Gov’t vows sustained aid for Yolanda survivors

November 24, 2013 11:27 PM

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MANILA, Philippines - The government will continue to provide assistance to survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda to ensure that their lives will return to normal, a Palace official said yesterday.

Press Secretary Herminio Coloma said they have allowed some of the 6,000 evacuees, whom he called “internally displaced persons,” to seek shelter with their families and friends in the Visayas or in Metro Manila.

“Those who have no one to run to, the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) is giving them immediate help because we do not want them to be victimized by human trafficking. They are now being taken care of by various agencies and LGUs (local government units) in Metro Manila,” Coloma said.

“If they need housing, they will be placed in bunkhouses that are now being put up. If they need nutrition, they will be given nutrition,” he added.

Temporary shelters for the typhoon victims were built as relief operations shifted to rehabilitation effort.

“The national government will help these internally displaced persons return to their provinces so that their lives will be back to normal, and they can be reunited with their relatives and loved ones,” Coloma said.

The Palace official said the Department of Labor and Employment is beefing up its emergency employment program to alleviate the plight of workers displaced by Yolanda.

The emergency employment program aims to help disaster-stricken families rebuild their lives by providing them with better access to sustainable income.

Coloma said around 3,000 residents from 22 barangays in Tacloban City and 70 other villages in Ormoc are benefiting from the cash-for-work program of the DSWD and the Department of Agriculture.

The typhoon survivors were tasked to clear roads, public markets and plazas of debris in exchange for cash.

Coloma added that the International Labor Organization (ILO) is helping the government put in place an employment program to help those who have lost their livelihoods to the typhoon.

“We thank the offer made by ILO for the allotment of about $300 million for the cash-for-work program for roughly about 290,000 individuals from the areas hardest hit by the typhoon,” he said.

The exodus of typhoon victims from the Visayas to Manila is expected to decrease, with the non-stop distribution of relief goods and the resumption of the delivery of basic services in several areas hit by Yolanda.

The DSWD said that only one C-130 plane carrying 113 evacuees arrived in Manila yesterday.


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