Palace: Consider first welfare of quake victims-A A +A
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
MALACANANG urged Tuesday the local government of Maribojoc, Bohol and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to take into consideration the welfare of those affected by the powerful earthquake that hit Visayas last week.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Herminio Coloma Jr. made the call following reports that Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr. attempted to stop the distribution of relief goods by the Red Cross by asking the latter to turn over to the local government unit (LGU) the goods so that they could be the ones to do the distribution.
"Pagsisikapan ng ating pamahalaan na mapaglapit ang pananaw ng mga taong nasa ground dahil nga hindi naman nakakatulong ang magkaroon pa ng iringan. Ang dapat po talagang manaig ay ang pakikipagtulungan ng lahat ng mga tumutulong," he said in a press briefing.
Although the PRC and the local government have their own positions on how relief goods are distributed to the people, Coloma said the Palace would rather that they agree on a more efficient and faster distribution of relief items.
"Ang dapat pong makita natin ay 'yung paghahatid ng kagyat na pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayang nasalanta ng kalamidad, lalung-lalo na 'yung patungkol sa pagkain at 'yung sa sisilungan nila. 'Yung pinaka-basic needs nila, in terms of food and shelter, should not be jeopardized by any disagreements on the manner of distribution of relief goods," he said.
Coloma acknowledged the realities on the ground particularly the challenges being faced by relief organizations that want to reach people in need.
While the PRC needs to help also, he said that Evasco, being the chairman of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee has also his concerns in ensuring an orderly distribution of goods.
"Ang sa amin lang po ay nais sana natin na magkaroon ng mas masinsing pakikipag-ugnayan ang lahat ng mga tumutulong sa ating mga kababayan dahil hindi naman dapat manaig ang iba pang agenda," he said.
In a big disaster such as the Bohol quake, one of the challenges is logistics, Coloma said. Relief organizations have to deal with obstacles on the ground to immediate distribute relief goods.
For this reason, he said President Benigno Aquino III always asks for updates from officials to ensure that there was no hindrance for people getting the necessary support the soonest.
With regard to restoring power in the affected areas, Coloma said the Department of Energy is working hard to fix destroyed lines so the supply of electricity could normalize. (SDR/Sunnex)