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Home Sections Philippine Presidency The US-backed Arroyo Administration’s Gross Criminal Neglect Is Part of the GMA Legacy
The US-backed Arroyo Administration’s Gross Criminal Neglect Is Part of the GMA Legacy PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Philippine Presidency
Written by Melvin Barcenas   
Friday, 23 October 2009 17:43


L os Angeles, California – The Philippine Peasant Support Network (Pesante-USA), a United States-based environmental-and-peasant advocacy group existing since 1991, expressed outrage over the criminal neglect and extreme arrogance of the US-backed Arroyo regime and its hirelings.

 

President Arroyo coddles the National Power Corporation’s (NAPOCOR’s) criminal neglect. And now the Arroyo administration plays dumb and blind to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD)’s incompetence.

 

While donations are rotting in its warehouses, the DSWD is driving the affected people out the relocations centers and forcing them to register.

 

It is not enough for the US-backed Arroyo regime to blame the victims but it is punishing them with such uncalled-for sanctions.

 

It is not the fault of the people that in the two flooding disasters they suffered exposed the failure of our disaster-response systems. The PAGASA has no radar system and it relied on the US military system for information for too long. 

 

Even the much touted “hazard mapping” was not done. If it was done at all, it was given to foreigners like the United Nations agencies that took time to map the hazards area.

 

The UN “urban planning” advisers admitted that they have mapped only 23 of the 77 hazard areas that are prone to landslides, tsunamis and earthquakes. It looks like that they are really waiting for another disaster to happen.

 

T he disasters just compounded the long-standing environmental problems and gross mismanagement at all levels. The river system has not been dredged for years. The drainage system and waterways are as antiquated and cannot even be compared to the Roman Empire's infrastructures.

 

The Laguna Lake ecosystem was totally destroyed because it was never dredged and illegal fish pens and subdivisions were tolerated. Large-scale deforestation and open-pit mining and quarrying destroyed the mountains. And the US-backed Arroyo regime never cared.

 

If ever the US-backed Gloria Arroyo leaves a legacy to the Filipinos, it is her criminal neglect that caused the greatest suffering of the Filipino people in Luzon, which was unequalled in the last 40 years.

 

But the Filipino people will make Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pay for her and her cohorts' crimes in the near future. # # #

 



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Last Updated on Friday, 23 October 2009 17:48
 
Comments (2)
1 Saturday, 24 October 2009 18:56
According to Blog Ni Ella, these goods have not been distributed to the typhoon survivors. WHY?

Ella wrote on her (now blocked) blog:

Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo? (A special report from a volunteer)
Oct 21st, 2009 by ella

Dear friends,

I’m asking your help to spread the word. Tulungan po ninyo akong ikalat ito. Beyond this, we should also demand action. I disabled a plugin so you can copy the photos of relief goods rotting in DSWD warehouses. You can link this post to your blogs, facebook, websites etc. You can also email the photos.

Philippine News (US based Philippine newspaper) will use this as its front page story this week. Every Filipino has the right to know where the tons of donations from the UN and other counties go. Kahit po nakakahiya sa mga nag-donate. Kung sa ganitong paraan, matutulungan natin ang mga nasalanta, then by all means, let’s do it.

For those who have the time, please try to volunteer sa DSWD warehouses. Getting in was not easy. A friend had to put in a word for us. Let’s see kung madali nang makapasok sa DSWD warehouse ang mga volunteers.

Please read on and good luck to us.

Ella

(This post was last edited Oct 22, 12:30 pm)

Kahapon, tinanong ng Philippine News si DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral:

Editor of Philippine News: Why are the relief goods in DSWD warehouses not moving?

DSWD Secretary Esperanza Cabral: Wala kasing volunteers.

This short interview was done over the phone. Philippine News wanted to hear her side pero ayaw niyang makipag-usap sa press. After four tries, pinasabi na lang niya ang maikling sagot na ito sa secretary niya - “Walang volunteers”.

I don’t want to accuse her of corruption but at the very least she is showing signs of being totally incompetent. We are in a state of calamity where every second counts. May namamatay araw-araw dahil sa sakit.

In my opinion, these deaths could have been prevented if Secretary Cabral had tried a little harder to do her job.

Deaths from Philippine storms nears 1,000
“Tropical Storm Ketsana left 420 dead and 37 missing when it flooded 80 percent of Manila on September 26, a disaster the government said affected 4.35 million people.

