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    Posted December 3, 2013 by
    Belron
    Location
    TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Typhoon Haiyan: Your stories

    Belron and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Typhoon Haiyan's impact

    The Storm that tested the Government

     
    I am from Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines, I together with my mother, wife and cousin, was in Tacloban City when typhoon Haiyan swept Tacloban City. The people of Leyte are used to typhoons as we are fronting the Pacific ocean, but this one left a mark that will linger in our hearts and minds for quite some time. Right after the storm, the Taclobanons came to the grim reality that as the storm left us, it also took away thousands of lives, destroyed infrastructures, collapsed the business community, and practically eradicated our city including our local government. Thousands of Taclobanons realized that there is nothing left for them. Thousands have lost loved ones, properties, livelihood and were practically left homeless, even to the point of not having any form of shelter at all. Filipinos are known in the World for their resilience and courage. Even in the darkest hours of our lives, we always tell ourselves that we are greater than the situation at hand, that there is light after the storm. Indeed, this is true, the storm is gone, though we lost so much because of it, we intend to rise no matter how slow it takes. Right after the ravage of Typhoon Haiyan, we expected our Local Government to take immediate action and response, but to our dismay, our local government is no longer able to function as expected by its people. Yet we Taclobanons were quick to understand that the Local Government's incapacity to act is due to the fact that the very people who constitute our Local Government were also victims of HAIYAN. THIS IS WHERE THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD STEP IN.

    During the first few days after Typhoon Haiyan, Taclobanons already felt the pain of living in the aftermath of the typhoon as food and water supply of the city is slowly bogging down, people has no shelter, food, clean water, clothing. Everywhere you go, there are signs of hopelessness and desperation, the saddest part is when our medical facilities bogged down due to scarcity of medicines and lack of medical supplies. People then became unruly, looting ensued, robbery became prevalent, crime rate of the city went up. People have asked " where is the help from the National Government?

    When we first saw airplanes and helicopters flying overhead, it is the greatest sigh of relief for us in Tacloban City, as it is a sign that somewhere somehow, there are people who care for us. Now we taclobanons know that we are cared for by the International Community as relief poured from countries around the globe. To the countries who extended us HELP AND ASSISTANCE in this trying times, I say THANK YOU. I know that simply saying THANK YOU may never be enough to express our sincerest gratitude. We can never repay you but God will bless you.

    To this day, despite the overwhelming International Help we receive, many Taclobanons are still hungry. Many casualties may still be added not because of the direct effect of HAIYAN, but due to hunger due to the corruption and incompetence of some people in our government. You may ask, Why is this so?

    Let me explain the political structure of the Philippines. The Philippines is divided into several provinces and regions, Leyte and Samar are two different provinces under one region known as region 8. Under Philippine laws, when a city is considered as HUC (Highly Urbanized City) it is not within the jurisdiction of the province. Therefore Tacloban City is in Region 8 but not under the jurisdiction of the Province of Leyte. The reason is that an HUC has its own charter and its not under the control of the Provincial Governor. Unverified reports that might be unknown to many, and for some political reasons, when relief goods are entrusted to the Governor, relief goods are not released to the City Mayor of Tacloban City to the detriment of its people. There are even reports of hoarding relief goods and there are unconfirmed reports that some relief goods coming from the International community are being repacked here in the Philippines to change its contents and some even sold in other parts of the country.

    Bottom line is this, Please continue helping us, without your aid, people in Tacloban will immensely suffer, BUT PLEASE GIVE YOUR ASSISTANCE DIRECTLY TO THE PEOPLE, DON'T COURSE IT THROUGH THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT...GIVE RELIEF GOODS TO THE VICTIMS, DO NOT ENTRUST IT TO OUR GOVERNMENT. I AM REALLY PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO, SAD TO SAY, I AM ASHAME OF MY GOVERNMENT.

    GODBLESS!

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