Press Release
October 22, 2013

"What about Santi?"

We would like to remind the national government to also address the devastation caused by Santi.

As of October 16, according to the NDRRMC itself, the only assistance coming from the central government was the P6.6 million worth of relief goods from the DSWD.

I am sure, however, that more help has been sent since.

For the record, Santi affected 900,421 persons in 800 barangays in 78 municipalities and 9 cities in 14 provinces.

It damaged 59,001 houses, 10,837 of which were beyond repair.

By government's count, Santi left behind P3.2 billion worth of damages : P114.4 million in infrastructure and P3.17 billion in agriculture.

While government is correct to focus its attention in Central Visayas, it must also look up, to Central Luzon, where government help is also badly needed.

It must be able to multitask, to respond to calls for help coming from many fronts. It must be an equal opportunity provider of comfort and succor.

If it was able to embed Cabinet secretaries in Bohol and Cebu, it must entrench them too in Nueva Ecija, Zambales and Bulacan where they can direct operations on the ground.

This move, plus the delivery of aid, and the promise of rehabilitation funds, will signal to Santi victims that they haven't been forgotten and that help is on the way.

It is not late to reassure them that help is on the way.

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