Gov’t urged to exercise fairness in Yolanda probe
MANILA, Philippines – If the government would pursue an investigation into the possible lapses of local and national government officials in their response to Supertyphoon Yolanda, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez has one wish to probers: be fair.
In an interview on Inquirer Radio 990AM, Romualdez said he is ready to face any investigation or inquiry, but it should be conducted in a forum that will not be bias to any party.
“Since it will involve not just local officials but [also] national officials, you have to choose a forum that you would say is not self-serving,” Romualdez said.
“The international community is here. They saw what happened, and they’re witnesses to this,” he added.
Meanwhile, Romualdez said Tacloban City is continuously working its way towards normalization as several businesses resume with their operations.
He, however, called on the government to prioritize the reconstruction of state-run schools as they target to resume classes by January.
Romualdez said that roughly 80 percent of educational facilities were destroyed by Yolanda in Tacloban City. The city has three universities and five colleges.
However, he said they are experiencing labor shortage as carpenters, masons and other workers were busy fixing their own homes and businesses.
As to the distribution of relief goods, Romualdez said one of the challenges they are facing is the conflict in the schedule of deliveries and the residents.
In the day time, he said residents are outside their homes to work under the cash-for-work program of various foundations.
“When we go to the [villages], walang tao. Eh hindi naman namin pwedeng iwan doon. Ang gusto nila mag deliver ng late afternoon or gabi. Eh hindi naman kakayanin buong siyudad na mag-deliver ng food relief pag dating ng hapon at gabi,” Romualdez said.
(When we go to the villages, there’s no one there. We can’t just leave the goods there. What they want is for us to deliver in the late afternoon, or at night. But we can’t do that. We cannot deliver to the entire city food reliefs in the afternoon and at night.)
“But rest assured that when we get a report, we respond immediately,” he added.
For the full interview, listen to the attached clip from Inquirer Radio 990AM.
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