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Inept response to crisis

/ 10:17 PM November 27, 2013

I am a fourth year high school student whose parents come from Palo and Tanauan, Leyte. I can no longer stand seeing them cry. I share their sorrow; they have been spending sleepless nights as they grieve the loss of kin, friends and townmates. We have yet to receive word about the fate of some of our relatives. I am not very young, so I think I must express what is in my mind and in my heart.

The government under President Aquino doesn’t seem to truly care. As president, he could and should have immediately ordered help for the victims by deploying personnel, equipment and relief goods. He even has all the power to tap the private sector for relief and clean-up operations or for restoration work. The remains of the victims could have been collected earlier and placed at a decent location.

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Instead, peace and order got out of hand. The looting could have been prevented if the people’s basic needs were addressed at once. But the President took decisive actions only after chaos had set in.

He should bear in mind that he cannot fool every Filipino with pretentious deeds. Most Filipinos may have seen the C-130s as a very big help, but soon they are going to realize that he could have done much, much more though we don’t have to depend on him alone.

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So many countries have sent us donations which I hope will not go to where they are not meant to be, as had happened in the past. And what do I hear? That the President has more than enough relief goods at his disposal and rescue teams at his command? I shouldn’t have written this had relief and rescue actually reached us. Thousands of people in others places, besides Tacloban, need relief goods too, and they are still waiting to feel the presence of government.

My mother has called the Department of the Interior and Local Government and she was told to just pray! Don’t you realize that prayer without action is nothing? And it was very unprofessional and immature of the President to blame local government officials for not being prepared for this calamity. Doesn’t he realize that they are under his administration so their unpreparedness reflects his? Blaming them doesn’t help! He should have inspired them and the survivors that things would soon be better. But, no, instead of lifting their spirits, he dampened them.

Just so President Aquino knows: His response to the crisis was very slow and inept, and thus he prolonged the suffering of the survivors. He should double his efforts to help us get back to our feet. He can if he wants to. At this point, I am very disappointed with his administration. I feel he has failed our expectations, even betrayed our trust.

—APRIL VARGAS,

[email protected]

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TAGS: disaster response, Government, letters, typhoon `Yolanda
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