Stop Catastrophizing Relief Efforts in the Philippines

The scaremongering is undermining delivery of supplies

  • Share
  • Read Later
Adam Dean / Panos for TIME

Displaced people effected by Typhoon Haiyan queue in the rain for the first aid delivery at a displacement camp in Tacloban, Philippines on November 14, 2013.

In the Philippines, reports make it seem like it is déjà vu all over again. We hear that aid is not being shipped or distributed fast enough, that organizations are having trouble coordinating, and that looting is rampant and turning deadly.

If these memes seem familiar, it because they each appeared after Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake response in Haiti. It makes us ask: Why have domestic disaster responders and international humanitarians not fixed the system yet? What’s broken? Who’s to blame for the delays in aid delivery?

(MORE: Supertyphoon Haiyan: Escaping Tacloban)

When I talked with colleagues on the ground and friends who have worked in the Philippines, it became clear that these reports do not reflect the Philippines they know or the situation they are confronting. Worse, these reports are amplifying the problem. Here’s why:

After a disaster, there will always be delays in the delivery of aid. While planes and helicopters can arrive in 24 to 48 hours after the storm clears, massive deliveries can only arrive by ship, which can take several days to sail — longer if they have to sail around a massive storm. Worse, damaged ports may take weeks to fix. With severe damage like that in Tacloban, roads may be impassible for many days or weeks, making distribution of aid difficult.

For many families digging out from the storm, this delay is too long. Any stockpiles of food and water will have been washed away or shared. Having lost everything, most lack the resources to do more than subsist for a short while. Some might forage in damaged buildings. Most communities will pool resources and help one another survive.

When television crews race large cargo ships with airplanes and helicopters, the cameras will always win. Journalists will report on the gap between supply and demand. They will show the faces of people in need of Western largesse. They will turn isolated incidents of foraging and removal of goods from a truck or warehouse into a report on rampant looting.

Here is where the reports go very wrong. According to a friend who has worked in Haiti and the Philippines, “What happens when media talk up security issues is that aid agencies get worried about security of distributions, so they hold off until they have adequate security support. The velocity of distribution is dramatically slowed down. Scaremongering undermines the relief effort.” This dynamic happened in Haiti, and it’s happening here.

The people of the Philippines are at risk of a multitude of disasters every year: earthquakes, tsunami, cyclones, floods, landslides and volcanic eruptions. The whole nation — government ministries, private-sector companies, the diaspora and civil-society organizations — has learned a great deal about how to respond to a typhoon.

Ministries regularly preposition supplies and train disaster response across all levels of government. To ensure alignment with international agencies, legislators have integrated U.N. cluster coordination measures into national law. The private sector also plays an active role. After Typhoon Bopha, it built more than 75% of shelters. Civil-society groups are among the most active in the world and have global reach: 1 in 10 Filipinos live abroad, and they are sending money back home at staggering rates (predisaster, over 8.5% of national GDP came from remittances).

What is different with Supertyphoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) is the unexpected level of storm surge and flooding, combined with sustained winds that exceeded 196 m.p.h. (315 km/h) with gusts far higher. The government is struggling to reach communities hit by one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall. Like the families I met in Staten Island after Superstorm Sandy, it seems that the water came in so fast that there was not time to flee, and the surge swelled well beyond what any city could survive. Six Filipino broadcasters risked their lives to keep Aksyon Radyo Tacloban DYVL running in Tacloban so that their listeners would know what was happening with the storm. Water filled the radio station in 10 seconds. Only one of their bodies has been found.

(MORE: Hurricane Sandy: Is There a Point to Disaster Anniversaries?)

When journalists focus on looting and slow aid delivery, they miss the point. Information is aid. Their reports are part of weaving the fabric of a global Filipino community back together after a typhoon tore through their hometowns. By showing communities coming together, journalists can amplify the dynamics that save lives.

It is time to look at how effectively international organizations are supporting a normally well-oiled (but now struggling) domestic response capacity, not how international aid shipments are arriving late. It is time to ask why the cellular networks are not back and running, so that the diaspora can reunite with family and send money via mobile banking. It is time to make a request of financial institutions to reduce or eliminate their surcharges on sending money to the Philippines from anywhere in the world.

(MORE: The Big Problem With Disaster Planning)

When the crisis abates, it will also be time to ask if this operation is a first peek at the future of disaster response: when international aid gets criticized not for being late, but for needing to do more to help capable local responders, companies and communities get stuff done.

Correction: Western Union had already started to eliminate fees 2 days before this article’s publication and is expanding that program. Other companies also have implemented programs, including Ria and MoneyGram.

John Crowley is a research affiliate at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He has been a consultant to U.N. agencies, U.S. government agencies, the World Bank, NATO and humanitarian NGOs. He tweets at @jcrowley. The views expressed are solely his own. 

220 comments
annabelletondag
annabelletondag

I respect your article but for me it shouldn't stop because our local governments has a lot of things to do. They can't manage all of it at the same time and I know that it became really hard for them to assist the victims of Yolanda as soon as possible but as the operation goes, we could already see progress in the affected areas. 


