Yolanda survivor asks Aquino: 'Why refuse us help?'
MANILA, Philippines – Nearly a year after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the province of Leyte, some of its residents say the government has not done enough to help them recover.
Jen Garcia took to social media to air her frustration at the politics that she believes has hampered aid to Tacloban City. In a Facebook post dated October 10, Friday, she narrated her conversation with a tricycle driver about how one of the strongest typhoons in the Philippines changed their lives.
“He asked me if President Aquino knows that not everyone who lives in Tacloban City has Romualdez as a family name,” she recalled.
Garcia urged netizens to share the photo and use the hashtag #DearMrPresident as a form of solidarity and support to “everyone who strives so hard to better his life with or without the needed help of the government.”
As of October 14, the post has been shared 3,700 times.
The driver was referring to Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez who cited government incompetence and red tape as reasons for the delay in the full rehabilitation of the region. (READ: Romualdez: Cabinet ‘red tape’ behind Yolanda delay)
Romualdez is a member of the influential Romualdez clan in Leyte politics, and a nephew of Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos. Another influential family is the Petilla clan who are allied with the Liberal Party.
‘Do your responsibility’
In another post dated October 12, Sunday, Garcia acknowledged that the national government has helped in some ways but the survivors are looking for more than just relief goods and limited infrastructure repairs.
“Just like many Yolanda survivors including Taclobanons, I do not depend on you,” she wrote. “Just do your responsibility.”
Garcia also said that everybody has a part to play in rehabiliation. "It is the responsibility of every Yolanda survivor, Taclobanon or not, to help himself. It is humanity and compassion that move Yolanda survivors to help fellow Yolanda survivors. It is the same humanity and compassion which push those not affected by Yolanda, whether fellow Filipinos or not, to help the Yolanda survivors," she said. – Rappler.com