People Surge lambasts Aquino gov’t for 923 M pesos unused disater funds
“How heartless could the government be? Millions of funds are kept idle in banks while disaster survivors suffer inhumane conditions in bunkhouses and temporary shelters. Funds that could have been better used to help survivors get back on their feet remain unused,” Marissa Cabaljao, People Surge Secretary-General said in response to Commission on Audit (COA) report that Php 923 million disaster funds was not utilized.
“Is the Aquino regime tightening its belt to those who need their assistance the most? Mukhang tinitipid kami eh,” Cabaljao added.
Cabaljao noted that there is an increase in lump-sum funds for 2016 which, according to reports, amounts to as much as P758.398 billion pesos. “These funds may be used to perpetuate the system of political patronage already in place,” she said.
People Surge fears that disaster funds will be used for election purposes. “When do they plan to distribute those idle funds? Sa ‘tamang panahon’? When is this ‘tamang panahon’? When election is near?”
People Surge remains firm in its call to frustrate the political ambitions of President Benigno Aquino’s aspiring successor Mar Roxas. “President Aquino and Roxas already started making their rounds in our storm-battered region,” Cabaljao stated.
Last week, Aquino and Roxas paid a visit to Eastern Samar to check the billion worth US grant project of circumferential road network that will supposedly connect Eastern and Northern Samar.
“His field trips are mere hypocrisy to build up the electoral base of his aspiring successor Roxas. Apparently, politicians are using Yolanda as a political capital. They will never gain our strong support,” she said.
His visitation in Eastern Samar also reflects how he deems much more of a priority the interest of US imperialist over the plight of his own people. The circumferential road network which he purportedly came to visit used to be a site of a former US naval depot and air strip during World War II. A report shows that foreign troops are going to the area from time to time. The increased rotational presence of US in the country is consistent with US’ pivot to Asia, where Philippines is a tactical base at that.
“As Yolanda survivors, we have felt how developed countries like the US’ unbridled emission triggered climate change and resulted to super typhoons like Yolanda. US imperialist plunder including mining operations have caused irreparable damage to our environment. Meanwhile, US troops presence have threatened areas with cases of human rights violations such that of Jennifer Laude.”
On November 6, disaster survivors from all points of Eastern Visayas will troop to Tacloban City “to pressure the inept Aquino government as well as the world’s top 200 corporate giants amassing wealth from carbon pollution and social exploitation.” Cabaljao also declared that they will send delegates to the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) protest actions in Manila.#
Alliance for Disaster Survivors in the Philippines
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