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Grief and renewal in Tacloban


Wilma and Jong are “Yolanda” survivors, along with their son, who is in college. But Wilma’s eyes have the dull look of grief, and tears threaten to spill when Jong fishes out his cell phone and displays a photo of their daughter Jahan, who was 15 and a high school senior when the supertyphoon hit their seaside barangay.

Posted: December 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Account for relief aid—DSWD told

It was disconcerting to hear Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman’s announcement that relief operations in Supertyphoon “Yolanda”-devastated areas will end in December. This was made amid reports about the inexplicably inadequate amount of government relief assistance reaching typhoon victims.

Posted: December 12th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

DSWD also in W. Visayas provinces

Thank you for bringing to the public’s attention the plight of the typhoon victims in Capiz and Antique through the story titled, “Victims in Antique, Capiz cry for help” (Front Page, 11/20/13). Indeed, while the rest of the country is focused on Tacloban, there’s a great portion of Ilonggos in Panay Island needing attention too.

Posted: November 23rd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »


After the crackdown, the exodus. A government official estimates that as many as 100,000 Filipinos in Sabah may return to Mindanao by the end of May—a massive remigration that needs to be prepared for. Will the government be ready? And is the Sultanate of Sulu, whose incursion into Sabah precipitated the crisis, in a position [...]

Posted: April 3rd, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Another woman falls victim

We denounce the killing of Cristina Jose, the latest victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration. Jose was one of the leaders of Barug Katawhan (People Stand Up), an organization of Typhoon “Pablo” victims in Davao Oriental, that led a protest action at the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Davao City. Jose was killed by three men who were aboard a motorcycle, four days before the world commemorated International Women’s Day last March 8.

Posted: March 25th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Just perform functions effectively and honestly—DSWD officials told

We commend as well as thank the Inquirer for giving a more accurate, rational and compassionate account of the protest of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors at the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Davao (“Hunger,” Inquirer, 3/2/13).

Posted: March 15th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Dinky Soliman: Don’t manipulate people in need

I am writing in reaction to the Inquirer’s March 2 editorial titled “Hunger.”

Posted: March 11th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Learning to fish takes time


Last week, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported to the public that the conditional cash transfer program (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or 4Ps) is “on track to achieve its objectives of promoting investments in the health and education of children while providing immediate financial support to poor families.”

Posted: March 8th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Question of justice, not a legal issue

The Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) condemns the violent dispersal by the Davao City police of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors who massed up at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office in Davao City, to demand the immediate release of relief goods due them. The excessive use of force on the disaster victims, which included the use of snipers and high-powered rifles, defies legal and moral justification.

Posted: March 8th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »


The raid on Tuesday of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao City would not have happened had national and local officials been sensitive to the situation of the survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Complaining of hunger and neglect, the survivors belonging to the group Barug Katawhan forced their way into the office and made off with sacks of rice and other relief goods. (Spokesperson Karlos Trangia was reported as assiduously listing the stuff carted away, from 52 sacks of rice down to a single can of biscuits.) The police later wrested back the goods taken, resulting in injuries to a number of people.

Posted: March 1st, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Saving lives

She now swears allegiance to the American flag, but one could say her act was deeply Filipino. And US President Barack Obama was sufficiently moved. “We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane ‘Sandy’ plunged her hospital into darkness [last October], she wasn’t thinking about how her own home was faring. Her mind was on the 20 precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe,” Obama said in his State of the Union Address last week.

Posted: February 16th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

No overpricing: DSWD, IOM bunkhouses differ in design

This refers to Nico Alconaba’s news article titled “Bunkhouse costs surprise survivors” (Inquirer, 2/3/13).

Posted: February 11th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »



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