Bishop gives thumbs down to Aquino rehab efforts

Aside from the controversial bunkhouses, the government’s concrete rehabilitation programmes are yet to be seen.

Philippines
Feb 20 2014, 2:27 PM
Bishop gives thumbs down to Aquino rehab efforts
Bishop Crispin Varquez visits the destroyed historic church of the Immaculate Conception in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The government has failed to provide adequate help for Typhoon Haiyan survivors that devastated several towns in Eastern Samar three months ago, said Bishop Crispin Varquez of Borongan.

President Benigno Aquino III had on Tuesday said that helping victims get back on their feet has remained his top priority, in a speech before foreign investors and business leaders at the 3rd Philippines Investment Forum at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.

Aside from the controversial bunkhouses, the government’s concrete rehabilitation programmes are yet to be seen, Bishop Varquez said.

“I always visit the affected areas but so far, I’ve only seen bunkhouses. That’s so far the concrete thing that the government did here (in Eastern Samar),” Varquez said. It was in Eastern Samar’s Guiuan that Typhoon Haiyan struck first.

The bishop said the typhoon victims were yet to see other rehabilitation programmes despite the appointment of former senator Panfilo Lacson as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery. “There’s no housing yet and livelihood,” he said.

Varquez regretted that the government was keeping affected families clueless on the status of their rehabilitation. “I don’t know when it will start of if they are still in the planning stage.”

Tindog People’s Network, a group of typhoon survivors, is also planning to file a class suit against the Aquino administration for its supposed failed relief and rehabilitation efforts.

“Continuing our rehabilitation efforts is our number one priority,” President Benigno Aquino had said at the Investors meet, while appealing for further help. “Through our people’s continued support and participation, and through the aid of our friends in the international community, we have been able to make progress and respond to our people’s immediate needs. We are hopeful that moving forward, you will still be there to help us.”

The President assured investors that the government’s development programmes were not distracted by the rehabilitation of typhoon devastated areas. “Our rehabilitation efforts dovetail seamlessly into our plans for the economy in the medium and long term,” he had claimed.

Source: CBCP News & the Inquirer