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Tanauan residents seek orderly distribution of relief goods

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

TANAUAN, Leyte, Philippines - – Residents of this coastal municipality in Leyte that is now living on relief goods are wishing for a more orderly distribution of aid by directing the US military helicopters to make their daily air drop of relief goods at the grassy field of the Tanauan National High School.

Gerry Buco, 34, who now walks with a limp as a result of leg wounds sustained during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda last Nov. 8, said that he was not happy with the relief assistance being conducted by the US humanitarian forces.

“They’re happy but we’re not,” Buco said, referring to US soldiers smiling and giving them the thumbs up sign when pushing the boxes of relief goods out of Black Hawk helicopters.

The injured Buco complained that he could not run to the drop zone to get his family’s share of the relief packs.

“Only those who are able-bodied and brave could get through the gusts of wind and sand from the helicopter propellers to get a share of the relief goods,” Buco told The STAR at the gate of the Tanauan National High School yesteday morning, after an unsuccessful attempt to get relief packs dropped by the helicopters at around 7:30 a.m.

“Some get two relief packs and many are left empty-handed,” Buco, who worked in a small factory making slippers in Tanuan, said.

“They should distribute the relief goods in a more orderly way, so that everybody can get a pack,” Buco said.

He suggested that the relief distribution should be coordinated with barangay leaders and in the case of their village, Barangay Canramos chairman Jose Anggulo is trusted by residents to distribute the relief packs fairly and in an orderly manner.

“That way, we don’t have to waste all morning to wait for the food drop and we can focus on other important things like rebuilding our homes and finding livelihood,” Buco said.

With the scarcity of fuel and even trucks to distribute relief goods, the logistical help being provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US military, through their helicopters and cargo aircraft, has been very valuable to the relief operations.

USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg, who arrived Monday morning and who announced the additional pledge of $10 million from the US government to the relief efforts, said they have set up a logistical system to speed up the distribution of relief goods.

vuukle comment

ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR

BARANGAY CANRAMOS

BLACK HAWK

BUCO

CONFLICT AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE NANCY LINDBORG

GERRY BUCO

GOODS

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

RELIEF

TANAUAN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

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