As Expected, Philippine Government Slow To Respond. Nothing Is That Important In Philippines.

As Expected, Philippine Government Slow To Respond. Nothing Is That Important In Philippines.
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This is a re-post. Original source

Typhoon Yolanda

MANILA, Philippines – The international media slammed the Aquino administration’s “disorganized” aid operation in areas levelled by monster typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan).

CNN journalists Anderson Cooper in his report said what is happening in Tacloban is a “demolition, not a construction job.”

“There is no real evidence of organized recovery or relief,” he said.

Cooper is among the top international journalists who are in the Visayas region covering the massive destruction inflicted by “Yolanda.”

He said it has been five days since the storm but it is still not clear who is in charge in providing assistance in the area. Fellow CNN journalist Paula Hancocks said the search and rescue never materialized.

Desperate scene

“It is a very desperate situation, among the most desperate I’ve seen in covering disasters…You would expect perhaps to see a feeding center that had been set up for 5 days after the storm. We haven’t seen that, not in this area,” Cooper reported.

He compared the Philippine government’s response to that of the Japanese government during the earthquake in 2011 where after two days, they have barely seen bodies scattered around the devastated areas.

Cooper said even without equipment, the Japanese soldiers used sticks in search for bodies and survivors.

BBC’s Jon Donnison also reported that “there does not seem to be an effective operation to get help to those in need.”

Palace defense

Malacañang, through Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, said relief goods were getting into the city.

But a reporter from the Associated Press who drove around Tacloban for around 4 miles Wednesday reported that “no evidence of any organized delivery of food, water or medical supplies, though piles of aid have begun to arrive at the airport.”

A report from the New York Times said a team from Médecins Sans Frontières, complete with medical supplies who arrived in Cebu island last Saturday have been looking for a flight to Tacloban up to Tuesday but was informed that Tacloban airport is only for the Philippines military use.

Aid accelerated

The administration, overwhelmed by the trail of destruction left by  “Yolanda,” has vowed to accelerate relief and disaster efforts as major roads have been reopened and international aid began pouring into the country.

“It’s a logistics nightmare … that’s going to be addressed,” said Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, admitting at a briefing in Malacañang that the Aquino administration was not fully prepared to deal with a humanitarian catastrophe of this magnitude.

President Aquino himself met with key officials Tuesday night to revise the masterplan for disaster response amid criticisms by local and international media networks of the slowness—if not inadequacy—of government’s aid to the victims.

“We have to adjust; we have to expand (the masterplan). We have not seen anything at the magnitude we’re seeing now. Hundreds of thousands (are affected) now. The magnitude is big,” said Almendras.

The President said in an interview with CNN that “the sheer number of people that were affected in these three provinces is quite daunting.”

Five days after Yolanda struck, the national government has yet to reach all areas affected by the typhoon.

“Now, we will (not) deny the fact and we will not insist that all have received (aid) because there are those who have not received any. What we are saying is we need help in reaching all these (people) who have yet to receive (aid),” he said.

But Almendras said disaster response would be intensified with new directives from Aquino following the meeting.

Limited transport capabilities

“Well, this is the first time we are going to try it at this magnitude. So far, things are moving. So far, goods are moving. So far, the numbers are beginning to accelerate, we are stepping up. So it’s really the resources. You cannot imagine the degree of—you cannot imagine the magnitude of resources that need to be made available to do this,” said Almendras.

Almendras cited limited transport capabilities of the government and other logistical problems for the failure to get food packs, medicines and other relief goods to the people in the Visayas soon after Yolanda left the country over the weekend.

“How we wish … (but) we cant’ fly,” he said of only two of three C-130 transports planes currently working, and the safety issues in Tacloban City airport, which has no night-flying/landing capability.

“It’s not within the national government control how effectively we can hit the ground. There are places (that are) very remote. (Government officials) need to know (the victims’ needs) so that we can reach them,” said Almendras.

He said the difficulty of getting aid to the victims was due to the breakdown of disaster response mechanism on the ground, where local executives from barangay to the municipal and provincial levels—who should have been the first responders—were themselves victims of the typhoon.

He said the government was facing “not a small amount of work to be done.” “Admittedly, (in terms of aid distribution) we are at a small level today. We have a dream” to reach all the victims as ordered by the President on Saturday, he said.

Almendras said the government would fulfill the “challenging task assigned to us” in the coming days.

Asked if the quality and speed with which the Aquino administration was responding to the humanitarian emergency would define the presidency, Almendras said:

“I don’t think it is an acid test of this administration. This is an acid test of Filipino people. How well we handle this crisis will matter a lot. Yes, there will be challenges but we will move on.” With a report from Michael Ubac, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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About FiloFail

I am Filipino by nationality. But I was not raised in Philippines. I was adopted at 2 years old, I didn't even know I was born in Philippines until I was 17 years old. I grew up in USA and came to Philippines at age 38. Had there been a blog like this before I came here, and had I read it, I probably would not have come. But that's water under the bridge.....

