Thursday, November 21, 2013

Able-bodied survivors must help rather than flee in massive rehab work

Firemen help retrieve a body from the heaps of debris. Photo: Flickr
From what I've witnessed on the boob tube a few days after super typhoon Yolanda (international code name; Haiyan) struck Eastern Visayas, the influx of people had flooded the airport in their desperate attempt  to escape the devastation and hunger in Tacloban City and elsewhere in Leyte and Samar.

I could see their turgid faces painted with frustrations and fears. From media interviews, they said that they just wanted to get away from the bad situation for a while. Their destination was either the cities of Manila or Cebu. However, the C-130 cargo planes of the Philippine Air Force and US Air Force could only accommodate at least 170 people each. The situation had left more and more people scrambling to have a free ride to their destinations.

As desperate people lined up at the airport, relief goods distributors, rescuers and cleaners from Metro Manila and other foreign countries were busy doing their duties in order to help the victims and survivors of the worst devastation that hit Eastern Visayas.

When asked, one of the local artists who was caught with a brush in his hand as he painted the words: "THANK YOU, LORD!" on a piece of salvaged plywood board that's part of the heaps of debris that littered the streets, he vehemently said that there's no need to stay away from Tacloban City. "Out future is here!" as he pointed his finger to the debris that filled the grounds.

As workers from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) were busy cleaning up the debris along the roads in Tacloban City, hordes of people were just doing nothing but ask for relief goods and expressed worries as to what would happen
tomorrow.

Heaving with emotion, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman even commented that instead of criticizing the process by which the relief goods were being distributed, why can't they just come and help us?, she asked.

Notably, the clearing of the debris and other wastes in Eastern Visayas, especially Tacloban City, Palo, Tolosa and Ormoc City could have been done much easier if there is a close cooperation among all those who were affected by the super typhoon. The able-bodied survivors must contribute their share of their
time by helping outsiders in cleaning up the streets in Tacloban City, while the other members of their families have to line up to receive relief goods. Who else would help but the Warays themselves?

But it seems it's the other way around. Isn't it a shame that people from other places are the ones doing the jobs that are supposed to be done with the help of the local survivors? Unless they're still feeling hungry and weak to exert extra efforts to pick up the shovels, outsiders will continue to sweat it out so that many
of the typhoon survivors can live in peace and harmony  in areas that were devastated by the typhoon. If not, they can start building their shacks out of the light materials that could still be salvaged rather than wait for the government to build them their bunkhouses.


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