thanks to USDA 4-year project


NOVEMBER 6 -HYBRID AMPALAYA – This couple are showing their bumper harvest of ampalaya. This is one vegetable that is profitable to grow. It fetches a high price and it is in big demand Life of farm families in Caraga, the second poorest region in the country, is becoming much better, thanks to a four-year program funded by USDA and implemented by Winrock International. This is the Philippine Cold Chain Project which was started in September 2013 in the two Agusan provinces, two Surigaos and Dinagat Island. Nearly 30% of the population in Caraga lives below the subsistence threshold, most of them coming from the indigenous communities, upland settlers, landless farmers and small fisherfolk. In the last two years of the project’s implementation, life has become much better for the farm families, according to Jim Orprecio, deputy chief of party. A three-pronged approach is being implemented to increase farm productivity and income. Where it is appropriate, vegetable and fruit production is being pursued. The project has partnered with East-West Seed Company to provide the technical expertise and improved vegetable seeds for the farmers to grow. Jim has observed that previous to the project, vegetables have to be imported from neighboring provinces like Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental or Davao. Today, many of the residents are producing vegetables not only for their own consumption but also for sale. A Sunday market is now operational around the church where the vegetable growers sell their harvests. The farmers now produce hybrid varieties of tomato, eggplant, ampalaya and other favorites. The beauty about vegetables is that it takes only a short time before they are ready for harvest. And there are varieties that can be grown year-round. READ MORE...

ALSO By Mahar Mangahas: Hunger -The big picture


NOVEMBER 7 Last Monday, the new SWS numbers on hunger were first published in BusinessWorld, under the headline “Hunger worsens in third quarter.” They were sourced from the original SWS report, called “Third Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey: Hunger is 15.7% of families; Moderate Hunger rises, but Severe Hunger falls,” posted in our website later the same day.
The SWS title emphasized the opposite movements of the components Severe Hunger (meaning, experienced often or always, in the last three months) and Moderate Hunger (experienced only once or a few times), rather than the rise in the total of Severe and Moderate Hunger which was the basis for the misleading BW headline. In fact, the new rate of Severe Hunger, which is 1.6 percent of families in September 2015, is very good news. It is the fifth consecutive quarterly decline in Severe Hunger. The last time Severe Hunger was so low was fully 12 years ago, in September 2003. The new rate of Moderate Hunger, which is 14.1 percent of families in September 2015, is indeed above the 10.8 percent in June and the 11.1 percent in March. But what matters more is that it is below the average quarterly Moderate Hunger from 2007 to 2014, covering the previous eight years. Thus, the recent movement in Moderate Hunger is merely one step back, after two steps forward. It is not enough to contradict my column, “Hunger: the recovery continues” (Opinion, 7/25/15). The average Severe plus Moderate Hunger rate in 2015, over three quarters so far, is 14.0 percent. It is below the 18.3 percent in 2014, 19.5 percent in 2013, 19.9 percent in both 2012 and 2011, 19.1 in 2010, and all earlier numbers as far back as 2005, covering 10 years. A big picture is always better. In appraising survey statistics, one can never go wrong by examining the big picture, using all the available details over time and space. A small picture of only a few points is not enough to show a trend. Every newly posted SWS hunger report has updated tables and charts showing the quarterly figures since the series began 17 years ago, and the four geographical areas that the surveys were designed to cover. Of course, a newspaper does not have space to print so much. Therefore, serious analysts should not rely on a newspaper item alone, and especially not on a headline. They should take the item as a signal that a new report, with relevant details, is available for study. Severe Hunger in the National Capital Region (NCR) bears watching, however. In September 2015, the Severe Hunger rate of 1.6 percent in the nation is due to rates of 4.3 percent in NCR, much higher than the 1.3 percent in the Balance of Luzon, 0.3 percent in the Visayas, and 1.3 percent in Mindanao. For the first three quarters of 2015, the running average percentage of severely hungry families is 3.8 in NCR, versus only 1.8 in Balance of Luzon, 1.8 in Visayas, and 1.2 in Mindanao. In 2014, the average quarterly percent in Severe Hunger was 3.8 in NCR, 4.1 in the Balance of Luzon, 3.2 in the Visayas, and 2.5 in Mindanao—i.e., NCR had the second-worst rate of Severe Hunger last year. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

2 YEARS AFTER: 1M still homeless
[Success, but still a lot of work needed 2 years after ‘Yolanda’]


Second anniversary. Climate activists light candles in Manila on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the devastation wreaked by Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda.’

TACLOBAN CITY, NOVEMBER 9, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) posted November 07, 2015 at 12:01 am by AFP - This coastal city marks the second anniversary of the destructive visit of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” Sunday with more than one million survivors still without safe homes—but also a symbol of hope from the Vatican.