Annabelle G. Tondag
Contributor, www.OurHappySchool.com

alekzlondos
alekzlondos

I was volunteering in tacloban Philippines by myself for over two weeks doing disaster relief

Debris removal

Body removal

Medical

Surgery assistant

Food water clothing distribution

Medical equipment transport etc

Was on two military helicopters doing food drops, two military c130's and a jet

Took some great pictures along the way and posted them on this link if you would like to check them out : )

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97198640@N08/

By Alekz Londos

1.775.997.4401

RobinLionheart
RobinLionheart

Funny how you never see Joe Klein delivering first aid to disaster victims.

JimmyJavier
JimmyJavier

After going through comments on this article, I wonder why it pleasures many of us to criticize, more than support, vilify more than affirm and denigrate more than encourage the people who are quietly assisting survivors on the ground. Its a dark and very sad time in our history. I would be more inclined to affirm, encourage and support our leaders in this difficult time, if only to unburden the unnecessary load they need to bear, to allow them the clarity of mind and focus they need to bring to deal with this unprecedented catastrophe. 

It is easy to comment from the confines of rooms with modern day amenities but quite difficult to work in the stench of rubble and decaying bodies in ground zero of Yolanda's wake. Give them some slack and make an effort to help, offer & muster solutions instead of amplyfying problems. Brickbats and negative comments don't save lives, positive action does. 

ilda
ilda

Filipinos who say ‘stop criticizing the government’ are not helping the Philippines progress


http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2013/11/filipinos-who-say-stop-criticizing-the-government-are-not-helping-the-country-progress/

"One of the stupidest things some Filipinos kept suggesting during the height of the disaster in Central Philippines brought about by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) is for people to stop criticizing the Philippine government. For some bizarre reason, some equate the criticism coming from those who were concerned for the welfare of the victims as “negativity”.

The belief that criticizing the government is “unproductive” is wrong. If not for the barrage of criticism the government received because of its slow response to the recent calamity, the assistance to the victims would not have come for weeks. If not for the Filipinos who “complain”, the suffering of the victims would not have been exposed and the death toll would have been much greater. If not for the well-meaning individuals who “questioned” the inaction of the government, the victims would have been walking around like zombies or sleeping near the bodies of their dead loved ones for much longer. As it is, there are already reports that a few of the people who sustained injuries have died because they did not receive immediate medical attention.

There is no question that everyone’s priority should be on the search and rescue operation of survivors immediately after a disaster. But when those in charge of the search and rescue operation are not doing their jobs at all, the concerned members of the public have every right to call their attention to what has to be done as soon as possible.

While a lot of Filipinos laud the actions of some members of the international media, there were some Filipinos who did not appreciate their honesty. They became defensive and even wrote an open letter to CNN asking them not to compare the Philippines to first world countries like Japan for example. Their reason is that the Philippines is a poor country with poor infrastructure and a few resources. Never mind that the a big part of the reason the Philippines is poor is because its voters keep electing leaders who mismanage the country.

Those who were offended by the straightforward assessment applied by the foreign correspondents seem to be more concerned with image. It has become apparent that they just want to project a “fun” Philippines to the international community. It’s like they do not want anyone highlighting or broadcasting the real state of the poor people and the country’s decrepit infrastructure.

Hiding the real condition of the country never works. Natural calamities are guaranteed to reveal it one way or another. Disasters tend to expose not just people’s capacity to handle stressful situations, it also exposes the fact that the country does not have the capability to save it’s own people.

There is no point in pretending that the country is doing great when it is not. This is something that President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino needs to understand. During his interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, he kept reassuring her that things are under control even when reports from other people more reliable than the President of the Philippines contradict what he was saying."

JimmyJavier
JimmyJavier

As a survivor rescued by chopper out of our hometown of Javier, Leyte, I tend to agree with John Crowley's observations. Its a dispassionate assessment of Yolanda's aftermath with plausible recommendations on disaster response moving on & forward. We flew in to Tacloban and motored to our municipality 2 days before the superstorm's landfall. Our town has a 4 km wide frontage to Leyte Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. Residents of this high risk area of Brgy Casulongan eventually heeded repeated calls for evacuation. They were able to eat warm meals in the municipal gym the morning after, thankful that they still had their lives and their families intact. All houses in their seaside barangay were wiped out & washed inland. Sadly, we still had casualties, 3 residents who did not evacuate their homes to watch over livestock & belongings in other barangays. Livestock like chickens & pigs were either washed away by the storm surge or blown away with their enclosures, a few survived with injuries but most drowned or got crushed.

Of the seaside towns on the route to the provincial capital from our town, Tanauan was the worst hit, with bodies littered on the highway even with mass graves already being dug by surviving residents themselves. Pepsi delivery trucks with other vehicles and even large acacia trees were upside & down along the highway, uprooted by the storm surge. We're glad that a well equipped mobile hospital has since been operating there. It took a non-stop 36 hour long road clearing operation to move storm debris aside .. broken cement posts, fallen trees and remains of washed out houses, on the Maharlika highway from our town to Palo & Tacloban. The trip normally takes 50 minutes

