‘My mother’s still waiting for the promised rehabilitation fund’
Eight months after “Yolanda,” my mother, a resident of Barangay Calogcog, Tanauan, Leyte, is still waiting—like thousands of other survivors of that devastating supertyphoon. It is a most frustrating thought that fellow “Waraynons” from Leyte and Samar continue to struggle to rebuild their homes and lives in the face of gross government neglect and corruption.
Back in November 2013, I was lucky to have the support of New Zealand friends for me to take the emergency trip to the Philippines to be able to search for and fetch my mother from the disaster zone. I convinced her to relocate to her sister’s place in another province, but she insisted on returning to Tanauan after being told that Yolanda survivors should stay to be able to personally receive the government’s rehabilitation fund. To this day, my mother is waiting for that promised aid to be fulfilled.
In fact, aside from the government’s belated relief packs, much of the emergency aid received by my mother and her town mates in the past months came from religious organizations and nongovernment agencies.
And so this question continues to nag: Where have all the relief and rehabilitation funds gone? The challenge of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines to President Aquino grows in relevance: Tell the nation where your discretionary funds went.
We are waiting for the President’s response.
The President should know that people in New Zealand and the whole world are closely watching the Philippine government’s post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts. As he prepares to deliver his fifth State of the Nation Address, President Aquino should brace himself for the people’s growing discontent over his undelivered promise of “daang matuwid.” More and more Filipinos are clamoring for an end to the country’s economic woes resulting from this administration’s persistent misuse and theft of public funds and billions of pesos in international aid.
Enough is enough. Justice and accountability must prevail over all the lies, denial and cover-up by a President who wants to impress on the Filipino people that culpable violation of the Constitution is merely akin to illegal parking.
coordinator, Sagip Migrante
Team New Zealand,
Migrante Aotearoa NZ,
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