‘People Surge’ demand relief, pro-people rehabilitation and justice

Originally posted by Vencer Crisostomo at the Philippine Online Chronicles/ Blog Watch , More than 10,000 Yolanda victims march in protest

More than 10,000 Yolanda victims marched in Tacloban last Saturday, January 25, to protest Aquino’s “criminal negligence” and to demand relief, financial assistance, pro-people rehabilitation and justice for typhoon victims.

This, a few days after the Social Weather Station (SWS) released pro-government survey results saying most of the victims of Yolanda were “satisfied” with the Aquino government’s response after the monster typhoon struck Visayas.

People Surge, a broad alliance of Yolanda victims and supporters said the protest march is a “cry for justice” and a move to “assert the right to food, housing, livelihood and social services.”

The marchers said the government’s relief efforts did not reach the majority of the survivors.

“The government’s relief distribution has been insufficient ever since. Our status as victims worsens because of the Aquino government’s dilly-dallying in addressing our welfare and because of Aquino’s incompetence in delivering prompt and adequate relief and services for more than two months now. The government response had been so slow, inefficient, incompetent and negligent,” said People Surge in an earlier statement.

They demanded that the government give P40,000 immediate assistance per family as relief.

“This amount is equivalent to two months of decent living for a family of six in the Eastern Visayas Region prior to the typhoon but with soaring prices that this government cannot control, this amount can provide for one month of relief only. The said amount is nothing compared to our urgent need for food, housing, livelihood, adequate education and health services,” said People Surge.

Peasants likewise demanded monetary subsidies for rehabilitation instead of loans under “micro-credit schemes.”

The victims also called for the scrapping of the “no-build zone” policywhich is tantamount to eviction to from homes.

“We are prohibited to go back to our homes. I hope they will have mercy on us and allow us to go back. We do not have any source of living. We don’t know where to go,” says Delia Dacuital, one of the victims not allowed to go back to their homes.

Other demands include: free tuition for students, moratorium on loan payments to SSS ang PAG-IBIG for public school teachers and an end to “militarization” of communities.

“This movement reflects the enormous discontent of the masses with the Aquino administration,” says Sr. Edita Eslopor,chairperson People Surge Alliance.

Here are photos and videos of the protest:

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Yolanda victims assembled in Easten Visayas State University before marching. Photo via Tudla Productions. Some rights reserved.

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Yolanda victims march via Obet de Castro. Some rights reserved.

Video by Renato Reyes

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Photos by Renato Reyes, Jr Some rights reserved.

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ABSCBNNews: ‘Yolanda’ survivors stage protest in Tacloban. Some rights reserved.