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NOVEMBER 22, 2013






Who’s in charge here?

Kid gives savings as Japan triples aid

From Canada: another $15M for Philippine relief

Canada helps the Philippines

Stories of Yolanda (and emergency preparation)

UN: Millions in the Visayas still hungry Leyte legislator urges new system in preparing for disasters BY SHIENA M. BARRAMEDA AND LEILA B. SALAVERRIA Philippine Daily Inquirer

BANGON PILIPINAS! RISE UP, PHILIPPINES! A woman waves from atop her destroyed home at the INQUIRER aerial team, which surveyed the destruction caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in Leyte. Fluttering in the wind beside her is a Philippine flag. PHOTO BY RAFFY LERMA

Victims in Antique, Capiz cry for help BY NESTOR P. BURGOS JR., NIÑA P. CALLEJA AND MARICAR CINCO Philippine Daily Inquirer AS NATIONAL attention has focused on storm-battered Tacloban City, the cries for help are getting louder from survivors in less known towns that also suffered the brunt of Supertyphoon

“Yolanda” in Antique, Capiz and Eastern Samar. At least 18 municipalities in Antique need not only relief aid but also assistance in rebuilding destroyed houses, public buildings, and infrastructure, recovering from crop losses, and in restoring the livelihood of residents, said

Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ destroys Imelda Marcos mansion ❱❱ PAGE 13


❱❱ PAGE 12 Victims in

TACLOBAN CITY—There may still be millions of people in the Visayas who have yet to receive any assistance 10 days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” swept across nine regions of the Philippines, the United Nations said on Monday. But Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez blamed the delay in assistance to the survivors on “bureaucratic red tape.” Romualdez, whose district, including Tacloban City, was pulverized by Yolanda (international name: “Haiyan”), urged the creation of a department or an emergency management authority to be headed by a Cabinet-rank official to ❱❱ PAGE 11 UN: Millions in


Philippine News


‘Who’s in charge here?’ BY CHRISTIAN V. ESGUERRA AND MICHAEL LIM UBAC Philippine Daily Inquirer WHERE IS the government? Five days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” flattened the central Philippines, thousands of victims were still crying out for food, their dead left rotting by the roadside, prompting CNN’s Anderson Cooper to declare that “there is no real evidence of organized recovery or relief.” Even as an enormous global aid effort gathered momentum and relief supplies began trickling into the airport in Tacloban, capital of the worst-hit province of Leyte, officials did not have a full grasp of the magnitude of the devastation and could provide no guidance on when basic emergency needs could be met. While President Aquino suggested in a CNN interview that estimates of 10,000 or more dead may turn out to be high, international relief officials said they were still assuming the worst and were worried that bottlenecks and delays could prevent them from reaching millions of victims for days. Officials in Manila found themselves on the defensive, asserting that they were doing the best they could despite a storm that Valerie Amos, the top United Nations relief coordinator, who flew to Manila on Tuesday to help take charge of efforts, called the “most deadly and destructive” to hit the Philippines. Amos pleaded for more than $300 million in emergency aid. Malacañang admitted that it had asked the United States for help and that many survivors had not received relief. “We’ve asked the US for aid and the secretary of defense says they are sending an aircraft carrier and a couple of other ships—those are en route,” said Ricky Carandang, a spokesperson for the Palace. “There are lots of remote areas that

haven’t received aid,” Carandang said. “The priority is to supply food and water. With communications partially functioning, with ports and roads blocked, we need to get that clear first. We need to get the roads clear before you can get the aid to them.” Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) slammed into the Samar-Leyte area with sustained winds of up to 215 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 250 kph then swept across the central Philippines, flattening entire towns, killing a still undetermined number of people, and knocking down power and communication lines. The government blames its slow response to the lack of power and communications and questions the death toll estimate of 10,000, only to show the absence of organization in responding to the crisis. The Aquino response

CNN’s chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, put President Aquino on the spot, impressing on him that his administration’s response to the disaster would probably define his presidency. “Mr. President you talked about a moral responsibility from the world,” she told Mr. Aquino in an exclusive interview. “Let me ask you about your responsibility as President. Clearly, I don’t know whether you agree, but the way you respond and your government respond to this terrible devastation will probably define your presidency,” Amanpour said. “Many have talked about how much effort has gone in, how much reform you have done, how much work you’ve done against corruption. But many people might end up judging you on how your government has responded. What do you say to that?” she asked. The President did not answer the question and instead mentioned other

Officials in Manila found themselves on the defensive, asserting that they were doing the best they could despite a storm that Valerie Amos, the top United Nations relief coordinator, who flew to Manila on Tuesday to help take charge of efforts, called the “most deadly and destructive” to hit the Philippines.

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604.273.6411 208 - 4940 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC areas in the Visayas, “with the exception” of Leyte and Eastern and Western Samar, where the number of casualties officials had said was “minimal.” But Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, asked in a news briefing yesterday about Amanpour’s observation, said: “I don’t think it is an acid test of this administration. This is an acid test of the Filipino people. How well we handle this crisis will matter a lot. Yes, there will be challenges, but we will move on.” Asked by the INQUIRER who was calling the shots, Almendras said, “The one calling the shots is actually the President and the Cabinet members.” At the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), reporters asked Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario who was in charge of the government’s response to Yolanda. “Not me,” Del Rosario said. “It’s the Executive Secretary (Paquito Ochoa), ably assisted by Secretary (to the Cabinet Jose Rene) Almendras.” Del Rosario last presided over a meeting of the national disaster council on Friday, hours before Yolanda slammed into the Samar-Leyte area. President Aquino presided over the next meeting and walked out of the meeting after showing dissatisfaction with Del Rosario’s report. Ochoa has since been presiding over meetings of the council.


Unretrieved corpses

Former Election Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, who grew up in Ormoc City, yesterday spoke about the magnitude of the devastation that he saw during a visit to his hometown and neighboring Tanauan, Palo, Tolosa, Dulag and Abuyog. “It’s not something you would want to happen to your worst enemy,” he told the INQUIRER, recalling the sight of corpses stuffed into sacks and piled up on the streets. “We went around in the evening in an air-conditioned car. We were wearing 3M masks, meaning the heavy duty one, but believe me, the stench was so bad,” Larrazabal said. Amanpour cited CNN stories showing “the slowness, the bottleneck of trying to get vital aid to the people.” Mr. Aquino said “the sheer number of people who were affected in these three provinces is quite daunting.” “What hampers the effort is that the typhoon wrought havoc on the power lines and also the communication facilities, giving us immense difficulty in identifying needs and thereby dispatching the necessary relief supplies and vital equipment,” he added. But with the world reaching out in the biggest relief effort yet for the Philippines, the government apparently remained unable to find an efficient way ❱❱ PAGE 10 ‘Who’s in’

Philippine News


Activists join PH rep in hunger strike Climate change conference BY TARRA QUISMUNDO Philippine Daily Inquirer AT LEAST 30 environment activists have joined Naderev “Yeb” Saño, the Philippine representative to the 12-day Climate Change Conference in Poland, in a hunger strike to underscore the need for more concrete action to reverse dangerous weather trends. Environmentalists from at least five countries—India, Poland, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United States—said they would join Saño, who broke into tears as he related the hardships of Filipinos in his home province, Leyte, which was recently slammed by a storm of unprecedented strength. The Philippine representative appealed for an end to the deadlock on climate negotiations among 190 United Nations member-nations and announced he would go on a fast to stress the urgency of the matter.

of his fast, Anjali Appadurai of the organization Friends of the Earth-Sri Lanka said some of her fellow activists would also fast “with no food whatsoever, just water, up to the end of the summit or until real progress is made. Contacted by e-mail, Saño told the INQUIRER his decision to fast was “borne out of my desire to sympathize with our Filipino brothers and sisters who are struggling to find food in the hardest hit areas of Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name ‘Haiyan’).” Saño said he hopes the conference that ends on Nov. 22 will produce a stronger commitment to cut carbon dioxide emissions and other measures to address changing climate— a phenomenon of warming oceans that has spawned fiercer typhoons. Storm Yolanda is the strongest typhoon to ever hit land in recorded history.

Friends of the Earth

Symbolic fasting

As Saño entered the third day

“The fasting is symbolic. It is

meant to send a message that we have to stop our gluttony for fossil fuels that is the primary cause of climate change. It is likewise meant as a means to galvanize global frustration over the slow progress of the climate change talks, and rally communities, organizations and individuals to pressure their governments to take drastic action,” he said. Saño received a standing ovation at the Warsaw conference on Monday when he tearfully took other nations to task over lack of action to reverse climate change. Saño, a native of Tacloban City, told the crowd his brother back in Leyte was a victim of Yolanda’s unprecedented wrath and was at that moment “gathering bodies of the dead with his own two hands.” Typhoon Yolanda and the devastation in its wake “are a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action,” Saño said.

Naderev “Yeb” Saño, the Philippine representative to the 12-day Climate Change Conference in Poland appealed for an end to the deadlock on climate negotiations among 190 United Nations member-nations and announced he would go on a fast to stress the urgency of the matter. PHOTO FROM CLIMATECHANGE-TV.RTCC.ORG

“The expression of solidarity and support that we have been getting was overwhelming. This is also a reflection of how people care about what happened to the Philippines as a result of Supertyphoon Yolanda, an extreme climate event,” he said. Deeply touched

“We are deeply touched and moved with the warm embrace that civil society has given us, especially those who have decided to go on fasting in solidarity with us,” he said. “We have also been informed that thousands of young people

around the world, in various universities and towns, have decided to join the fast for the duration of this climate conference inWarsaw,” he added. As he faced a week more of fasting, Saño was “already starting to feel (his) body adjust” but remained unfazed. “I am being checked up by a doctor every day to watch for my vital signs, and I follow a regimen that includes lots of water and magnesium salts. The idea is for me to function normally as we need to do work here in the negotiations,” he said. ■

It’s our best treat!

Philippine News


Philippine News


Kid gives savings as Japan triples aid BY TARRA QUISMUNDO Philippine Daily Inquirer AFTER SEEING on television the havoc Supertyphoon “Yolanda” wrought in the Eastern Visayas, 6-year-old Shoichi Kondoh broke his piggy bank and handed over his savings of 5,000 Japanese yen (P2,000) to a Philippine Embassy official in Tokyo. It may be a small amount compared to the total Japanese government assistance of $52.1 million (nearly P2.3 billion), but the Japanese boy’s action has emerged as a symbol of the world’s generosity to the Philippines in the wake of Yolanda’s fury. “Consul Bryan Dexter Lao expressed the embassy’s gratitude for this very sincere gesture of kindness and sympathy from the embassy’s youngest cash donor,” the embassy said, referring to Kondoh’s gesture. Kondoh, a preschooler, handed over his donation on Thursday accompanied by hismother, Miho Kondoh. He also signed

the condolence book at the embassy. The boy’s personal contribution was apart from the Japanese government’s emergency funding for the Philippines. Aid tripled

The Japanese government boosted its aid with a fresh allocation of $20 million (P872 million), according to the Japanese Embassy in Manila. The amount will be spent for food, shelter, water and sanitation supplies to be funneled through the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef ) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the embassy said. Japan has also deployed a 25member medical team to the Philippines, reciprocating the Philippines’ help following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that swept northeastern Japan and killed more than 15,000 people. Aid tripled

In Tokyo, the Japanese gov-

ernment said it was tripling its emergency aid package for the Philippines as Tokyo prepares to send as many as 1,000 troops to help with relief efforts. The Japanese foreign ministry said it would now give $30 million in emergency grant aid to the disaster-struck nation, up from a previous $10 million. Another $2 million worth of emergency relief goods and assistance is being delivered through Japanese nongovernment organizations. Altogether, the total package would reach about $52 million, including a $20-million contribution to Japan’s poverty reduction fund at the Manila-based Asian Development Bank. Comparison with China

The major contribution to the Philippines from Asia’s second biggest economy has drawn comparisons to the relatively little aid coming from China, now the region’s largest economy. Japan said it was readying to send as many as 1,000 members of its Self-Defense Forces

Six-year-old Japanese boy Shoichi Kodoh donates contents of his piggy bank, amounting to 5,000 yen (or CAD $50) to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM

(SDF) to the Philippines in what is believed to be the largest single relief operation team ever sent abroad by Japan’s de facto military. It is expected to be the first time that Japanese troops are active in Leyte province—which was pummeled by Yolanda— since the island turned into one of the biggest battlegrounds of World War II, when US forces

counter invaded in 1944 during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Previous overseas missions by the SDF, which adheres to the country’s postwar pacifist constitution, have usually numbered in the hundreds. The defense forces have helped in previous regional relief efforts, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. ■

Philippine News


Logjam in aid delivery Gazmin: Something is wrong with system Philippine Daily Inquirer TACLOBAN CITY—A day after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” struck the eastern Philippine coast, a team of 15 doctors and logistics experts was ready to fly to the worst-hit city to help. Days into what could be the country’s deadliest disaster, they were still waiting to leave. Aid is coming to Tacloban: medical supplies, pallets of water and food piled on trucks, planes and ferries, sent by the Philippine government and countries around the world. But the scale of the disaster and challenges of delivering the assistance means few in this city, strewn with debris and corpses, have received any help. A team from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), complete with medical supplies, arrived in Cebu City on Saturday looking for a flight to Tacloban, but hadn’t left. A spokesperson for the group said it was “difficult to tell” when it would be able to leave. “We are in contact with the authorities, but the (Tacloban) airport is only for the Philippine military use,” Lee Pik Kwan said in a telephone interview. At the medical group’s intended destination, thousands of typhoon victims were trying to get out. They camped at the airport and ran onto the tarmac when planes came in, surging past a broken iron fence and a few soldiers and police trying to control them. Most didn’t make it aboard. “We need help. Nothing is happening,” said Aristone Balute, an 81-year-old who didn’t get on a flight out of the city. “We haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon.” Her clothes were soaked from the rain, and tears streamed down her face. “There’s a bit of a logjam to be absolutely honest getting stuff in here,” said United Nations staffer Sebastian Rhodes Stampa against the roar of a C-130 plane landing behind him at the airport here. “It’s almost all in country, either in Manila or in Cebu, but it’s not here. We’re going to have real challenge with logistics in terms of getting things

out of here, into town, out of town, into the other areas,” he said. “The reason for that essentially is that there are no trucks, the roads are all closed,” he said. No food

“We survived the storm, but there’s no food,” Brendo Gamez, mayor of Abon-Abon town, said. Where is the food? Where is the water? Gamez, Julita Mayor Irvin Dy and Tanauan Mayor Pel Tecson went to the Tacloban airport to see for themselves that the relief promised by the national government had been loaded on military trucks and would be delivered to their towns. “We have not done enough. There is a need to scale up the effort,” Valerie Amos, chief of the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Office, told the INQUIRER. “While we have done all, at the same time there is more that we should have been able to do,” she said. No organization

An Associated Press reporter drove through the town for around 7 kilometers and saw more than 40 bodies. He saw no evidence of any organized delivery of food, water or medical supplies, though piles of aid have begun to arrive at the airport. Some people were lining up to get water from a hose, presumably from the city supply. “There is a huge amount that we need to do. We have not been able to get into the remote communities,” Amos said. “Even in Tacloban, because of the debris and the difficulties with logistics and so on, we have not been able to get in the level of supply that we would want to. We are going to do as much as we can to bring in more,” she added. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin acknowledged that the relief, while not wanting, was only trickling down to the survivors. Gazmin said he himself was at a loss to explain where the bottleneck was. “There is something wrong with the system,” Gazmin said. “I don’t know how to put it, but

we have been doing our part of bringing supplies from the national government to the local governments. Somehow, somewhere along the line, some (local governments) or some of the barangays are left out. I don’t know for what reason.” Gazmin suggested it could be the absence of communications in the first few days after the storm, but said things were now getting better organized and relief could begin to be sent where they were needed most. In Malacañang, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras raised the possibility that some survivors were complaining because of “political considerations.” “To be frank, I was also getting reports that one of the reasons why there are people who say that they’re still not receiving [relief ] and yet know that there have already been deliveries to some of those areas is there seems to be a political consideration,” Almendras said, but did not elaborate. Julita’s Mayor Dy said the local governments were prepared, but no one was prepared for the ferocity of the storm. “We were prepared. Locally we were ready. But even our relief [supplies] were washed out,” he said. Desperate for medicine

Doctors in Tacloban said they were desperate for medicine. Beside the ruined airport tower, at a small makeshift clinic with shattered windows, Philippine Army and Philippine Air Force medics said they had treated around 1,000 people for cuts, bruises, lacerations and deep wounds. “It’s overwhelming,” said Air Force Capt. Antonio Tamayo. “We need more medicine. We cannot give antitetanus vaccine shots because we have none.” The longer survivors go without access to clean water, food, shelter and medical help, the greater chance of disease breaking out and people dying as a result of wounds sustained in the storm. The official death toll from the disaster rose to 2,200, though authorities have said they expect that to rise markedly. They fear estimates of 10,000

“We have not done enough. There is a need to scale up the effort,” Valerie Amos, chief of the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Office, told the INQUIRER. PHOTO FROM RAPPLER.COM

dead are accurate and might be low. More than 9 million people have been affected across a large swath of the country, many of them made homeless. City in ruins

Tacloban, a city of about 220,000 people, bore the full force of Yolanda’s winds and the tsunami-like storm surges. Most of the city is in ruins, a tangled mess of destroyed houses, cars and trees. Malls, garages and shops have all been stripped of food and water by hungry residents. The loss of life appears to be concentrated in Tacloban and surrounding areas, including a portion of Samar island that is separated from Leyte island by a strait. It is possible that other devastated areas are so isolated they have not yet been reached. Air Force works

In Cebu, the Philippine Air Force has been sending three C-130s back and forth to Tacloban from dawn to dusk, and had delivered 212,000 kilos of relief supplies by Tuesday, according to Lt. Col. Marciano Jesus Guevara. The Philippine Navy is also carrying relief, with the BRP Bacolod City, leaving Bohol on Tuesday with 188 tons of sup-

plies for Tacloban. PublicWorks Secretary Rogelio Singson said that the government had been providing 140,000 food packs daily to survivors in Tacloban. Singson told a news conference that the Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Housing Authority were also “preparing to put up temporary shelters” for the survivors. Asked how many, Singson said, “Quite a lot.” He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other agencies would find resettlement sites where the temporary shelters, mostly tents, could be set up. No government help

“There is no help coming in. They know this is a tragedy. They know our needs are urgent. Where is the shelter?” said Aristone Balute’s granddaughter, Mylene, who was also at the airport. “We are confused. We don’t know who is in charge.” Damaged roads and other infrastructure are complicating the relief efforts. Government officials and police and Army officers are in many cases among the victims themselves, hampering coordi❱❱ PAGE 13 Logjam in

Philippine News


After disaster, tallying death toll difficult Philippine Daily Inquirer AMID THE CHAOS of a natural disaster, tallying an accurate death toll is often difficult and sometimes not a priority. The aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: “Haiyan”) in the Philippines has been no different, where initial estimates of the dead were put by some at 10,000. President Aquino disputed that figure, saying it was likely to be closer to 2,000 or 2,500. In the meantime, an official tally shows the number at 2,275. In one sense, outside of newsrooms it matters little. Any number of dead is a tragedy, whether it be 2,000, 3,000 or 10,000. In terms of planning emergency relief operations, the number of people needing assistance and damage to infrastructure is often more important. Over time, a final toll is tallied, or in the case of larger disasters, an estimate agreed upon. The President’s estimate was “based on unconfirmed reports on the ground,” said Eduardo del Rosario, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Del Rosario, a retired Army general, said the latest official toll showed 2,275 confirmed dead, 3,365 injured and 80

missing. “What we issue is based on the actual accounting of dead bodies,” he said. After barring journalists from covering the council’s daily assessment meetings since Sunday, Del Rosario allowed them to ask for updates from representatives of different agencies during a meeting. With affected areas still reeling from the massive devastation and many remote communities not yet reached, the number of verified fatalities so far neared the estimate given by the President. Confusion in count

The following factors have been attributed to the confusion in the count: •Downed communication lines making it impossible to get up-to-date information. •Affected local government officials, themselves victims, unable towork to full capacity. •Villagers burying their dead immediately or bodies being sucked out to sea and not being counted. Similar factors were cited in the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami, where in some instances separate government departments in Indonesia were giving out significantly different figures, each unconcerned about the confusion this created. CNN interview





