Sendong victims hit gov't relocation plan

Posted at 02/18/2012 3:33 PM | Updated as of 02/19/2012 11:42 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of victims of tropical storm “Sendong” who lost their homes expressed dismay over the government’s relocation plans, which they described as unclear.

In a statement released Saturday during the Mindanao Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Geo-Hazard Awareness, displaced residents, particularly those from Isla Baksan, Isla Bugnao, Isla Delta 2, Isla Delta 1, Isla de Oro, Tambo, and Cala-cala, called on the government to draw up a clear relocation plan.

They also called on President Benigno Aquino III to instruct local government units to speed up responses to their concerns.

The said areas have been declared as no-build zones by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) after raging floodwaters inundated the region.

The displaced persons are temporarily camped out in “tent cities,” which have no electricity and are poorly ventilated.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), a total of 384,431 persons or 69,666 households in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon were affected by Sendong.

Sendong hit the northern Mindanao last December 16, leaving more than 1,200 dead.

Relief goods

The victims of Sendong also complained that the distribution of relief goods in the area was not properly organized by authorities.

They suggested that a systematic Camp Management Mechanism (CMM) needs to be put in place to provide clear procedures and ensure effective coordination among humanitarian providers.

Meanwhile, the Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC), an alliance of five local humanitarian organizations supported by international aid agency Oxfam, urged the government to open communication lines with the displaced families in discussing decision-making processes involving relocation and relief efforts.

The response manager of HRC Rey Magbanua likewise pushed for the speedy processing of permanent and temporary relocation sites; and for relocation plans to be communicated to the displaced individuals.