Mindanaoan’s Appeal: Immediate Humane and Fair Treatment and Quick Response to Typhoon Yolanda Victims and Survivors
12 November 2013
On October 15, 2013, a 7.2 magnitude killer earthquake devastated the Visayas region costing thousand of lives and properties. This was after a two-week long stand-off between Philippine troops and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City in Mindanao that killed hundreds of people and paralyzed the city’s economy and brought fears, panic and dislocation of peoples.
Impact of these two incidents are still fresh in the minds of everybody in the country wherein affected populations are still on the verge of rebuilding their lives when super typhoon Yolanda, respectively known as Haiyan internationally, hit the central part of the country (Eastern to Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao) on 7 November 2013 that left thousands of dead people and billions of destroyed properties (industries to farm) while search and retrieval are still on going. Cadavers of humans and animals and destroyed properties and infrastructures are scattered everywhere in the affected areas mainly in the Visayas region with four million estimated affected population. Victims and survivors left with no option but to survive in whatever ways and means resulting to ransacking of stores and establishments for food, water, clothing and other means of survival. Generally the picture is a total chaos, devastation and desperation and the condition put the survivors in a very miserable situation.
For several times, the government structures and mechanisms that are supposed to be responsible in responding to the needs of the victims and survivors failed to do their duties. Institutions such as charity foundations, non-government organizations and volunteer organizations and among others remained to be the first to respond. Way back on the case of typhoons Ondoy, Pablo and Sendong, the government agencies and institutions were very slow using system installation, accounting of victims, etc. as excuses of this failure. In the case of typhoon Yolanda, after five days, more and more victims are starving to death despite the announcement of the stocks of supplies and donations from local and international donors.