This photo captured the breadth of Typhoon Haiyan as it ravaged the Philippines. According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, a Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team flew to devastated Tacloban City to find a location where they would be able to examine the bodies given the sensitive nature of their work. PHOTO FROM NEWS.YAHOO.COM

think, is too much,” Mr. Aquino told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. He noted that “there was emotional trauma involved with that particular estimate quoting both a police official and a local government official.” “They were too close to the incident. They didn’t have any basis for it,” he said. Two days after the typhoon hit the Philippines, a regional police official told reporters that the death toll was estimated at 10,000, based on reports from local village chiefs collected by the governor. The same day, the mayor of Tacloban, one of the worst-hit areas, estimated that 10,000 could have died in his city alone. Malacañang could not give a time frame on how soon the government could collect bod-

ies left decomposing by the road in a number of Leyte towns. “The bodies are being worked on,” Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said. “There was a report that the reason why the bodies [were] not being handled [was] because there was a lack of cadaver bags.” Almendras said around 4,000 bags had been brought to the disaster site, just to make sure that “there is an oversupply.” “I am not saying that the casualties are 4,000, OK?” he clarified. NBI forensic team

The National Bureau of Investigation would be in charge of identifying the bodies because the Philippine National Police was “so busy in retrieval and clearing operations,” Almendras said.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said a Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team flew to devastated Tacloban City to find a location where they would be able to examine the bodies given the sensitive nature of their work. De Lima said the team would identify the bodies to alert relatives who would want to give their loved ones a decent burial. “We have to account for each and everybody, living or dead, they need to be accounted for,” she added. A second team, possibly from the agency’s medico-legal division, will be deployed to reinforce the first one, she told reporters after attending the 77th founding anniversary of the NBI at its Manila headquarters. She said she had talked to Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Acosta about sending her office’s forensic team to the calamity-affected provinces and that three forensic pathologists, including Dr. Raquel Fortun, had volunteered their services. In her Twitter account, Fortun has advised authorities to “start with [the] systemic recovery of the dead.” “Do basic exam then temporary burials. No sense aiming for positive ID now,” she said. ■ Reports from Christian V. Esguerra, Dona Z. Pazzibugan and Christine O. Avendaño; and AP

Anderson-Korina tiff goes viral on the Internet BY GIL CABACUNGAN Philippine Daily Inquirer

CNN reporter Anderson Cooper was allegedly blasted by Sanchez for his coverage on the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban City, the epicenter of the shattering calamity. Cooper mentioned in his report that he is unsure who is handling the relief operations, which seems to be on a slow pace at day 5. VIDEO GRAB FROM CNN | CHUVANESS.COM

CALL IT a virtual catfight, a non-issue, or a case of taking things personally, but the recent tit for tat between CNN broadcast journalist Anderson Cooper and ABS-CBN news anchor Korina Sanchez had netizens and TV viewers momentarily distracted from the grim images of the devastation left by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Sanchez had earlier bashed Cooper over his critical reporting on the government’s slow response to the aftermath of Yolanda in Tacloban City. The CNN broadcaster responded in kind in an exchange that

voked a storm of comments from netizens, most of whom chided the two news personalities for their sideshow in the midst of a national disaster. In his eponymously named program on CNN aired live from Manila, Cooper said of Sanchez’ earlier remarks: “A radio broadcaster named Korina Sanchez has taken issue with some of my reporting. She also is not just a radio broadcaster; she also happens to be the wife of the Interior Minister (Secretary Manuel Roxas II) who is overseeing the relief effort on the ground. Miss Sanchez seems to be under the mistaken impression that I said I saw no presence of Philippine government on the ground in Taclo-

ban. I never said that.” Hot topic

Sanchez had criticized Anderson in her radio program on DZMM after he reported on the government’s less than stellar response to the needs of Yolanda survivors. Said the ABS-CBN news anchor: “Itong si Anderson Cooper, sabi wala daw government presence sa Tacloban. Mukhang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya. (This Anderson Cooper. He said there was no government presence in Tacloban. It seems he doesn’t know what he is saying).” Sanchez’s remarks became a hot topic on Twitter, something ❱❱ PAGE 15 Anderson-Korina tiff

Philippine News


VIP media treatment irks locals BY MARLON RAMOS AND NIKKO DIZON Philippine Daily Inquirer TACLOBAN CITY—Anderson Cooper who? Survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and their families were not at all awed by the presence of the famous CNN news anchor and other foreign and local journalists who swooped down here to cover the catastrophe that hit central Philippines. Cooper, host of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” was among the foreign journalists who covered the Aquino administration’s slow response to the crisis caused by Yolanda (international name: “Haiyan”). But to many survivors, who had been waiting in vain to fly out of badly hit Tacloban City, in Leyte province, seeing foreign journalists going in and out of the city aboard C-130 military planes and private helicopters only deepened their anguish. Others complained that relatives of local politicians and senior government officials were among the first ones who were accommodated in free flights out of the city. Special favors

CNN’s coverage of the government’s response to Yolanda was highly critical yet the Atlanta based network received special favors from the government. Filipino and foreign journalists on the second C-130 cargo plane to land in Tacloban a day after the typhoon were asked to travel light to give more space to troops and aid workers. On the plane was the military signal van that was urgently needed to establish communication in the Tacloban airport, which was heavily damaged during the storm. Despite the request, the

CNN crew brought aboard 100 kilos of equipment, the only news organization to bring that much cargo. Other journalists brought only basic equipment and overnight bags. The GMA 7 crew carried heavy equipment, but they waited for the next C-130 flight to be able to bring their big load. Babysitters

One CNN team on the ground also had Filipinos from a government agency under the Office of the President serving as babysitters to make sure the news team would get the stories it wanted. Malacañang press officers were seen at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila awaiting the arrival of foreign journalists who would cover the disaster in the Visayas. The press officers carried welcome banners of sorts— bond paper with the names of the journalists they were meeting printed in large fonts. CNN nearly missed President Aquino in Tacloban, arriving just before he boarded his vehicle. The INQUIRER learned that somebody informed CNN of Mr. Aquino’s presence, and the crew rushed to catch him. Obviously, somebody also told the President that CNN was there and wanted an interview. Instead of taking his car, he stopped to meet the CNN team, prompting the other journalists to run to where they were to catch the interview. For CNN, Malacañang ignored the procedures it imposes on the press during presidential engagements.

There were complaints that relatives of local politicians and senior government officials were among the first ones who were accommodated in free flights out of the city. PHOTO FROM GMANETWORK.COM

they have relatives missing in Leyte?” asked Narcisa Arias, who had been waiting for a C-130 flight from Mactan Cebu International Airport in LapuLapu City. “The military or whoever is in charge of facilitating the flights should have been more sensitive to what the relatives of missing typhoon victims feel,” she told the INQUIRER in the vernacular. Told that Cooper, who reportedly flew in on a chartered flight, was in Tacloban, the 61-year-old sounded perplexed. “Who is he? Can he help me find my mother and two brothers?” Arias asked. A woman, who was in her 20s, butted in and told Arias that Cooper was a well-known journalist. “Then maybe he can tell the world how inutile and cruel this government is. We have been here for three days and yet the military let others board the C130s,” Arias said.


Travelers to Tacloban were angered by the special accommodation given to the foreign journalists. “Why are foreign journalists being prioritized over us? Do

Doing their job

Bertrand Zand of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel said that although he sympathized with the survivors and their relatives, keeping journalists out

of Tacloban would not do them any good. “I can very well understand them. I probably would have reacted the same way. But in a way, we’re just doing our jobs. Aren’t we?” Zand said. Instead of limiting the movement of journalists, he said, the government should make available ships and additional military planes for the typhoon victims. Brian Goldbeck, the US Embassy charge d’affaires, lauded the journalists for braving the miserable situation in typhoonravaged communities in the Visayas to get the attention of the world. Goldbeck flew in from Manila to ensure the swift distribution of relief provided by the US government. “I really appreciate you guys being down here. The job that you have as reporters is very important to be able to understand the state and extent of the problem and helping us to find ways to get the help out to the people,” Goldbeck told reporters. Besides wearing their hats as journalists, Filipino and foreign journalists were also seen sharing water and food with ty-

phoon victims. Humanitarian?

Fatima Estrope, who traveled from Nueva Ecija province to look for her missing parents and her four younger siblings, showed her disgust on seeing a group of foreign journalists making a beeline for a “humanitarian flight” offered by a local airline. “I thought this was a humanitarian flight? Why are we being treated inhumanely?” Estrope, a nursing student, said. ‘Handsome’

The INQUIRER saw Arias in one of the long lines of people outside the Tacloban airport. She said she had found her mother, two brothers and their families who all survived the typhoon’s wrath. “You know, I saw Anderson Cooper a while ago. You didn’t tell me he’s handsome,” Arias said, chuckling. “I’m sure he had seen the bodies still scattered all over the streets of Tacloban. I hope he could also do a report about this,” she said, referring to the chaotic lines of typhoon survivors at the airport. ■

Philippine News


Get ‘Big 6’ fugitives, De Lima dares NBI

‘Who’s in’... to ensure that food, medicines and shelter actually reached the survivors sooner, not later. ❰❰ 3

BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer

‘Master plan’

The President met with key Cabinet officials on a “master plan” to deal with the disaster, Almendras said. It was not clear, however, if the plan was drawn up only that night, meaning four days after Yolanda laid waste to the central Philippines. Asked if the plan was working, Almendras said: “This is the first time we are going to try it at this magnitude. So far, things are moving. So far, goods are moving.” Almendras acknowledged logistical difficulties, but blamed these on the breakdown of local response where local officials should be the first responders. That “goods are not reaching some people” was “really a local issue that we are trying to address now,” he said, noting village officials knew who should receive relief and where. But when reminded that local officials themselves were victims of the typhoon and that the President had already declared a state of national calamity, Almendras said government personnel were now being sent to disaster areas from other locations. “If the local governments do not have the resources to handle that logistic process, the national government will step in,” Almendras said, reiterating that the government had powers to do so, which Palace officials had been talking about since the weekend. Almendras admitted that the government was facing “not a small amount of work” and had distributed relief only at “a small level today.” But he said officials had a “dream”—to reach all survivors— they would fulfill that “challenging task” in the coming days. He said the master plan involved accelerating the repacking of relief, expanding supply centers in such places as Cebu and Davao, speeding up the movement of relief and bringing in government workers from other regions to the typhoon-ravaged areas. Almendras said the government was considering using many of its 1.6 million workers to help repack relief goods.

(BASEY,WESTERN SAMAR) President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message after he leads the turnover of the food packs and matts to Basey Mayor Junji Ponferrada, and the local officials during his visit to the area on Tuesday (November 19). Also in photo are DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, and DSWD secretary Dinky Soliman. PHOTO BY MARCELINO PASCUA

The government will deploy more law enforcement and security forces to restore peace and order in Leyte and Samar, he said. Can’t say when

Asked how soon the survivors would actually receive relief, Almendras said: “I would like to give you a date and a time if possible, but that is not within the national government’s control how effectively we can hit the ground.” “There are places that are very remote, which we need to know also so that we can reach them,” he added. The systems breakdown in Eastern Visayas has prompted questions about local governments’ capability to handle disaster preparation and response and whether the national government should take over the job to ensure maximum safety. Muntinlupa Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, head of the House national defense committee, yesterday said most local governments had so far been unable to cope with the responsibility of organizing mass evacuations and providing temporary shelters for typhoon survivors. He said that at present, the national government’s role was only to provide information about the strength of coming storms, with local governments handling the preparations and response. The setup worked well in the past, Biazon said, but local government capabilities now looked inadequate because of the increasing strength of ty-

phoons. The local governments in Samar and Leyte alerted residents to the size and power of Yolanda, but were unable to force the people to move to safer grounds. “I believe the national government has the authority and resources to force evacuations and prepare for safe, temporary shelters before a supertyphoon,” Biazon said. He said he had asked Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to find out whether there really was a complete breakdown in local preparations so that the House could decide whether it should give the job to the national government. Time for unity

Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said he shared President Aquino’s frustration with his underlings who were quite slow in responding to the crisis. But Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said this was not the time for tossing blame. “All of us have to unite to deliver relief to the victims of Yolanda. It is not the time to pinpoint whether the fault lies with Malacañang or with local officials,” Colmenares said. He, however, acknowledged news reports that five days after Yolanda flattened the central Philippines, most survivors still had to receive any help from the government. Yolanda has shown that private companies and individuals and civic organizations are more effective in delivering aid in times of calamities, he said. ■

JUSTICE SECRETARY Leila de Lima challenged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), especially the intelligence services, to find the so-called “Big 6” high-profile fugitives to face the charges that have been filed against them through the efforts of the NBI. Speaking at the 77th founding anniversary of the NBI, De Lima said the NBI investigations into the cases of these fugitives will be useless if the latter continue to evade justice. “These are the follow-throughs that we need to improve on. Without them, all we have are pyrrhic victories, impressive to look upon but barren and meaningless in the final analysis,” De Lima said in her speech. De Lima told reporters she was making the challenge because it was “frustrating” that the NBI through its fact-finding and investigative teams worked so hard to solve high-profile cases and yet the suspects remain free. She said she was addressing the challenge to the NBI intelligence services, noting that it was a big thing if this division was efficient and knew what it was supposed to do. The justice secretary told the agency to “up the ante.” “I challenge you: Find these people and make them face the charges that were filed because of your own efforts, and those of other investigating agencies. We need results, and I challenge you to deliver,” she said. The Big 6 fugitives are Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, former

Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Mario, the former mayor of Coron town; former Dinagat Island Rep. Ruben Ecleo Jr.; Delfin Lee, owner of the Globe Asiatique real estate company; and Reynald “Jojo” Lim, the brother of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim -Napoles. Tracker teams have failed to determine the whereabouts of these six fugitives. Meanwhile, De Lima issued a second challenge to the NBI, for the agency’s officials to prove that one of them is capable of leading the agency. Medardo de Lemos is currently the officer in charge of the NBI after NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas resigned. De Lima asked all but one of the six NBI deputy directors to resign, saying she had trust issues on two to four of them. “There is nothing I would like better than to raise someone from the inside to the top leadership of the bureau, but I would not support such a move unless I can find worthy candidates. This is about performance, concrete and tangible results. Deliver. And so shall you be rewarded,” she said. De Lima acknowledged that she had misgivings “about the commitment to truth and justice harbored by certain officials or individuals in the bureau”. She challenged the agency’s officials to “surprise me in a positive way, and prove me wrong about these misgivings.” De Lima told reporters she was still “vetting” possible candidates that she could recommend to the President. “A few names are being considered, including insiders,” she said. ■

The Big 6 fugitives, according to Secretary de Lima, are Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Mario, the former mayor of Coron town; former Dinagat Island Rep Ruben Ecleo Jr.; Delfin Lee, owner of the Globe Asiatique real estate company; and Reynald “Jojo” Lim, the brother of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. PHOTO FROM INQUIRER.NET

Philippine News


UN: Millions in... replace the current response system that failed to hit the ground right after the storm. “The current setup has proven to be inadequate in preparing our country from major calamities, which we will inevitably have to face,” Romualdez said in a privilege speech in the House of Representatives on Monday. “This [new] department will drastically reduce, if not totally eliminate, the bureaucratic red tape that caused the delay in the delivery of relief goods to the victims and clearing operations in the affected areas,” he said. ❰❰ 1

UN assessment

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Unocha) found that “375,000 of around 13 million people who were affected by the calamity were able to receive food relief, but 2.5 million people were still in need of food assistance.” Matthew Cochrane, spokesman for the UN humanitarian office, discussed the agency’s assessment of the response made eight days since Yolanda struck on Nov. 8. Cochrane, in an interview with the Inquirer on Sunday, said the assessment was based on data gathered and consolidated as of Nov. 16 from various local and international organizations involved in humanitarian work in areas ravaged by Yolanda. While Eastern, Central and Western Visayas were considered hardest hit, Yolanda also affected portions of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Davao and Caraga regions, said Cochrane, who arrived in Tacloban on Nov. 14. Cochrane said the data showed that around 3 million people were displaced by the typhoon, more than 70 percent of them in the Western Visayas provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental. Reports from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) indicated that some 2.3 million, or 18 percent of those affected by Yolanda,

could be found in Eastern, Western and Central Visayas. Hungry

Cochrane said the UN agency had observed that although there might be more than enough food assistance coming from different sources, there were constraints related to the transportation and distribution of the relief goods. He cited “bottlenecks” that caused incessant delays in distribution of relief to survivors, particularly in the six provinces in Western Visayas. “Most of them have yet to be reached, unlike in Tacloban, which has been reached several times by relief operations,” Cochrane said. He noted that during the first few days of the response, damaged roads and airports caused delays in the distribution of relief goods by UN member-countries. Cochrane said part of the delay in distribution was the insufficient number of vehicles and storage facilities. “Having a ready stock of fuel for vehicles also proved a challenge during the first few days of extending help here,” he said. But private local and international organizations, the government, particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), are now contributing both fuel and vehicles for the distribution of food, he said. Sixty UN member-countries and international private organizations are involved in providing both relief goods and “mobility to reach more beneficiaries,” he said. The UN humanitarian agency recommended the setting up of warehouses in Cebu province and other nearby locations in the Visayas not much affected by the typhoon for the storage of relief goods, Cochrane said. “This, plus the arrival of eight additional trucks from the Armed Forces of the Philippines could increase the food distribution capacity to 400 metric tons per day,” he said. But even with these developments, the UN report said 60 percent of survivors in Capiz province had not received food assistance while in Iloilo province, the towns of Carles, Estancia and Concepcion had not received sufficient help.

But the UN agency noted that despite being provided these materials, few of the survivors had the initiative to build their temporary shelters. Cochrane said the inaction of the rest could be due to the frustration they felt in the aftermath of the typhoon. “We have to understand that the extent of their devastation extends beyond the physical,” he said. “They lost their livelihoods, too.” The United Nations considers Yolanda one of the strongest typhoons to hit any place on earth in wind strength and in the damage it caused. “The task of rebuilding here would be monumental for everyone,” he said. Stop bickering

Another UN official urged a halt to bickering and finger-pointing in the aftermath of Yolanda. Bernard Kerblat, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees representative for the Philippines, told a news conference in Manila that this is not the time for arguing over discrepancies between the UN death toll estimate and that of the Philippine government. The United Nations last week reported an early estimate of more than 4,000 people dead from Yolanda, a figure disputed by the Philippine government, whose count at the time was 3,600 dead. “We have to think of those who died,” Kerblat said. “Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do but offer them a dignified burial, without entering into a polemic of how many of them have died.” Locals defended


President Benigno S. Aquino III, together with some of his cabinet secretaries, on Monday (November 18) leads the distribution of relief goods to the people of Alangalang, Leyte. The President has been around Leyte and Samar to inspect and give support to the victims. PHOTO BY GIL NARTEA/MALACANANG PHOTO BUREAU

The UN humanitarian office recorded 234,760 houses damaged during the typhoon, and 243,583 completely destroyed. Some 1,000 tents in Tacloban City and 500 tarpaulins to be used as temporary shelters in Medellin town in northern Cebu were distributed by the Philippine government and UN member-countries, the report said. In addition, 500 “shelter repair kits” have been given out to residents of Bantayan Island, Cebu.

At the House on Monday, Romualdez defended local governments from criticism that they had been remiss in responding to their constituents’ needs in the aftermath of the storm. “Our local government officials are at the forefront of every problem that may arise in their respective communities. But how can they be mobilized if they don’t have the right resources that may be needed in this kind of situation? Worse, how can we expect them to respond in any kind of situation if they, too, are victims of the same tragedy?”