MichaelMakriSdb
MichaelMakriSdb

When I was a kid, i was very fortunate to have traveled in a car with Bl. Mother Teresa. Unfortunately, our car broke down  (i don't know what was the reason) in the middle of a nowhere. As usual BLAME GAME started, the driver versus the others and it never end. What struct me was the action performed by this Saintly woman. Not uttering a word to calm the arguments nor asking any one of them for help (even though a famous lady by then), she got out of the car, in her simple religious habit, opened the bonnet of the car, went underneath the car for fifteen to twenty minutes. Of course the car later was able to function because she found out what was wrong and asked the driver to fix it. When we were back in the car after saying her Rosaries the only word she uttered was 'When will people be human being" I think at this juncture; probably i would ask the same question to every one. When will we become human being? All what was written by John Crowley is excellent piece of research, the hundreds of you who commented were wonderful insights and arguments...my hats off to all of you. But we are missing a point here, 'If we could have made the situation better in those affected area, if we could have put other human life as our first priority, if we could have put others before oneself, if we could have sacrifice ourselves for the others, if we could have respect the dignity of others first, ifs, ifs, ifs,.." then the beautiful article that you on top would not have appear here, the hundred comments would have not been needed here. Many of us, have means, just look at yourself, you got time, possibilities, internet, lights, money, et all... we are happy and contended airing this view from our ac rooms, great! good! Nothing wrong! but AS FOR ME, I, YOU, WE MISSED A CHANCE TO PROOF THAT WE ARE HUMAN BEING. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MAKE THE LIFE OF THOSE WHO SUFFER BETTER? A fully human being will not argue, will not blame, will not rest UNLESS ANOTHER PERSON'S DIGNITY IS RESPECTED.

JayReardon
JayReardon

The author has no idea what he is talking about in the Philippines.  The local and national governments are hugely corrupt and mostly incompetent.  It's not PNOY's fault; he sits atop a corrupt and decrepit bureaucracy.  Pretty much all of the politicians, police and military are thieves and liars.  This makes it difficult to govern in normal times and impossible during times of disaster.

jrborgonia
jrborgonia

From what I have been reading in this website in the past hours, there are dozens of people here who said things could have been done better by them or that they have better ideas than what the government have. In effect, these critics are claiming to be experts at public administration, disaster management, logistics, etc. I wonder if they are, or have actually been, doing that sort of stuff professionally since they actually dispute what the author of this article have said. Their statements are admirable. With what they are saying, it looks like they could have done a lot more from Day 1 of the tragedy, much better than what the government did. They could do much better job than presidents Aquino or Bush. So I wonder why they are contented with just sitting in front of their computers and writing their negative opinions in this website? Why haven’t they ran for office so their talents and extraordinary abilities (that the present government doesn’t have) can be of benefit to the Filipinos or other countries? Or why  are they not working as officers or as consultants for international organizations who definitely need their claimed talents just like what the author of this article is doing? Or have they even tried to actually do in real life what they claim to know? Have they actually participated in any crisis management or rescue mission? Why not? Let’s hear from anyone of them. NO EXCUSES PLEASE.

kabayanito
kabayanito

Ask ko lang po, may mga biktima ba nj Yolanda sa Tacloban at iba pang lugar ang nakapanood ng report ng CNN nung ito ay ipalabas sa mga tv station? Kung walang ilaw o anomang communication dun papaano sila maapektuhan nung report nila? Sila mismo sa lugar nila ang nakakakita ng kawalang pag asa sa ating Gobyerno sapagkat hindi lang isang araw kundi mahigit 5 araw na silang naghihintay ng tubig at relief goods ay wala pa ring dumadating. Tayo lang ang maaring maapekyuhan ng report sapagkat nandyan ang cable at TV na naghahatid ng mga nangyari duon. Kaya nga dumadagsa ang tulong sa lahat ng dako ng mundo dahilan sa nakita nila yung hirap ng kalagayan ng mga kababayan natin sa kanilang report (CNN, BBC etc.). Positibo o negatibo man ito, magpakita pa rin ang maraming Pilipino ng pagkaka-isa dahil dagsa yung ipinadadalang tulong galing sa ibat ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas. Ang problema, nakarating ba ito sa kanila?

simonflorentino004
simonflorentino004

the reality of what happened has not sink in to most people, the lgu's , your first reponder were decimated, the deluge was unprecedented, learn the dynamics of thing before crying out loud as if you are in the drive through line of burger king , you want it, right here, right now. i know that you feel for the victims of the typhoon, i too feel for them, but pointing blame left and right is misplaced concern, do your part, at best be part of the solution and not part of the problem, act, donate, volunteer, and pray for the victims.

EdwardOropeza
EdwardOropeza

What authorities do in response to emergency? Forget about other islands affected by aftermath, the main concern is people is in need of immediate care and assistance. That's the fact! That's why nations are rushing relief operation! These peoples do not need sweet words from the government, but immediate response. This is the fact that even President of the Philippine Government did not realize, and no one them understand the real problem. The problem is help getting worst and many are dying. And they did not know the response, it should be their responsibility.


kozmosis66
kozmosis66

The last 7 days my wife and I slept about 10 hours, but this is nothing compared to what her family was going through in Tacloban City.  How all 16 of them survived being right in Tacloban City (Anabong-Legaspi - where the ships are on the remians of houses) I'll never know. Half survived in a house and the other survived at Leyte Progressive High School. 

After 6 days of not seeing one ounce of relief, one cop, one military officer, one ANYTHING, except dead bodies everywhere that left them gagging, we got them out.  A trip to Ormoc City Thursday (which was delayed due to a broken down jeepney) but all 16 family members made it.  Today they arrived in Cebu City and are now resting in a hotel. 

What I learned through all of this is you cannot rely on the Philippines government for ANYTHING.  The political games never end, even when their own people are rotting in the streets and dying of thirst.  While the devistation is massive, that does not excuse the things going on.  Like unpacking tens of thousands of ready meals from Japan, and repacking them in Philippine government bags, to take the credit when handing them out. 

Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III should go back to the Tacloban City airport now and walk the streets on the way to the center of the city.  I bet I know what kind of reception he would get now. I double dare him.  

RamonS.Penas
RamonS.Penas

I don't know why people forgot that we have been struck with so many disasters in the previous weeks and months. Our government cannot handle all these tragedies weeks after weeks, after months and so forth. Can anybody tell me that in our 7, 100 islands, it's so easy to manage whatever eventualities to come? Suggestions open here for the common good.

AlvinLucridaBulls
AlvinLucridaBulls

After Typhoon Yolanda struck, the Mayor of Tacloban requested the NDRRMC to make a "RESPONSE OVERKILL" on the rescue and relief operations. Unfortunately, the response from the National Govt was very cold and half hearted. On Day 2 of Typhoon Yolanda aftermath, the Mayor requested the NDRRMC to deploy 2 Marine Battalions to help immediately establish peace and order and rescue/relief operations. Unfortunately, this plea for help was unheeded by the National Govt. After almost a week, the National Govt sent only Bureau of Fire Protection and MMDA personnel.The Mayor requested for PNP reinforcement since only around 25 policemen were left for duty out of 280 plus police force. Unfortunately, this plea for help was again unheeded. The Mayor again requested the National Govt for trucks and transportation since they got even the remaining patrol cars but this plea was again unheeded. The Mayor requested the National Govt to put more vehicles and personnel for cadaver retrieval but up to now only 4 trucks from the National Govt are doing this. Only 8 trucks from the National Govt are doing relief work. Tacloban is now reeking from the smell of death and relief operations are still moving at a snail's pace. All relief goods arriving at the airport and seaport are now being controlled by the National Govt. To add insult to injury, the DILG Sec wants the Mayor of Tacloban to write a formal letter to the PNOY supposedly to inform him that he could no longer function as Mayor thereby surrendering authority to the DILG Sec. He wants the letter soon so PNOY can make the announcement and perhaps justify the government's slow and stupid response to this disaster and lay the blame on the Mayor. The International Community is fully aware of the deplorable conditions in Tacloban but the National Govt is still in denial.. How dare saying Stop Catastophizing Relief in the Philippines? Who said a lot saying that??? People Did NOT Catastophized it... They need immediate help and rescue... Complain was brought up after 5 days of no extent of rescuers seen in the Philippines!!! CNN reporter Mr Cooper proved that!!!

LeixValencianoHolt
LeixValencianoHolt

The author seems to imply the media is wrong for reporting what they observe, and their reports are jeopardizing the relief efforts. As a Filipino, I am thankful to the foreign media for exposing the truth, and more importantly, for shining a light on the ineptness of the government in handling the situation. We give credit to the media for amplifying our call for help seeing our government cannot be relied on to do the right thing by its people.

ilda
ilda

How sad. Some Filipinos’ aversion to foreigner’s critical analysis makes one conclude that when it comes to foreign donations in times of crises, Filipinos are welcoming; but when it comes to foreign criticism of the country’s shortfalls, some Filipinos quickly give the middle finger.

Here's another CNN interview showing Phil government official's arrogance:

Sec. Mar Roxas character exposed in interview with CNN’s Andrew Stevens at Yolanda disaster site

http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2013/11/sec-mar-roxas-character-exposed-in-interview-with-cnns-andrew-stevens-at-yolanda-disaster-site/

TrevorLlewellynEvans
TrevorLlewellynEvans

For all you that are criticizing ANDERSON COOPER, who is in fact bringing International attention to the plight of the Philippines and therefore more International Aid, here's a bit of his background: At age 17, after graduating from the Dalton School a semester early, Cooper travelled around Africa for several months on a "survival trip". He contracted malaria on the trip and was hospitalized in Kenya. Cooper went on to attend Yale University, majoring in political science and graduated in 1989.  During college, Cooper spent two summers as an intern at the Central Intelligence Agency. Although he has no formal journalistic education, he opted to pursue a career in journalism rather than stay with the agency after school. Cooper entered Myanmar on his own with a forged press pass and met with students fighting the Burmese government. He was ultimately able to sell his home-made news segments to Channel One. After reporting from Burma, Cooper lived in Vietnam for a year to study the Vietnamese language at the University of Hanoi. He later returned to filming stories from a variety of war-torn regions around the globe, including Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda. Cooper covered a number of important stories in 2005, including the tsunami damage in Sri Lanka. During CNN coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he confronted Sen. Mary Landrieu, Sen. Trent Lott, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson about their perception of the government response. As Cooper said later in an interview with New York magazine, “Yeah, I would prefer not to be emotional and I would prefer not to get upset, but it's hard not to when you’re surrounded by brave people who are suffering and in need.” In August 2005, he covered the Niger famine from Maradi. In September 2005 the format of CNN's NewsNight with AC was changed from 60 to 120 minutes to cover the unusually violent hurricane season. In October 2007 Cooper began hosting the documentary Planet in Peril, with Sanjay Gupta and Jeff Corwin on CNN. In 2008 he, Gupta, and Lisa Ling from National Geographic Explorer teamed up for a sequel, "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines," which premiered in December 2008, about the effects of Global Warming on poor communities. At CNN and 60 Minutes Cooper has won numerous major journalism awards. Cooper helped lead CNN's Peabody Award winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and DuPont award winning coverage of the 2004 tsunami. At CNN and 60 Minutes Cooper has won numerous major journalism awards. Cooper helped lead CNN's Peabody Award winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and DuPont award winning coverage of the 2004 tsunami. Additionally, he has been awarded 8 Emmy Awards, including two for his coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, and an Edward R Murrow award. He reported and produced stories, often on his own, from conflicts in Bosnia, Cambodia, Haiti, Israel, Myanmar, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Africa, as well as covering dozens of Natural Disasters, from earthquakes, to Tsunami's, Floods, Typhoons and Hurricanes, across the Globe.  If anything, he is an expert on disaster and conflict and his views and opinions are often respected by Governments, the Military and the UN. 

