AS DONATIONS continue to pour in from both local and foreign individuals and institutions for post-Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation efforts, the Philippine government has also loosened its purse strings and released funds to aid the typhoon-struck communities.
RIGHT AFTER calamities have ravaged homes and communities, the government mounts relief and rescue work with speed and vigor – and still has energy left to provide photo-op events for the media. But when it comes to the more difficult tasks of rehabilitation and recovery, or even preparing communities for when the next disaster comes – the downtime between calamities – the government takes on the character of a drunken turtle, rolling out projects and releasing funds in slow and scattered fashion.
AMONG THE scores of projects launched in the wake of super typhoon Yolanda, one assisted the victims in a direct, meaningful way: the reconstitution of the civil registry records of a targeted 100,000 persons.
EXACTLY THREE months after Yolanda struck central Philippines, the government launched a worldwide campaign to thank everyone who had rushed to the country’s aid in the supertyphoon’s aftermath. Aside from print and TV ads, the government also paid for billboards in nine famous cities across the globe – New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, and Sydney — expressing the Filipinos’ gratitude for the hand extended to them by people all over the world. Indeed, while Filipinos themselves rushed to help their countrymen in need, the global response to the tragedy was overwhelming.