Romualdez said. Local governments need to be strengthened to be able to handle all kinds of circumstances, he said. Romualdez urged the passage of legislation that would give local officials more resources to build safer, adaptive and resilient communities. He also noted that the World Risk Index had ranked the Philippines third among the most vulnerable to disasters. “I strongly recommend that we pour our resources preparing for these major calamities. We need to procure more updated rescue and relief equipment like helicopters, ships, vehicles and other related modern technology and apparatus,” he said. Romualdez called on the House to pass his resolution to allow the spending of P30 billion from the Special Purpose Fund for the rehabilitation of the towns ravaged by Yolanda. Aid commission

He also urged passage of the bill that would create a Typhoon Yolanda Assistance and Development Commission so that P25 billion could be appropriated for livelihood, rehabilitation, and infrastructure support. He said tax incentives should be given to people and private corporations that would help rebuild the typhoon-ravaged towns and cities. “This tax holiday bill comes with an invitation for all entrepreneurs and companies to establish their businesses in these calamity-stricken areas. While they may be starting from scratch, we assure them of utmost cooperation to provide a business-friendly climate,” Romualdez said. He also proposed the creation of a Typhoon Yolanda Development Integration Assistance Program that would ensure the continued education of children in communities laid to waste by Yolanda. And he appealed to the national government and to local leaders to help the displaced find alternative homes and livelihood so that they could get back on their feet. ■ With a report from Jaymee T. Gamil

Philippine News


Victims in... Broderick Train, executive officer of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO). Seven people died and 127 others were injured, while 16 remained missing, according to a Nov. 18 report of the PDRRMO. The province has requested P739 million in assistance from the national government, including P10,000 each for 14,528 houses destroyed and P5,000 each for 31,271 others damaged. A day after howling winds flattened his house, Carlo Jurilla put up another home using salvaged galvanized iron sheets and leaves from fallen coconut trees. “We have a perfect view of the stars when we lie down at night,” the 33-year-old fish vendor said in jest, referring to the holes and gaps in the roof of the 5×5-foot shanty in Barangay (village) Malabor, which serves as home for him and his wife, Ritchel, and their two children aged 12 and 2 years old. “But it’s a problem when it rains,” he said. ❰❰ 1

Worst-hit areas

Malabor, the most populated village in Tibiao town with 3,359 residents, was among the worst hit by Yolanda on Nov. 8. A total of 377 houses were destroyed and 266 damaged, according to the barangay chair, Noel Julian. Twice, Tibiao, Barbaza, Culasi, Laua-an and other northern

towns of Antique were hit by strong winds. “The first time, the winds came from the north and 30 minutes later, they blew from the south,” Julian said. The Jurillas were among 42 people who had sought refuge at the concrete house of their neighbor, Lita Dalumpines. When winds blew away the roof of Dalumpines’ house, they broke its glass windows and escaped to the house of another neighbor. “The children were crying and we were all shivering from the cold,” Jurilla said. “There were about 50 of us in the second house where we sought cover. We can only stand because there was no more space. Others hid under the table,” he said. No one was staying at the elementary school. Julian said the residents would rather stay in what was left of their houses. “Most people built their houses from the debris left by the typhoon … tukod-tukod lang (propped up by poles or beams,” he said. Island villages

Relief aid, especially potable water, is most needed in the less accessible island-barangays. Most of the help come from the provincial government and private donors on relief missions. The province’s agriculture sector suffered some P123.6 million in damage, including P32.9 million in the seaweed industry in Caluya and Culasi towns.

In Barbaza town alone, damage was placed at P467.86 million, including P391 million in infrastructure and P76 million in agriculture. “We were fortunate because no one died in our town. But we would need help in replacing destroyed fishing boats, assisting victims rebuild their houses and rehabilitating our crops,” said Barbaza Mayor Gerry Necor. A total of 2,430 houses were destroyed and 2,026 damaged. Government structures, including the municipal covered court, public market and police station, were ruined. Even with less national attention, Antiqueños have started to reconstruct their homes and lives. “We would be grateful if more help will come especially in rebuilding our homes and livelihood. But we are also striving on our own, amat-amat lang (gradually),” Julian said. In Capiz, people in the island village of Navitas in Panay town stayed for four hours on the ceilings of the village hall and a health center, hoping the water would not rise or the structure give in to the heavy weight. The ordeal ended with all of them alive, but they went home to a new place. Unchanged scene

“You wouldn’t be able to say which house is yours,” said fisherman Deovani Buhay, as he picked through piles of wood planks for nails that can still be

used to rebuild his hut. The scene has not changed more than a week after Yolanda hit the coastal community, about an hour’s boat ride from the mainland: nipa huts leveled, clothes and plastic basins scattered, and broken boats with outriggers. Help first reached the island three days after the storm when a helicopter carrying relief items flew low over it. People ran to the shoreline, putting hands on their mouths to signal the need for food. Buhay said foreign soldiers gave them seven sacks of rice and noodles, which the village chief divided equally among 130 families. “So far, we have enough supply of food and this vast ocean is our source. We could dig up wells for water,” Buhay said, noting that it is the community’s practice to stash food ahead of typhoons. Message on rooftop

“We understand the government also has its hands full but if you could reach them, tell them we need help to fix our boats. What good would come out of the ocean if we can’t sail,” he told the Inquirer. In Eastern Samar, people in a village overlooking the Leyte Gulf in Salcedo town have painted “Pls help us” on the rooftop of the barangay hall. “The people here have been shouting all the time whenever a helicopter passes by. Even if we know they can’t hear us. So

the young men decided to paint the rooftop with that message,” said Epifanio Macabutas, 54, a farmer in Barangay Camanga. Yolanda spared no house when it arrived, tearing away roofs, demolishing walls and uprooting trees. Although no fatality was reported, the villagers are struggling to find food and water. In the entire town of Salcedo, 29 fatalities were reported after a storm surge as high as 10 meters engulfed two barangays. Mayor Melchor Mergal placed the damage to property at P2.8 billion. No fuel

While packs of goods had already reached Camanga at least three times, the people could not find any station in Salcedo and nearby towns that sells gasoline and diesel fuel. “We are trapped here like prisoners. We can’t go out because we have run out of gas,” Victor Llego told the Inquirer. “Even if we want to rebuild our house now, where can we find the nails and other materials? Please help us tell the people outside to bring us fuel apart from food and water,” Llego said. As the situation worsens, most of the families have sent their children to Manila to find work or seek out relatives and friends. In Guiuan town, also in Eastern Samar, even volunteer doctors are having a hard time finding fuel. ■

Gov’t vow: Power back in Visayas by Christmas BY MICHAEL LIM UBAC Philippine Daily Inquirer PALO, LEYTE—Let there be light. Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla on Monday vowed to restore power in the Visayas on Christmas Eve, or 36 days from now. The self-imposed deadline is about five months ahead of the initial assessment of the energy department that the restoration of the distribution grid in the aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas would take at least half a year. Petilla made this rather star-

tling promise to play Santa Claus of sorts to millions of households that have to endure total darkness at night following the onslaught of Yolanda (international name: “Haiyan”). When reporters chanced upon him here in his hometown as he distributed relief with President Aquino, he said it would not be easy for typhoon survivors to spend Christmas in the dark. “It’s hard to celebrate Christmas without electricity,” he said. “My point here is at least during Christmas you’ll have electricity … because the first sign of hope … is always elec-

tricity. So that’s what we’ll strive hard to achieve.” But he qualified his statement that individual homes would have to fix their own electrical wiring. “We’ll energize the town and barangays (villages) around the town. But for the remote barangays, that will add another time.” Fearless forecast

Petilla said he was making this fearless forecast to “satisfy the public (and) to show them that I am sincere and I will do my best.” Petilla had an aerial survey of ❱❱ PAGE 14 Gov’t vow

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla on Monday vowed to restore power in the Visayas on Christmas Eve. PHOTO FROM NEWS.YAHOO.COM

Philippine News


Logjam in... nation. The typhoon destroyed military buildings that housed 1,000 soldiers in Leyte province. At Matnog, the Sorsogon port for ferries leaving to Samar island, dozens of trucks piled high with aid were waiting to cross. In Manila, soldiers tossed pallets of water, medical supplies and foods into C-130 planes bound for the disaster area. More than 600,000 people were in evacuation centers in Western Visayas as of Wednesday, with the death toll in the region rising to 233—162 in Iloilo, 50 in Capiz, 11 in Aklan and 10 in Antique— according to the Iloilo provincial disaster council. ❰❰ 7

GONE IN SECONDS. The sense of loss is apparent on Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ face as he views what

remains of the Olot mansion in Tolosa, Leyte province, in the wake of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” PHOTO BY RAFFY LERMA

Supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ destroys Imelda Marcos mansion BY MARLON RAMOS Philippine Daily Inquirer TOLOSA, LEYTE—Former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos has lost one of her precious gems. The grand Olot mansion, which Imelda, now the Ilocos Norte representative, considered her family’s ancestral home here, was reduced to a pile of rubble when a three-story-high storm surge whipped by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” obliterated everything inside the 42-hectare beach front property. The destruction of the controversial estate came nearly three years after the Supreme Court allowed her to retake the property, one of the assets of her husband, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, which the government had sequestered, on suspicion it was ill-gotten. Save for a couch and a few mud-splattered wooden sculptures, one can barely picture the grandiose 17-room residence that used to house the once powerful family. “It took me a while to recognize the house,” the late dictator’s namesake son, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., told the Inquirer when he visited the property on Monday. The senator dropped by the mansion before proceeding to the distribution of aid donated by Marcventures Mining and Development Corp. at Barangay (village) Imelda. “What I immediately recognized was the area where the volunteers placed the relief goods because that was where we used to eat. It also had guest rooms,” he said, pointing to a damaged structure where a group of men placed boxes of bottled mineral water. Marcos said he had so many good memories of the place, recalling that he spent most of his summers as a teenager in the beach house facing the Pacific Ocean. He maintained that the property, which also had an 18-hole golf course, originally belonged to the paternal side of his mother, the Romualdezes, one of the

oldest political clans in Leyte province. Ironically, Leyte, which bore the brunt of the most destructive typhoon recorded this year, is one of the poorest provinces in the country. Leo Acejo, the mansion’s caretaker, said he and a coworker almost gave up their lives guarding the Marcos estate, which lies between two hills. His voice breaking, he recalled the moment when a wall of seawater swallowed the entire property. “I saw the sea level drop, as if gathering power and momentum. I got more scared when I noticed that the clouds turned very dark,” he narrated. “Then I saw what looked like a tornado. A giant tidal wave was coming. We immediately ran to safety inside a room in the staff house,” he continued. “The wind sounded as if it was an airplane coming down.” Acejo, who said he had been an employee of the Romualdezes for three decades now, said the seawater inundated the mansion but the flooding lasted only “for a few seconds.” He said he drank about 2 liters of seawater as he held on for dear life, clutching the window grills. When the deluge was over, the caretaker said he could not believe what he saw. The Olot mansion, a testament to Imelda Marcos’ wealth and power in her home province, is now gone. “It’s hard to see the mansion like this. I cannot imagine this could happen,” he said, his eyes welling with tears. “But I am happy to be alive. I just want to move on. I don’t know if we can still rebuild the mansion.” Marcos said his mother had been told of the destruction but photographs of the ruined mansion had been withheld from her. “It’s sad, you know. She’ll also be hurt if she sees the pictures. More than the mansion, she was asking about the people,” Marcos said. “That’s why we will prioritize helping the residents of Tolosa. We’re still lucky because the people around us have even less.” ■

UN help

The United Nations said it had released $25million in emergency funds to pay for emergency shelter materials and household items, and for assistance with the provision of emergency health services, safe water supplies and sanitation facilities. It is launching an appeal for more aid. The aircraft carrier USS George Washington is headed toward the region with massive amounts of water and food, but the Pentagon said it won’t arrive soon.

The United States also said it is providing $20 million in immediate aid. Aid totaling tens of millions of dollars has been pledged by many other countries, including Japan, Australia and Britain, which is sending a Royal Navy vessel with aid. Lucky few

For now, relief has come to a lucky few, including Joselito Caimoy, a 42-year-old truck driver. He was able to get his wife, son and 3-year-old daughter on a flight out of Tacloban. They embraced in a tearful goodbye, but Caimoy stayed behind to guard what’s left of his home and property. “People are just scavenging in the streets. People are asking food from relatives, friends. The devastation is too much ... the malls, the grocery stories have all been looted,” he said. “They’re empty. People are hungry. And they (the authorities) cannot control the people.” The dead, decomposing and stinking, litter the streets or remain trapped in the debris. ■ Reports from Nikko Dizon, Jerry E. Esplanada, Christian V. Esguerra and Kristine Felisse Mangunay in Manila; Nestor P. Burgos, Inquirer Visayas; and AP

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Gov’t vow... Yolanda’s devastation on Nov. 9, a day after ferocious winds and tsunami-like storm surges toppled power lines, knocked off communications installations and killed more than 3,700 people. He initially found it “impossible” to restore power to towns hard-hit by Yolanda by the end of the year because almost 160 towers and over 1,000 power poles were badly damaged. But the much-earlier deadline appeared feasible following an inventory of the assets of the power sector: available materials for repair and rehabilitation vis-à-vis the extent of Yolanda’s damage to the power grid and its distribution lines in the Visayas. ❰❰ 12

Lots of volunteers

With roads cleared of obstructions, “the biggest help to us is the manpower, and we have a lot of volunteers from

other (electric) cooperatives that came forward, making (it possible) to advance (the completion target),” he said. He expected more volunteers—more than the 215 crews that restored Bohol province after the earthquake—to help in achieving the Dec. 24 target. “So we’ll try these resources we’ve already counted and it is actually very possible to hit Dec. 24,” he said. Power officials earlier wanted to complete the restoration work by January 2014, but Petilla told them, “No, let’s try to make it on Dec. 24.” He said the Christmas deadline had no “if” because the country was not expecting any more typhoons by the time. “So we’re not hoping that there would be hitches,” he said. National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) has reported that by Dec. 9, all power towers would be operational. ■

P-noy’s ‘purse’ eyed as source of calamity funds BY NORMAN BORDADORA Philippine Daily Inquirer TWO SENATORS have proposed taking varying amounts from President Aquino’s discretionary funds in the P2.268-trillion 2014 national budget to cobble together a multibillion-peso rehabilitation fund for the areas destroyed by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and other recent calamities. Senate President Franklin Drilon proposed the creation of a P15billion fund he called the Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Effort or CARE to be taken from the proposed P81.06-billionmiscellaneous personal benefits fund for the executive branch. On the other hand, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto proposed a much bigger P55-billion Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Fund to be taken from the administration’s risk management fund and its debt management fund. Recto also wants billions of pesos from the Malampaya Fund and the government’s

share in the coconut levy fund to go to the rebuilding effort. The amendments to the budget were proposed days before the Senate tackles the national budget in plenary. “I proposed the creation of a CARE fund to be used exclusively for the construction of housing units and the repair and rehabilitation of irrigation systems, school buildings, power infrastructure, hospitals, roads, bridges and government buildings,” Drilon said. He said the fund would go toward the rehabilitation of areas devastated by typhoons Santi, Labuyo and Yolanda, themagnitude-7.2 earthquake in Bohol and the siege of Zamboanga City by an MNLF faction. “The release of the funds for this purpose shall be made directly to the appropriate implementing agencies and local government units in accordance with the recommendations of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council and the approval of the President of the Philippines,” Drilon said. ■

Some of the passengers are from Novaliches, Las Piñas, Taguig, Bulacan and Batangas—all hailing from Balangiga and wanting to check on their loved ones. PHOTO FROM INQUIRER.NET

Balangiga folk in Metro ride bus home with relief BY JULIE M. AURELIO Philippine Daily Inquirer IT STARTED out as an online appeal on Facebook for passengers wanting to go home to their families in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, which was ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda”. Overnight, more than 40 people from all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces converged at a police camp in Quezon City but with an added mission—to bring relief supplies bought with their own money to their townmates. By sunrise, the passengers— boxes of personal donations and even water in hand—patiently waited for their companions to arrive so they may begin their journey home. Inside a non air-conditioned passenger bus, boxes of noodles, canned food and other relief items made it difficult for one to walk in the vehicle. The impromptu mission managed to come up with 20 cavans of rice and 5 gallons of mineral water—all from the passengers’ pockets. “We will fight to the teeth to get these goods home to our families,” said Gemma Balmaceda, the “organizer” of the impromptu mission. A civilian employee of the Quezon City Police District’s Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU) in Camp Karingal,

maceda has been worried sick about her mother, Estrella. Since Nov. 8, when Yolanda struck, she has not heard from her mother, who lives in the town famous for the Balangiga massacre in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. Balmaceda initially wanted to hitch a ride with the government’s C-130 planes but there were too many passengers. This prompted her to approach her boss, Senior Insp. Erlito Renegin, for help. “I asked him, ‘Sir, maybe you can help me in getting a passenger bus. I just want to get home and check on my mother,’” Balmaceda said. Renegin, who heads the TEU’s Traffic Sector 3 based in Camp Karingal, decided to hire a bus to ferry the passengers to Balangiga so that they may get home to their loved ones. “They are having a hard time getting a ride at the station because there are too many people wanting to go home to the province. So I hired a bus for them. They will still be paying the regular fare,” Renegin said. He urged bus companies to help out in this time of need. “They should be of service at this crucial time. Everyone should help others,” he said. This was the same reason Balmaceda and the other passengers decided to pool their resources and gather relief supplies for their town.

“Sadly, the relief missions from the government and other private groups will barely reach our town. So we have to do it ourselves,” she said. She posted a message on Facebook, saying she would hire a bus to go home to Balangiga. Overnight, her wall was flooded with questions from acquaintances about the schedule, meeting place and fare. She initially wanted to get 50 passengers for the trip but, more than 40 had confirmed their intent to join the journey home. Some of the passengers are from Novaliches, Las Piñas, Taguig, Bulacan and Batangas— all hailing from Balangiga and wanting to check on their loved ones. The daylong trip costs each passenger P1,300. Balmaceda plans to stay for three to four days before going back to Metro Manila. “We plan to use the same bus in going back here. Only adults will be making the trip. We made sure there were no kids,” she said. Most of the passengers have separate provisions for their loved ones and relief supplies for their townmates. “We are determined to get home alive and bring this personal aid not just to our families but to our town mates. In times like these, everyone is practically family,” Balmaceda said. ■

Philippine News


Anderson-Korina tiff ... that Cooper was not about to let slip by. Said the CNN journalist: “Here’s what I actually said: As for who exactly is in charge of the Philippine side of operation, that is not really clear. I amjust surprised. I expected on this Day Five, I thought Imay have gotten here very late, that things will be well in hand; it does not seem like that. People are desperate, they do not have any place for shelter. It’s very difficult for people to get food, neighbors are helping out neighbors, water is in short supply, it is a very very bad situation here.” Cooper, who arrived in Manila on Monday, took a dig at Sanchez for not being on the ground to do her reporting. “Miss Sanchez is welcome to go there (Tacloban City) and I would urge her to go there. I don’t know if she has, but her husband is the interior minister and I’m sure she can arrange a flight,” he added. ❰❰ 3

Deployed to Ormoc

Cooper was unaware that Sanchez had been deployed to Ormoc City, another town devastated by Yolanda, her first time to see the destruction in the region. Sanchez’s co-anchors in the news program “TV Patrol,” Ted Failon and Noli de Castro, had flown to Tacloban City earlier. The INQUIRER sought out Sanchez

for comment, but her talent manager GR Rodis said she was “out of reach.” Sanchez, Rodis said over the phone, was “busy distributing relief goods either in Samar or in Northern Cebu. She told me her signal would be spotty.” An ABS-CBN insider, who refused to be named due to lack of authority to speak on the issue, said both Failon and De Castro shared Cooper’s observation about the government’s slow response in the aftermath of Yolanda’s fury. Cooper said that as a journalist, he made it a point to be as “accurate as possible” in his reports to “help people on the ground become more efficient.” He added: “Accuracy is what we care most about here at CNN.” Stressed the news anchor: “I saw the work being done and the work that is not being done.” Cooper also took on President Aquino’s comments on the foreign media’s unflattering coverage of the government’s relief efforts, specifically the President’s “counsel” that reports by foreign journalists should not only be accurate but must also be able “to uplift the spirit of the Filipino people and show stories of resilience and hope and faith, and show the world how strong the Filipinos are.” In his program, Cooper replied: “All

week long, in every report we have done, we have shown how strong the Filipinos are. The Filipino people, the people of Tacloban and Samar and Cebu, and all these places where so many have died, they are strong—not just to have survived this storm, but they are strong to have survived the aftermath of this storm,” he said. “They have survived for a week now, often with very little food, with very little water, with very little medical attention. Can you imagine the strength it takes to be living in a shack, to be living, sleeping on the streets next to the body of your dead children? Can you imagine that strength? I can’t and I have seen that strength day in and day out in the Philippines and we honor them day in day out here in the Philippines, and we honor them with every broadcast that we make.” Field day