AvelinoLavilla
AvelinoLavilla

@ilda DAY 14 After Yolanda:

Day by day, relief efforts for the victims of typhoon Yolanda are on going with more efficiency and becoming more orderly. Almost if not all typhoon victims already have gotten their shares of the relief goods. Foreign and local aid workers and volunteers alike are assigned a specific area to concentrate their humanitarian efforts so not to duplicate the benefits given to one area while neglecting the others. They are being rolled out all through out the Visayas archipelago who have suffered the brunt of the most powerful typhoon in history to hit land. The government is trying everything at its disposal to ensure the welfare and uplift the spirit of those who are suffering giving assurances that help is not by piecemeal but sustainable until such time everything is back to normal. Economy started to flourish. Public markets and private stores manage to open somehow who are selling commodities way below its original prices as some of their commodities where just salvage goods after the dreadful typhoon, soaked in flood waters but still worth selling. But new supplies of merchandizes started to trickle in. Banks and gasoline stations opened up pegging pump up prices at the level before the tragedy struck. Communication and transportation is near normalcy as national highways almost cleared of debris while communication towers had been repaired by telcos. Electricity is promised by the energy secretary to be restored by December 24. Summing it up, the situation in the devastated areas has changed from an atmosphere of desperation and anguish and now on the road to recovery. It is because everybody willingly lend a helping hand and once again the BAYANIHAN spirit of the Filipinos is being shown globally.

But in the middle of this true human spirit of oneness, a small sector of our society choose to remain skeptical and critical. Observing from a distance, all they could see are the small lapses of the procedure of the relief efforts and the disarray and unsystematic handling of the situation by our national government while turning a blind eye of the benefits it has so far been extended to the victims. They are just too happy to castigate and criticize while so mum in appreciating the fruitful result of what has been vigorously endeavored. I just simply do not know why they possessed that crab and crooked mentality. Even during this catastrophic time, what they got in their hearts are hatred and abhorrence to the people not of their liking. Couldn't just set aside bitterness for the time being and instead just work for the common good.

What is so appalling and disgusting to see are posts and articles being posted and written in the mainstream and social media. Many are being posted just to create further havoc, confusion, and disinformation and to portray everything is still on its chaotic stage. Lambasting personnel in-charge on the ground for ineptness, accusing them of being arrogant and unresponsive. Insinuating that people on the ground are quarreling and bickering because of political partisanship. Blaming Pnoy of bringing all these destruction. Of withholding relief goods to the Leytenos because of their Marcos loyalty. Oh my goodness what a very annoying statement coming from paid columnists. Though i really hate the Epals so much, can we just give the epals a leeway momentarily because even though they help with dubious reasons, but at least, they are helping. We will just let them pay comes election day. Irresponsible netizens also are very quick to like and share whatever post they could find on their wall without thinking of its contents. Forgetting the basic principle 'think before you click'. Please if you can't do better than that, just shut up. Stop finger pointing and let's put our act together for the betterment of our nation. You should be ashamed of yourselves because in spite of all your propaganda, foreign help still pouring in and foreign relief workers do not care at all about you instead what we could hear from them is Filipino resiliency and hospitality amid the catastrophe.

But if you really can't say and do something good, then better keep yourself away from all of these undertakings, zipper your lips and have yourself an everlasting solitude. At the end of the day, with your silence, YOU STILL HELPED SOMEHOW!

by78
by78

@jrborgonia Most of these 'experts' were probably political science majors.

abiqb
abiqb

@LeixValencianoHolt I'm afraid the author didn't imply that at all. You only assumed that. He clearly only says that scaremongering has a delaying effect to aid, and that CORRECT information is a form of "aid" as well. Whether we have a good or bad government, what happened in Tacloban is a catastrophe in itself, which I don't think requires any more "amplification" in order to get aid from our neighbours around the globe.

ppaguia
ppaguia

@ilda This interview includes a discussion of why dead bodies are still lying around. In the first place, the government already said they are using resources to bring water and food first, then some resources are devoted to taking care of the dead bodies, and the third priority is clearing off debris.  How does this guy expect all the dead bodies to be cleared , even in one week. His question is stupid. So I don't know why he is getting so much credit for this lousy way of interviewing someone who is trying to explain the scale of tragedy. The NBC reporting is better. There is a big difference in their reporting. The work is not done yet.  The damage is the WORST storm on earth. Storm Sandy was 80 MPH and this one is more than 3 times as strong. That is why we need help. If we can clear the dead bodies in 6 days then we don't need all the help. 

ilda
ilda

Five reasons why Filipinos blame Noynoy Aquino for everything


1. BS Aquino was not qualified for the Presidency. He knew this from the start and those who forced him to run knew it as well but they still pressured him to run and worse, he agreed. They saw an opportunity and thought he had a big chance of getting the sympathy votes immediately after his mother Cory Aquino passed away. It became apparent that BS Aquino and his party-mates were not really after the interest of the Filipino people. They just took advantage of the emotional response to a beloved figure’s death to gain power for themselves and the rest of their kaibigan, kaklase and kamag-anak or KKK.