Some areas are still flooded three weeks later and 189,000 people remain in evacuation centres,

Typhoon Parma hit the northern Philippines on October 3 and lingered as a tropical storm for a week, triggering landslides that killed 438 people and leaving 51 missing mostly in mountain communities.

The government agency said Parma affected 4.16 million people, including more than 32,000 who remain at evacuation centres.”

During the first week after the storm, lumabas ang “bayanihan spirit” ng mga Pinoy. “Makatulong lang kahi’t konti,” katwiran nila.

kung walang volunteers, ano ‘to, komiks?

From Stella Arnaldo’s blog:

“At the offices of many civic groups and private organizations, hundreds of people showed up to volunteer in packing relief goods.

At the Tulong Bayan center at the Expo Centro in Cubao, Most of the volunteers were adolescents as young as 10 years old, along with their kuya or ate in high school and college.

They came in huge numbers, many of them barkadas, classmates or siblings, dressed just in their tees and shorts, wearing their Havaianas. All were just enthusiastic to do their share!
Photos by Leah Navarro (SORRY READERS, WE COULD NOT UNLOAD THE PHOTOS IN THIS USER'S COMMENTS' SECTION.)

Even grade school kids pitched in to help!

Youth volunteers repack detergents for distribution


Making beds from carton boxes



GMA asked world for donations



Our government begged the world for more donations. Sumagot ang buong mundo sa ating panawagan. In less than three weeks, dumaong ang mga barko, ibinaba mula sa mga cargo planes, i-diniliver ng mga trak at container vans ang sandamakmak na relief goods. Cash donations were in the millions of dollars.



But these donations must be coursed through DSWD



Nagpalabas ng directive ang pangulo. Individuals, private companies and other nations were ENCOURAGED to send their donations to DSWD. I blogged about it here and the video of her announcement here.



This PGMA directive sounded suspicious to me then. Now I know why. Here’s the story.



A group of eight people, your ate Ella included, went to one of DSWD warehouses to help in repacking relief goods. We know they need volunteers pero hindi namin akalaing WALANG TAO TALAGA SA LOOB NG WAREHOUSE!



As in sa isang humongous warehouse (1000++ sq.m) NA PUNONG-PUNO NG RELIEF GOODS HANGGANG BUBONG, ISANG DSWD employee lang at ISANG SECURITY GUARD ang tao!!



Kailangang magpa-register at i-schedule ang volunteering


1) UNICEF Registration (as a volunteer)

The warehouse can only take as much as 50 volunteers at a time or per shift. Here you will find that there is a 4-hour shift, and an option for a 6-hour shift for the volunteers to indicate their availability.



What “volunteers”? Nasaan?



Aside from the 8 of us? Nope, there was nobody there. Bakit kailangan ang scheduling? Feeling hindi ba magkamayaw at nagu-unahan ang mga volunteers?



I know somebody who wanted to volunteer many times. She was always bumped off, laging nirere-schedule kasi “there were too many volunteers” daw. At tuwing Sunday lang daw puwede. What the hell is going on here?



Nakatambak ang donations ng UNICEF sa warehouse, local and international



Mga banig na dapat ay nahihigaan ng mga nasalanta. Mga imported camp beds na hindi na yata masisilayan ng mga biktima. Mga kumot na hindi naman nakabalot sa katawan nila. At mga pagkaing hindi sumasayad sa sikmura nila.



The relief goods are not going anywhere



We arrived at about 8 am and left by midafternoon and yes, you guessed it right. Kami pa rin ang tao bukod sa isang DSWD employee sa loob ng warehouse maghapon. Walang ibang dumating.



The relief goods are not moving. By the way things look, they are not going anywhere. Hindi maglalakad mag-isa ang mga donations na ito papunta sa mga evacuation centers.



LET THE PICTURES DO THE TALKING



Note: Pinagbawalan kaming kumuha ng pictures sa loob ng warehouse. I wonder why.



“Not a creature was moving, not even a mouse.”


Parang haunted warehouse ang dating.. May multo na yata.




Kahit na daig pa ang tindahan sa Divisoria sa dami ng naka-stack na kaldero




At walang katapusang kaldero pa ulit




Kahit halos natakpan na ang mga bintana sa dami ng mga kahon




Kahit umabot na hanggang kisame ang stack ng mga kahon




(Close up ng Coleman camp beds sa previous photo) Hindi ito kasama sa ni-repack naming goods. Para sa mga “special victims” kaya ito? Ire-repack kaya ang mga “imported” camp pads na ito ever?




