Thursday, November 14, 2013

Post-Haiyan relief ops in chaos

Millions survived the onslaught of Typhoon Haiyan. Relief efforts are getting chaotic every single day. Many areas of Leyte are still asking for those relief goods sent by foreign countries and private companies. Reports indicate a breakdown in the relief efforts. Questions as to which exactly among the agencies responsible for disaster relief is in charge seemed difficult to answer. There is, however, a clear understanding that when the Palace declared a state of national emergency, it is clear that the National Government is now in charge. There should be no question now as who is really in charge of these relief efforts and that is, MALACANANG. In Amanpour's interview with Pnoy, Pnoy admitted that the local government units have stopped operations. So, if these LGUs have likewise been affected, then Malacanang should have sent troops, doctors and government personnel responsible for relief operations. The problem is really, the absence of these personnel on the ground. Government has constantly re-assured the citizenry of trying to respond to these needs, but clearly, third party reports especially from the media show that government is not just slow in its response---many areas report no government presence. Pnoy already admitted in Amanpour's interview that the Philippines has suffered from typhoon onslaughts in the past. So, why the unpreparedness now? The administration has more than 130 billion in disaster funds, almost a billion more in global change funds, and many more billions of pesos in standby funds yet, these are still not enough? The thing here is this---inspite of our monies, government has been unable to prepare. Why so? Because these funds have been channelled elsewhere, and probably lined the pockets of many. Even in our misery, corrupt men find so many opportunities.