Comments

As Expected, Philippine Government Slow To Respond. Nothing Is That Important In Philippines. — 12 Comments

  1. Saddest thing I have read in a long long time. Easy for me to sit here jn my air conditioned condo and critique the strategy put in place by the government but there are some things that I just don’t understand with this administration. The people are clamoring for their leader. Someone that will stand with them and show them that their country cares. In a tragedy such as this – Aquino should have been on the ground and stayed on the ground until the last victim was airlifted out of there. Not for photo ops but because they are human fucking beings and he is their president. Overseeing relief efforts and coordinating with all of the various teams in play there. What an incredible message that would send! Instead we have the disastrous interview with CNN’s Ammanpour and Korina Sanchez opening her big fat mouth. People surviving the typhoon but dying of dehydration and starvation because of political red tape surrounding the distribution of relief goods. I love this country and the people in it – but want to smack the hell out of the government leaders.

  2. This is such a horrible tragedy. Much worse than anyone expected. To survive such a terrible disaster, loose everything you have and then to have to fight for your life with no food, water or medicine while coping with the death of many of your family and friends is something that I can not imagine. I am sure that all of us are not the least bit surprised by the response of the Philippine government. Very typical and predictable. They are already pointing fingers and trying to blame others instead of uniting as an organized group to distribute the relief goods that have arrived from around the world. Maybe this will be the wake up call the Filipinos need to make a change in their government officials and demand accountability. Right now the eyes of the world are watching the Philippines and seeing for themselves the results of the corruption and incompetence of the government. A sad time indeed for everyone.

  3. All the officials are too busy discussing how to split the billions in aid money. Inept, corrupt, incompetent, useless. No pre-planning was carried out at all yet I know professionals who have been to Cebu and Leyte and trained the locals in disaster management. How could they expect the local officials NOT to be hammered by the storm, they are no better off than the people they rip off, I mean govern. Only 2 C130s working? What a shambles but then they can’t buy helicopters for their police without stealing the money and getting second hand crap.

    I have family affected in both Cebu and Leyte and it drives me nuts. Then because their house in Cebu survived (because they paid for a good builder!) neighbours who built their own houses and once boasted how much bigger they were now have piles of rubble and firewood and blame my family for surviving! Mental midgets!Of course prices are triple and nobody thought to buy a generator before the storm but now scrabble and pay three times the price for one. Dumb schmucks! Few stored rice or water away. Even the simple precaution of putting the rice sack in two plastic bags…. nope! Dumb is as dumb does but you can’t help feeling sorry for them. Then the ones with the imaginary friend in the sky wail on about praying to god to save them He sent the frigging thing in the first place, and the other 21 of them and the bloody earthquake! If you believe your insurance company who call this an act of god. Oh, not insured? Why? Because they don’t pay out, just tak eyour money. Ours are like that too.

  4. Yeah I have my two-cents to add in this too. As we know, there is only 2 ways to contribute to this relief act; donate your money/resources, or donate your time to help pack the relief goods. (just heard the death total was 6321 on hew news) Well my school is just now assisting with the relief act by packing goods for the typhoon victims. I have no right to criticize, but shouldn’t this have been done earlier? I know damn well in America that they already have a reservoir of food, water, and clothes if we ever were to be impacted by a disaster like this. We even have temporary shelter plans. As for the other method, which is to donate. Cebubear had already tackled this point, but I’m afraid my donations will be pocketed by these politicians who just wants more for themselves.
    My Philippine History teacher discussed his opinion about donating to the relief act and mentioned that he ‘KNOWS’ that these charity collectors are pocketing some of the funds that is meant for the typhoon relief. As I heard today, Philippines had received 42 billion pesos in donations from other countries 30 billion of which came from America. Philippines is lucky to have so many countries on their side. He also mentioned some interesting facts in relation to this blog that supports what Filofail and most of us has been saying for a long time, but this isn’t the right time to bring it up. I do morn for what have happened here, and I’m quite ashamed of the national relief efforts to rebuild and compensate the suffering victims. I understand the deaths that has happened due to the typhoon, but I don’t understand the deaths that has occurred afterwords due to starvation. Yes, some of that is due to their owns stupidity and failure to plan for the VERY near future. They were all aware days ahead that it was coming, but they kept relying on their faith for the storm to pass them by, or not phase them. WHOOPS! Looks like they were wrong again! Some of these deaths occurred due to Filipino stupidity and failure to properly prepare for this foretold disaster. This just shows that Filipinos can’t be smart, prepare with logic, and plan for survival if their lives were on the line. [the rest of this comment has been deleted for implying Filipinos got what they deserved. Such implications are totally inappropriate. Nobody deserves such suffering no matter how stupid]