Pope Francis earlier this week blessed a two-foot image of the Sto. Nino de Tacloban, patron saint of Tacloban City. The image is being brought back to the city in time for the second anniversary rites by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who hand-carried it so the Pope could bless it in an audience at the Holy See arranged by Philippine Ambassador Mercy Tuason.


The photo shows Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez mingling with Filipinos in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican to wait for Pope Francis’ blessing of the Santo Niño de Tacloban that will be unveiled in Tacloban on Nov. 8. AFP

“Despite the suffering and deaths caused by Yolanda, we can only remain hopeful and positive,” Romualdez said. “After all, He has proven that indeed there is always a rainbow after the storm. Because of the overwhelming outpouring of compassion from all over the country and the whole world, we were able to rise above the tragedy.

Even as we mourn the loss of our friends and loved ones, as we remember Yolanda, let our experience be a reminder to celebrate life and new beginnings.”

In Tacloban, which was nearly completely destroyed and where thousands died, restaurants and shops are bustling again--showcasing the best of a remarkable resurrection for many communities.

But on the city’s outskirts and elsewhere, many people endure deep poverty as they live in flimsy new homes that make them extremely vulnerable to future storms that will inevitably whip in off the Pacific Ocean.

READ MORE...

More than 7,350 people were killed or left missing after Super Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, with the strongest winds ever recorded on land.

Tsunami-like storm surges higher than trees exacerbated the disaster, demolishing communities on central Philippine islands that were already among the nation’s poorest.

“I cry almost every night. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, how are we going to survive,” Esliba Bascal, 59, who lost her son and home in the disaster and now lives in a makeshift dwelling just outside Tacloban, said last week.

Like many others, Bascal’s hopes for a new government-provided house in a safe place have not come true.

She lives with her husband, widowed daughter-in-law and six grandchildren in a brick-and-tin structure built on the same site as their previous home that was wiped out by the storm surges.

“We were poor, but now we’re poorer. Life is hard but I have to be strong for my grandchildren,” said Bascal, who earns about P20 a day selling biscuits, chips, soap and other daily goods from her home.

President Benigno Aquino III’s government launched a P150-billion reconstruction program for the disaster zones, which the United Nations has praised for its efficiency in some key sectors.

About 60 percent of that money has been spent, much of it on roads, bridges and schools, according to Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, who is in charge of the recovery program.

Money has also been used for start-up capital for survivors to start small businesses, as well as farm and fishing supplies.

A resilient local private sector and hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the international community has also been extremely important.

The Red Cross, for example, said it had given cash assistance to more than 90,000 families and rebuilt or repaired 65,000 homes.

Yet, the government has come under fire for not doing enough to help the more than one million survivors it identified as living in coastal areas who were vulnerable to future storms and needed to be resettled. AFP

Out of the 205,128 families living in the path of future storms, just 928 have been transferred to permanent shelters, according to the government.

The government calculates an average of five people per family.

Many of the others who have yet to receive new homes are simply living in repaired or rebuilt homes, like Bascal.

The government is aiming to relocate nearly 100,000 families by next year, with the project to be completed by 2017, Chito Cruz, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, told reporters this week.

Cruz said one of the reasons it was taking so long to relocate people was because buying safe new land from private title holders was extremely difficult.

Locals also complain that the proposed resettlement areas are in isolated locations well away from the coast.

The coastal areas are the main hubs of the regional economy, and people cannot afford to travel long distances.

“We have accomplished much over the last two years, but there is still a lot that must be done,” Balisacan said in a briefing on the recovery program this week.

But he also emphasized Yolanda had turned cities and towns into “wastelands”, and that even the US government struggled after Hurricane Katrina caused massive damage in 2005.

Yolanda has become a rallying point in the global campaign to contain global warming, with visits to the disaster zones this year by leaders such as Pope Francis and French President Francois Hollande.

Scientists have warned storms such as Yolanda, which generated record winds of 315 kilometers an hour at landfall, could become the new normal as global warming worsens.

While in the disaster zones, the Pope and Hollande issued similar warnings as they urged world leaders to take decisive action at a crucial summit in Paris starting on Nov. 30.

The summit is aiming to seal a pact aimed at keeping global temperature rises to no more than two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

In Cebu, the Catholic Church through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, led the second year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda in through a series of activities from Nov. 6 to 7.

With the theme “Faith, Hope and Caritas”, this year’s commemoration discussed the lessons learned and progress of the Church’s on-going three year rehabilitation program called #REACHPhilippines.

It also served as a venue for the government and other non-government organizations to renew and sustain its commitment to typhoon survivors.

