Mon, Aug 03, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Philippines vows further action on typhoon rebuild


The Philippines yesterday vowed to take further action to aid those displaced by deadly Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, following UN criticism that the government’s response so far had been “inadequate.”

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s spokesman, Herminio Coloma, said the government was not merely trying to find new housing for those displaced by the storm, which was the most powerful recorded to make landfall, but was also trying to ensure they would be relocated to safer ground.

“This is our commitment: The government will continue its effort to help these internally displaced persons, particularly regarding setting up permanent, safe and decent housing,” he said.

“We hope to help them find suitable livelihood and jobs so they can further recover from the calamity,” Coloma said.

His remarks came after UN special rapporteur Chaloka Beyani said that the government had not done enough for those left homeless by Haiyan, which flattened whole towns and left about 7,350 people dead or missing when it swept through the central Philippines in November 2013.

About 2,000 families have been forced to relocate to evacuation camps with many living in shanties, often without power or water, social welfare officials said.

Coloma said that the government had allocated more money in the 2016 budget for setting up new communities for those affected by Haiyan as well as those displaced by rebels fighting in the south.

He did not specify how much money was going to victims of Haiyan.

Aquino has budgeted 160 billion pesos (US$3.6 billion) to rebuild after Haiyan, considered one of the major tests of his six-year term that ends in June next year.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, at risk from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and an average 20 typhoons annually.

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