People’s Surge Protest, Palo, Leyte. (Photo by People’s Surge)
Yolanda victims protest anew against ESA memo
Anakpawis warns against Aquino’s lies of Yolanda rehab in SONA
MANILA, Philippines – The militant Anakpawis Party-list condemned the continued criminal neglect of the Aquino government on millions of victims affected by the super-typhoon Yolanda, after a series of protests held by People Surge in Basey town, Samar and Palo, Leyte these past weeks. The victims were particularly demanding the distribution of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) fund which they claimed is being withheld by government agencies and local government units as result of the Memorandum Circular No. 24 of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on ESA. Anakpawis warned against manufactured lies of president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino on his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), that would depict that his administration has rehabilitated the devastated Yolanda-hit areas.
“Hindi lang tamad, mabagal at teka-teka si Aquino, kundi kriminal na pabaya sa milyun-milyong biktima ng bagyong Yolanda, magda-dalawang taon na mula nang manalasa ang bagyo, hanggang ngayon, hindi pa natatanggap ng mga biktima ang tulong, partikular ang ESA, huwag na huwag siyang manlilinlang na ni-rehab niya ang mga biktima nito,” (Aquino is not just lazy, slow and indecisive, but criminally negligent of the millions of victims of typhoon Yolanda, it is nearing 2 years since its havoc, they are yet to receive assistance, particularly the ESA, he should not dare lie about rehabilitating the victims) Anakpawis Rep. Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said in a statement.
According to the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) report dated April 3, 2014, super-typhoon Yolanda caused the deaths of at 6,293 individuals, injured 28,689 and 1,061 missing. Affected population reached to more than 3.4 million families or 16 million individuals while damaged houses were accounted at more than 1.1 million. Aside from direct effects on victims, the cost of damages reached nearly P40 billion, of which P20 billion was to agriculture.
Last May, Yolanda victims from the Eastern Visayas and Panay region travelled to the National Capital Regioon (NCR) to urge DSWD central office to scrap its Memoramdum Circular No. 24 that restricted the eligibility of beneficiaries, making it inaccessible to legitimate victims. The said memo disqualifies those who reside on “No Build – No Dwell Zones,” those not included by the LGU on the DSWD-Disaster Family Access Card (DAFAC), regular workers in public and private sectors who are amortizing housing loans or those earning P15,000 or more a month.
“Maraming mga magsasaka, mangingisda, katutubo, urban poor at iba pang sektor ang automatic na disqualified dahil nga karaniwang ang kanilang mga komunidad ay dinedeklara ng mga LGU na ‘No Build – No Dwell Zone,’ maging ang mga pamilyang biktima na may kamag-anak na OFW na sumusweldo ng higit ng P15,000, mga empleyado sa munisipyo at iba pang opisina,” (Many farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous people, urban poor and other sectors are automatically disqualified as they usually reside in “No Build – No Dwell Zone” declared by many LGUs, those families with OFW relatives earning more than P15,000, municipal hall employees and other offices) Hicap said.
Hicap has filed many house resolutions concerning the rehabilitation efforts of the Aquino government on Yolanda-hit areas, such as House Resolution No. 669, the investigation on the alleged over-priced bunkhouses constructed in Eastern Visayas, House Resolution No. 947, investigation on “no build, no dwell zone” policy and House Resolution No. 1950, investigation on the damage assessment of typhoon Ruby and Seniang on Yolanda-hit areas. ESA was allocated with P18 billion unded DSWD authority, while donations for Yolanda rehabilitation reached to P73.3 billion.
Anakpawis called for the scrapping of the DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 24, the immediate and transparent distribution of donations to Yolanda victims. ###