Netizens too, had a field day, tweeting about the issue. “It’s embarrassing for Filipinos that the wife of a high gov’t official is the source of so much division at a time when we should be united,” said netizen @Article8Jester. “Ms. Korina Sanchez, act as a journalist not a wife! ‘wag mo naman masyadong penepersonal ang trabaho mo! alam mo ang mali at tama,” said netizen

High court to hear oral arguments on DAP BY CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO Philippine Daily Inquirer THE SUPREME Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow on the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), or what critics call “the President’s pork barrel.” Lawyers for the government and the nine petitioners against the DAP are expected to defend their positions on the controversial fund. Representatives of the Department of Budget and Management and the Commission on Audit were also told to appear. On the other hand, opposition lawmakers said DAP funds were used by the administration to bribe senators into ousting Chief Justice Renato Corona last year. A four-page notice issued by Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal on Thursday set the initial issues the lawyers should discuss before the high court tomorrow. It listed: Procedural issues regarding the questioning of the DAP. The Supreme Court also asked the lawyers to get into substantive issues: •Whether or not the DAP violated Sec-

tion 29, Article VI of the Constitution which provides that “no money shall be paid out of the Treasury except in pursuance of an appropriationmade by law”; •Whether or not the DAP and other related executive issuances violated Section 25(5), Article VI of the Constitution insofar as it treats the unreleased appropriations and unobligated allotments withdrawn from government agencies as savings” •Whether or not the DAP violates the Equal Protection Clause, the system of checks and balances and the principle of public accountability enshrined in the Constitution considering that it authorizes the release of funds upon the request of legislators; •Whether or not factual and legal justification exists to issue a temporary restraining order to restrain the implementation of the DAP and all other related executive issuances. The high court has also promised to make a ruling on the legality on the use of the PDAF and the Malampaya Funds this month so that the executive and legislative branches of the government would be better guided when they pass the national budget for next year. ■

@akosiprettysam. “Korina Sanchez should have the guts to go to tacloban and see the disaster for herself. Because saying something without the proof is BS,” said netizen @ LanceLim27. “@andersoncooper gets all emotional as he talks about how strong Filipinos are. Just wanna go to him right now and hug him,” said netizen @NickeyyDees. “Korina hiyang hiya naman daw si Anderson Cooper sa credibility mo,” netizen @markdalas said. Some netizens opted to look beyond the Sanchez-Cooper virtual catfight. “Korina Sanchez vs. Anderson Cooper. duh! this shouldn’t be an issue,” said netizen @aikeevarona. “Di nman tlaga alam ni Anderson Cooper, o kahit ni Korina Sanchez, o kahit sino, ang nangyayari.Ang tunay na nakakaalam? ‘Yung mga nakakaranas,” said netizen @w3cw3c. “Bashing Korina Sanchez doesn’t make you a better person. Helping “Yolanda” victims does. Move on, people,” netizen @albacharlyn posted on Twitter. Blogger Niko Batallones chided Anderson for a different reason: “Diyos ko po, Anderson, bakit mo pinatulan si Korina? “tweeted @nikobatallones. ■




Tale of two woes By Conrado De Quiros Philippine Daily Inquirer THE BAD news is the culture. Some days after a tsunami struck Fukushima and swept everything away, a boy stood at the tail end of a long queue to get his rations. A cop who had been patrolling the area spoke with him and learned that the boy had lost his entire family and was being cared for by kin. Taking pity on him, he decided to give him his own rations—yes, cops were on ration too—so the boy could go home. To his surprise, the boy went to the head of the line and asked the supervisor to distribute his manna so others could partake of it. The gesture brought tears to the cop’s eyes, and gave him the assurance Fukushima would climb out of its tragedy. Some days after “Yolanda” struck Tacloban and swept everything away, people rioted. Hungry and desperate, they broke into groceries and supermarkets and shops carting away what they could find. Guards were powerless to stop them, as were cops who gave way to them, if not joined them themselves. They were hungry and desperate too. The rioters did not just cart off food and medicine, some carted off TV sets as well. In Fukushima, the fear of radia-

tion from the leaking nuclear plants kept the population at bay, if not sent them away. But the engineers at the plants refused to go, the leak posed a danger to the community, they had to do something about it. Despite appeals from family and government itself, they stayed on, risking radiation that stood at twice past the danger levels. It was their duty. We do not know what happened to them, the symptoms of radiation poisoning are supposed to appear only years from now. We do know they saved their community from a bigger disaster. In Leyte, the spectacle of hunger, disease and ruin and the specter of more to come sent local officials scampering away. Of course it had fallen on the national government to come to the aid of the Warays in their hour of need, in their hour of depletion. But only to a point: Their local officials needed to be there for them too, they needed to lead them too, they needed to show them an inspiring example too. It was their duty. But they were gone. It gave whole new meanings to “Waray,” which is what Warays call themselves with self-deprecating humor. “Waray” means “wala,” or none, or nothing. A word has taken on macabre irony in the wake of Yolanda. The Warays

have been left with nothing: No home, no loved ones (for some of them), no future (for many of them). And no (local) government: Waray upay, as they say. Walang pakinabang. Useless. Hours after a tsunami leveled Fukushima, Japan Inc. was there. You were hard put to distinguish private from public, corporate from government, as heavy machinery and equipment rolled in, as food, medicine and portable shelters tumbled in. Nobody complained relief couldn’t be ferried to the disaster area, there were

“Waray” means “wala,” or none, or nothing. A word has taken on macabre irony in the wake of Yolanda. no transports to transport it; nobody complained the roads were blocked, there was no equipment to clear them. Days after Yolanda, relief—and people—still couldn’t get through to Leyte because there were no transports to transport them. A group from Doctors Without Borders couldn’t cross the border from Cebu to Tacloban for lack of a ferry to ferry them. Days after Yolanda, relief—and people—still couldn’t get through to those that needed them be-

cause the roads were blocked, there was no equipment to clear them. Where was the private sector? Where were the aircraft, ships and trucks of the corporations? Where was the machinery of the mining companies that bore through the earth and the logging companies that mowed down forests and cleared the way to get there? More to the point, why didn’t government commandeer them? Property rights are swept to the sea by catastrophes such as this. The good news is the culture. A week after Yolanda struck, it’s not just goods that are flowing into Tacloban, it’s people too. It’s the relief workers too, it’s the volunteers too, it’s ordinary people too. The last is phenomenal. It’s not just schools and offices that are raising funds, packing goods, and going to various parts of Leyte and Samar to help as best they can, it’s everyone. The country has been galvanized into action. Everyone has a “We Are the World” concert, a Christmas activity, a project with which to help Leyte and Samar. Disasters do have a way of bringing out the best in us. It was so then, it is so now. It was so when the heavens wept for 40 days and 40 nights in July and August of 1972, turning Metro Manila and environs into a bizarre Venice,

navigable only by banca without singers singing “O Sole Mio,” turning the Central Plains into one vast lake. Which sent the activists in particular braving wind and water to bring help and comfort to the victims. It is so now when the Furies screamed across Leyte, turning a once lush and happy place into a pit of grief and desolation. Which has sent the volunteers at the head of the pack, braving adversity and anonymity to help where help is needed. P-Noy has praised the people power that has arisen from the howling wilderness, and true enough it is people power. Which has always been there for him, except that he hasn’t always seen it, preferring to entrust his cause and government to the politicians rather than the volunteers, to the few who act without conviction rather than to the many who toil without pay, without reward, and often enough without recognition. Who knows? Maybe things will change yet. But right now it is the spectacle of the people and their determination, the people and their enthusiasm, the people and their power, surging across the land more powerfully than any storm surge, that gives tears to the eyes and hope Leyte will climb out of its tragedy. That gives hope the country will rise like Lazarus from the grave. ■


A ‘devil-or-deep blue sea quandary’ By Juan L. Mercado Philippine Daily Inquirer “WHEN TV crews race cargo ships with airplanes and helicopters, the cameras always win,” John Crowley of Harvard’s Humanitarian Initiative wrote after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (internationa name: Haiyan) battered the Visayas. Planes can fly 24 to 48 hours after a storm clears. And disembarking journalists will pan on the contorted faces of traumatized victims. Reports zero in on the gap between supply and demand. These are facts. But context can slip between the cracks. Yolanda’s winds gusted at 275 kilometers per hour, smashing through the Storm Category 5 ceiling. Storm surges left corpses and traumatized survivors and shattered prepositioned relief stocks. The massive aid needed could come only by ship. That takes days. The repair of damaged ports and roads stretches into weeks. “But when media focuses on looting and slow aid they miss the point,” Crowley added. “Information is aid…. Scaremongering undermines relief effort.” “[T]he Philippines is captive to its geography,” commented Jennifer Keister in an article ran by The Washington Post. The country sprawls over 7,132 islands—at low tide. Like many

developing countries, it is “captive to political dysfunction.” Poverty, corruption, poll irregularities and pervasive political patronage gut what is, on the surface, a democratic government. We saw that in Bohol. The province was ruptured by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15. And in 1991, Typhoon “Uring” tore at Ormoc. Over 8,000 died, as today’s memorial recalls. In 2011, “Sendong” (international name: Washi) ripped through Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, inflicting 1,453 deaths. A year later, “Pablo” (international name: Bopha) flattened much of Davao Oriental and Compostela. The “blame game,” meanwhile, intensifies, Sun Star’s opinion editor Bong Wenceslao noted. Critics of President Aquino scour reports on government’s response to Yolanda and storm surgehit Tacloban City, he said. They feast “on every sign of incompetence they’ve long accused him of possessing…. “All rules of decency are jettisoned, and profanitiesarethrownatwill(‘—hole,’‘gago’). “Admittedly, government response has been inadequate. So there are enough materials for critics… But to be P-Noy-centric is to distort reality and hide the complexity of the events….” “As so often happens, the best human stories are those that didn’t make the 6 o’clock news,” UP mass

communication graduate Angioline Loredo e-mailed. Some in media “make it appear the whole country is exploding,” she wrote. “One has to remind one’s self of the silent triumph of the human spirit amidst unspeakable horror…. This is the worst and best time to practice journalism.” There are more Yolandas ahead. “We are now entering a period of consequences… in the global climate crisis,” noted Nobel Laureate

‘But when media focuses on looting and slow aid they miss the point. Information is aid…. Scaremongering undermines relief effort.’ John Crowley of Harvard’s Humanitarian Initiative Al Gore. “But the impact of climate change isn’t spread equally… the burden heaviest for countries close to the equator,” the World Bank said. This is compounded by the lack of “economic, institutional, scientific and technical capacity to cope and adapt.” The “calamity fund” has been doubled since 2009. But the till is near empty, sapped by a series of disasters. What isn’t funded by international aid has to be bankrolled by siphoning off resourc-

es from other programs: How many typhoon victims could have been helped from the squandered pork barrel a la Janet Napoles? Ask Bong, Juan Ponce, Jinggoy, Bongbong and company. The United Nation says the risk reduction laws here are “among the best in the world—at least on paper,” Washington Post noted. They stipulate that seven out of every P10 in disaster spending go to long-term measures. The task for lowering disaster risk falls on local governments. “Some operate like little fiefdoms.” Think Ampatuans or Chavit Singson. The embedded system of patronage and strongman politics hobbled response, wrote Keister who did three years of research here. “Haiyan highlights the degree to which these pathologies generate under-preparedness and confound relief efforts…. The system is prone to under-provision of public goods and services broadly, but particularly illsuited to disaster preparedness.” That’s academic jargon for g-r-a-f-t. Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos stashed a secret account in the Virgin Islands, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reported. So did Sen. Joseph Victor Estrada. They glossed this fact over in their statements of assets, liabilities and net worth. So, did they dip into those accounts to help

typhoon victims? Next question please. Sleaze erodes “public trust to levels that residents may not obey exhortations to evacuate,” Keister added. (Others) may not believe government will protect their property from looters or squatters if they did. Trust in government is the linchpin. Strongman politics distorts the distribution of disaster aid. “Disaster response (here) is often plagued by allegations that local authorities hoard aid supplies and distribute (these) only to political supporters or family members,” Keister noted. Like vultures that scent carrion, profiteering businessmen swoop on aid distribution. “[C]onspiracy theories are an understandable refuge for frustrated populations whose predicament may be the result of many factors, but the persistence of such accusations… suggests they may contain an element of truth,” Keister opined. Aid agencies are required to work through local politicians and many may serve their constituents with integrity. Keister added. In many instances, aid providers find themselves confronting a devil-or-deepblue-sea quandary— i.e., having to choose “between supporting political pathologies they find unappealing and trying to help victims directly,” or be zapped. ■




Women, disasters and TOWNS By Rina Jimenez-David Philippine Daily Inquirer THE OCCASION was meant to introduce to the public the nine new recipients of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) award. But because of intervening events, much of it was also taken up with concerns related to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and its aftermath. Noraida Adang Abdullah Karim, awardee in the field of social work, has a lot of personal experiences with crisis and displacement. She has been a “bakwit” or evacuee since childhood, fleeing her hometown and other places of refuge each time conflict broke out in central Mindanao. But now she also responds to other humanitarian emergencies around the country, and when asked how she would assess the government response to Yolanda, remarks: “There is no perfect response to disaster or conflict. We cope by learning, by doing, and we in the frontlines draw our strength from you, the people.” Climate change and its impact on the environment are issues that Gemma Narisma, awardee for atmospheric science, is intimately aware of. Her work with the Manila Observatory brings her front and center in efforts to address this “global phenomenon,” although she cautions

that living with climate change “goes beyond just the storm,” with people, especially Filipinos, needing to come to terms with our continuing “exposure and vulnerability” and finding the means to “do something about this.” As mentioned earlier, the TOWNS women have resolved to launch our own response to the needs of Yolanda survivors, with a special focus on women and children, and with an eye toward their long-term survival and health, including their mental and emotional health. *** DR. Aura Matias, chair of this year’s TOWNS search, said 149 women have received the TOWNS recognition since 1974. The nine winners this year are among the 51 nominees, undergoing a prescreening and final interview by a board of judges headed by Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, herself a TOWNS awardee in the field of law. “They are women of power and substance,” remarked Matias, adding that they symbolize “Filipina power in motion.” Powerful, indeed, are this year’s TOWNS women. Aside from Karim and Narisma, they are: Darlene Berberabe, president of the PagIbig Fund and awardee for government service; Ani Karina de Leon Brown, pioneering triathlete and

only the second woman to be recognized for her achievements in sports; Karen Davila, TV anchor and host and awardee for broadcast journalism; Rachelle Gerodias, world-famous soprano and awardee for performing arts; Eleanor Pinugu, who runs a school and a café to support it, and awardee for social enterprise/education; Ma. Amihan Bonifacio Ramolete, puppet artist and awardee for theater arts; and Maricor Soriano, a physics professor at the University of the Philippines and

Violence against women and children is also an imminent risk for populations caught in postdisaster situations. awardee for applied physics. All nine of them will receive their awards on Nov. 21 at the Dusit Hotel, with the Chief Justice handing them their trophies. Many thanks to TOWNS’ long-time partners, theMetrobank Foundation and Metrobank Card Corp., which obviously believe enough in Filipinowomen to help in seeking out the truly outstanding and deserving. *** I GOT to talk recently with Junice Demetrio Melgar, executive director of the nongovernment organization Likhaan,

about women’s special needs and vulnerabilities in disasters. In the mad rush to send immediate aid and relief to the survivors, we observed, the “special needs” of women—often considered luxuries but which are essential to their health and dignity—are often ignored, if not forgotten. Here’s a list drawn up by Junice for potential donors who might want to consider including these in their relief packs and shipments. First are personal effects such as underwear, soap for bathing and for washing clothes, face towel ( bimpo), a dipper (tabo), a pail, sanitary napkins, comb, hair tie/clips, shampoo, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clipper, and a malong (cloth tube) or blanket. Junice also strongly suggests the inclusion of contraceptives, including emergency contraceptives, among themedical supplies to be distributed to women survivors, as well as antidysmenorrhea medication such as mefenamic acid, and iron and calcium supplements for pregnant evacuees. Also suggested is the provision, if possible, of separate quarters for women and children in mass evacuation sites, or the putting up of curtains and other barriers for privacy, as well as bathroom and toilet facilities that are adequately covered, for privacy and safety. ***

VIOLENCE against women and children is also an imminent risk for populations caught in postdisaster situations. In queues for relief goods, water and even transport out of Tacloban, for instance, we have seen how women, children and the elderly could be elbowed out or worse, in a vain attempt to compete against more able and aggressive men and boys. In a manual on “Gender Sensitive Approaches to Disaster Management,” prepared by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, mention was made of the experience of women and girls after an earthquake struck El Salvador in 2001. Single women, the manual said, insisted that “sheeting for temporary shelters [be] opaque and strong. In the past, it had been translucent, making it easy to see when a woman was alone. Given that it had also been easily cut with a machete, many women were raped.” Often, what authorities need to do is simply consult with women on their needs and requirements immediately after disaster strikes, and during the period of rehabilitation and reconstruction. And it’s as simple as ensuring that women are not just included but also actively take part in the planning, conceptualization and implementation of projects carried out in their name and for their own good. ■

teousness that accompanies their criminal act pacifies their conscience and makes them impervious to criticism. They think that those who criticize them know nothing about the realities on the ground. I do not mean to imply by these observations that the looting in Tacloban is not a cause for serious alarm. I believe it is. But we could easily exaggerate its magnitude and overreact to it in a way that justifies the use of excessive force. This seems to be the drift of those who are calling for the declaration of martial law in the disregions of Central Visayas. They fear the barbarians at the gates—those who, in the words of Zygmunt Bauman, are viewed as “sitting in ambush inside the fortress of the civilized world and waiting for their moment to take revenge for the blows inflicted upon them by the civilizing process.” We would be committing a fundamental mistake in perception if at any moment we thought that the main problem in the Visayas today is the breakdown in the peace and order situation rather than the immediate rescue of the disaster’s survivors from the real dangers of starvation and disease. There will always be opportunists everywhere who take ad-

vantage of disturbances in daily life to carry out their predatory schemes. But they are a small minority who cannot show their faces in public. We ought not to add demoralization to the misfortunes of the Taclobanons by highlighting the looting that has taken place in their community, as if this is what defines them. While it is natural to feel disgust over the looting that took place in the aftermath of Yolanda, especially when viewed alongside the grace and serenity of the Japanese in the wake of the March 2011 tsunami, we must rather draw inspiration from the courage and the selflessness of the many who helped their neighbors even as they lost their own families. For it is these traits that bind us together as a people. The outpouring of help from abroad has been heartwarming. This is due in no small measure to the dignity with which we have borne our sufferings. Instead of being paralyzed by the enormity of this calamity, we have summoned all our remaining strength—each one of us in his/her own way—to assist our countrymen. Never before have I seen our nation come together in such a determined way to face a common task. That, to me, is what culture is about. ■


Looting and civic culture By Randy David Philippine Daily Inquirer STRUCK BY calamity, a nation may be able to withstand the most horrific loss of lives and the most extensive destruction of homes, factories and farms, public facilities and private property. But, perhaps, nothing brings more distress or leaves a deeper trauma on society than the descent to barbarism of those who have survived. This is why heroism, selflessness, and compassion under such circumstances have an immediately uplifting effect on everyone else. Such behavior is of a piece with the stoic discipline of the solitary individual who, in the face of seeming social collapse, keeps personal honor intact. Supertyphoon “Yolanda” began battering Samar and Leyte early morning on Friday. In the desolate stillness of the ensuing hours, amid the dead bodies and the debris, some people began forcibly opening stores, groceries, and a shopping mall, taking away food supplies, water, and clothes. One might call this scavenging, and rationalize it as a desperate act of survival. But, in an instant, the mob grew and started carting away consumer durables like TV

sets, washing machines, and refrigerators. One man was seen loading a wide-screen TV set onto his sport utility vehicle, as if he had gone bargain-hunting on a normal day. This is where analysts draw the line between scavenging and looting. All it takes for ordinary people to join the riot and forget their shame and self-respect is for someone to start it. A few may hesitate and even attempt to stop what is about to happen. But soon their voices are drowned by those who begin to believe they represent all those in need. This delusion induces a warped sense of entitlement that overrides all decency. In that crucial moment, when the first looted goods are thrown in the direction of the gathering mob, the individual is asked to choose between barbarism and culture. As insidious as it is, there is in fact nothing extraordinary about the instinct that underaster-stricken pins all looting behavior. We see it in our streets almost every day—in the tendency of the Filipino driver to break out of his lane, start a counterflow, or claim road space on unpaved portions of an expressway, at the first sign of a traffic jam. The sense of entitlement that grips him, born ironically out of an affinity with suffering,

trumps all rules of order, beginning with the fundamental rules of queuing. Strangely enough, in the light of the issues we face in our country, the other word for looting is plunder. It is what happens when a victorious army takes over the land of the defeated. They pillage, they ransack, they plunder and they rape—during that brief interval when the only law

Perhaps, nothing brings more distress or leaves a deeper trauma on society than the descent to barbarism of those who have survived.

that operates is the law of the jungle. They do it not only because they can but also because they feel entitled. Some of our lawmakers are not really so different in mindset: They feel entitled to plunder the public treasury because, in their fevered minds, not unlike the looters whipped up by Yolanda, they have suffering constituents to take care of. The self-righ-





Harper announces another $15M for Philippine relief for Cdn total of $20M The Canadian Press OTTAWA—Canada will contribute another $15 million for humanitarian relief in the Philippines, bringing the total Canadian government contribution to $20 million. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the increase today during a visit to a Toronto Catholic parish where he met members of the Filipino-Canadian community. “Our government has taken decisive action to address the ravages of the typhoon by working closely with the Filipino-Canadian community, relief agencies and the government of the Philippines to provide ongoing support to those who need it most,” Harper said in a statement. He said the money will go to a range of relief efforts. The increase came as Canadian troops fan out to help people in the Philippines and Foreign Affairs continues efforts to track down Canadians thought to be in areas hit by the typhoon. As of Monday morning, the federal department had received inquiries about 213 Canadians and had located 174. That leaves 39 cases still being pursued by officials at home and in the islands. Neil Reeder, Canada’s ambassadordesignate to the Philippines, said Canadian teams are working with local officials to track down the missing. So far, there have been no reports of Canadians killed or injured in the typhoon.