2. BS Aquino taught Filipinos the art of blaming. He could not stop blaming GMA for everything even after his honeymoon period was over and he doesn’t want to stop even when he is already halfway into his presidency. He loves accusing GMA of being the main collaborator for every crisis that keeps cropping up despite GMA being under hospital arrest and under constant police surveillance.

3. BS Aquino promised to make life better for Filipinos. He made Filipinos feel that they do not have anything to worry about. He kept persuading people to trust him and pretended that he’s got everyone’s back covered. Who can forget his statement ‘Pwede na ulit mangarap‘ during his first state of the nation address? It sounded so ridiculous even then. Unfortunately, the Filipino people’s tendency to trust and leave everything in the hands of their dear leader is all in vain.

4. BS Aquino is not a good sport. He makes it a point to complain about his critics when he feels the pressure of criticism coming his way. He tries to ostracize those who criticize him by saying that his critics simply want the ‘old ways’ and not the ‘righteous path’ as if he has a monopoly on righteousness.

5. BS Aquino is only good when he is campaigning but not when he is working. When push comes to shove, BS Aquino would conveniently come up with excuses to be out of town or be in a cabinet meeting during a crisis in order to appear ‘busy’ or ‘unavailable’. What Filipinos have in BS Aquino is an absentee leader. He’s best at reacting to situations rather than being pro-active. He doesn’t have the ability to foresee and prevent a problem from escalating. This was evident when he dismissed the Sultan of Sulu’s followers who occupied Sabah. This degenerated into a deadly crisis and could even become catastrophic as more innocent Filipinos living and working in Malaysia become casualties in the bloody standoff.

At the moment, BS Aquino can pretend that he is still popular. But as protest scenes become increasingly common and as the boos get louder, the President who blames his thinning hairline and eye bags on his job can only blame himself for accepting a job he wasn’t fit for in the first place.

Read the whole article:

http://getrealphilippines.com/blog/2011/03/filipinos-cannot-progress-if-they-cannot-follow-even-simple-guidelines/

simonflorentino004
simonflorentino004

@TrevorLlewellynEvans   trevor you forgot to share that ac was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as a reporter also was born with a silver microphone in his mouth.

ppaguia
ppaguia

@TrevorLlewellynEvans BUT HE IS NOT INFALLIBLE. HE DID NOT GO INTO TOWN. HE ONLY STAYED IN THE PERIPHERY OF THE AIRPORT AND GOT AERIAL VIEWS OF THE OUTLYING AREAS. SO HE SHOULD SAY IN HIS REPORT THAT " I AM ONLY REPORTING AT THE AIRPORT AND I DONT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON ELSEWHERE".  The NBC crew went on foot and helicopter to the other places and they did report aid is still needed but they did not say there was no military or government presence. because the military was in Tacloban before he arrived.

clfclare
clfclare

@TrevorLlewellynEvans   thanks,  most filipinos ninetyfive percent called him hero and forever grateful speaking for people that has no voice  and for the dead that can't speak .

jrborgonia
jrborgonia

@by78  Yes! That's what I suspect. And most political science majors end up as lawyers. Lawyers argue with each other even if they studied the same law books. What more for us earthly mortals. It's like the blind men and the elephant. Each has his own observation.


LeixValencianoHolt
LeixValencianoHolt

@abiqb @LeixValencianoHolt  I don't suppose the media were scaremongering, as it were. They are merely reporting what they observe. Even the residents themselves have verified these accounts. So to say I merely assumed is, well, quite presumptuous of you. Yes, the reports from foreign media have been extremely helpful in amplifying our plea - not only for aid, but more so, for an opportunity to air our grievances against the government. We've been subjected to ineptness for far too long, and the disparagement coming from the international community is empowering to say the least.

ilda
ilda

  @ppaguia Some people have high standards and some people have low standards. You obviously have low standards because you think the Philippine government's efforts are acceptable or "pwede na yan" despite the number of people still suffering a week after the typhoon. There are a lot of Filipinos like you in the Philippines, which is why the public servants do not feel compelled to perform to the best of their abilities. They think you are happy with their performance anyway. 

President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino’s promise the day before the typhoon that the government is ready with relief operations and that Manila is standing by, ready to support EVERYONE.  He obviously didn't know what he was talking about and unfortunately, he didn't even want to admit that he made a mistake in assuring people his government's relief operations was not ready. A little humility could have helped him get a break from his critics. 

PeterRobannMariñoSobrepeña
PeterRobannMariñoSobrepeña

@ilda oh another article from a website that provides disinformation.. I would rather trust on article by John Cowell.. 

John Crowley is a research affiliate at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He has been a consultant to U.N. agencies, U.S. government agencies, the World Bank, NATO and humanitarian NGOs.

ppaguia
ppaguia

@ilda You must be on the political machine of the opposing party.