“We treasure our faith as the power source of Filipino resiliency. This is the reason why we chose Cebu to host this year’s commemoration. Aside from being one of the areas worst-hit by the typhoon, it is also the seat of Christianity in the country,” NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez said.

The activities include the Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) Summit with the Archdiocese of Palo-Relief and Rehabilitation Unit sharing how its communities are now involved in various disaster mitigation measures.

There is also a photo gallery exhibit, showing the faces of Yolanda survivors in the nine provinces, and the various phases of the Yolanda reconstruction, which would run until Nov. 8 at the Ayala Center Cebu.

On Friday, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto thanked President Aquino for signing the PAGASA Modernization Law.

Recto said the measure puts the weather bureau on a long-term track of modernization beginning with an initial authority to request and spend P3 billion for needed equipment upgrades and manpower training.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Mass graves of Yolanda victims blessed By Ricky Bautista (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 9, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


A mother and child lighting candles for the victims last night. Some 50,000 candles were expected to be lit along San Juanico Bridge leading to the Tacloban Airport. Boy Santos

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines – Memorial markers were unveiled and candles were lighted yesterday in commemoration of the second anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, which killed more than 7,000 people in Eastern Visayas.

Yolanda, the strongest typhoon on record, brought strong winds and whipped up storm surges that devastated Tacloban City and other areas.

The city government of Tacloban unveiled two memorial markers – one in the coastal village of Anibong where a ship was washed ashore by storm surge and another near the Tacloban Astrodome, which became the refuge for those who survived the deadly onslaught.

The ship, which was reportedly bought by the city government from a private company for P2 million, has not been removed and has become a symbol of the massive destruction brought by the typhoon in the area.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez said the ruins of the ship stand as a remembrance of the thousands of lives that perished in Tacloban two years ago.

Some 50,000 candles were lighted in Tacloban City, from the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport down to Barangay Nula-tula. Candles were also lighted in nearby towns of Tolosa, Tanauan and Palo.

The blessing of mass graves for Yolanda victims at the Holy Cross Memorial in Barangay Basper, Tacloban and a film showing entitled “Fields of Hope” in a mall in Palo highlighted the second anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda.

Six skeletal remains believed to have been victims of the typhoon were found in a village in Tacloban City this week.

“On Thursday, we found two remains. Four more skeletal remains were dug up on Saturday,” said Leo Bahin, chairman of Barangay 87.

Bahin said the remains were brought to a funeral parlor in the city.

Noy a no-show in Tacloban President Aquino was a no-show in Tacloban City during the second anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda.

Aquino and members of the ruling Liberal Party did not attend the occasion despite an invitation sent to them.

The President instead issued an official statement asking the nation to offer prayers for the people who died when Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013.

“God’s grace has enabled our country to ease the sufferings of those who lost everything to Yolanda, and reestablish communities that are once again working to have a safer and prosperous future,” Aquino said.

He again expressed gratitude to the international community for extending help to survivors of Yolanda.

“This would not have been possible without the world’s embrace of our people and the Filipinos’ generosity and sacrifice,” Aquino said.

“May the memory and lessons of that time inspire us to persevere in building back better and in living up to the solidarity, resilience and generosity of Filipinos demonstrated not only then, but in all times of challenge and adversity,” he added.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda was said to be attending the event in Tacloban but did not show up for unknown reason.

Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento arrived in Tacloban on Saturday to distribute patrol jeeps to police stations in the city.

“They were invited but I guess they have other schedules. We understand that,” United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said.

Opposition candidates attended the occasion.

Among them were UNA standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay, his running mate Sen.

Gregorio Honasan and senatorial bets Alma Moreno, Rey Langit, Princess Jacel Kiram, Getulio Napeñas and Allan Montaño.

In his speech, Binay lauded the resilience of the typhoon survivors.

Vice presidential aspirant Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino also attended the event.

During Yolanda’s first anniversary, President Aquino opted not to go to Tacloban and went instead to Guiuan, Eastern Samar, which was also devastated by the typhoon.

Mayor Romualdez had a rift with Aquino over the administration’s slow response and inaction following the onslaught of Yolanda.

Romualdez apologized to Aquino yesterday for the harsh words he had said. With Delon Porcalla


INQUIRER

9,200 protest ‘irregularities’ in Yolanda housing aid By: Nestor P. Burgos Jr. @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Visayas 06:36 PM November 8th, 2015


Survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” join a protest action in Roxas City in Capiz to decry “irregularities” in the distribution of the government’s shelter assistance (Contributed photo to Inquirer Visayas)


ILOILO CITY– Some 9,200 typhoon survivors and their supporters on Sunday joined rallies on Panay Island marking the second anniversary of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

At least 5,000 joined the rally in Roxas City in Capiz, 3,200 in Iloilo and 1,000 in Aklan.

