Nations must give more aid, says Albay governor



Albay Gov. Joey Salceda on Sunday bemoaned the tepid response of the international donor community to the Philippines’ plea for aid for close to a million victims of super Typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha), saying that countries whose huge greenhouse emissions caused climate change should bear a bigger responsibility for its victims.

Salceda, noting that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Unocha) had so far raised only $20 million (P820 million), or 21 percent, of the $65 million  (P2.665 billion) it had sought for Pablo victims, said the government should demand more international aid considering that these typhoons were the result of climate change.

“Nothing can be more unjust—our country accounts for only 0.2 percent greenhouse gas emissions but ranks first in impact with Pablo being only a more recent example. The P36.95 billion in damage should principally be underwritten by countries that caused climate change.

Strongest to hit Mindanao


Pablo, a Category 5 typhoon packing winds of up to 260 kph, was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit Mindanao, an area that has rarely seen typhoons in the past.

“Right now, official development aid (some of which are regurgitated or recycled) will account for only 1.4 percent of the recovery budget for Pablo’s wrath. And if we adjust these ODA aggregates for their historically high overhead, the net benefit to climate change victims will even be smaller than the 1.4 percent,” said Salceda.

Salceda also cited lack of a central fundraising agency and weak coordination on the ground to explain why funding problems were hampering relief and rehabilitation work among victims of Pablo.

“The target $65 million is already very low and represents only seven percent of the P36.95 billion in damages. The ’very low 21 percent commitment level’ is a dismay. I don’t think it is donor fatigue since there is usually a high level of international support for  climate-driven humanitarian problems,” said Salceda in an e-mail.

Lacking central institution

Salceda blamed the lack of a central institution tasked by the government to secure pledges for the 10 regions, 34 provinces, 318 towns and 40 cities affected.

He added that as a result of low coordination on the ground, there has also been relatively weak DANA or damage assessment and needs analysis and, as a consequence, the quality of the recovery plan or reconstruction program suffers.

In its report, Unocha said agencies involved in providing shelter for displaced families were facing challenges in pursuing their programs, specifically  “severe funding constraints.”

Nearly one million people remain in need of food assistance while relief organizations grapple to provide shelter to thousands of residents a month after the powerful typhoon made landfall in northeastern Mindanao. So far, 1,067 persons were listed as having been killed and 834 remain missing.

Citing data from Philippine agencies, Unocha said the typhoon affected 6.2 million people, with 13,490 still in evacuation centers while close to one million were forced to stay outside temporary shelters.

Unocha reported that only 21 percent, or roughly a fifth of the UN’s initial appeal for $65 million in aid for Pablo victims, has been filled with $13 million in total international donations and up to $7 million in pledges.

“Between 800,000 and one million people are in need of food assistance in the worst affected areas,” said Unocha in the report.

Of this number, some 238,000 persons have received family food packs in the severely affected provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, the UN agency said, citing data from the World Food Program and the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Fund constraints


“Agencies report severe funding constraints and are unable to expand their programs,” said Unocha.

The accurate number of affected homes also “remain difficult to ascertain” given conflicting reports from the field, said the UN agency also said.

Unocha also cited the “unequal humanitarian response” to affected families in the Caraga region in northeastern Mindanao, which was earlier attributed to difficulties in distribution.

School feeding programs are set to be launched in public schools in severely hit areas through the Department of Education.

There is also a need to build and identify alternative displacement sites for families still living in public schools.

Displaced families face “poor living conditions, including congestion, lack of safe communal areas, lack of electricity and protection concerns,” Unocha noted. With a report from Tarra Quismundo

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  • serve_by_example

    Wag nang ipaasa lahat ng tulong sa UN.  If it’s against the law, ask the good house presidents  to fine 100,000 or take away the same amount from their pork barrel for each day a house member is absent from session.  Sigurado kahit paano makakatulong yan. Pocket change sa kanila yan lalo na sa mga nasasangkot sa mga “money-making machines.”

  • Islaslolo

    The culture of mendicancy indeed!

    We also contribute to the greenhouse effect, if that is the reason for the extreme weather, because we stripped our forests, most of it for personal profits. Less forest and greenery means less carbon-dioxide sink capability. 

  • cher_5574

    Hay di talga maintindihan ng karamihan ng nagbabasa ang tinutumbok ng balitang ito. Ok, to put it simply, kahit pa walang illegal mining or illegal logging sa Pilipinas, kahit pa ilabas ng buong Pilipinas ang lahat ng pondo, magkakaroon pa rin tayo ng sunod sunod na malalakas na bagyo at kung ano ano pang delubyo. At mauubos at kukulangin pa rin ang ating financial resources para solusyunan ang lahat ng damages na resulta ng mga delubyong ito. Bakit? Kasi nga malala na ang effect ng greenhouse gases sa buong environment ng buong mundo. Tayo ba ang may kagagawan nito? Part tayo oo, pero mga 1% lang ang contribution natin sa greenhouse gases, kasi nga di naman tayo malaki at mayamang bansa, wala naman tayong mga oil refineries at mga malalaking industrial at manufacturing plants na nagbubuga ng usok at lason sa kapaligiran. 90% ng mga lason na ito ay nanggagaling sa mga ilan lang na mayayamang bansa, yumayaman sila dahil sa mga income na generated ng mga planta nila na sumisira naman sa kapaligiran ng buong mundo. tayo katiting lang ang contribution sa green house gases na yan pero isa tayo sa mga bansang sobrang naapektuhan dahil sa ating lokasyon. Hindi maiiwasan na tayo ang magtatamasa ng sobrang damages dahil nga sa location natin. Wala pang malinaw na international law na nagsasaad ng accountability ng damages na dulot ng mga malalakas na bagyo at kung ano ano pang natural calamities bilang resulta ng pagkasira ng kapaligiran gawa nga ng mga factories at planta ng mga malalaking bansa. Kaya habang wala pang batas na malinaw, ang tawag pa sa ngayon sa AID. pero sa totoong kahulugan ito ay kabayaran sa mga kasiraan sa atin ng dulot ng kagagawan ng ibang bansa. Kaya tama si Gov., dapat ang mga bansang naninira sa ating kapaligiran ay dapat na suportahan ang mga bansa gaya ng Pililipas sa pagharap sa mga damages na resulta ng kanilang kagagawan.  Kaya hindi tayo nanghihingi ng tulong, dapat manghingi tayo ng kabayaran sa mga damages na dulot ng kagagawan ng ibang bansa. WE ARE NOT BEGGING, WE SHOULD DEMAND CLAIMS FOR THE DAMAGES THAT WE ARE SUFFERING BECAUSE OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES’ INDRUSTRIAL ACTIVITIES THAT RESULTED INTO THESE SUCCESSIVE CALAMITIES THAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING. Dapat nga iisang tining tayo na sabihin sa buong mundo, hoy ang dumi nyo umaabot sa amin sa Pilipinas at kami ang nagdurusa dahil sa kagagawan nyo.

  • Zen

    tanga talaga ng karamihang pilipino. kakainis mga negative comments dito. worse, kasama ko sila sa bansang ito. ginagago na sila ng ibang bansa di pa rin nila alam. tingin nila sa demanding compensation eh begging. filipinos really lack the pride necessary to stand up for their rights. bwisit. 

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