Evacuees say center offers little food, spaceBy Kristine Felisse Mangunay
Philippine Daily Inquirer
One small plate of lugaw (porridge.
This was what Jennilyn Mangundi and five other members of her family were given as their share of food during their 3-day stay at an evacuation center in Marikina City.
Only one of her sisters ate the lugaw on Wednesday night, she said, with the rest sleeping off their hunger on empty stomachs.
In an interview with the Inquirer on Thursday at Malanday Elementary School, Mangundi, 19, said there were a few private individuals who would give donations, but these were “very limited.”
The donations reached only those who chanced upon school officials making the rounds to distribute the provisions, she added.
Another evacuee who did not want to identify herself told the Inquirer that she never had a taste of the free food in her entire two-day stay at the four-story evacuation center.
“The food only reaches the first and second floors,” she said, adding that she often went to sleep hungry because unlike some of her companions, she does not have money to buy her own food.
Apart from the lack of food, the “small space” is also a problem for the more than 12,000 evacuees in the center.
Mangundi claimed she and her live-in partner, their 9-month-old daughter, two sisters and her mother were given a tiny space in one of the building’s rooms which they have to share with more than 10 families.
At one point, Mangundi said her partner had to leave the room because it was too hot inside, choosing to sleep in the hallway outside the room.
School officials, however, said that each room was occupied by at least five, but not more than eight families.
Mangundi added that because of the limited space in the room, she has to stay in a sideview position so her daughter could be breastfed.
Her sisters, on the other hand, have to sleep in a fetal position, she added.
“I really prefer to return to my house. But I can’t because the water level is still too high in my neighborhood,” she said.