The survivors from different towns in Capiz converged in Roxas City for a protest march on the city’s main streets.

A mass was held in the morning at the city Bandstand in Roxas City where a rally led by the Bagong Alyansang Mabayan (Bayan) was held in the afternoon.

The protesters decried cases of corruption, politicking and delays in the distribution of shelter assistance by the government.

They also called for the scrapping of Memorandum No. 24 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which has prescribed guidelines on qualification of beneficiaries of the Emergency Shelter Assistance.

Under the memorandum, survivors whose houses were destroyed or damaged in the supertyphoon are ineligible to receive cash assistance if their family has a monthly income of more than P15,000 and if they are residing in areas considered as danger zones including those 40 meters from the coastline.

Survivors who have received full shelter subsidy from non-government organizations also cannot receive the cash grant of P30,000 for those whose houses were destroyed and P10,000 for those with damaged ones.

Capiz was among the provinces worst hit by “Yolanda,” which packed winds with a velocity reaching 300 kilometers per hour.

In Iloilo, about 2,500 survivors in Estancia town in Iloilo and 700 in Iloilo City joined separate protest rallies led by Bayan and Task Force Buliganay.

The protest action in Iloilo City pushed through even if the city government did not grant a permit for the protesters to march along the city’s main streets.

READ MORE...

Fr. Marco Sulayao, spokesperson of the Kusog sang Pumuluyo, a Panay-wide alliance of survivors of the supertyphoon and their supporters, decried the denial of the permit.

“The activity is being held on a Sunday with the least traffic but we were told to hold our protest at the public plaza of La Paz District away from the city center. This is contrary to our purpose of publicly and widely airing the situation and sentiments of those worst affected by disaster,” Sulayao told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In the capital town of Kalibo in Aklan, about 1,000 survivors and protesters led by Bayan marched long the town’s main streets before holding a rally at the Crossing Banga-New Washington.

In the morning, around 100 survivors joined a protest run from the Pastrana Park to the Kalibo-Numancia Bridge. Protesters also released two miniature fiberglass boats at the Lagatik River in New Washington town. Written on the boats were the words “Justice for ‘Yolanda’ victims.” SFM


INQUIRER

Palace counters ‘Yolanda’ critics By: Nikko Dizon and DJ Yap in Manila and Joey Gabieta @inquirerdotnet
Inquirer Visayas 02:25 AM November 8th, 2015

MALACAÑANG: WE DID BETTER THAN US POST-KATRINA


Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Malacañang on Saturday pushed back against persistent reports of not enough being done for the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), directing critics to official records to see how much the government has done in rebuilding and rehabilitation two years after the strongest typhoon on record devastated Eastern Visayas.

Leyte province, which took the brunt of the devastation, marks the second anniversary of Yolanda on Sunday with the opening of a memorial park in Tacloban built to remember the thousands who perished and the lighting of 50,000 candles on a 22-kilometer route through the streets of the city and three nearby towns.

Also to be unveiled in Tacloban today is a marker on the spot on the airport tarmac where Pope Francis stood on Jan. 17 to deliver his message of mercy and compassion to 200,000 typhoon survivors and pilgrims.

Speaking on state-run radio, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Benigno Aquino III’s “meticulous attention” to details ensured the accomplishment of rebuilding and rehabilitation plans, making the Philippine response better than those of other countries that had suffered similar disasters.

Valte said all concerns about rehabilitation reached the President.

“That is why every time the President calls for a Yolanda rehabilitation-related meeting, all data are shown [to him] and the President is not content with just the data. He doesn’t just accept numbers if he sees there is something wrong or insufficient,” Valte said.

The President, she said, wants agencies connected with any rehabilitation plan to be able to fully explain to him the status of every project.

The administration has found itself in the hot seat in the days leading to the second anniversary of Yolanda, which left more than 6,300 people dead and rendered 4.1 million others homeless in the Visayas.

To this day, more than 1,000 people remain missing.

Critics of the administration claim slow rehabilitation efforts. Two years after Yolanda, tens of thousands of survivors remain in temporary shelters, still waiting for the government to deliver on its promise of permanent homes for them.

But Valte said the Aquino administration had done quite better than even the US government, which continues to grapple 10 years after Hurricane “Katrina,” which sank New Orleans and caused severe devastation in states along the Gulf of Mexico, from Florida to Texas.

“Even a country [that] is considered First World like the United States was struggling [with] post-Katrina rehab and I believe Yolanda was even stronger. So even multilateral agencies like the United Nations, the World Bank have pitched in for the rehab efforts, and they themselves say that we are making good progress in our rebuilding efforts,” Valte said.

READ MORE...