Sabagay, may BANIG naman para sa “ordinary victims”. Ito ang kasama sa inimpake namin. Sayang ‘yung imported.




Ano kaya ang laman nito? Hindi rin pinabuksan. Pang-special victim din kaya ito? (teka, dito nga pala galing ‘yung mga kumot)




Mahiwagang mga kahon from Japan Aid.




(close up ng mahiwagang kahon) Hindi rin ito kasali, of course. Hindi namin alam kung ano ang laman nito. “Imported” are not included, we have concluded.




Marami ito, mga laruang kasinlaki ng tao. Hindi nakunan ng pic kasi nasa tabi ng sikyo.




PORK AND BEANS? Yup, you’d think kasama ito sa relief bag. Pork and beans lang ‘to, puwede na sigurong ipamigay,




Naaah! “Imported” pork and beans from Spain po ito. Sorry, hindi pa rin included



Now let’s take a look at what a victim will get from DSWD




Look Ma, sampung lata ng sardinas! How generous! Kaldero ang unang ilalagay sa sako. Sabong panglaba (bar soap) at sampung sardinas sa ilalim. Siyam na sabon sa gilid ng kaldero. Local goods lahat syempre.


Tapos papatungan ng isang tuwalya at isang pack ng sanitary napkin.




Sisiksikan ng tatlong rolyo ng kumot(?) ang blue water jug tapos ipapatong sa kaldero sa loob ng sako.




Last but not the least, lalagyan ng dalawang banig.




Sabay tatahiin na ang sako. O di ba, parang asong tinapunan ng buto ang mga nasalanta? Eniwey, busog naman sila sa SAMPUNG lata ng Mega sardinas



Do not delay





YOU THINK?? WTF is the matter with these people? Mag-iisang buwan na mula nang masalanta ang mga kababayan natin. ISANG BUWAN!! Do you mean “do not delay ang dati nang delayed”?? Shet.



Anong ginagawa ng mga donations na ito sa warehouse?? APAT na warehouse ang nasa loob ng compound na ‘yon! APAT na warehouse na punong-puno ng inaalikabok na relief goods! Relief goods na ayaw yata ibigay sa mga nasalanta. Halatang-halata.



Marami pang pabubulukin




Wow! May bagong shipment na naman! At the rate DSWD is moving, next year na madi-discover kung ano ang laman ng mga kahong ito.



“The first of two of the largest high-energy food shipments from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) arrived in the country two days ago for victims of storm “Ondoy” and typhoon “Pepeng.”



The biscuits were fortified with essential vitamins and minerals for supplementary feeding to children, pregnant women and the elderly in evacuation camps. Another 100 tons of biscuits will arrive on Oct. 24, in a continuing effort to provide food assistance to flood victims.



Sige, ideretso ‘nyo ulit ‘yan sa DSWD warehouse. Para AMAG naman ang abutin ng biskwit… at sapot ng gagamba.



Conclusion



Sa maghapon namin sa warehouse,nakagawa kami ng 150 sacks of relief goods. 150 bags of relief goods lang ang lumabas sa warehouse na ‘yon that day. At nandoon pa rin sa loob ang mga imported relief goods, safe, sound and packed as the day they arrived.



Nakisakay kami palabas sa isang DSWD delivery van. Gusto sana kaming ihatid ng driver hanggang Makati pero wala raw siyang sobrang gasolina. Ibinaba na lang niya kami sa gitna ng EDSA. Millions of dollars in donations, walang extrang pang-gasolina.



Susulpot din siguro ang laman ng mga mahiwagang kahon at mapapasakamay din ng mga tao…sa ARAW NG ELEKSYON. O mabibili na nila ang mga imported goods na ‘yon sa mga puwesto sa Quiapo at Divisoria.



