Government hit for snail-paced Yolanda rehab
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Climate activists have assailed the Aquino administration for what it described as “snail-paced” rehabilitation of areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda two years ago.

In a statement, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice complained that no one has been punished for the alleged anomalies surrounding the relief efforts.

“It has been two years since Yolanda made landfall and it seems as if the administration has long moved on from the wreckage caused by the storm,” Philippine Movement for Climate Justice legal counsel Aaron Pedrosa said.

“While the Ombudsman has consistently dismissed and suspended various officials, no one has been held accountable for the anomalies surrounding the relief operations as per the findings of the Commission on Audit (CoA) and this whole failure of a rehabilitation,” he added.

The government’s relief and rehabilitation efforts in affected communities have been plagued with allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

Among the issues raised by critics were the supposed failure to deliver aid on time, the alleged irregularities in the awarding of contracts, food packs that were reportedly lost to spoilage, unused cash donations, and alleged anomalies in the distribution of shelters.

The movement also scored the increased corporate participation in the rehabilitation efforts, which, it claimed, allowed the proliferation of resorts and similar businesses in the typhoon-hit areas.

“Handing over the reins of the rehabilitation process to corporations who have no accountability to the Filipino people was a sign that the Aquino government was, and continues to be, more than willing to unburden itself of its obligation to the Filipino people,” said Pascualito Ilagan, a professor at the Eastern Visayas State University and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice convenor for Eastern Visayas.

“This seeming lack of foresight from our government caused the rehabilitation efforts to become another venue for corporations to find new ways of making profit and inevitably disregards the needs of a people who are already suffering and struggling to recover,” he added.

But the government has claimed gains in the rehabilitation of areas struck by the super typhoon.

Close to 12,000 houses for survivors have been completed while more than 77,000 others are undergoing construction, according to the National Economic and Development Authority. A total of 115,309 housing units are still in various stages of procurement.

NEDA also said the government has provided emergency shelter assistance to more than 717,000 families.

The government also claimed to have distributed more than 47,000 boats, close to 76,000 sets of fishing gear and paraphernalia, more than 14,000 farm tools, 138 tractors and other machineries, and more than 92,000 bags of seeds.  – With Christina Mendez

 

 

AARON PEDROSA ACIRC AQUINO CLIMATE JUSTICE EASTERN VISAYAS EASTERN VISAYAS STATE UNIVERSITY AND PHILIPPINE MOVEMENT NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY PASCUALITO ILAGAN PHILIPPINE MOVEMENT REHABILITATION SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA
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