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Relief Operations that have not Relieved Yolanda Victims

by Mary Ann

“My dear country, you are made up of more than 40 thousand barangays! How can you prosper if your unit in-charge will discriminate helpless citizens for reasons involving personal interests and political alliances?” – my wailing in my fb account

On Relief Operations

The interview of Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez had evoked a long-buried, intended-to-be-forgotten pessimism over the plight of the country in the hands of our very own people we elected as our leaders. lucy torres on relief op

We call it relief operation.  People and governments send their help in cash or in kind to agencies they believed will bring such donations to the victims to relieve them of their hunger, thirst, coldness and sorrow, how difficult the ways will be to reach each one of them.  True enough, we can see, even only on aired or printed reports, government and non-government organizations mobilizing the relief operations.

Four days with nothing.  Many victims claim this fact. How can this be possible with the goods in packs and sacks in many areas.  How can all these goods we see on TV reach the victims who have nothing for days.  It’s unthinkable, at least from our end who are not there in site but tried as much to extend help in our little ways.

On Politicking

So the primary culprits are our barangay officials.  At least this is how it is with the account of Rep. Lucy.  And this is so possible with the way things are done at our own barangays, under normal circumstances.

Have you heard of a licensed professional (teacher, nurse, police, engineer) who is to obtain a certification from a local politician as an endorsement and attachment in an application for a local government job for without it s/he can not be prioritized?

Where is the spirit of bayanihan among the local leaders? Various media, local and international, report the efforts done by people from all walks of life in different parts of the globe just so each with the intent to help can somehow reach the helpless victims of the strongest typhoon that ever made a landfall on earth.

Sadly, for us Filipinos, the major value orientations of particularism, personalism, and non-rationalism are at work to the fullest. And no other than the Yolanda victims are twice, if not in multiples, subjected to tempests in real human-made forms.

While relinquishing their rightful duties and obligations (as they should) to  the constituents, many local (national even) leaders are over mindful of their future in politics so that they had to print their names on labels of relief goods for distribution.  Isn’t it that true service is without counting of efforts.  Besides, “to serve” is the mantra our leaders have when they run for office and the mandate they take oath upon when they won.
Sigh.  When will we ever change?  Maybe if project Genesis actually happens and only the selected few with the best persona will remain and rebuild the world into what it should really be.  Far from what it is today. #AnnDaclan

Yolanda: A Given Name Now Feared by Many

by Mary Ann

With an international codename Haiyan and locally called Yolanda, this name will be remembered in history as the strongest typhoon the world has ever have, at least until 7 November 2013.

Yolanda has also been used as a name just 3 years ago to a non-tropical cyclone that struck and flooded eastern Europe in 2010.

Looking at the map made by Rappler, one can see why this typhoon is described as the strongest one ever that hit the world. It is even stronger than “Pablo,” destroyed properties and ended lives in most parts of Visayas and Mindanao in December 2012. Barely a year from that experience and here is Yolanda. It must be noted that Visayas has just been lambasted weeks ago by a strong earthquake and still recuperating from the losses and now here is the strongest storm. The typhoon has such a wide scope that ranking of signals reaches to 4 and involving the whole country in various signal.

storm-signals-yolanda-20131107-11am

This afternoon, the Department of Education in Iligan City already released a directive of “no school” tomorrow, Friday, 8 November 2013.

Prayer brigades have been started in various social media.

Local residents can not help but compare typhoons Sendong, Pablo and this coming Yolanda. While conversing and recalling events, there is that inevitable tinge of apprehension and fear.

Outside rain falls with mild strength like that of an attacking soldier in a war and withdrawing after a while, then silence in drizzling then relaxed rain…

It will help if we visualize a peaceful evening free from storm. This may give the impression to Yolanda that she is ignored and unwanted she has to stay away.

God bless us all.