For good measure, Valte directed critics of the rebuilding and rehabilitation program to the Official Gazette, available online.

The Gazette says that, among other things, 96 percent of the 1.02 million families with damaged homes have benefited from the emergency shelter assistance (ESA) program.

Of the nearly 14,000 subprojects that include construction and repair of roads, community centers, and buildings, installation of a flood and river management system, and restoration of electricity, 2,887 have been completed.

As of Oct. 14, according to the Gazette, the construction of 2,315 transitional shelters in Leyte, Eastern Samar, and Western Samar has been completed with the assistance of private groups, among them Operations Blessings, Catholic Relief Services, Operations Compassion and Oxfam.

The shelters serve a total of 1,576 families or 7,302 people.

According to the Gazette, “the National Housing Authority (NHA), which is tasked with the construction of permanent houses for Yolanda victims, has completed 17,641 units while 41,566 units are [under construction].”

More than 900 units have been turned over to families in Tanauan and Tacloban City, Leyte. A total of 92,544 housing units are to be completed by next month.

Not ‘onion-skinned’

On comments that the Aquino administration could not take criticism of its rehabilitation efforts, Valte said President Aquino and his team were not “onion-skinned.”

“When we are asked [questions about the rehabilitation], we say that [the] government does everything, especially for our countrymen who are on the fringes of society. All one has to do is to look at the national budget and to look at our budget proposals that have been affirmed by Congress and see that the biggest programs of the Aquino administration are for the marginalized sector of society,” Valte said.

Yolanda memorial park

“If we are callous, we aren’t the ones who were seen at the mall after the tragedy,” she added, referring to politicians who claim they immediately responded to Yolanda, outdoing the government.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez dared President Aquino to come to Tacloban and verify his data.

“We invite the President to come down and see for himself if he or his bosses are satisfied with the data,” Romualdez said in a text message.

In Tacloban, the Yolanda “memorial park” located in the compound of Tacloban Convention Center, will be opened at 8:45 a.m. Sunday after a Mass that will be celebrated by Archbishop John Du.

Thousands of people sought shelter in the convention center after Yolanda flattened Tacloban on Nov. 8, 2013.

The Yolanda memorial park, which sits on a 225-square-meter plot at the convention center compound, will serve as the center of activities on every anniversary of the devastation, according to Dionisio de Paz, Tacloban city engineer.

The names of 2,300 people who perished in the typhoon are inscribed on plant boxes placed around the park.

De Paz said the city council would pass an ordinance designating the place as Yolanda memorial park.

The city government spent P5 million to build the memorial, which was completed this week in time for the second anniversary of Yolanda.

At the center of the park is a 7-meter steel marker shaped like the number 8, indicating the date when the typhoon struck and representing the storm surge that devastated the city.

At the center of the marker is a representation of Earth, meant to “gently remind” people that the planet is their only home and that they should protect it to prevent natural disasters.

The park is the second memorial to Yolanda victims in Tacloban.

The first is the memorial park in Barangay 68 in Anibong district where the bow of the ship that was beached during the typhoon is the centerpiece.

At least 11 people were killed when the MV Eva Jocelyn, a 3,000-ton cargo ship carrying 14,000 sacks of cement, rammed 14 houses in the village as it was thrown ashore by storm surge.

Santo Niño image

At the Tacloban international airport, an image of the Senior Santo Niño de Tacloban that was blessed by Pope Francis will be displayed during the unveiling of the papal Mass marker in the afternoon.

In a statement, Representative Romualdez, a Catholic, said he carried the image to Rome to have it blessed by the Pope during an audience arranged by the Philippine Embassy.

A chapel will be built in the new terminal building at the airport to house the image, Romualdez said.

On Jan. 17, Pope Francis braved an approaching storm to visit Tacloban and say Mass for 200,000 Yolanda survivors and pilgrims.

Firsts

It was the first papal Mass to be said at an airport and the first to be celebrated by Francis wearing a raincoat.

Msgr. Alex Opiniano, a former parish priest at Santo Niño Church in Tacloban who was privy to the preparations for the Pope’s visit to the city, said the raincoats, in the Vatican’s colors, worn by Francis and his entourage in Tacloban and at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila were given free to the pilgrims, police, military and volunteers.

“We were moved and deeply inspired by Congressman Martin’s tireless support and generosity in a providential display of his signature compassion for the attendees during the stormy papal visit,” Opiniano said in a statement.

He said that in addition to the raincoats, Romualdez also footed the bill for the food given to the thousands of police, military and Presidential Security Group personnel and volunteers, as well as the sound system, the LED video walls, generator sets and portalets in the new apron of the airport.

Romualdez said the observance of Yolanda’s second anniversary provided Leyte residents with an opportunity to begin the difficult process of moving on.

