PHILIPPINES: Haiyan survivors gear up for giant rally in Tacloban in time for first anniv next month

Sunday 12 October 2014

Date: 9 October 2014

Type: News


Keywords: Haiyan, climate change

Exactly eleven months after Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) hit Eastern Visayas, Tindog, a network of families, friends and supporters of Yolanda victims remembers the tragedy in a photo exhibit and performance art in Plaza Miranda today to air their disappointment to the Aquino government’s poor rehabilitation efforts and slow delivery of justice to all survivors.

The group also urges the national government, particularly President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Rehabilitation Czar Panfilo Lacson and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman to immediately release a detailed and audited report of the multi-billion worth of in-kind and cash foreign aids for Yolanda victims. Tindog People’s Network fears of possible misuse of Yolanda aids as there are still more survivors and their families claim of not getting any support from the national government.

On a Commission on Audit (COA) report, millions worth of relief goods rot, wasted and not distributed due to irresponsible storage. The same COA report noted that the DSWD failed to distribute some 128,000 cans of sardines, P69.2 million worth of bottled waters and P58 million worth of supplies (including 7,527 family food packs worth P2.7M) due to storage problems.

COA also disclosed that local and foreign cash donations are still concentrated in the DSWD account reaching P740,177,751.52. Of this figure, only P3.88M was disbursed leaving P737M undisbursed.

‘We wonder what really is the plan of the Aquino government to Yolanda victims. While there are lots of money and material aids, Aquino, Soliman and Lacson seem to be negligent and heedless to the clamor of Yolanda survivors for speedy distribution of relief goods and immediate rehabilitation measures for long-term solution,’ says Mark Louie Aquino, Tindog People’s Network spokesperson.

He added, ‘Every second that is wasted by Aquino, Soliman and Lacson is another Yolanda survivor being pushed to extreme poverty.’

The group also announced today that Yolanda survivors under the banner of People Surge are now gearing-up for a giant rally in Tacloban City in time of the first anniversary of Yolanda on November 8, 2014. A week-long series of activities are also set to be held in Eastern Visayas to demand accountability to the Aquino government.

‘We are victims here, not eyesores,’ says Yolanda survivors

The Tindog People’s Network also breaks silence over the plan of some local government officials in Leyte to relocate the survivors away from the route of the visit of Pope Francis in Eastern Visayas in January next year. Palo, Leyte Mayor Remedios Petilla and Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominic Petilla already announced their plan to transfer Yolanda survivors to another bunkhouse 5 kilometers away.

‘Our local and national governments seem to be missing the point of the Papal visit. We just want to remind them that the real objective of the Pope in visiting the country next year is for him to see first-hand the real and abject conditions of the victims of Yolanda. And they should be treated victims and not as eyesores,’ ended Aquino. ###

Reference: Mark Louie Aquino, Tindog People’s Network Spokesperson

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