NUMBER OF CDNS MISSING IN PHILIPPINES DROPS TO 39 Prime Minister Stephen Harper, joined by Father Ben Ebcas Jr., announces further Canadian support for the Philippines during a roundtable discussion with members of Toronto’s FilipinoCanadian community. PHOTO FROM PM.GC.CA

A Canadian Red Cross field hospital is being set up in Ormoc, near the devastated city of Tacloban. It’s expected to be operational by Wednesday. Meanwhile, more military aid equipment— including helicopters and a water purification unit—is en route to the Canadian area of responsibility on the island of Panay. Col. Steve Kelsey of joint operations command said the first water unit should be up and running in the city of Roxas by mid-week, with three more coming. “Our mobile medical teams have begun conducting patrols in the area in the areas of need identified by our humanitarian partners,” Kelsey said. “Since Sunday, these teams have

provided treatment to people in the coastal towns of Pilar, Pontevedra and other areas.” While conditions are improving in some areas, problems remain, Reeder said. “Access to the affected regions has improved, but the access to some faraway regions is still difficult.” He said the Philippines government estimates that than 200,000 homes have been totally or partially destroyed in the Canadian area, with over a million people displaced. “There are also more than 250 evacuation centres established in these two provinces.” Kelsey said Canadian engineers are working to clear roads and repair the electrical grid. ■

Alberta to match donations up to $500K to aid typhoon ravage Philippines The Canadian Press EDMONTON—The Alberta government says it will match public donations up to a total of $500,000 to aid victims of the recent catastrophic

typhoon in the Philippines. Deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk said it was imperative to step up and help the Asian archipelago, which has more than 100,000 of its people living and working in Alberta.

“Many families and relatives of those victims are here among us in Alberta, as our neighbours (and) as our families,” said Lukaszuk, who held a legislature news conference ❱❱ PAGE 41 Alberta to

OTTAWA—As Canadian troops fan out to offer help to people in the Philippines, Foreign Affairs is still making efforts to track down Canadians thought to be in areas hit by the typhoon. As of Monday morning, the federal department had received inquiries about 213 Canadians and had located 174. That leaves 39 cases still being pursued by officials at home and in the islands. The department says it is working with local officials to track down the missing. It says the job should get easier as communications are restored in areas hit by the storm. Meanwhile, more military aid equipment—including helicopters and a water purification unit— is en route to the disaster area. STORMS LEAVE THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER IN ONTARIO TORONTO—A line of severe storms swept across southern and eastern Ontario Sunday night, bringing heavy rain and winds gusting to 90-kilometres an hour. Hydro One says at the height of the storm the power was knocked out to well over 100,000 homes and businesses between Windsor and the Kingston area. FOREIGN INVESTMENT UP IN SEPTEMBER: STATSCAN OTTAWA— Statistics Canada says foreign investment in Canadian securities strengthened to $8.4 billion in September and was focused on stocks. It says Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities in the month by $1.5 billion, including both debt and equity securities.


World News


US immigration change: Some military members’ relatives living illegally in country can stay The Associated Press WASHINGTON—The Obama administration will allow some U.S. military members’ relatives who live illegally in the country to stay, according to a policy directive issued Friday. It is the latest in a series of immigration policy changes made by President Barack Obama since he took office. The latest order gives U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials the power to “parole in place” immigrant spouses, children and parents of current service members, reservists and veterans. The change means that those immigrants can apply to legally live in the United States. The department has long had the power to stop deportations for relatives of military members and veterans, but the new memo explains how and when it can be used. Margaret D. Stock, an immigration attorney, said the lat-

est directive likely would affect thousands of military families. “It is very significant,” Stock said. “It will ease the strain on so many families and military members.” James Swartout, a Defence Department spokesman, said the military appreciates the clarification on how immigrant family members of service members are to be treated.

As chances fade for a major overhaul of the immigration system in the near future, Obama is relying more often on making relatively minor administrative changes. He pledged twice as a presidential candidate to pass immigration reforms. The Obama administration has also allowed immigrant

spouses and children of U.S. citizens to stay in the United States in some cases. Other rule changes gave more flexibility to the Homeland Security Department’s use of immigration holds for people in local jails. Republicans in the House of Representatives have long criticized the administrative

changes. Obama has repeatedly said immigration reform is a top priority of his administration. His selection of Jeh Johnson, the Defence Department’s former top lawyer, as the next Homeland Security secretary signals that the White House will now lead the push for immigration law changes. Johnson has no immigration experience. The Senate earlier this year passed a sweeping bill that called for the doubling of the Border Patrol and a path to legal status for the nearly 11 million immigrants already living illegally in the country. But activity has stalled in the House, where it faces strong opposition from Republicans who have objected to a comprehensive approach. Many of them don’t like the idea of offering citizenship to people who broke immigration laws to travel to the U.S. ■ Associated Press writer Alicia A. Caldwell contributed.

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World News


Tense final stretch for UN climate talks after tumultuous first week BY KARL RITTER The Associated Press WARSAW, POLAND—U.N. climate talks head into a tense final week Monday after the diplomatic effort to reduce global warming gases was hit by a series of setbacks, including Japan’s decision to ditch its voluntary emissions target. The two-decade-old negotiations have so far failed to achieve their goal of slashing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that scientists say are warming the planet. They don’t seem to be getting any closer after a tumultuous first week at this year’s session in Warsaw. Despite a tearful call for action from a delegate from the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, no major carbon polluter raised their pledges to cut emissions. Instead, Australia’s conservative government fulfilled a campaign promise and introduced a bill to scrap the country’s car-

bon tax, while Japan drastically scaled back its emissions target. The moves drew criticism from developing countries who say the world’s rich countries have a historical responsibility for climate change and should take the lead in fighting it. “We need to be very concerned with individual actions of developed countries that are backtracking (on) their commitments,” said Brazilian negotiator Jose Marcondes de Carvalho. Most Australian economists agree that the country cannot achieve its voluntary target of reducing emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 without industry paying a price on carbon. Japan said its initial target of reducing emissions by 25 per cent from 1990 levels was unrealistic. Following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima DaiIchi nuclear power plant, Japan shut all its nuclear plants for safety checks and had to shift back to power coming from coal, oil and gas, all of which

are heavy on CO2 emissions. Japan’s new target represents a 3 per cent increase over 1990 emissions. Brazil, too, delivered bad news at the talks when it reported that annual destruction of its Amazon rainforest jumped by 28 per cent after four straight years of declines. Scientists say that the main ways that humans are affecting the climate system is through the CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Though no major decisions are on the agenda in Warsaw, the talks are meant to pave the way for a bigger global climate treaty in 2015. Environmental groups watching the first week of talks were discouraged. “After one week, the world governments continue to disappoint their citizens who are fighting against catastrophic climate change and its devastating impacts,” said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace. Climate activists are expected to stage protests Monday

when a high-profile coal industry summit kicks off at Poland’s Economy Ministry. Coal is a major contributor to CO2 emissions and activists are outraged that coal-reliant Poland is presiding over the coal event at the same time as the U.N. climate conference. Several U.N. reports have warned that the world is running out of time to rein in emissions enough to avoid the most dangerous effects of warming. Still, the talks have been bogged down by disputes between rich and poor countries over emis-



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sions cuts and climate aid to help poor countries convert to cleaner energy sources and adapt to a shifting climate. Pointing to the typhoon damage in the Philippines, small island states and other vulnerable nations are also asking for a mechanism for compensation for the damage resulting from climate impacts such as rising seas. ■ AP writer Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.



Immigration applications Manitoba to speed up things from victims of typhoon for typhoon victims, but Haiyan to be fast tracked lawyer says there are kinks The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Canada’s immigration department says it is giving special consideration to Filipinos affected by typhoon Haiyan. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s office says it will give priority to applications from Filipinos who are “significantly and personally affected” by the typhoon that left thousands dead last weekend. The note also says that Filipino citizens temporarily in Canada who want to remain will be assessed in a “compassionate and flexible manner.” The announcement comes as the Canadian military’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, heads for the hard-hit Philippine city of Iloilo. The Canadian Forces are also

WINNIPEG—Manitoba’s Filipino community has received a little bit of good news. The provincial government says it will speed up the process for applicants under the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program from areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Processing will now take two weeks instead of the usual three to six months. But it only applies to applications already submitted by residents of affected places such as Tacloban. New applications will be “processed on a priority basis.” Immigration lawyer Reis Pagtakhan says it’s a great idea but there’s still some logistics that have to be worked out. “Certainly for the people

helping with the deployment of a separate 12-member Canadian Red Cross field hospital. Philippine authorities say Iloilo, one of two major cities on the island of Panay, was in the direct path of the typhoon and suffered 162 deaths and the destruction of 68,543 houses as a result.

A wooden shack is completely destroyed by the passage of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines PHOTO BY RICHARD WHITCOMBE / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

already in the system, it will help them,” he said. “But that’s only the first step. The problem then becomes you still have to have the application processed through the Government of Canada. I know the Government of Canada said they will be expediting applications but they haven’t said which kind of applications they’ll be expedit-

ing.” Premier Greg Selinger noted that immigration visas are granted by the Canadian government and “applicants who have been approved by the MPNP will need to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a permanent residency visa.” ❱❱ PAGE 25 Manitoba to


FOR TYPHOON HAIYAN VICTIMS From November 18 to December 9, 2013, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. will accept financial donations on behalf of Canadian Red Cross. Receipts will be issued. Please earmark donations as “Typhoon Haiyan.” Online donations accepted at, at their local Red Cross office, or by calling 1-800-418-1111. Thank you. images courtesy of |

On Nov. 8th , 2013, Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, equivalent to Category 5 ravaged six central Philippine islands causing catastrophic destruction



A Higher Calling

BY CHING DEE Philippine Canadian Inquirer WHEN JHET van Ruyven started out her business, she admits she knew nothing about printing or publishing. But now, 15 years later, she’s a successful entrepreneur, author, and speaker who’s making waves in Canada. Challenges along the way

“It was always my dream to have my own business,” Jhet shared with a smile. “I didn’t know where to start but I had this dream.” “I didn’t know anything about printing but I know how to type, being a medical secretary as my first job, and I studied Bachelor in Commercial Science Major in Marketing. I wanted to practice what I’ve learned both academically and in experience, and see if my forte will work in North America,” she recalled. “I took the plunge and opened a business centre in Surrey,” Jhet continued. “At first, there was a huge learning curve but I stuck to my gun and kept on learning everyday.” Jhet managed to hire a handful of staff to help her with the technical aspects of running a printing company, like operating the copiers and computers, creating layout designs, and even manning the cash register. Meanwhile, she used her natural talents in marketing, networking, and socializing to expand her entrepreneurial influence. “To keep my analytical side of the brain running, I have also focused on real-estate and stock market investments,” she added. A Call to Inspire

After establishing and maintaining a successful printing business for 15 years, Jhet decided that “it was time to pass on the baton to a new owner.” “A higher call has come, I wanted to do something more purposeful,” she reasoned out. Jhet then set out to write her autobiography, which then sold thousands all over the world and inspired countless souls. After the success of her autobiography, she committed to continue “helping others realize their life’s potential and make their

dreams come true.” She helps people by sharing inspirational and motivational stories on her website and various social media outlets she manages. “There are countless inspiring moments,” Jhet beams. She recounted an instance when a man sent her an e-mail with the subject “Your book saved my life!” She then continued to read his four-page email and found out that the man found her book on the same day that he was supposed to take his own life. “After he read the book, something awakened within him—he was encouraged and had found hope to go on. He then took action, and worked towards his dreams. I believe if this book and its simple downto-earth message can save a life like this young gentleman, it is worth passing on to others more,” Jhet shared. Jhet’s success is not confined online. When her book came out, the owner of Rustan’s (an upscale department store in the Philippines) asked her to conduct a seminar for their employees in 6 of its branches. They also ordered 4,000 copies of her book. Through word of mouth, Jhet gained more referrals, which led to more interviews with the media. “I was going from one interview to another and doing photoshoots like crazy,” she laughed. Jhet was awarded as one of People Asia Magazine’s “People of the Year” for her works in spreading hope and inspiration. And like a confirmation from the universe, the awards night coincided with her birthday. “The awards night happened to be on the day of my birthday so I thought, this was my true calling and a gift from heaven. I am here to serve the world,” Jhet smiled. Lessons Learned

As an entrepreneur, Jhet is no stranger to victories as well as trials. She recalled that when she still has her printing business, their store was broken into thrice! With such expensive and specialized equipment, their insurance company refused to pay the damages. In her lack of business experience

at that time, she thought she could solve the problem without legal counsel. “That was a big mistake,” Jhet said. “ It brought business interruptions and too much strain and stress to me and to my family. As soon as I hired a lawyer, he did what he was best to do. The issue was solved and the insurance company finally paid my company.” In time, Jhet learned to hire the right person to do the right job. She also learned to “have a solid foundation in building a system” in order to run a business. “Have a business system in place, innovate it along the way. Delegate but ensure business continuity in case a staff will resign or retire,” she said. She also quoted Michael Gerber, author of “E-Myth.” “He says that when the passion is no longer there, prepare fortransition, let it go, move on forward and do what you’re natural at and what you love to do,” Jhet recalled. All in all, Jhet believes that “everything happens for a reason.” “While running my own business has its many failures and successes, I realized that all that I went through made me to the person I am today. Failures almost made me quit, but I glad I didn’t!” she exclaimed. Stories of Success

“One of the biggest gifts given to me by my business is having the ability to achieve work life balance for my family. As the boss, I can leave to attend my daughters’ school activities, go home anytime to cook, and take vacations on my schedule. Owning a company gave me so much financial freedom and freedom to use my time,” she said. She also loves the fact that she practices her expertise in connecting with people. “I was natural at speaking, making people smile, and perhaps closing sales. My business gave me an avenue to expand my network of contacts, socialize and share with them what my business center has to offer,” Jhet shared. Her success in career came from a very deep source of strength and inspiration. “When I was diagnosed and

Jhet Van Ruyven with Batangas Gov Vilma Santos

treated from stage 1 cancer and went through challenging times with my marriage, I was able to fully refocus and ground myself,” she said. “Coming out with my health and marriage reinvigorated, I believe that I’m ready to continue on what I started with a more strategic plan and foundation—that is to resume my career as a motivational speaker and author.” Jhet continued, “My passion is to contribute to the world to inspire and motivate others to share their God given talents while enjoying the journey to reach to their fullest potential. My goal is to touch more lives by giving value online and offline. We never know how much we impact and touch other people’s lives when we share our stories with them.” As she continues to inspire more people, she plans to expand her horizons and discover new possibilities. As experienced and learned as she already is, she wants to continue drinking from the wisdom of her mentors and coaches and even seminars. As she grows, she plans to prioritize her time with her family and go on more travel adventures with them. “In the next 10 years, I am to achieve balance in all areas of my life by having a solid system in place where I can continue to give value to my online and offline followers, most especially the quiet ones,” Jhet added. “Of course, I aim to speak more and

write five or more bestselling books too! Personally, I’d like to continue my travel adventures with my family and enjoy the journey.” What spells success? For Jhet, she believes that one should cultivate positive habits and values such as discipline, confidence, self-awareness, and faith—both in God and one’s self—in order to gather success. She also emphasized the importance of never giving up and taking responsibility. “When we take 100% responsibility for our action, we can make better decisions and will not leave life to fate. Silver linings will always come to those who work at it, to those who take action and believe in themselves that dreams do really come true,” Jhet said. Jhet loves the Earl Nightangle quote that says, “Success is a realization of a worthy ideal.” “It is important to realize that one can be successful if they perform their role to the best of their abilities,” she believes. You can follow Jhet’s inspiring life by logging on to www. or www. and @jhet_vanruyven on Twitter. You can also check out her book, “The Tale of Juliet,” on ■ Interview conducted by Alpha Sanford, editor-in-chief, Aspire Motivate Succeed!



