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‘Yolanda’ survivor commemorates death of 2 kids, blames gov’t negligence

/ 09:05 PM November 01, 2015
A woman, accompanied by her young family members, writes the name of a loved one on a cross at a mass graveyard for victims of typhoon Haiyan during All-Saints' Day in Tacloban City, Leyte province, central Philippines on November 1, 2015. Millions of people in the Philippines made their annual pilgrimages to family gravesites on November 1 in a tradition that combines fervent Catholic faith with the country's penchant for festivity, but in the central city of Tacloban, which is still suffering the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the mood was mournful and sombre. Many of the mourners had to visit a mass grave where more than 2,400 bodies were interred after Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit land, ravaged the city in November 2013.  AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

A woman, accompanied by her young family members, writes the name of a loved one on a cross at a mass graveyard for victims of typhoon Haiyan during All-Saints’ Day in Tacloban City, Leyte province, central Philippines on November 1, 2015. AFP

On All Saints’ Day, 30-year-old Gina Supang commemorated the death of her 4-year-old son and 8-month-old daughter by lighting two candles at one of the mass grave sites in Tacloban City, Leyte.

According to People Surge, an alliance of typhoon survivors, Supang lost her son Greg when “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) swept their coastal village on Nov. 8, 2013. She reportedly placed a tombstone at an empty of the mass grave even if she did not know if it was really her son lying underneath.

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More than a year after Yolanda and amid her mourning over Greg’s death, Supang gave birth to another child, which she named Gray Jane or “Iday.”

“I was grateful that even if Yolanda took away Dodong (Greg), God sent Iday to replace her kuya,” she was quoted as saying. “But eight months later, Iday, too, joined her kuya in heaven.”

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Supang attributed Iday’s death to the “inhumane living condition” in the “small and cramped” bunkhouses built by the government in the area.

People Surge said Iday suffered from coughing for three consecutive days last month “because of too much heat in the bunkhouse.” The baby succumbed to pneumonia on September 22.

“Gina said she brought this up to government officers who came to visit the bunkhouse but no permanent shelter was made available to her family,” People Surge said. “They brought Iday to three different hospitals but they were just passed from one to another. The first hospital said no doctor was available because it was a Sunday. The second one said they didn’t have enough facilities.”

Supang said she already had enough “false hopes” waiting for the government’s promised permanent shelter since January 31 last year.

“They treated my child like an animal… My child already died waiting for that promise of permanent shelter,” Supang was quoted as saying.

People Surge said the government conducted a raffle draw to determine which households will be transferred to the permanent housing in Barangay Cabalawan in northern Tacloban, but the Supang family was not lucky enough to be included.

“The government promised them that they would only stay in the bunkhouse for six months. It was later extended to another six months to cater the school year. But one school year already passed and they’re still there, almost two years since Yolanda,” the group said.

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TAGS: News, Regions, Tacloban City, Yolanda survivors
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