“Even as we mourn the loss of our friends and loved ones, as we remember Yolanda, let our experience be a reminder to celebrate life and new beginnings,” Romualdez said.

50,000 candles

At 6 p.m., Archbishop Du will lead the lighting of 50,000 candles along the streets of Tacloban and the towns of Palo, Tanauan and Tolosa, a stretch of 22 kilometers.

Du will join Opiniano for the ceremony in Tolosa, where Opiniano is the parish priest.

Jude Acidre, a member of the candle lighting movement, urged residents along the route to join the ceremony to honor and remember those who perished in Yolanda.

Candles will also be lighted at the mass graves in Barangay San Joaquin in Palo and in Barangay Calogcog in Tanauan.

People living outside Tacloban can join the commemoration through a web page created by the organizers. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

PNoy remembers generosity, rehabilitation help on Yolanda anniversary By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated November 8, 2015 - 5:38pm 1 10 googleplus0 0


The government of the United States quickly sent relief for victims of super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.USAID

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday remembered the help and of other countries during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) as the world commemorates its second anniversary.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that the president acknowledges the people who joined the relief and rehabilitation efforts to help the victims of the strongest typhoon recorded in history which left more than 6,000 fatalities in Eastern Viasayas.

Aquino underscored that he is grateful for the generosity of the people from here and abroad when the country faced the super typhoon.

"God's grace has enabled our country to ease the sufferings of those who lost everything in Yolanda, and re-establish communities that are once again working to have a safer, and prosperous future. This would not have been possible without the world's embrace of our people and our people's own heroic generosity and sacrifice," Aquino said.

"The Filipino people will never forget the kindness that allowed us to overcome this tragedy and are resolved to be there for nations and peoples similarly affected by tragedy,” he added.

Aquino also paid tribute to all those affected by the super typhoon. He also recognized the unity and resilience of the Filipino people.

“Today, we commemorate how our country and the world came together to face the challenges of the strongest typhoon in history, Typhoon Yolanda. We pause in prayer for the loved ones we lost, and pay tribute to the soldiers and civilians who placed themselves in danger to help their fellow man. May the memory and lessons of that time inspire us to persevere in building back better, and in living up to the solidarity, resilience, and generosity of Filipinos from all walks of life demonstrated not only then, but in all times of challenge and adversity," Aquino said.


NASSA/CARITAS PRESS RELEASE

NASSA/Caritas Philippines Press Release November 6, 2015

Catholic Church leads ‘Yolanda’ commemoration in Cebu


NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez and Archdiocese of Cebu - Relief and Rehabilitation Unit Program Director Fr. Charles Louis Jayme led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the photo and products exhibit of Typhoon Yolanda survivors in the nine provinces worst-hit by the storm. 

The Catholic Church through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, led the second year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda in Cebu City through a series of activities from November 6 to 7.

With the theme “Faith, Hope and Caritas”, this year’s commemoration discussed the lessons learned and progress of the Philippine Catholic Church’s on-going three year rehabilitation program called #REACHPhilippines.

It also served as a venue for the government and other non-government organizations to renew and sustain its commitment to typhoon survivors.

“We treasure our faith as the power source of Filipino resiliency. This is the reason why we chose Cebu to host this year’s commemoration. Aside from being one of the areas worst-hit by the typhoon, it is also the seat of Christianity in the country,” NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez said.

The activities include the Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) Summit with the Archdiocese of Palo- Relief and Rehabilitation Unit sharing how its communities are now actively involved in various disaster mitigation measures.


Archdiocese of Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo gave an inspirational message during the 2nd year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda in Cebu.

There is also a photo gallery exhibit, showing the faces of Yolanda survivors in the nine provinces, and the various phases of the Yolanda reconstruction, which would run until November 8 at the Ayala Center Cebu.

READ MORE...

Among those present in the event are the typhoon Yolanda survivors as well as those involved in the church’s rehabilitation program particularly the nine dioceses worst-hit by the typhoon. These are the dioceses in the provinces of Leyte, Western Samar, Easterm Samar, Palawan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Cebu.

There were also representatives from Caritas Internationalis Member Organizations who donated funds for the rehabilitation and are currently implementing bilateral programs in the worst-hit provinces. These included Caritas UK (CAFOD), Caritas Spain, Caritas Austria, Caritas USA (Catholic Relief Services), Caritas Germany, Caritas Italiana, Caritas Switzerland, Caritas Czech, Caritas Netherlands (Cordaid), Caritas Canada (Development & Peace), Caritas Belgium, Caritas Luxembourg and CHARIS Singapore.

Overall, the global Caritas confederation has already provided various relief and rehabilitation efforts to 20-percent of the ‘Yolanda’-affected population or at least 1.8 million people in the nine worst-hit provinces.

Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based umbrella organization of 165 catholic charity organizations worldwide which includes NASSA/Caritas Philippines, is currently headed by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, its first Asian president.

###

Reference:

JING REY HENDERSON

Communications Manager

Humanitarian Unit

NASSA/Caritas Philippines

(0905) 546-9977 / 525-1924


MANILA BULLETIN

Life gets better in Caraga by Zac Sarian November 6, 2015 Share36 Tweet1 Share0 Email0 Share67


HYBRID AMPALAYA – This couple are showing their bumper harvest of ampalaya. This is one vegetable that is profitable to grow. It fetches a high price and it is in big demand

Life of farm families in Caraga, the second poorest region in the country, is becoming much better, thanks to a four-year program funded by USDA and implemented by Winrock International.

This is the Philippine Cold Chain Project which was started in September 2013 in the two Agusan provinces, two Surigaos and Dinagat Island.

Nearly 30% of the population in Caraga lives below the subsistence threshold, most of them coming from the indigenous communities, upland settlers, landless farmers and small fisherfolk.


USDA-Winrock Chief of Party to the Philippines Dan Gudahl inked MOA with LGU Nasipit headed by Mayor Corvera at Naispit SB Hall Oct 5. Photo by Ben Serrano Click image to go to source URL.

In the last two years of the project’s implementation, life has become much better for the farm families, according to Jim Orprecio, deputy chief of party.

A three-pronged approach is being implemented to increase farm productivity and income. Where it is appropriate, vegetable and fruit production is being pursued. The project has partnered with East-West Seed Company to provide the technical expertise and improved vegetable seeds for the farmers to grow.

Jim has observed that previous to the project, vegetables have to be imported from neighboring provinces like Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental or Davao. Today, many of the residents are producing vegetables not only for their own consumption but also for sale.

A Sunday market is now operational around the church where the vegetable growers sell their harvests. The farmers now produce hybrid varieties of tomato, eggplant, ampalaya and other favorites. The beauty about vegetables is that it takes only a short time before they are ready for harvest. And there are varieties that can be grown year-round.

READ MORE..,.


HYBRID TOMATO – This couple are posing with their DMax hybrid tomato from East-West Seed Company. This is a high-yielding variety that can be grown both in the dry and wet seasons. It could be a money-maker for the growers

PIGGERY – Jim is very upbeat about what the project has done in swine raising in cooperation with Pilmico, a leading livestock feed manufacturer. Pilmico is not only the source of balanced feeds, it also provides the guidance to help the farmers raise their farm animals.


GREEN FEED – Photo shows a caretaker feeding green feed to supplement the commercial feed. This helps reduce cost of production and thus increase profit for the hog raisers

Swine raising is being implemented in 260 barangays, organizing the raisers in groups so they can more conveniently avail themselves of training, inputs and credit from microfinance.

From the start, the strategy was to introduce improved breeds that will grow faster than the pigs traditionally raised in the area. This means the introduction of selected breeders which are grown in multiplier farms numbering 120 with a total of 450 superior gilts. These multiplier farms produce the piglets that are fattened by the families.

Beginners may start with three fatteners. As they gain experience and capital from their sales, they can increase their fatteners to six, then to 9. Why increments of threes? Because the housing is modular. New pens could be added to the old one that will accommodate three weanlings.

The multiplier farms can make good income. Usually, one sow will produce 18 piglets in one year. The ongoing price for piglets in Caraga is P2,500 for the first 10 kilos. Additional kilos above that, the price is P200 per kilo.

To complement the superior gilts, the project has also introduced 15 high quality boars as source of semen for artificial insemination. More than 200 a.i. technicians have been trained, according to Jim.

The result of the swine upgrading? In the past, Jim said, the traders would only pay P80 per kilo to the backyard raisers. Today, the price has leveled to the price of commercially grown hogs at P110 per kilo liveweight .


FISHCAGE – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is providing R20,000 to participating fisherfolk in their program to finance fishcage farming of bangus or tilapia. In a growing period of four months, the fish farmer can harvest as much as four to five tons of fish. The expenses on feeds and other inputs are payable after harvest.

FISHERFOLK – The fisherfolks are also being given new money-making opportunities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is providing R20,000 per beneficiary to put up a fishcage for raising bangus or tilapia.

In a growing period of four months, the fish farmer can harvest 4 to 5 tons of fish, according to Jim. The expenses are paid after harvest.


INQUIRER

Hunger: The big picture By: Mahar Mangahas @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:35 AM November 7th, 2015

Last Monday, the new SWS numbers on hunger were first published in BusinessWorld, under the headline “Hunger worsens in third quarter.” They were sourced from the original SWS report, called “Third Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey: Hunger is 15.7% of families; Moderate Hunger rises, but Severe Hunger falls,” posted in our website later the same day.

