PGMA incompetence pushed poor to help Ondoy victims By Randy Evangelista, Anakpawis media bureau chief
San Mateo, Rizal- The incompetence of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration in dealing with disasters and calamities pushed ordinary workers, vendors, drivers, farmers, students, slum dwellers and fire volunteers to link arms for relief and medical mission to the ravaged town of San Mateo, one of the affected municipalities in Rizal province.
” After two days of collecting donations from ordinary workers, vendors, drivers, farmers, students, slum dwellers and middle class communities in Quezon City, Tulong Anakpawis began distributing relief goods today in the ravaged town of San Mateo, one of the towns hardest hit by the tragic flashflood last September 26. Fire volunteers also joined in to distribute much needed clean water to the affected homes,” the party list group Anakpawis said in a media advisory, a copy of which was sent to The Pamalakaya Times.
Trade union leader and Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod said the relief operations of Tulong Anakpawis is a strong testimony to the tie that binds all Filipinos, especially the poor, that is, to rely on their collective strength in times of tragedy and despair.
He said that in a span of two days, they were able to gather enough relief goods, medical volunteers and even fiirefighters to render immediate support directly to poor families gravely affected by the flash flood that left thousands homeless, hundreds dead and hundreds more still missing.
Maglunsod also said that their relief mission was triggered by the Arroyo government’s total neglect and abandonment in addressing the emergency situation. He said that their members complained of the absence of any rescue effort from the government during and after the tragic flashflood.
“This leads us to the question whether the financial aid from other countries be used for helping the victims? Or, will all the money be washed away to nowhere like the emergency fund used to pay for the president’s luxurious trips abroad?’ With everything that happened the past days, it may be like hoping for a life vest during Ondoy’s onslaught.”
Despite this, Maglunsod added, the masses bravely stepped up to ensure that no more lives will be lost through launching widespread relief operations. “Our chapters rose from the mud that almost killed them four days ago and launched localized relief operations and education campaigns to explain the root causes of the tragedy that befell all of us. That the numerous deaths and large-scale destruction to our homes and livelihood is not about nature taking its course. That the tragedy could have been prevented or minimized if only the government did its job.”
Tulong Anakpawis is a combined relief effort inititated by Anakpawis Partylist, the militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Task Force Obrero, the peasant activist gorup Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center (CBBRC), the urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pamalakaya and National Network of Agrarian Reform-Youth (NNARA-Youth of UP and PUP).
Maglungsod said they are accepting volunteers and donations, in cash or in kind to be distributed immediately to affected areas in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon . Interested donors and volunteers may call their hotline numbers, 4269442 or 4359402, email, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.anakpawis.net. #