JuanMasunurin
JuanMasunurin

@ilda Please stop spreading dis-information...at a time like this please set aside you apparent subjective hate of the President. At any rate, anything that Pres Aquino will do will always come out negative because of your bias. Bashers and haters like you should not used the typhoon for you own selfish political end.... really shameful... Since DAY 1 government has been in ground zero.... in DAY 2 the President already went to ground zero and distributed relief goods... You wont hear that from our media....Let's just help the victims. Set-aside your hate for the moment,,,, grabe nagkalat kayong paid hacks pati dito....

jrborgonia
jrborgonia

  • Many foreigners who have gone to Tacloban during the time of this tragedy do not completely agree with Anderson Cooper’s report. I am not saying who’s observations is correct. However, it is natural that Cooper’s report will stick to many people’s minds whether it was accurate or not because he was in front of the camera all that time broadcasting to a bigger audience. Never mind that he is a celebrity reporter while many of the foreign observers are actually volunteers with experience in crisis and disaster management. Others do not have the same exposure like Cooper does. Like this guy from the United Nations who said things are slow but that is expected in a major catastrophe like this.

    Reporters carrying nothing but their cameras will surely be there ahead of the relief goods. Getting the victims’ remarks is not helping either since victims in any tragedy will always say they are not getting enough. The scene of tragedy is far too complex for just one person to make an evaluation of what has actually happened. Reading from the history of past tragedies in other countries, government are always blamed for their slow response, no matter what. I guess the government will just have to do its best even if their best is not good enough.

etrnlygr8tful
etrnlygr8tful

@clfclare @TrevorLlewellynEvans ....95% of Filipinos considers him a hero? Not sure how & where you got that number, but if that is the case then Filipinos have a disjointed view of what HEROISM is all about. The litany of credentials of AC has nothing to do with this article, so I don't understand why it need to even be mentioned in this thread. All I know and let us focus here and take this without bias, AC arrived in the Philippines after the storm, NOT before or during...AFTER. The world knew about Haiyan/Yolanda not because of AC, so to put him on a pedestal to the level of a "hero" as if he was the ONLY reason why the plight of the people got out for the world to see is just hands down silly. Come on now, what about the local reporters and other foreign correspondents who were there and rode the storm, who sends live feeds for an up to date report, are there work less significant because they don't have or equal achievements, credentials or social status AC has?

@clfclare..."forever grateful speaking for people that has no voice and for the dead that can't speak", what did he say that people affected by the storm wasn't able to speak of? The Filipino lady that said.."get international help now, not tomorrow now!" and man people writing help, we need food & water, AC did not have to speak in their behalf. Just looking @ the magnitude of the disaster, you don't have to be an expert or have a PhD to know what those people need & how soon they need them. When you report about no aid is arriving, its but fair that you also mention the challenges that causes the delay.

I want you all to listen and observe...the people who actually DO the work, the rescuers, first responders, frontline staff how they respond when media questions them about whether they are frustrated about delays in delivering aid...these trained men and women simply say, "we expect this", "the magnitude of damage is far from anything we've imagined", "we want to get there (to the people), but currently it is logistically difficult, but we both the Phil gov't & the international aid team are doing our best". Emergency responders are not clueless of what to expect in disasters, including delays that is why they patiently wait because rushing without a reasonable plan would mean risking responder's life, relief goods and equipment. The media no doubt do asks questions that triggers an emotional response, be it out of joy, saddness or anger because those "sells". The media can't get the angry, frustrated response from the humanitarian teams...so think what they do to rally up people? If you are observant, yup you got it right...find fault in the goverment. People need to understand that even if the gov't had a plan before the storm...anything that you've laid out before then & with the magnitude of the storm, that plan will sure need to go back to the drawing board post assessment of the damage. My goodness this is the first & strongest storm to hit landfall, that it should have been categoried higher than 5, but there is no category higher. 

The airport & access roads you intend to use is no longer there, the staff you assign & expect to carry out relief & rescue works are they themselves needed rescuing. I don't think, with the magnitude of the storm, the topography of the country, the number of population & economic condition of the country....NO ONE, not even the leaders of ANY industrialized country can EVER say "I sure would have done better, if I was the President of the Philippines." HIND SIGHT IS 20/20..much as the Filipinos & the Phil gov't learns from this, believe it or not, the whole world also gains something from this experience.

No question AC is a good journalist & I do like him.... but a hero? We should rethink what that title means, because TO ME... a HERO is that mother who told her husband to save their baby and not worry about her if it cannot be helped; a HERO is that sister who let go of his brother's hand because it is getting difficult for him to save them both; a HERO is someone who went all over to ask if everyone is ok & helped as soon as the water receeds & storm stopped; HEROES are doctors, nurses & volunteers who attended on the injured with nothing but what they had; HEROES are the service personnel who geared up to maintain order & face the grim task of putting bodies in cadaver bags, can you imagine the psychological impact of doing so & how that might that affect them later; HEROES are the people, local, international, gov't or private agencies, individual or group who responded to the humanitarian need of the country of any form of disaster in so many different capacities. HEROES are those who will stay behind & help until life in the affected areas become close if not back to normal.