Canada helps the Philippines Canada’s disaster response team headed to hard hit Philippines city of Iloilo BY MIKE BLANCHFIELD The Canadian Press OTTAWA—The Canadian military’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, was bound for the Philippine city of Iloilo on Wednesday as the death toll from typhoon Haiyan continued to rise. The Canadian Forces was also helping with the deployment of a separate 12-member Canadian Red Cross field hospital, while the Immigration Department said it would give special consideration to Filipinos affected by the tragedy. The Canadian response came in the face of a rising death toll in the Philippines that rose to more than 2,300 lives lost across the country. “The DART team is now on the way to Iloilo, which is one of the affected areas that has so far been less served by some of the humanitarian efforts,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at the Philippines embassy after signing a book of condolences. Philippine authorities say Iloilo, one of two major cities on the island of Panay, was in the direct path of typhoon Haiyan and suffered 162 deaths and the destruction of 68,543 houses as a result. In all, more than 530,000 people have been affected in the Iloilo region by the typhoon. The Immigration Department, meanwhile, said Wednesday it would give special consideration to applications from Filipinos who are “significantly and personally affected” by last weekend’s massive storm, which has left thousands dead. The statement from Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s office also says that Filipino citizens who are temporarily

in Canada and want to remain will be assessed in a “compassionate and flexible manner.” Alexander’s office could not immediately provide details on what the new measures would mean. Canada’s response to the catastrophe came after an advance team of planners arrived in the Philippine capital of Manila on Tuesday to meet with authorities and determine where help was most badly needed. That group preceded the DART, some 43 members of which left Canada earlier this week on board a C-17 transport plane that stopped over in Hawaii to await the details of its destination. Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said a second C-17 with aid, supplies and equipment also left Wednesday. “They will be able to assist governmental and non-governmental agencies in restoring essential services in the area,” Nicholson said. Nicholson wouldn’t estimate how long the Canadian military would be deployed in the region. “We’ll do whatever it takes,” he said. “We’ll play it by ear but we’ll watch it very carefully.” Nicholson said the military was also working with the Canadian Red Cross to deploy a 12-person medical team and field hospital. The unit is a selfcontained, general outpatient clinic that can provide basic health and surgical care to up to 300 people a day. It includes 74 inpatient beds for ongoing observation and care. Conrad Sauve, the secretary general of the Canadian Red Cross, said it could take “a few months” for the medical team to complete its emergency in-

tervention. Teams such as the one being deployed can spend as long as six months in the field, he added. “It’s there to replace the existing facilities or provide additional services,” Sauve said by telephone from Australia, his last stop on a trip to the Philippines in advance of the medical mission. “I don’t see any reason, at this point, where this thing is going to resolve itself fast.” Dr. Danielle Perreault, a Montreal general practitioner who was in Haiti to help out following the massive 2010 earthquake, was preparing to leave Wednesday with the Red Cross volunteer team. The scale that awaits her in the Philippines is “out of proportion” with anything she has ever experienced before, she said. Perreault said she took a deep breath when she realized she would be treating 300 patients a day as part of a team, but noted that the time she’s spent working in Canada’s remote north with aboriginal people will serve her well. Perreault predicted violence on the ground because she expects to see “very upset people” in the next two weeks. “The question of food and water is incredibly stressful for the people,” said Perreault, who will be going on a one-month mission. “It’s going to bring a lot, a lot of anxiety among people and a lot of violence.” Canada’s DART can provide basic medical assistance, engineering support and clean water from its sophisticated purification systems. The Canadian government has also pledged $5 million for the stricken country. ■ With files from The Associated Press

Doctors from Rose Charities Canada help Typhoon Yolanda victims ROSE CHARITIES’ Dr. Collin Yong is currently carrying out medical relief along the north coast of Negros Island. Missions carried out to Cadiz City as well as some of the small isolated islands which to date have had almost no relief. Images include Lakawon Island. The immediate needs of the typhoon Hiyan disaster victims include food, water, shelter materials and basic medical supplies. Rose Charities partners in the Bacolod Rotary club have a long relationship with Rose through Dr Collin Yong, of the B.C. Children’s hospital who have both visited and worked in

the area with pediatric missions. The clubs workers have been supplying truckloads of food and supplies for several days especially to the most stricken areas of the north, around Cadiz City. Basic medical supplies have also been supplied. Rose Charities is the beneficiary of the “Richmond Walk for Love: Friends of the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan” to be held on November 23, 2013 at 9am from the Thompson Community Center along Railway Avenue, all the way to Williams Road and back. For more information, please go to http:// ■

Canada helps the Philippines


MASS FOR TYPHOON HAIYAN VICTIMS Premiere Christy Clark attended the 9:30 am mass on November 17 at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Surrey BC to pay her respects to the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

CELEBRITY TRIBUTES FOR PHILIPPINE TYPHOON HAIYAN VICTIMS A successful fundraising event entitled “ Celebrity Tributes for the Philippines by the Friends of the Filipino Typhoon Victims” was held on Nov. 14 at the Grand Taj Banquet Hall in Surrey. Special guest performers included ABRA Cadabra, Bobby Bruce as Nearly Neil, Darren Lee as Elvis and Luisa Marshall as Tina Turner. $100,000 was raised and given to the Canadian Red Cross. Photos courtesy of organizer, Narima Dela Cruz. Organizers & Dignitary Guests

Luisa Marshall as Tina Turner

Pork N Bean

Organizers at Cdn Red Cross Office

Mayor Dianne Watts, Mable Elmore and Narima Dela Cruz

Canada helps the Philippines


Canadian medics will soon be working at Philippines evacuation centre The Canadian Press OTTAWA—Canadian soldiers in the Philippines are finishing their base camp in the city of Roxas and preparing to send out their first medical team to provide basic care to typhoon refugees. Back home on Friday, other soldiers loaded water-purification system aboard a transport plane heading for the devastated archipelago from Trenton, Ont.. The medics from the Disaster Assistance Response Team or DART are preparing to head to an evacuation centre in the Pilar region of Panay island, Lt.Col. Walter Taylor, the DART commander on the scene, said in a Friday teleconference.

“While we’re building our own camp and establishing ourselves, I’m very pleased to say that tomorrow, our time, we’ll be pushing the first mobile medical team out to one of the evacuation centres where our NGO partners have identified a significant requirement for medical attention,” he said. Officials say Canada has 118 military people on the ground in the storm-ravaged country, with another 70 en route. They plan a schedule that

would send off a transport plane every second day to bring in supplies to sustain the aid effort. “As our capabilities continue to arrive in theatre that capability which is very small right now will continue to grow each day,” Taylor said. The Canadians are in the process of setting up a base camp in a sports field in Roxas. Meanwhile, efforts are under way to locate missing Canadians. Relatives in Canada asked for help in tracking down 187 people and officials say they have found 132 of them. They say they are dealing with

Three Canadian military choppers to head to Philippines to help in relief effort BY BENJAMIN SHINGLER The Canadian Press A NEW addition was made to Canada’s relief efforts in the Philippines Saturday, with three military helicopters and their crew designated to help with aid operations in the typhoon-ravaged country. Two of the three CH-146 Griffon choppers were set to leave Canada on Sunday from Ontario’s CFB Trenton aboard a military transport plane. Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said the helicopters will give Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team—which is already in the Philippines— additional means to reach and help those in need of assistance. Meanwhile, Canadian soldiers on the ground in the Philippines were making clean drinking water a priority in their relief efforts. Col. Stephen Kelsey, of Canadian Joint Operations Command, said a transport plane carrying a water-purification system was en route to the country and would be in place by early next week. It will produce 50,000 litres of safe drinking water a day. Kelsey also said DART was

able to successfully send out a mobile medical team from its base camp in the city of Roxas to treat victims in a hard-hit area. Some roads remain choked by debris, making it a challenge for Canadian crews to reach certain communities, Kelsey said. “As they start to interact with the communities, they get a better sense of what’s happening and the true enormity of the challenges,” Kelsey said in a telephone briefing on Saturday. In all, there will be about 200 members of the DART providing aid to typhoon victims. Kelsey said co-ordinating the relief work hasn’t been easy. “One of the challenges on early days is the synchronization of all the efforts,” he said. “Not only the Canadian effort, but in concert with the provincial authorities and non-governmental organizations.”

After an initial week of chaos, the United Nations said the international aid effort in the Philippines was gathering momentum. The UN said more than 107,000 people have received food assistance so far. In addition to aid operations, efforts remain under way to locate Canadians missing in the aftermath of the typhoon. Officials have said they are dealing with 55 active cases brought forward by relatives in Canada who’ve asked for help tracking down loved ones. Canada’s ambassador designate to the Philippines said Saturday that extra consular staff are being sent to the Asian country. Three additional officers are being dispatched to the city of Roxas to work with the Canadian Forces and local officials, said Neil Reeder, and will help Canada assess the “long term assistance this region may require.” Canada has committed to fast-tracking Filipino visa applicants and has said that Filipino students and temporary workers currently in Canada will be allowed to apply to have their visas extended so they don’t have to go back to destruction in their home country. ■

55 active cases. They say 330 Canadians registered with the embassy in Manila are thought to be in the region hit by the typhoon. Taylor said delivering aid is a problem. Local officials in his region stockpiled supplies before the storm hit, but they are dwindling. Aid efforts are hampered by geography and the aftermath of the storm, which left roads choked with debris. “Really the most pressing concern that we see now is access to the communities,” he said. “Aid is coming into the country but aid is starting to build up because it can’t be distributed because some of the regions are remote. The Philippines is a country made up of a number

of islands and it’s difficult to transport goods from one community or from a major airport into the different communities.” Officials in Ottawa haven’t yet decided whether to send three to six Griffon helicopters to help with getting supplies to outlying regions. The air force says it is readying the choppers to go if needed. Taylor said his soldiers are pleased to finally be getting down to business. “The soldiers that are here ... are very excited that after all this buildup we’re now finally in a position to be starting these operations to help the people of the Philippines get through the dark days following the disaster,” he said in a conference call from Roxas. ■

Manitoba to... Fred Devilla, spokesman for the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba, said the community “welcomes the idea” of expediting MPNP applications from the affected areas. “We’re glad to hear that because it’s been for quite a long time that the provincial nominee program is slowing down,” Devilla said. “It normally takes six months to approve or decline an application. But two weeks, I doubt they can do it because they’re looking for so many supporting papers.” Pagtakhan said therein lies the problem. Even if applications are fasttracked at the provincial level, there is a myriad of documents required to accompany the CIC application. “How are you going to print out forms when you don’t have electricity? When you don’t have a computer because you don’t have a house, you don’t have paper and you don’t have toner (for a printer)?” Pagtakhan said. Pagtakhan said Filipino ❰❰ 22

families will only see faster results if the federal government agrees to flexibility on things like missing documents and the English language test. “If your family abroad can’t fill out the forms, can’t sign the documents, can’t send a birth certificate, maybe you could have the family here complete all that stuff and see if Manitoba would at least start the process,” he said. ■


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PART 4 Many people ask me what is the meaning of the onslaught of calamities and terrible things happening anywhere in the world today. Pockets of judgments are taking shape in inconceivable proportions. They asked me, “What message does the Almighty Father want to send us Pastor about these uncontrollable acts of God? Why are these things happening to us?” I answered them that one of the things that was revealed to me is that April 13, 2005 is the beginning of the Day of the Lord, it is the end of the days of man. What does this mean? There is a scripture that depicts a situation that is similar to what we have today. We can read it in Matthew 24:27-39: v-37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. v-38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

of the Son. The scripture says that before the flood came, they were eating, they were drinking, marrying, they were given in marriage until Noah entered the arc and they knew it not; until the flood came, and they were all swept away. So shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man. So the Father revealed this thing to me that is unfathomable. How can I make people believe this? But because I am the messenger of God whom He sent everywhere, whether people understand this or not, whether people accept this or not, I will reveal this, I will preach this because this is a ministry which comes from the Father and a mission that comes from Him. I remember that in 2011 I regretted that I was unable to visit Cagayan de Oro before the calamity there happened when Typhoon Sendong, international name “Washi” hit the city, killing hundreds.

v-39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

In my schedule, eight months out of the year, I am not in the Philippines because I have a yearly schedule in America, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. But when the calamity struck I felt pity for the poeple there.

What He said in the scripture is that so shall it be in the days when the Son of man is revealed. That means, just like in the days of Noah, shall it also be the same in the coming

That is why in the King is Coming Tour last year, I made sure to include the Philippines in my destinations. I went to Iloilo and I went to Cebu. Different places in Northern Luzon

requested that I visit them as well but I turned them down. I said I will go to Cagayan de Oro, though I am late in going there. In my mind, if only I had come here before the calamity happened, at least maybe some of them were warned that they will be swept away, they might have attended or listened to my message right now.

of Noah, there were pockets of judgment happening everywhere; you don’t know when it will strike, you don’t know when it will happen, you don’t know because it is coming like a thief in the night.

But it came to pass. So my answer to all of these happenings is: “This is the Day of the Lord, the days of man is over.”

2 Peter 3:10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”n

What is the Day of the Lord? Just like in the days

(To be continued next week)


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Stories of Yolanda (and emergency preparation)

“Kain po, Ma’am”, and Other Tales of Unsung Heroism BY ANGIE DUARTE Philippine Canadian Inquirer I SIT here, working at a mall juice bar, with tears streaming down my face as I upload yet another piece of depressing news about Yolanda’s (Haiyan, by international standards) aftermath. Newborn babies in Tacloban, unable to receive the proper care, are dying in their mothers’ arms. I struggle to focus on positive things; the week’s news has all been too much, and my heart is at the point of breaking. Utterly. All over again. I think of my trip to the mall. As I made my way over, on foot, I passed by a barangay street sweeper having his lunch in the shade of a tree. He gave me the most sincere smile and extended his meager meal to me: “Kain po, ma’am! (Let’s eat, ma’am!)” So much to despise about this country. But so much more to love. I share it on Facebook. Sixtyone “likes” and counting, in a span of under ten minutes. Others agree. The yin and yang of life on these islands; the ironies that are enough to drive you mad, if you set your sights on the bad, without seeing the wealth of good that still exists. So, as I sip my juice and wipe tears from my cheeks, I pur-

pose to see the good. The bad will rear its ugly head up soon enough, but for now, it is at bay. I think of all those who have risen up, moved out of their comfort zones in this time of mammoth adversity to do whatever they can to help the victims of typhoon Yolanda. Many of them are so-called “ordinary” citizens, with busy schedules and commitments. But compassion has outweighed inconvenience, and I have seen these people take it upon themselves to make a difference. A number have put their heads together to exhaust their ideas—as well as their list of friends and contacts—and have partnered with companies, organizations, and various groups to bring these ideas to life. Fueled by an outpouring from other “ordinary” citizens, they are now able to come to the aid of those in dire need of it. The monster of a typhoon barreled through the central regions of the Philippines, leaving a trail of death and destruction in her aftermath. She has also, however, left a trail of citizens rising up to prove themselves anything but “ordinary”. These are some of a few; these are some of those who I am proud to call my friends. Much of this info I gathered from stalking them on Facebook. Would have loved to be able to do a full interview with

The ship’s crew gets ready to transport the relief goods packed by Paul and his group.

them, but their precious time is fully-spent on relief operations, these days. Meet the Millers, et. al

There’s Mikel Miller (who I met some years ago, in the music industry); his brothers Chad and Matt; his mom; Mikel’s girlfriend, Lucy Lu. Mikel’s sister-in-law, Gail Fojas-Miller (Chad’s wife), and Gail’s sister, Bonsai Fojas. If I missed anyone, like I said…I’m Facebook stalking. Mikel and his family own a private aviation company. They also have contacts in Coron, Palawan; which although hardhit, was not quite as ravaged as Tacloban, and therefore not top-priority in the eyes of the government. The call for donations was put out on Facebook; to an overwhelming response from family, friends, and strangers near and far. Goods were bought or collected, packed and prepared for transport by Lucy, Gail and other volunteers. Mikel’s

The team gets ready to fly out to Coron: From left, Mikel Miller, Chad Miller and Waldo, a friend of the family, who has volunteered to camp in Coron for several days to oversee the distribution of goods.

brothers have personally been flying the goods to Coron on a regular basis. A Facebook status update of Gail Fojas-Miller, dated November 14, says: “As per report of my brother in law, Mikel Miller, and friend, Lake Waduy, who have been in Busuanga since yesterday with the objective of assessing and overseeing operations there: Yesterday they gave out relief goods to Barangay Tagumpay. The Coron team are composed of volunteers who are victims themselves but cannot just sit around and do nothing. When distributing, they call out names of the families in that Barangay. They are made to sign for receiving goods, to avoid getting doubles. After distribution, Mik and Doy’s mission was to figure out which barangays need help the most. On their own they went by tricycle and by foot, to investigate. They discovered: Barangay Bakawan, Barangay Makinit, Barangay Bayo-bayo, Barangay Balisonganan, Barangay Lamibingan.

Today their targets are Barangay Balisonganan and Barangay Bayo-Bayo. These locations are very hard to get to. Some are not passable by truck or trike because of fallen trees and such. It has to be done by foot. Aside from that we really want to help Culion. We have tied up with some Ateneans who will bring the goods to Cullion from Busuanga despite the choppy waters. There is also a team there made up of local volunteers and priests who would like to distribute to the Tagbanuas. Each flight can only carry about 300 packs of relief goods, depending on weight. Some cargo goes to Coron and some to Cullion. A Barangay over there has about 1000 families, at the very least. You can do the math on how much flying we have to do. So now you know where all your help is going. THANK YOU!” Another status update from Gail, date November 16 reads” “Why I believe in Magic: 7 day, ❱❱ PAGE 39 “Kain po”

Stories of Yolanda


Why Philippine Local Governments are Unprepared for Disasters BY PROD LAQUIAN Professor Emeritus, UBC

work if local and central governments have adopted proper disaster preparedness programs that people follow. However, in a country like the Philippines where the average per capita GDP is $4,300 per year, it is extremely difficult for most people (especially the 27.9% of those living below the poverty line) to have this stock of goods readily available when disasters strike. The living condition of most poor Filipinos is described as isang kahig, isang tuka (one scratch, one peck), as they live from day to day. They barely have enough rice, canned goods or instant noodles for tomorrow’s meal, never mind for three days after a disaster. To its credit, the Philippines has adopted a disaster preparedness program coordinated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). However, the NDRRMC has a long name but a very short shoe-string budget. Its programs are heavily focused on training and education programs for school

THE DEVASTATION wrought by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the central Philippines shows the sorry state of disaster preparedness in many parts of the country. To me, as the team leader of a research group that made a study of disaster preparedness in 17 countries in the Asia Pacific this year, the inadequate response of local government units in the Philippines did not come as a surprise. Our team’s survey of 189 cities and towns (including eight from the Philippines) revealed that almost all local government units in the region, except those in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Korea do not have enough resources to cope with serious disasters. Most disaster preparedness models currently in use globally expect people to have a stock of food, water, clothing, medicine and other needs to enable them to survive the disaster for 72 hours without any help from the outside. In Canada, the United States and Europe, this approach may

children, government agency personnel, and other organized groups where people are told what to do in case of earthquakes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions and floods. Children are taught to duck under a table and hold during earthquakes and government employees participate in evacuation drills. The council serves mainly as a communication and information source and relies on other agencies to actually serve people during disasters. A major problem in the Philippines is the extreme fragmentation of the country into more than 7,000 or so islands. Even under normal times, it becomes extremely difficult to reach many places, a condition that becomes even more onerous during disasters. There are also more than 43,000 local government units in the country made up of 41,899 barangays or village councils, 1,479 municipalities or towns, 143 chartered cities, 81 provinces, 2 metropolitan authorities and 2 autonomous regions. Under the Local

Government Code of 1991, each of these local units is supposed to have a great deal of local autonomy and many local officials tend to act independently. In reality, however, most local government units are heavily dependent on fund transfers from the central government. These so- called internal revenue allotments (IRAs) make up from 60 to 90% of local government budgets. Very few local governments are as financially independent as Makati City, where 93.1% of the city’s revenue comes from local taxes and other sources. In other local government units, local officials have to beg authorities in Manila to get their share of revenues. Officially, the central government is supposed to release these funds as soon as the central government budget is approved. However, in reality, the Department of Budget Management in the Office of the President can selectively release funds on the basis of political and other considerations. Another source of local funds are the so called development assistance project (DAP) or pork barrel funds that are distributed by members of Con-

gress to finance their own projects. Each congressman has Pesos 70 million and each senator Pesos 200 million per year as pork barrel funds. At present, there is a raging scandal in the use of such funds because of anomalies in their distribution. Political consideration, of course, is often involved not only in the allocation of pork barrel funds but in the normal practice of partisan politics. For example, it has been noted that in the case of Tacloban City that has been hit hard by the disaster, the mayor belongs to an opposition political party while the minister of local government is a leader in the ruling party. True or not, such acute political partisanship may affect allocation of public resources even during disasters. With local governments often critically short of funds, actual assistance during calamities is provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Defense Department (Army, Navy, Air Force) the National Red Cross and the ❱❱ PAGE 32 Why Philippine





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Stories of Yolanda


Save the Yolanda Typhoon victims from human traffickers BY MELISSA REMULLABRIONES Philippine Canadian Inquirer SHE HAS seen it happen, she said. When a disaster strikes, young girls who come from good families— sheltered, vulnerable—would become orphans. Depraved men—and women—from the underworld, otherwise known as human traffickers, would circle them like vultures. In their fragile state, with no one to look after them, no one who knew who they were or where they came from, they would fall prey to that life. The Philippines has just experienced a disaster and no one knows who is looking after the orphaned children. An unlikely place

I was in a hall of glittering pearls and gold—a respite from the soul-jarring reality of Typhoon Yolanda and the frustrating effort to help from a distance—and I did not expect to hear of it again, albeit for a few hours. And what the keynote speaker, the Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer, told us that night, we knew nothing of despite the maelstrom of information and flurry over Yolanda. It was one reality we were not prepared for, but it was a reality the senator thought we could do something to change. "It [human trafficking] is a worldwide problem and therefore all governments need to be involved. That is why I believe I need to be involved as a law maker from Canada. I need to do my share in raising awareness of trafficking of children and being a force in changing Canadian laws so that we can help those abroad," says Senator Jaffer. Immediately, the air dripped heavy with concern because of the problem we had to face. Human Trafficking Philippines



According to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef ) an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 children in the Philippines, between the ages of 15 and 20 (some as young as 11), are in-

volved in prostitution rings, particularly in tourist areas. Authorities have also identified an increase in child molesters travelling to the Philippines. In fact, in a recent online sting operation run by a group campaigning against child sex exploitation used a computergenerated 10-year-old Filipino girl they named "Sweetie," and through her caught thousands of pedophiles. While the Philippines is the fourth country with the most number of prostituted children, India also ranked high with 200,000 to over 250,000 women and girls, mostly Nepalese and some barely 9–10 years, who were already in Indian brothels in 1989. Senator Jaffer relayed her experience when she worked with the International Justice Mission Canada in Kolkata, India, and met face-to-face with a group of trafficked teenagers. "When I met with the girls, it was as if I was meeting with young girls anywhere in the world. We all sat down on the floor in a circle and they would ask me questions and I in turn would ask them questions. Their questions were like questions my own daughter has asked me… about clothes, food, Bollywood movies and popular songs. I nearly forgot what these girls had been through, what they had experienced. "The reality of these girls though, is that they have been brutalized by traffickers. In many cases, they have been snatched from their family and village, and forcibly placed in a brothel. At the brothel, their spirits were broken by terrible beatings and brutal rapes, often by the Trafficker himself, and then forcibly having to submit to 12 to 20 rapes a day.

