Half of storm victims fishermen, says group | Inquirer News

Half of storm victims fishermen, says group

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 08:43 PM November 15, 2013

LUCENA CITY—More than half of the casualties in typhoon-ravaged provinces in the Visayas are poor fishermen, according to the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).

Gerry Corpuz, Pamalakaya spokesperson, in a phone interview on Friday said the group’s initial assessment showed that between 50 to 60 percent of the typhoon victims were poor fishermen, who were the first to bear the brunt of storm surges.

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He said these victims and their families lived in the coastal areas in Leyte, Samar, northern Negros, northern Cebu, Guimaras, northern Iloilo, Aklan and Capiz provinces that were ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

Corpuz, however, said the group had yet to establish communication with local leaders in typhoon-ravaged areas.

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“We are hopeful our local leaders and mass members are alive. But we cannot discount the grim possibility that a number of them are either dead, missing or displaced,” he said.

Corpuz said Pamalakaya was gearing for a relief operation in seven coastal areas in Leyte and Eastern Samar.

He said the group had tied up with Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan, a community-based relief and rehabilitation program of the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center.

Corpuz asked the Aquino administration to start mapping out a comprehensive and strategic rehabilitation plan for fishermen, aside from the providing relief.

Poor fishermen, who were the biggest casualties of Yolanda, would need several years to recover from losing loved ones and property.

He urged the government to immediately distribute fishing boats and gear to fishermen.

“It should be free or through interest-free loans to help bring them back on their feet,” he said.

Corpuz criticized the Aquino administration for its “slow, incompetent and disorganized” response to typhoon victims.

Click here for more weather related news.

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TAGS: disaster, Super Typhoon Yolanda, supertyphoon, Typhoon
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