LET US NOW UNITE & STOP the blame, STOP the criticism, STOP being paranoid or suspicious, STOP making issues out of nothing, STOP the finger pointing, STOP-STOP-STOP. What happened already did. Focus our frustrations into something postive. HELP improve the situation, pick up your slack, volunteer, donate. Even the ones who were amidst this tragedy are now capable of smiling...and how ironic, here we are safe, sound, eating well, clean & sheltered are the ones being negative and B!t&!n.



abiqb
abiqb

@LeixValencianoHolt all lofty words, so I guess it's best you read straightforward facts http://m.inquirer.net/opinion/?id=65449, then explain why this is not a case of scaremongering (what "they observe" is not enough, they need to report what is factual and relevant). And your "pains" about the government? We shouldn't be airing our dirty laundry on international media - call me presumptuous again, but is it not embarrassing to depend on other nations to discipline public servants majority of us elected? But that's a different topic altogether. You must learn to separate how we need international aid for the catastrophe (and yes, this is empowering) and how we need an "international arbiter" for our problematic political situation. The media saying there is no security and control in Tacloban now only slows down the aid and lowers morale, and however "amplified" will not legitimise other countries suddenly meddling in corruption that's going on in our government. I was wrong, you were not assuming, you were just complaining.


simonflorentino004
simonflorentino004

@jrborgonia @LeixValencianoHolt @abiqb  thank you rborgonia for sharing the logistic aspect of the relief system, you yourself attest to the monumental task of getting things around the country in normal conditions, how much harder  does someone think it will be operating in an area with zero infrastructure in place, no roads, no communication, no transportation and so on...  mind you your first responder were decimated as well. 

jrborgonia
jrborgonia

@LeixValencianoHolt @abiqb 

The write-up started with two very important paragraphs: that when disasters strike, no amount of preparation is enough and every relief effort is slow, especially from the point of view of the victims. This is not an excuse. It is the truth. President Bush and his FEMA got bashed left and right, by the press, by Congress, by many citizens not only of the US but from all over. The mere fact that the CNN people arrived in Tacloban much later is proof that access to that disaster area was difficult. How much more difficult it will be for our rescue workers who are supposed to carry tons of food and other provisions? The small airport was damaged, ports were washed away and ships will have nowhere to dock, and roads were impassable. Of course we can call Superman, or wait for a miracle to happen. 

The person who wrote the piece is not from the media. He is a consultant for many humanitarian organizations. So he probably knows what he is talking about. He doesn't merely report what he sees, I suppose he also analyze them and make recommendations. He is not an apologist for any government, nor am I. I am just a semi-retired citizen who used to do logistics work for some companies. And in my experience, transporting huge volume of goods around the country is not an easy task, even when the weather is fine. How much more difficult it will be during times of calamity?

If the most powerful country in the world was felled to its knees by Katrina, how much more for a struggling Philippines that got hit by the strongest typhoon in the history of mankind?

ppaguia
ppaguia

@ilda @ppaguia comparing CNN coverage with NBC coverage does not show low standards. I have high standards and fair yardsticks of assessment. Also, you cant grade an exam of 100 items when an examinee is only on number 4.  Let him finish the test or at least wait till item 30 to establish a trend.

ilda
ilda

@ppaguia RUBBISH.

And what's your excuse for defending an arrogant and incompetent public servant?  

Pedro_Penduko
Pedro_Penduko

@jrborgonia We've have had lots of presidents before. From illustrados to hacienderos, etc. but not one of them ever managed to "suck all our resources"! Bluntly, the qualities of a good president is not there with the existing president! Yes, you are correct. As you rightly said, we will survive with this one..

jrborgonia
jrborgonia

OK, let's elect another genius with a Ph.D. who will eventually suck all our resources thru corruption and greed.

For me, I'd rather elect a moron than a corrupt person. We still have a fifty-fifty chance of surviving with a moron, none at all with a trapo.

ilda
ilda

@aikls Tahimik? Excuse me but some of us have been warning the voters about Noynoy Aquino's lack of leadership skill since 2009 even before he won the election. Now the proverbial brown stuff has hit the fan but the Philippines is still stuck with him for another three years. 

Imagine, e
ven back in 2011, the Aquino government was already being held accountable for the deaths of over a thousand people in Mindanao during typhoon Sendong. Kabataan party-list Representative Raymond Palatino already highlighted the Aquino government’s refusal to allot funds for disaster preparedness in the 2011 calamity fund. Fast forward to 2013, the Aquino government is certainly even less-prepared and ill-equipped to handle a much bigger disaster than Sendong.

Hopefully, the deaths of thousands of Filipinos during the super typhoon will not be in vain because this disaster is finally exposing the incompetence of the Aquino government not only to the rest of the Filipino people, but also to the rest of the international community.

ilda
ilda

@JuanMasunurin What a baseless accusation. For your information, I don't get paid to write my opinion about the Aquino regime. 

There is no "dis-information" or "negative" comments being spread. They are based on facts. I am surprised there are people like you who still defend the incompetence of the Aquino government. Is your loyalty with the people or with the Aquinos? It's time for him and his people to shape up and shaping up  does not include distributing relief goods for mere photo-ops.

It was DILG secretary Roxas who said that they were expecting the local government unit to give the initial response in the aftermath of the storm.  Doesn't that mean there was NO rescue operation from the national government on Day 1?  You see they have to be careful about what they say to the media because it has a tendency to come back and bite them. 

aikls
aikls

Its haters feast! Tahimik ksi sila for the past 3 years. Kaya pagkkataon n nila ngyn. Goodluck. United we stand, Divided we fall!'