Politics taints typhoon relief efforts in Marinduque
LUCENA CITY—With more than 52,000 families (234,000 people) still struggling to recover from the devastation brought about by Typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-ten) in Marinduque province, the head of the provincial disaster management council asked the public to keep politics off relief operation efforts.
Rolando Josue, the chief of the Marinduque provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC), had denied reports spread on social media that two C-130 cargo planes loaded with relief goods supposedly from Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte had been diverted to Catanduanes province.
The supposed diversion of relief goods was being blamed on the unserviceable airport in Gasan town. The state of the airport had been linked to a reported squabble between provincial officials and contractors.
“The Facebook posts were not true. These were all part of dirty politics,” Josue said in a telephone interview last week.
Marinduque is among areas left devastated by the typhoon, which crossed the Bicol and Southern Tagalog provinces on Dec. 25 and 26.
Donations from Davao City arrived in Marinduque on Dec. 31. Josue said 500 sacks of food packs from Davao would be distributed to 5,000 families. Each pack contains 2 kilograms of rice, two cans of sardines, four packs of instant noodles, a can of meat loaf, a can of corned beef, sugar, cooking oil, soy sauce, vinegar and instant coffee.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development sent 15,000 family packs to Marinduque.
Students, who have been helping in packing relief goods, have turned to social media to appeal for help through the hashtag #BangonMarinduque.
The province was placed under a state of calamity on Dec. 28, after the typhoon destroyed homes, crops and roads and damaged power and telecommunication lines.
The PDRRMC said the typhoon left P1.5 billion worth of damage in agriculture and P124 million in infrastructure.
Josue said survivors needed help in thte repair and reconstruction of houses. The typhoon, PDRRMC said, destroyed at least 4,800 houses on the island province.
Jigs Carabeo, Marinduque public information officer, said the provincial government has been conducting continuous relief operations in heavily hit areas in the province.
Carabeo said Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, who visited the province on Friday, promised to provide full assistance from the DSWD.
Carabeo said Gov. Carmencita Reyes failed to meet Taguiwalo as she was in Metro Manila on Friday for a meeting with a nongovernment organization which promised to provide donations for Marinduque.
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