The SWS title emphasized the opposite movements of the components Severe Hunger (meaning, experienced often or always, in the last three months) and Moderate Hunger (experienced only once or a few times), rather than the rise in the total of Severe and Moderate Hunger which was the basis for the misleading BW headline.

In fact, the new rate of Severe Hunger, which is 1.6 percent of families in September 2015, is very good news. It is the fifth consecutive quarterly decline in Severe Hunger. The last time Severe Hunger was so low was fully 12 years ago, in September 2003.

The new rate of Moderate Hunger, which is 14.1 percent of families in September 2015, is indeed above the 10.8 percent in June and the 11.1 percent in March. But what matters more is that it is below the average quarterly Moderate Hunger from 2007 to 2014, covering the previous eight years.

Thus, the recent movement in Moderate Hunger is merely one step back, after two steps forward. It is not enough to contradict my column, “Hunger: the recovery continues” (Opinion, 7/25/15). The average Severe plus Moderate Hunger rate in 2015, over three quarters so far, is 14.0 percent. It is below the 18.3 percent in 2014, 19.5 percent in 2013, 19.9 percent in both 2012 and 2011, 19.1 in 2010, and all earlier numbers as far back as 2005, covering 10 years.

A big picture is always better. In appraising survey statistics, one can never go wrong by examining the big picture, using all the available details over time and space. A small picture of only a few points is not enough to show a trend.

Every newly posted SWS hunger report has updated tables and charts showing the quarterly figures since the series began 17 years ago, and the four geographical areas that the surveys were designed to cover.

Of course, a newspaper does not have space to print so much. Therefore, serious analysts should not rely on a newspaper item alone, and especially not on a headline. They should take the item as a signal that a new report, with relevant details, is available for study.

Severe Hunger in the National Capital Region (NCR) bears watching, however. In September 2015, the Severe Hunger rate of 1.6 percent in the nation is due to rates of 4.3 percent in NCR, much higher than the 1.3 percent in the Balance of Luzon, 0.3 percent in the Visayas, and 1.3 percent in Mindanao.

For the first three quarters of 2015, the running average percentage of severely hungry families is 3.8 in NCR, versus only 1.8 in Balance of Luzon, 1.8 in Visayas, and 1.2 in Mindanao. In 2014, the average quarterly percent in Severe Hunger was 3.8 in NCR, 4.1 in the Balance of Luzon, 3.2 in the Visayas, and 2.5 in Mindanao—i.e., NCR had the second-worst rate of Severe Hunger last year.

READ MORE...

Two earlier SWS economic reports for the Third Quarter were also favorable. The habit of using big pictures means relying not just on one indicator, but on as many as possible. Aside from hunger, the Social Weather Surveys have other periodic indicators of economic wellbeing, such as personal optimism and poverty. In every survey these indicators are consistent with each other, since they emanate from the same sample of respondents.

The new SWS hunger figures are from the same September 2015 survey that found: “Net Personal Optimism at Very High +33; Net Optimism about the Economy at Very High +18; Net Gainers at High +4” (posted on 10/19/15, with net personal optimism as “+36” in the title, which was only a typo error not repeated in the body or tables of the report; published by BW on 10/15/15).

In the country as a whole, 38 percent felt that their personal quality of life would improve in the next 12 months, while only 5 percent felt it would worsen, hence the net personal optimism of +33. Personal optimism has been Very High (i.e., at least +30) for six consecutive quarters.

A special tabulation shows that, in September 2015, net personal optimism was +34 among adults from non-hungry families, +28 among the moderately hungry, and +39 among the severely hungry. There is no sign that hunger dampened personal optimism.

The September 2015 SWS survey also found: “Families rating themselves as Mahirap or Poor at 50%; Families rating their Food as Poor at 35%” (first reported in BW on 10/29/15; posted by SWS on 11/2/15). Compared to June 2015,

Self-rated Poverty (SRP) was down by one point, and Self-rated Food Poverty (SRFP) was down by two points. Compared to the average of 2014, SRP was down by four points, and SRFP was down by six points.

Another tabulation shows that, in September 2015, net personal optimism was +47 among adults from non-poor families, versus +30 among those from poor families, using the self-ratings to identify the poor. It was +45 among the non-food-poor, versus +26 among the food-poor, also using the self-ratings. SWS classifies net personal optimism from +20 to +29 as High. These figures show that poverty only reduces personal optimism a bit; it does not destroy it.

In conclusion, the current big pictures of both hunger and poverty are encouraging.

* * *

The previously unpublished tabulations cited here were done by Ms. Josefina Mar of SWS.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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