Almost three months had passed after supertyphoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) lashed its furry in Visayas. About 8,000 are believed to have been killed or left missing. Television, radio, prints, and social networking sites highly show trends about the immediate relief given for victims of typhoon howler, Yolanda. The international community responded in an unprecedented ways to assist the victims. That’s why last Saturday, February 8, exactly 3 months after supertyphoon hit the country, the Philippines launched an online campaign thanking the rest of the world for helping rebuild heavily-damaged areas in the Visayas. However, most of the news reveals that the aids reached Eastern Visayas particularly in Tacloban, Leyte leaving some areas that were also affected being left unaided until now.

The problem here is that in other areas such in Western Visayas, several battered communities are still in the relief stage as they depend from the national and provincial help. Victims in Western Visayas were also “victims”. The eye of the storm also landed in their area and totally wiped out everything. Like Tacloban city, parts of the region were extremely devastated.
In Panay, specifically in Sigma, Capiz, to remedy their ravening stomach, children in Brgy. Matangcong, Sigma, get their food down the canal resisting the itch and the reeking smell it effuses wherein dead bodies of chicken and ducks were floating. They fearlessly swam into an irrigation canal seeking for food without considering the floating bodies of dead animals or organisms dwelling deep in the water.

Another problem, in Brgy. Botongon, Estancia, Iloilo, just last week, two oilspill workers suffered from lingering asthma and eventually died allegedly due to the toxic air wafting from the oil spill. These workers were villagers who enlisted themselves in cleanup operation out of desperation for jobs. Most of the workers are fishermen but the oilspill adversely affected their livelihood. The local workers are appealing for additional workers and more equipment and better protective gear but seems like the government never heard them. How many more oilspill workers will die? Until when will they sacrifice their health for the money that they need for rebuilding their shelters?

In times of disaster like this, the government must get its act together and they must move fast before another big problem arises. The nation must to make sure that the aids reach the intended beneficiaries and must not only be embarked to one area. Help must be distributed properly. The nation must have wide open ears to listen to the cries of its people.

Post by: Johna Raf Montalvo

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