October 13, 2016
ATTENTION: Reporters/ News Desks
Reference: Christie Suyin Ceres G. Jamoralin, CDRC Executive Director
Office number: 9299820/9299822:
Mobile number: 09065861984 (globe)
On International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), Yolanda Survivors Still at Risk
As the world celebrates the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), thousands of Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors remain homeless and vulnerable to disasters.
The IDDR, which began in 1989, is a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.
Suyin Jamoralin, Executive Director of the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center Foundation, Inc. (CDRC), said, “How can we celebrate the IDDR here if we have not reduced the Yolanda survivors’ exposure to disasters?”
The CDRC underscored the plight of its Shelter Project Phase 2 beneficiaries in barangays San Roque, Buenavista and Macanip in Jaro, Leyte who are living in makeshift houses. The construction of 300 houses has been halted, as the CDRC could not get the wood released from the Port of Cebu due to non-issuance of tax/duties exemption and waiver of storage fees.
For ten months, the CDRC went to various government agencies to request for exemption from tax and duties for the shipment donated by CDRC’s partner Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) but their requests have not been acted upon.
Two of the supposed beneficiaries—Antonio Garrido (60 years old) and Alberto Fuertes, (46 years old) have already died.
“They may have survived Super Typhoon Yolanda but they did not survive bureaucratic red tape and government neglect,” Jamoralin said. “The only thing we’ve been asking these past months is for the government to give us the due assistance needed to help the communities they have not reached.”
Unlike the substandard houses built by government for survivors Super Typhoon Yolanda, the CDRC and its partner Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) are building typhoon- and earthquake-resistant houses.
During the first phase of the project, the CDRC had already turned over 300 houses to beneficiaries in 6 barangays of Jaro, Leyte in November last year. Wood donated to construct the houses were granted tax and duties exemption for the phase 1 of the project under Presidential Memorandum Order No. 36 in 2014. This was processed through a one-stop-shop (OTS) created by the government for donations to Super Typhoon Yolanda survivors.
In the second phase, however, the OTS no longer exists and the CDRC had to process the exemption through the different government departments and agencies concerned.
The CDRC is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to grant its request for exemption from taxes and duties for the shipment of pinewood for the shelter project as well as for a waiver in the storage fees at the Port of Cebu so that the shipment can be released soon. #