Press Release
June 23, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas said the government must now focus on a massive relief and rehabilitation plan to help those left homeless in the Western Visayas region and provinces in Mindanao and Central Luzon , in the wake of typhoon "Frank."

Roxas said the massive rehabilitation plan must include provisions for improved flood control systems as more and more towns across the archipelago experience flash floods every time there are heavy rains.

"In Roxas City alone, we have had over 4,000 families, over 25,000 people, brought to the evacuation centers in the city. For a disaster of this magnitude, we need everyone to pitch in to provide sufficient food and amenities for those affected, and for the government to plan ahead for their relocation," the Senator and former Capiz representative said.

The Roxas City Disaster Coordinating Council has reported that 47 barangays were affected, with total damages in homes estimated at P105 million, as a result of the flash floods and strong winds.

Roxas, who was in Capiz during the weekend, went to Iloilo to survey the damage wreaked by "Frank" together with Governor Neil Tupas. He also attended a full briefing on disaster relief operations together with Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, Vice-President Noli de Castro and Senator Richard Gordon.

"Kung mayroon kayong maipapadalang tulong, talagang maa-appreciate dito. Kawawang-kawawa ang ating mga kababayan dito, at hindi lamang sa ngayon kundi sa mga darating na buwan, dahilan sa lahat ng mga tinanim nila rito ay na-wipe out (Whatever little help we can give will be deeply appreciated in these towns. Their situation is so sad and desperate not just for today but for the coming months because most of what they own and even the people that they care for are gone)," he said while visiting calamity-stricken towns in Iloilo .

Initial reports from the National Disaster Coordinating Council's Office of Civil Defense show that in Iloilo , about 60 have perished, while hundreds more had to be rescued from their homes that were submerged by the torrential rains.

"Hanggang sa ngayon, may mga lugar na mataas pa rin ang tubig at hindi pa rin bumababa. Iilan sa mga remote locations ay nasa bubong pa nila, kasi hindi pa makapasok ang mga rescue boats sa kanila," he added.

The Liberal Party President also called for clear accountability in the sinking of the MV Princess of the Stars, where 700 remain missing. "Every time a disaster strikes and a ferry sinks, we hear calls for investigations and dismissals. This time, let us go beyond mere rhetoric and really get to the bottom of what exactly what went wrong, and who are liable for this tragic incident, so that it never happens

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