Suggestions lang po sa DSWD:


Alam ‘nyo palang walang mag-volunteer sa inyo, bakit hindi kayo mag-hire ng mga tao? Bayaran ‘nyo ng arawan para mag-repack. Ang daming walang trabaho, makakatulong pa kayo. Hindi naman malaking kabawasan ‘yon sa bilyong pisong donasyon na natanggap ninyo. Isa pa, gaano ba karami ang mga sundalo natin? Hindi ba puwedeng ipagawa sa kanila ‘yan? Baka isang araw lang, tapos na ang problema ‘nyo Bakit hindi ‘nyo ibigay ang trabaho sa mga NGO, churches, private charities, TV stations? I’m sure they are more than willing to help. Time is of the essence. Huwag kayong suwapang. Obvious ba, hindi ‘nyo naman kaya.


Kung talagang gugustuhin ninyong makarating agad sa mga kawawang biktima ang mga donasyong ‘yon, nagawa ‘nyo na ‘yan. Maraming paraan…kung talagang gusto ‘nyo lang.You are the government. You have the power, the resources and the money. You just have to really care.

You are the government. You have the power, the resources and the money. You just have to really care. # # #
2 Monday, 26 October 2009 18:42
Statement of Dr. Esperanza Cabral on the issue of relief goods in the DSWD Warehouse

October 23, 2009


The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) manages the National Relief Operations Center (NROC) which is the facility for processing and storage of relief goods that are purchased by the Department or donated to us by generous individuals both here and abroad. The relief goods are released to our Regional Offices or directly to evacuation centers or to the local government units as they are needed and requested by these entities. They are delivered in trucks, many of which were lent to us by private companies or by military vehicles. Some of the goods are shipped by air from nearby Villamor Airbase.


When typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng hit the country, we received and are continuing to receive donations. Our warehouses are indeed full, inspite of the fact that we have distributed 500,000 food packs and 200,000 clothing packs as well as thousands of sacks of rice, blankets, beddings, and items of personal hygiene in the past almost 4 weeks. That is the reason why when asked if we still have enough goods, my constant reply is yes, so far we do, thanks to the many kind-hearted individuals and organizations as well as countries who responded and are still responding to the plight of the typhoon victims.


There are no rotting relief goods in our warehouses as we do not keep perishables there and the relief goods that are there, save for the donated old clothes are quite new since they have been either recently purchased by us or have been just donated.


Our goods are repacked by volunteers who are there because they want to help. But they are volunteers and report when they have time to help us. Sometimes there are two hundred of them and sometimes there are only a dozen. However many or few they are, we appreciate their presence and their assistance. Weekdays are usually quiet but on Saturdays and Sundays, the students, along with others who work Monday to Friday, including our own employees, are there.


Our staff at the warehouse work round the clock even now, making sure that the requests for relief goods are met in a timely manner. They work hard, they work quietly and they work humbly and I feel bad that they have been subjected to public vilification that they do not deserve.


I do not recall having talked to an Editor of Philippine News. I do remember my secretary telling me that someone was on the phone asking why there were no volunteers working at the warehouse. My reply was we do not own the time of the volunteers.


I wish that I could have prevented the deaths from typhoons but in fact, they have nothing to do with the relief goods that we are in charge of. Most of the deaths were from drowning or injuries sustained during the typhoon. Some died of illnesses. We are not in charge of rescue nor are we in charge of health and to the best of my knowledge, none of the deaths was due to absence of or delay in the delivery of relief goods.


We would like to assure all of you that the relief goods will reach the intended beneficiaries as they become necessary and will be used only to assist them. However, the relief goods don’t all go out at the same time and an empty warehouse is not proof that the goods were used properly just as a full warehouse is not evidence that the goods are being hoarded. If you visit our website www.dswd.gov.ph you will find updates on our activities related to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. It includes an updated list of donations received and goods released from the DSWD warehouse.


There are many aspects of disaster response. They include recovery and rehabilitation and in both instances, goods and other resources are still needed. In the initial reaction to a calamity, people will want to help and as we saw recently, they came in droves, offering their time, their talent and their resources. We want them to know how much we appreciate them for what they have done and what they are still doing. But further down the road, when the initial flush of generosity gives way to donor fatigue, there will remain only a few hardy NGOs and volunteers and the workers of the DSWD and other government agencies to continue the job of helping the disaster victims back on their feet. Judicious use of resources at the outset is imperative lest we face the situation of even greater want after a period of relative plenty. We at the DSWD wish to assure you that your trust in us is not misplaced. Thank you.




Information Section
Philippine Consulate General
Trunkline: 213 639 0980
Directline: 213 637 3028
Website: www.philippineconsulatela.org

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