"I have for over twenty years worked on issues of trafficking… yet these girls’ experiences shocked me like I was learning about it for the first time. Observing their young faces, all I wanted to say was that I was sorry that I did not do more to protect you… but I did not say it, because I did not want the happy banter between us to disappear. "I think one of the ways to say sorry to these girls and help them to rehabilitate is to make sure that the traffickers are held accountable for their actions, as there are many roadblocks in their way to obtaining justice. "We could stop the children from being trafficked, and yet we have done nothing. As a group, we need the will to take action." Open letter

Senator Jaffer, who also recently chaired a Senate study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Canada and the Need for National Action, suggested that we write a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird so that Canada will send more troops to keep Filipino children safe. Let this be that letter. Society owes its children no less than vigilance and protection. Those children—someone loved them once, thought they were precious, held their hands in the most tender of ways. They must be protected. A trafficked child means losing a family, a community, a society. It is a crime against humanity. And the victims of Yolanda in the Philippines, the children, the orphans, they have already lost so much. Let us not allow anyone to take them farther into the night. ■

Stories of Yolanda


Why Philippine... Department of the Interior and Local Government. These agencies are made up of very large bureaucracies that are unable to act quickly. They also tend to act independently and often fail to cooperate with local government units or with each other. In the recent typhoon in the central Philippines, it took central government agencies more than a week to reach some stricken areas and there were even cases where international aid personnel were on the job ahead of them. Aside from lack of tax-based resources that local government units can use during emergencies, many local governments in the Philippines lack technically and professionally trained officials and employees. Elected officials usually come from prominent families who are often elected not on merit but because they come from political dynasties that maintain a hold on power through patronage and petty corruption. Local units, because of their low income, are usually unable to hire competent local personnel who prefer employment in the central government and the private sector or seek opportunities abroad. This combination of lack of financial and human resources makes many local governments unable to adequately cope during emergencies. Finally, the most important reason for lack of preparation during disasters in the Philip❰❰ 29

The Philippines’ preparedness amid the super typhoon BY KATHERINE MARFALTEVES Philippine Canadian Inquirer TENS OF thousands of Filipinos died when the monstrous super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the Philippines. But do we really know why and how this hell-ish disaster happened? Here are some facts that could somewhat enlighten us: • A killer storm like Haiyan has just gotten stronger over recent decades. • Winds of 314 kph (195 mph) were followed by a surge of water, which rose to the height of a coconut tree within five minutes. • Despite of Philippines’ hard-earned expertise in encountering typhoons and other natural disasters, it was still not enough to stop the super typhoon from ravaging the country as the local government didn’t realize how bad the storm would be. • Philippines is an archipelago with millions of people living in low-lying areas, with houses built using substandard materi-


als. • In the Philippines, there is a greater tendency to push very large amounts of water on the land, leading to limited to no safe places to go. • Easy-to-understand information was not relayed to the people. • Temperatures in the Philippines rise by 0.14C a decade. Rising sea levels around the Philippines and a falling water table increase the occurrence of extreme weather events.

Were we really prepared?

Speaking as one of the Filipinos, grieving for the gigantic disaster that my country is currently facing, I also want to know, “Was the Philippines really prepared for such a storm surge?” The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies predicted a “dangerous” typhoon with winds of 240 kph (150 mph) heading straight to Leyte and Samar, two days ❱❱ PAGE 39 The Philippines’

pines is the chronic poverty of people in many areas. When Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Cebu and Iloilo, individual households proved completely incapable of surviving on their own. Local government units were paralyzed by the extent of the disaster with local officials (and local police forces) looking after the welfare of their own family members first before attending to their official duties. Despite early public warnings on the strength of the typhoon’s winds, the disaster preparedness officials seriously underestimated the tsunami-like water surge that wiped out shoreline residents. Thus, the Red Cross, national government agencies, civic associations and international assistance groups took more than a week to organize rescue efforts to reach far flung places. This was an indication of the faulty approach to disaster preparedness used in the country and the failure to properly assess the lack of capabilities of local governments during disasters. ■ Note: The study for the Asia Pacific region coordinated by Professor Laquian is being published in 2014 as a chapter in The Governance of Local Basic Services: Providing Access for All, which is the third part of the series on the Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy (GOLD III) supported by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in Barcelona, Spain.

Stories of Yolanda


Expecting the Unexpected: How to prepare for disasters BY CHING DEE Philippine Canadian Inquirer THERE’S NEVER a good time for a disaster to strike. Whether it’s a manmade disaster or a natural calamity, you can be prepared. Never let your family run the risk of being in danger during the onslaught of the tragedy and even in the aftermath. Here are some emergency preparedness tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Red Cross. Emergency Food Supply

According to CDC, pack food items good for at least three days that have a long storage life and require little or no cooking. Canned goods and some dehydrated packets can store for about two years. Ready-to-eat food packets would be great, especially since most of RTE variants don’t require water and extraneous utensils to prepare. When choosing food items, avoid those with high sodium content or spicy variants. These flavors will increase the need for water, which should be conserved in times of calamities. Do not forget to pack food items for babies, family members with special diets, and pets. When storing your emergency food stash, keep it away from heat, as heat can hasten the spoiling of food. Store food items away from strong smelling substances as well, like gasoline or cleaning products,

as many food products may absorb their strong smell. Wrap and store food properly. They will keep much better in airtight and waterproof containers. Do not forget to date and label all food items. Prepping Food in an Emergency

All emergency kits should contain a set of eating and cooking utensils in order to maintain as much cleanliness as possible and of course, let’s not forget about the convenience of eating with a proper knife and fork compared to eating with your bare hands. When packing your emergency food kit, do not forget to include a few cups, spoons and

forks, as well as paper plates. Heat-proof cooking utensils will also help you in the long run. A can opener will come very in handy--given that most of the things in your emergency food pack are probably canned goods. Keep some sturdy aluminum foil, which is actually quite versatile. Saving Water

Store at least 1 gallon of water for each person and pet, which is good for a day. So that means if you plan to prepare a kit good enough for three days and there are five of you in the family, that means you need 15 gallons of water for the entire family. When storing water and

drinks avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks because these choices tend to dehydrate the body, which will then increase the need for water. Use a foodgrade water container. You can disinfect an old water container by adding solution of one teaspoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach and one quart of water. Shake the container well for about 30 seconds and then empty the container. Rinse it thoroughly and let it airdry. Do not forget to label your stored water based on its intended purpose: drinking water, cooking water, and cleaning water. Do not store them in direct sunlight and away from dangerous or poisonous substances. Make sure that you replace stored water every 6 months. Planning for Disaster

The American Red Cross (ARC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that families and groups living together should make a plan that will be implemented in the unwanted event of an emergency. According to FEMA, “Meet with Your Family Members. Review the information you gathered about community hazards and plans. Explain the dangers to children and work with them as a team to prepare your family. Be sure to include caregivers in your meeting and planning efforts. Choose an ‘Out-of-Town’ Contact. Ask an out-of-town friend or relative

to be your contact.” Both agencies also recommended that every family or group should have a family/ group communication plan. On their website, ARC said, “Your plan should include contact information for family members, work and school. Your plan should also include information for your out-of-town contact, meeting locations, emergency services and the National Poison Control Center (1-800222-1222).” A sample family communication plan form is available on “Teach your children how to call the emergency phone numbers and when it is appropriate to do so. Be sure each family member has a copy of your communication plan and post it near your telephone for use in an emergency,” ARC added online. Parents should also take the time to discuss escape routes and safe places with the kids and other family members. Speed is also important. Remember how Phil Dunphy (of the show ‘Modern Family’) would time his family everytime they leave the house together? That’s what ARC means. More information on their website said that everyone should “keep support items in a designated place, so they can be found quickly.” Developing a back-up or contingency plan would be great as well and might actually save you and your family’s life. ■




Call it response ability

Celebs lead top three networks’ telethons for supertyphoon victims

...of the senior citizens’ club of Batangas— and the hubby is ‘training’ her

BY BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR. Philippine Daily Inquirer NOW FOR a glimpse of that rainbow after the storm. In an e-mail message, filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes told the INQUIRER: “It is now, more than any other time, that celebrity power can be put to great use.” The country’s top three networks initiated individual efforts to raise donations, in cash and in kind, for the victims of Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” The TV5 musical series “The Mega and the Songwriter” gave way to a telethon dubbed “Kanta at Biyaya.” Hosts Sharon Cuneta and Ogie Alcasid joined fellow Kapatid stars— Aga Muhlach, Alice Dixson, Derek Ramsay, Raymond Gutierrez, Martin Escudero—along with Smart Gilas Pilipinas basketball players, in manning phone lines. Among the 60 singers who performed was, crossing network lines, Darryl Shy of ABSCBN’s “The Voice of the Philippines.” Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez related reports from her staff of the devastation in her home city, Ormoc. P30M in three hours

Jump-started by donations from TV5 boss Manny V. Pangilinan and his various companies, the telethon raised over P30 million in three hours for the network’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation. Since the show was aired on TV5’ s international channels, do-

Gov. Vi says she could be the next president BY BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR. Philippine Daily Inquirer

Telethon at ABS-CBN

nations also came in from abroad. Cuneta invited the various companies whose products and services she endorses to pitch in. She pledged P5 million through Aboitiz Foundation and another P5 million through Alagang Kapatid. She said Aboitiz Foundation hoped to raise at least P200 million. “They’ve made P135 million so far, P50 million of that from their own companies.” From “The Mega and the Songwriter,” the telethon, dubbed “Tulong Kapatid, Sulong Kapatid,” continued in “Good Morning Club.” Rated ‘Kapamilya’

Over at ABS-CBN, Korina Sanchez and Kris Aquino held telethons during their respective shows. Teen star Kathryn Bernardo, cagers Jeric and Jeron Teng and fashion designer Renee Salud took calls during Sanchez’s Sunday program, “Rated K.” Aquino’s show, “Kris TV,” featured Kapamilya stars Anne Curtis, Kim Chiu, John Lapus, Pooh and Kim Atienza, doing their share. Billy Crawford, Vhong Navarro and other Kapamilya

stars vowed to hold charity basketball games. As usual, Angel Locsin volunteered at the Philippine Red Cross relief center. Celeb auction

For GMA 7’s telethon, Kapuso stars—led by Nova Villa, Julia Clarete, LJ Reyes, Julia Clarete and Rhian Ramos — made themselves available for viewers who were phoning in their pledges. Marian Rivera, also a Red Cross volunteer, helped boyfriend Dingdong Dantes in the relief drive launched by his Yes Pinoy Foundation at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. Regine Velasquez auctioned off several of her purses and husband Ogie’s watches. On the program “Unang Hirit”, Janine Gutierrez and Elmo Magalona, lead stars of the afternoon soap “Villa Quintana,” took donors’ phone calls. Magalona said it was his third time to do a telethon and noted that calamities had become much too frequent. On the bright side, these mishaps can also serve as opportunities for Filipinos, famous or not, to summon up the bayanihan spirit. ■

AT A recent gathering to celebrate her turning 60, actress and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos announced she was “inclined to be the next president.” Now she recalls that the audience gasped in unison. Of course she was kidding, she says. “My husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, has been training and encouraging me to run for president… of the senior citizens’ [club] of Batangas.” She asserts, “I want to be focused on my last term as governor. I hope to graduate summa cum laude. After 18 years of serving the province, I’d like my constituents to be able to say I did a good job.” First things first: Will she soon apply for a senior citizen card? She quips, laughing, “I refuse to sign the application form.” On second thought, she relates, “My staff tells me that I can avail of numerous discounts, free movie tickets, and other benefits, as a card-carrying senior. I tell them I can still pay for my own way.” Turning serious, she explains that her recent birth anniversary (on Nov. 3) came with a slew of realizations, big and small. “The day before, when we were supposed to celebrate, my mother-in-law died,” she

recalls. The actress-politician was in Tokyo at the time, vacationing with her family. Sen. Ralph Recto’s mother, Carmen Gonzalez-Recto, passed away while on a holiday in Cambodia. “She took a nap before her flight back to Manila but never woke up,” Gov. Vi relates. “Bittersweet” is the only way she can describe it. As she marked a milestone with her husband Ralph and sons Luis Manzano and Ryan Christian Recto, she was also mourning the loss of a loved one. “We were so happy… then we heard the sad news.” Bright side

On the bright side, she points out, losing their mom somewhat reunited the Recto siblings. “They had their share of trials in the past but now, … with their parents gone, they’ve become closer.” As soon as she got home, the governor had to prepare her province for Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” “It was a wakeup call,” she says of the calamity. “It should push us to value our lives. It’s not all about material things. In an instant, you can lose everything.” She doesn’t hide it: “I feel very bad for our country. Calamities come one after the other. The good thing is, you see people suffering, but even more people helping out. The ❱❱ PAGE 36 Gov. Vi



Direk Peque Gallaga’s Facebook rant goes viral BY BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR. Philippine Daily Inquirer IT WAS MEANT only for his small circle of online friends, but when filmmaker Peque Gallaga’s rant on Facebook about the government’s handling of the relief efforts in the aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” went public, it quickly went viral and was soon enough picked up by mainstream media. Gallaga, who has only 520 friends in the social networking site, said he never expected that his essay, which he posted would garner this much attention. “I’m torn about this. It was just a Facebook thing,” he told the INQUIRER in a phone interview. “I’m not a political person. But friends say I must’ve tapped into the collective outrage.” No one is spared

In his 1,141-word essay, Gallaga’s “rage” spared no one: the President, all the President’s men, even the wife of one of the President’s men who dared criticize a CNN reporter and, of course, local media. Gallaga wrote: “This disaster has affected, not only the islands in the path of Yolanda, but all of us as a nation. We have all been judged and found

wanting.” He put the local media to task for not being critical of “Malacañang press releases which are more concerned with [the officials’] show biz image than confronting, accepting and dealingwith the problem.” He railed against “TV personalities and politicians” who go to Tacloban (one of the hardest hit areas) “for the photo op.” On ABS-CBN news anchor Korina Sanchez’s feud with CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, Gallaga offered this terse statement: “Cooper was in Tacloban; Korina was not.” Sanchez is married to Mar Roxas, secretary of the Interior and Local Government. Not the enemy

He asked: “How much more do we need for us to realize that the enemy was not Yolanda? Yolanda was just a force of nature. The enemy is our leaders. And the leader of our leaders is the President.” He reserved most of the vitriol on President Aquino: “I can only rage, rage against the dying of common decency. I can only rage against this man…who continually blames the LGUs (local government units) on the ground for their incompetence and their inefficiency because it is beginning to dawn on me that these Visayan LGUs happen to be Romualdez people.”

In his 1,141-word essay, Gallaga’s “rage” spared no one: the President, all the President’s men, even the wife of one of the President’s men who dared criticize a CNN reporter and, of course, local media. PHOTO FROM RUFFYBIAZON.PH

A day after he posted the lengthy diatribe against the President, Gallaga had to stay up late, to read the numerous reactions he received. Misbehaving

“Most of them were supportive,” he quipped. “A few attacked me, saying my movies were flops, but that was beside the point.” Gallaga recalled that he posted the Facebook message, as reaction to his online friends who had advised him not to express his dissatisfaction with the Yolanda relief efforts. “I got fed up,” he explained. “Friends, who are close to the Powers that Be, told me to behave. I’ve always been a bad student. In my 70 years, I’ve never behaved!”

He wrote online: “I am deeply offended by the people who try to stop me…from stating the obvious.” He called these Facebook friends, the “Yellow Army.” “They say that being critical doesn’t help,” Gallaga related. “It’s like we are in a theocracy and all dissenters are branded evil.” He begged to disagree in his online essay and said: “We can help and we can criticize. I am convinced that we do help when we criticize; if at one point we can, as Hamlet says, ‘catch the conscience of the king.’” Honesty not enough

He told the INQUIRER: “I am fighting not with corrupt trapos (traditional politicians), but my anger is directed at truly de-

cent middle-class people who believe in Aquino…because he is not corrupt,” he said. “But is honesty the only thing he can offer?” He felt that Aquino was being spared from objective appraisal because the alternative is reprehensible. “We’ve been cooperating for the past three years. But as of now Aquino is making (Vice President Jejomar) Binay look good. And I am not a fan of Binay,” he said. The honeymoon period with the President should’ve been over a long time ago. It’s time to call a spade a spade, he said. Totally unprepared

He wrote on Facebook: “This man is totally unprepared for the most difficult job in the country.” He feels strongly about this issue because he calls Bacolod and Cadiz, Negros Occidental, his home. “There are a lot of devastated places in the Visayas that didn’t get as much media attention,” he said. He said that on Bantayan Island (which is near Cebu), the residents took matters into their own hands and have started fixing school buildings. “People are doing things on their own; they are not relying on the national government,” he said. ■

Message from celebrities around the world for victims of Typhoon Haiyan AMID THE huge destruction, both in lives and properties that super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) wrought to the Philippines, people around the world united to help in every way that they can to alleviate the pains and sufferings of affected Filipino families. Your favorite celebrities had also joined the club. Katy Perry: “@UNICEF is rushing supplies to meet children’s needs for safe water, food, medicine & shelter.” David Beckam: “Estimates suggest that up to 4m children could be affected by the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. It’s

children, health kits, water and hygiene kits from supplies available within the Philippines. Much more is on its way. Your help can save lives.”

to donate $10. GIVE: Kristen Bell: #UNICEF rushing medicine, water & nutrition to kids affected by #Haiyan Text RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10 to @UNICEFUSA Joe Jonas: Thinking of all who were affected in the typhoon in the Philippines. God bless.

David Beckham

easy to feel powerless in these situations. But you can help. UNICEF is now on the ground working to reach children and their families with support—it’s a race against the clock to reach those who need our help. “UNICEF has already mobilized therapeutic food for

Juliette Lewis: Help @globalDIRT assist those in need in Tacloban City if you can -http:// #Philippines Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum: Typhoon #Haiyan devastated the Philippines. Millions need food & shelter. Text REDCROSS to 90999

Paula Abdul: #UNHCR airlift of vital supplies to Philippines. Pls donate here qJe3M -EVERY bit helps!

Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland: Please help people impacted by Philippines disaster. Prayers & money are greatly needed.#NOW Mia Farrow: @UNICEF is on the ground in the #Philippines delivering water, shelter & meds to worst hit areas. If possible please help them ❱❱ PAGE 37 Message from


Message from... ❰❰ 35

Simon Pegg: Millions in Philippines still need clean water & shelter now. @oxfamgb is there: donate to their #Haiyan appeal! http:// Eddie Izzard: You can help children affected by Typhoon #Haiyan by texting UNICEF to 70123 to give £3

ly/17q6S0s Kellan Lutz: Humanitarian needs in the #Philippines will be massive. Text RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10 to @ UNICEF or visit http://www.

Selena Gomez: Support UNICEF’s emergency: Help kids in the #Philippines affected by #Haiyan How to help:http:// Conan O’Brien: Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help #Haiyan victims. Give more here: http:// . Rita Ora: Pls support @ UNICEF’s work for children affected by Typhoon #Haiyan #Haiyanhere -> http://bit.

