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    Posted December 4, 2013 by
    odetosecrecy
    Location
    Philippines
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Typhoon Haiyan: Your stories

    odetosecrecy and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Typhoon Haiyan's impact
    More from odetosecrecy

    RELIEF STILL CONTROLLED BY POLITICS

     
    MANILA: Last Tuesday, while waiting for confirmation of our boarding passes with AirAsia/Zest, my wife and I were mulling around the Old Manila Domestic Terminal’s ticketing booths, where we noticed a number of different relief groups heading for Tacloban, which had recently been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. The first was a UN dispatch from South Korea, and the other was GAIN (Global Aid Network) from Europe. Among their personal belongings, they had a sizable number of relief packages and other goods for the victims in and around the area.

    Some time later, when we were all near the gates waiting, I spoke to one of the representatives from GAIN. I asked him if the airline had charged their relief goods as excess baggage, and with a rather disappointed expression, he said “Yes they had.” He then asked me what it was about the Philippines always finding some way to rape not only their own people, but foreigners as well? I told him that’s what happens when a nation’s government takes them from being world-class, to bottom-of-the-barrel. Like him, I was surprisingly shocked that relief goods meant to help their own countrymen, were being treated as excess baggage, and charged at nearly 200 pesos per kilo. With most boxes having an average weight of 8-10 kilos.

    He then proceeded to to tell me how GAIN had 3 plane loads of relief goods, waiting in Germany for over 2 weeks now, due to the Philippines’ ridiculous political games. He asked, “Why do the victims of a natural disaster have to continue suffering because of politics?”

    I let him know it was ALL for one reason only. Political gain. I enlightened him to the fact that practically every kind of relief and other support had to go through DSWD (Dept of Social Welfare and Developement) in Cebu, because they claimed they had to go through everything to confirm expiration dates, and then repackage. Sadly, when the items were repackaged, they were a fraction of what had been originally delivered. A single box, meant to support a family of 4 for a week, had been reduced to a small bag of rice and a few cans of local sardines. And this would support someone for maybe 2 days. And the sickest part of all this? ALL those tiny, near-worthless bags either had a DSWD logo, or the face of some sad-sack political goof trying to make points.

    What about the other items from the boxes? Well, here is a list of what most relief boxes contain. Food. Water. Matches. Candles. Flashlight and batteries. Cooking supplies, such as pots and pans. Sleeping blankets. And in some cases, even a tent. So what happened to all the other items in those relief boxes? As far as DSWD and the rest of the politicos are concerned, since the victims never saw it in the first place, it’s none of their concern.

    The GAIN representative also pointed out that his girlfriend was having similar problems trying to get her relief packages delivered as well. Politics, politics, politics. What ever happened to one human being simply helping another? No politics, religion, race creed or color? Just humans being.

    Not in the Philippines folks. Here, the almighty peso rules all. Why? Because over the course of nearly 3 decades, the nations leaders have taken their people into the poverty abyss, while they somehow have managed to acquire a level of wealth that rivals an Arab Prince. And they will destroy anyone or anything that threatens that wealth. Thank God Japan and the United States steadfastly refused to play the “Goods go here first” game, and have been delivering goods to the people directly.

    I could fill a library with all the political garbage that has so destroyed a once proud nation that President Ferdinand Marcos spent most of his career building. While the leaders of today, either destroy with lies, or try and take credit for his efforts. Hopefully in 2016 a “true leader” will emerge and take his people back where they ALL belong. A leader who will once again let his people share in a level of prosperity that hasn’t been felt since the 1960’s and 1970’s. A leader who will benefit every corner of the Philippines.

    Who knows? Maybe it’s time for another Marcos in the driver’s seat?

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