  5. Not sure who to blame for these types of problems. Probably a combination of things. We can blame the government officials who seem apathetic to the people that put them in office and are more concerned about their own well being. I see many news reports but very few big time elected officials taking action or making plans to help. Or blame the voting public that continue to elect the same people over and over and continue to put up with the same old results. Or maybe it’s the bahala na attitude of the culture itself. I do know that just by asking these questions my Filipino friends will tell me to mind my own business and stop criticizing them. It just seems like they should be better at preparing for these storms. After all, they get hit by 20-30 typhoons a year. They know they are going to come but after each storm it is the same old story of death and destruction and starving people with no homes. Realize that the government collects an 11% vat tax on almost every purchase in the Philippines. It is in the final price of the item and not noticed unless you look at your receipt. 11% of all purchases made for an entire year has to add up to a lot of money. Where does it all go? Can’t they afford to build reinforced structures to be used during emergencies for people to have a safe place to go and stock these structures with emergency supplies of food, water and medicine? Apparently not. Also. If it wasn’t for the donations of other countries how could they possibly take care of the people effected by these storms. As CebuBear said. They only have two C-130 planes available for relief operations. It just leaves me scratching my old bald head.

    • If you are ever in the Makati area drive through Forbes Park or Dasmarinas Village take a ganders at the palaces there to see where that 12% VAT is being spent. Then look at all the Mercedes, BMWs, and Starex Vans with the #8 license plates coming in and out of those villages to see WHO is spending that money. It drives me NUTS when I hear Filipinos make excuses for the ineptitude by saying “we are a poor country with no resources” – FALSE. This would be a prosperous country if not for the outright theft occurring that trickles down into the way of life here. Instead of an entire country reaping the benefits of a potentially thriving economy – the top .05% are and keeping their foot on the collective necks of the rest of the country to keep it that way.

      BTW…I just heard that Imelda Marcos just heard about the devastation to her home province Leyte and sent a hand written NOTE expressing her condolences. How about sending some of the hundreds of billions of pesos she and her husband stole from this country instead? You just can’t make this stuff up…

      • You forgot the subdivisions Bel-Air and Sam Mig. Not unusual to see a home 8,000 sqft floor space.

        Also, the 40+ families that have the Philippines by the balls, combine wealth equals close to 80% of the Philippines GDP.

  6. I was just thinking. This would actually be a good opportunity for Filipino government agencies to actually learn how to run an efficient relief operation. They are hit by disaster after disaster year after year but for some reason can’t learn how to provide an adequate relief operation to the affected areas. Now there are dozens of foreign countries with relief teams operating in the Philippines. They will actually be able to see how an organized relief operation works and maybe can learn from it because these fucking idiots don’t have a clue. It seems like the most important thing to Filipino politicians is to get posters with their pictures on the back of trucks delivering relief goods advertising their mug shots for the next election. They are more concerned about how they can take advantage of this tragedy to advance their political careers than actually helping the people who elected them. They are actually advertising on the plastic bags being handed out that are full of goods donated by other countries as if they are the ones that bought and paid for the contents of the bags themselves. This is downright disgusting.

  7. I think everyone can agree that it is almost impossible to prepare for CAT #5 typhoon. The only solution is to Run away or get ready for the death and destruction that is coming. As I see it, the local and federal gov’t filo-failed on both items. The failure is very basic…The gov’t (people) has very little concept of being Pro-active, instead they are Re-active. Even though I live 200 miles from the storms path, I made the extra effort to make sure I had Extra water, food, gas, money, and a escape plan just incase the storm was to start coming my way. That’s called being pro-active. My pinoy neighbor (who I consider a relatively good guy), told me that he wasn’t concerned, he’ll just wait until after the storm hits to make plans (re-active).
    I stopped watching the pinoy news channels after the first day because I could feel my blood pressure go up from all the poor/lame excuses. All this international aid is almost like give heroin to a drug addict. I almost think that the local and federal gov’t want these yearly Ferry sinking, Earthquakes, Typhoons to continue to happen. They must be thinking about all the extra money that they can steal before the money well runs dry.

  8. Seriously guys come on….. Let me remind you that people in the Philippines are FILIPINOS. What do you expect from them? Some sudden professionalism and organisation that grows up by magic? Politicians starting to act responsibly? With leprechaun and mermaids? In our dreams.

  9. I would like to express all my thoughts for those who loss someone during this catastrophy. As explain earlier, this happens 10-15-20 times a year (even not all cat. 5), however people keep on relying on God and their crappy Govn’t and fail to act and that’s when Evil prevail, when people fail to act (call Evil what ever it is, to me it is, e.g., death by dehydration).
    Call it stupidity, culture, whetever, to me it should be blamed.
    Warm thoughts, and to all the idiots on the roads, eat shit.

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