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ILO: Slow recovery from Yolanda not unusual

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The slow relocation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors to permanent shelters is not unusual after all, an International Labor Organization (ILO) official said, as some victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan still live in tents.

Jonathan James Price, ILO emergency employment and livelihood recovery for Typhoon Haiyan chief technical advisor, yesterday disputed criticisms that the Philippine government’s assistance to survivors of the world’s strongest typhoon was inadequate.

“I wouldn’t have used the word inadequate. Typhoon Haiyan is the biggest typhoon to make landfall in the country. Given the situation in the area where it struck already has one of the lowest economic development in the Philippines, things were not good in the first place. Given that, I think the response of the Philippine government is really good,” he explained.

Price believes that the Philippine government made an amazing response, but added that the recovery from the huge devastation is expected to take years.

“I think the response to the people has been amazing. The devastation was massive. Millions of people were affected by it. Things take time,” he added.

According to Price, the ILO worked closely with different government agencies, including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and has not encountered any difficulties.

While he admitted experiencing “bureaucratic issues,” he maintained that government agencies exerted efforts to streamline the process to extend assistance much faster.

Many typhoon survivors are still living in temporary shelters, but even in developed countries like Japan, many are still living in temporary shelters after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Price claimed.

“There is still a long way to recovery. If it takes five years in the Philippines, I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said.

Price was amazed at how the Philippines engineered the recovery and at how quickly the government, international community and people worked together to help typhoon survivors.

ACIRC DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT GOVERNMENT HAIYAN INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION JONATHAN JAMES PRICE PRICE RECOVERY SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA TYPHOON TYPHOON HAIYAN
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