Selena Gomez

Cat Deeley: Estimates suggest that up to 4m children could be affected by the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan in the... ■

Gov. Vi... victims are crying, but you can see that their positive values have remained intact. They are hopeful. They believe that they can rebuild their lives.” Her only wish is for an end to the disasters. “I can’t ask for anything more,” she says. Batangas plans to extend assistance to the less-fortunate provinces that were in the supertyphoon’s path. She is teaming up with The Generics Pharmacy (TGP), a company she endorses. She declines to reveal details of her contribution to the relief efforts. ❰❰ 34

Perfect time

“For me, personally, this is the perfect time to help,” she says. “There’s no need to talk about it in the media. What is important is that God knows you share your blessings with those in need.” She remains upbeat, even when talk turns to the pork barrel scandal which involved some fellow actor-politicians. “It’s just so unfortunate. Our democracy is younger than other countries’… I consider these controversies part of our learning process as a nation. At least, our people are now more aware of, and more involved in, governance.” She hopes Filipinos will not

dismiss all public servants as corrupt. “I am not saying that my administration is perfect,” she says. “But Batangas is trying to change the system for the better.” Maturing process

The ability to rise above petty intrigues is part of maturing, she insists. Asked about the impending elevation of rival Nora Aunor as National Artist, she remains unruffled. “Nora deserves it. No one can question her contributions to the industry,” Gov. Vi remarks. “She has been in show business almost as long as I have… Everything happens for a reason. If she gets that honor, it’s well-deserved.” She has one request: “Please stop pitting us against each other. We both have better things to do than deal with intrigues. If I were younger, I would have fought with critics. But life is too short to waste on bashers who have nothing nice to say about you. They are not worth anyone’s time.” She notes, “I make the most of what I have. What’s important is that I found the real world, this one beyond show business. And for that my life has more meaning. After all these years, I am still blessed.” ■


‘Thor: The Dark World’ holds box office top spot with $38.5 million, ‘Best Man Holiday’ second BY JAKE COYLE The Associated Press NEW YORK—In an unlikely battle of sequels, “Thor: The Dark World” bested “The Best Man Holiday” at the box office. Disney’s “Thor: The Dark World” continued its box-office reign with $38.5 million in its second week of release, according to studio estimates Sunday. Opening 15 years after the original “The Best Man,” Universal’s “The Best Man Holiday” opened strongly with $30.6 million. Drawing an overwhelmingly female and African-American audience, “The Best Man Holiday” was a surprise challenger for the mighty “Thor.” The Rrated romantic comedy, with an ensemble cast including Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs, debuted with more than three times the box office of 1999’s “The Best Man.” That film opened with $9 million. The performance of Malcolm D. Lee’s “The Best Man Holiday” continued an ongoing trend. Movies that appeal particularly to black audiences have often been surpassing expectations at the box office. “It’s a familiar refrain, and it’s getting a little tired,” said Lee. “I thought we had a chance to do something special.” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” led the box office for several weeks in August, leading to a cumulative total of $115.5 million domestically. The Oscar-contender “12 Years a Slave” has made $25 million in five weeks of limited release. Lee said that while black audiences “see everything” at the movies, from action movies to romantic comedies, he hopes broader audiences begin responding to so-called “black films.” The audience for “Best Man Holiday” was 87 per cent African-American. Regardless, a third “Best Man” film now seems a likely bet. “If there is going to be a sequel, it won’t take 14 years,” granted Lee. Marvel’s Norse superhero, however, has been hammering audiences around the globe. “Thor: The Dark World” made

$52.5 million internationally over the weekend, bringing its worldwide total to $479.8 million. With Chris Hemsworth as the title character and Tom Hiddleston as the popular villain Loki, the Thor franchise has proven to be one of Marvel’s most successful. Just as “Thor” approached the half-billion mark, Warner Bros.’ space adventure “Gravity” crossed it. In seven weeks of release, “Gravity” has made $514.9 million globally. “The Best Man Holiday” was the only new wide-release opening over the weekend, as the marketplace clears out for the release of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” In limited release, Alexander Payne’s black-and-white Midwest road trip “Nebraska” opened in four locations with a solid $35,000 per theatre average for Paramount Pictures. Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” was originally slated to open, but was postponed to Dec. 25 by Paramount. Expected to be one of the year’s biggest debuts, Lionsgate’s “Catching Fire” will abruptly close the box-office window for “Thor” next weekend. “Catching Fire” opened in Brazil over the weekend, earning $6.3 million. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday. 1. “Thor: The Dark World,”

$38.5 million ($52.5 million international). 2. “The Best Man Holiday,” $30.6 million. 3. “Last Vegas,” $8.9 million ($3.5 million international). 4. “Free Birds,” $8.3 million ($1.2 million international). 5. “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” $7.7 million ($5.5 million international). 6. “Gravity,” $6.3 million ($18.5 million). 7. “Ender’s Game,” $6.2 million ($2.2 million international). 8. “12 Years a Slave,” $4.7 million. 9. “Captain Phillips,” $4.5 million ($8.4 million international). 10. “About Time,” $3.5 million ($1.9 million international). Estimated weekend ticket sales Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak: 1. “Thor: The Dark World,” $52.5 million 2. “Gravity,” $18.5 million. 3. “Fack Ju Gohte,” $11 million. 4. “The Counselor,” $10.8 million. 5. “Escape Plan,” $10.2 million. 6. “Friends 2,” $9.5 million. 7. “Captain Phillips,” $8.4 million. 8. “Carrie,” $7.6 million. 9. “Sole A Catinelle,” $6.5 million. 10. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” $6.3 million. ■




How chefs, hotels, restos and culinary schools are doing their bit to help

Even wait staff have pooled their tips and service charges to donate to typhoon victims BY VANGIE BAGA-REYES Philippine Daily Inquirer TRAGEDY BRINGS out the good in everyone. A number of culinary schools, hotels and restaurants, bakeshops, and even foodies, restaurateurs, chefs and their staff have sprung into action to try to help ease the burden of Filipinos in the Visayas in the aftermath of “Yolanda.” Some groups have donated cash or solicited cash donations, while others have taken the initiative to collect food items such as canned goods, biscuits, noodles, rice and clothing materials, to be given to relief organizations and the Philippine Red Cross.

tabs, bottled water, biscuits, old clothes and blankets. Donations are being accepted in the Student Affairs office. CCA is also holding a fundraising activity to mark its 17th anniversary called “Clash of the Clans, a culinary cup” on Nov. 22 at CCA Oceana. A select group of celebrity chefs will stand in a photo booth and have their photos taken with about a thousand expected students and guests, then sign photos for a fee of P100. All proceeds will be donated to the typhoon victims. Instead of holding its annual Christmas Ball on Dec. 6, CCA students, faculty and staff will donate food and clothing and pack relief goods for 2,000 families, and send these to Ormoc through Rep. Lucy Torres.

Drop-off points

Enderun Colleges has organized a community drive, with its campus in Bonifacio Global City serving as drop-off point for donations. It’s open 24 hours and accepts canned goods, medicines, clothes, blankets, slippers and other nonperishable items. The school is coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and some parents of Enderun students who are heading toward Leyte and Bohol to bring relief and aid. Its first batch of relief goods was sent. This drive will run for at least a month. Pledges

The Center for Culinary Arts, Manila, is extending help to the victims in Ormoc City, with each CCA student pledging to donate five of any of the following items: cooked food in tetra packs, canned goods with lift

Baked goodies

The Goldilocks commissary in Cebu has been operating nonstop ever since a 7.2magnitude earthquake devastated parts of Cebu and Bohol, to provide bread, toasted products and water directly to evacuation centers. In the wake of Yolanda, the commissary is trying to further increase its capacity by earmarking more products for relief efforts. The Cebu commissary also suffered damage during the typhoon, but employees have continued working in shifts, and have decided to redirect the entire budget for their company anniversary celebration this month to help calamity victims. The various committees organized for the company anniversary celebration have now been assigned to different

areas of relief work: medical aid, packing goods, and loading trucks. In Manila, the Goldilocks head office has made a financial contribution to the Philippine Red Cross; its employees have organized themselves to volunteer man-hours at the Red Cross and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Financial aid

Sofitel Philippine Plaza has also become a drop-off point (at the lobby and employee’s entrance) for donations such as canned goods, bottled water, bed sheets, towels, bathroom amenities, clothes and money. The hotel has asked its mother company and sister companies under the Accor Foundation for financial aid through online donations and a voluntary contribution of P250 from hotel guests upon checkout. Spiral restaurant has placed a donation bowl in one corner where diners can drop their cash. Hotel employees are also donating part of their salaries to the relief efforts. All financial aid and relief goods will be turned over to Sagip Kapamilya of ABS-CBN Foundation. Seed fund

Mandarin Oriental, Manila, has formed a management committee to oversee concerns relating to relief aid for typhoon Yolanda victims. The primary task is to provide immediate assistance to colleagues and their families who were directly affected by the disaster. A seed fund has been set up, and is open to additional contributions from hotel personnel. The hotel’s donation and

Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, Tacloban City in the aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” PHOTO BY NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / INQUIRER.NET

collected relief goods will be turned over to the Red Cross. The hotel has also encouraged its staff to volunteer for packing relief goods, both in the hotel and at relief centers. Those wishing to do so will be allowed a half-day’s leave with pay and will be bused to specific relief centers. Hotel guests are also being informed of the Red Cross’ bank details so that they may send their donations directly, if they so wish. Collective efforts

Chefs and their staff are also pooling their resources to extend aid to the typhoon victims. Chef Margarita Fores has resumed making relief packs with Operation Tulong Bayan (which started during Typhoon “Ondoy”) at The Commissary at White Space in Makati and Balai in Cubao, QC. The group will send the goods to far-flung municipalities in Iloilo, Samar, Capiz, Leyte and Negros Occidental. Cibo branches have also become drop-off points for relief goods. Chef Miguel de Alba of Alba Restaurant is collaborating with Amy Besa (owner of Purple Yam in New York City) in holding fundraising dinners with other restaurants and chefs. Alba’s company is also donating canned goods and water to organizations involved in relief operations, while staff have collected their tips and donated the pooled amount. The top management of Cyma (nationwide) and Green Pastures, headed by chef Robby

Goco, has decided to turn over 100percent of its sales on Nov. 15, Friday, to the typhoon victims through the Red Cross. Its staff have also decided to donate their service charge on that day. For chef Colin Mckay, cash donations are the most efficient and immediate way of bringing relief to worst-hit areas. Thus, all sales of People’s Palace’s most popular dish, Pomelo Salad, on Nov. 15, Friday, will be given to the Red Cross. For their part, chef Jynette Monteverde and her team have donated more than a truckload of clothes and water, sending them directly to the affected areas since Monteverde’s friends are into the trucking business and renting out helicopters. For chef David Pardo de Ayala of Discovery Suites and his team, extending assistance started in their own backyard, since they have associates whose families were affected by the typhoon. Meanwhile, some hotel guests have canceled their bookings with Club Paradise, Discovery Shores and Discovery Suites and donated the money instead to the relief efforts. Long-term assistance

In the case of chef Vicky Pacheco of Sentro and Chateau 1771, her sous chef’s wife lived in Ormoc, Leyte; their house and community were completely wiped out. Pacheco’s group is planning to help directly and looking at long-term assistance like setting up a water purification system in the ravaged city. ■



5 Reasons why you gotta love the 2013 Honda CR-V HONDA’S 2013 CR-V is a top choice for those who are seeking both luxury and comfort. Fuel efficient, versatile, and powerful, Honda’s CR-V ranks among the top vehicles in a highly competitive SUV segment. In addition to its exceptional ratings in both interior layout and safety, here are five things you got to love about the 2013 Honda CR-V: 1. Comfort - as far as comfort goes, the 2013 Honda CR-V is a great choice for families. The seating is exceptionally comfortable, and the amount of space available in the cabin is impressive. The rear seats have armrests, and with a space of 37.2 cubic feet, passengers have sufficient room to stretch their legs during road trips and long journeys. The rear seats can also be folded down to provide an overall impressive cargo space of 70.9 cubic feet. There is also no shortage of storage compartments, a very practical advantage that the CR-V can boast stands out among competitors. Interiors are designed with soft materials and unexpectedly

2. Classy exterior - the Honda CR-V showcases classy and appealing curves. Though the exterior does not elicit “sporty” as a characteristic look, the craftsmanship of the vehicle is superb. The cross-over concept adopted in manufacturing gives the vehicle a sloping-up roof and a short bonnet. The tailgate though designed with practicality in mind; complements the vehicle’s design. 3. Performance and Fuel efficiency - Honda is wellknown for producing vehicles that deliver reliability and performance and the 2013 CR-V is no exception. Its five-speed automatic engine with an i-VTEC in-line four-cylinder of 2.4 liters offers outstanding performance and power, while the taller gear ratios have definitely improved the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. The CR-V achieves an EPA rating of 31 mpg on highway (6.4 L/100 km) and 23 mpg in the city (9.0 L/100 km), making it one of the SUV segment’s most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. 4. Safety - Like performance and fuel efficiency, Honda

spares nothing when it comes to safety. The 2013 Honda CR-V exterior has been re-engineered with safety at heart, while side curtain airbags, electronic stability, front airbags and wide-angled side mirrors work towards enhancing the vehicle’s internal safety. It is no surprise that the 2013 Honda CR-V has successfully passed top crash-tests and gained a five-star safety rating from the National Highway and Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA). 5. Loaded with features the 2013 Honda CR-V comes packed with features. Standard in all models you will find Bluetooth streaming audio, an MP3 auxiliary output and USB interface, heated front seats, intelligent Multi-Information Display (iMID), steering wheelmounted audio controls with illumination, automatic climate control, text message function (for certain devices), and tilt and telescoping steering. With the luxurious Touring package, you can expect leatherwrapped steering wheel and seating surfaces, and Honda’s Satellite-linked Navigation

System with voice recognition. When it comes to affordability, looks, fuel efficiency, space,

safety, comfort (we can go on…) the 2013 Honda CR-V is a perfect combination. ■

Slow poke generation? Kids around the world are less fit than their parents were, study finds BY MARILYNN MARCHIONE The Associated Press DALLAS—Today’s kids can’t keep up with their parents. An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don’t run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young. On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined 5 per cent per decade since 1975 for children ages 9 to 17. The American Heart Association, whose conference featured the research on Tuesday, says it’s the first to show that children’s fitness has declined worldwide over the last three decades. “It makes sense. We have kids

that are less active than before,” said Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado pediatrician and spokesman for the heart association. Health experts recommend that children 6 and older get 60 minutes of moderately vigorous activity accumulated over a day. Only one-third of American kids do now. “Kids aren’t getting enough opportunities to build up that activity over the course of the day,” Daniels said. “Many schools, for economic reasons, don’t have any physical education at all. Some rely on recess” to provide exercise. Sam Kass, a White House chef and head of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, stressed the role of schools in a speech to the conference on Monday. “We are currently facing the most sedentary generation of

children in our history,” Kass said. The new study was led by Grant Tomkinson, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Australia. Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running fitness—a key measure of cardiovascular health and endurance— involving 25 million children ages 9 to 17 in 28 countries f r o m 1964 to 2010. T h e studies measured how far children could run in 5 to 15 minutes and how quickly they ran a certain distance, ranging from

half a mile to two miles. Today’s kids are about 15 per cent less fit than their parents were, researchers concluded. “The changes are very similar for boys and girls and also for various ages,” but differed by geographic region, Tomkinson said. The decline in fitness seems to be levelling off in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps in the last few years in North America. However, it continues to fall in China, and Japan never had much falloff—fitness has remained fairly consistent there.

About 20 million of the 25 million children in the studies were from Asia. Tomkinson and Daniels said obesity likely plays a role, since it makes it harder to run or do any aerobic exercise. Too much time watching television and playing video games and unsafe neighbourhoods with not enough options for outdoor play also may play a role, they said. Other research discussed global declines in activity. Fitness is “pretty poor in adults and even worse in young people,” especially in the United States and eastern Europe, said Dr. Ulf Ekelund of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo, Norway. World Health Organization numbers suggest that 80 per cent of young people globally may not be getting enough exercise. ■


The Philippines’... before the killer typhoon hit. People in the mentioned areas were given adequate warnings and over 750,000 people across the central Philippines were evacuated. Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, commended the government for issuing warnings, explaining that the destruction could have been greater if not for the regular warnings. PAGASA, the weather bureau of the Philippines had also sent out regular warnings of a sevenmeter (22 ft) storm surge on an hourly basis. But the problem was making the people believe that they would be faced with a serious disaster, “Some people didn’t believe us because it was so sunny,” said Jerry Yaokasin, vice mayor of Tacloban. “Some people were even laughing.” One survivor from Tacloban revealed that he would have evacuated if he had been told that a tsunami-like occurrence would likely to hit. “On Thursday night we could see the stars in the sky,” said Moises Rosillo, 41, a pedicab driver. “We thought it would just be wind and rain.” According to Doracie Zoleta-Nantes, an expert on disasters at the Australian National University in Canberra, local government units had failed to mobilize officials for forced evacuations to higher and safer ground. While Lucille Sering, secretary of the government’s Climate Change Commission, believes that the government had likewise failed to prepare for the breakdown in local functions. Over 30 countries have pledged support, but impassable roads have made it difficult for volunteers to distribute the relief goods in a quicker and more organized manner. Local government officials who were also affected by the super typhoon could not attend to their tasks in order to facilitate a more efficient delivery of relief aids. ❰❰ 32

What could have been done?

According to some experts in disaster preparedness, the Philippines government must have labeled Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) as “the most serious possible emergency” to

“Kain po...” make it easier to convince people to leave their homes. They added that it could have allowed the government to mobilize more resources prior to the expected storm landfall. Some analysts also believe that evacuating thousands of people just a few hours before the landfall left authorities with very little time to place isolated or elderly people in a safer place. Analysts could not help but compare Vietnam, a country with a GDP per capita of only $1,600 to Philippines who has a GDP per capita of around $2,600. According to an article published in Asia Unbound, when a strong storm hit Vietnam, the death toll was only 14 as its government announced an early emergency warning. It also added that if compared to the buildings in the Philippines, Vietnam boasts of stronger buildings; proof of which were the buildings that didn’t easily collapse amid the storm. The report blamed the corrupt Philippines officials why buildings and houses in the country frequently succumbed to natural disasters. Some, if not most officials, received kickbacks from contractors, leading to the construction of establishments using substandard materials, the Asia Unbound report added. Roberto Lilles, a successful architect cited the “traditional flimsy wood and tin-roof homes” as one of the reasons why houses were easily wrecked by super storms. He said that such disasters could have been avoided if the government opted for low-cost, brick-and-mortar housing, “There is low-cost housing that can resist the storms. But most people in those rural areas are so poor, they still can’t afford them,” he explained. The Aquino administration, after receiving such criticisms is firm that what Yolanda brought to the Philippines was something really unprecedented that no amount of preparations was enough to save thousands of lives. After all that have been said, all that we can do now is to learn from this devastating experience; and from there, help our affected countrymen to bounce back from this nightmare. Bangon Pilpinas! (Rise Philippines!) ■

1 boat trip, 16 flights, 18 TONS of relief goods, 6,000 FAMILIES fed…And we’re still going. Thank you <3 “ ❰❰ 28

A girl named Maria

Maria Dolonius is a friend of varied talents: model, baker, and all-around wacko (and I mean that in the best of ways.) She also has an incredibly big heart. A trip to the Visayan island of Malapascua some time back left the people of the place imprinted upon her soul. Again, like Coron, the island was severely affected by Yolanda; but not quite enough for the government to notice, it would seem. This drove Maria to action. “We put up a group called rebuild Malapascua. We being Anna Reed and Maria Dolonius :) we are working with the coastguard auxiliary help, and aquaventure divers, evolution divers, and a whole bunch of other larger organizations helping us make things move (Red Cross, CARA, LBC Foundation, and Unifrutti Foundation),” she recounted via e-mail. Impacted by the images of roofless homes, and dwellings in shambles, Maria and Anna came up with a strategy to help Malapascuans rebuild and reclaim what the typhoon took away. “Our main goal is to help rebuild the island, purchasing building material from the donations we managed to pool from our personal networks. We also have many volunteers ranging from Swedish carpenters flying in, Canadian soldiers (who connected with us sending their fund raising from the Canadian military and police force), South African paramedic and nurse, and an Italian psychologist, and Filipina school teachers volunteering time to do play therapy. Most are connected through the dive instructors and want to base on the island for several months to make our goal happen!” Maria shared. Paul’s pull

I met Paul Hinlo at the elementary school my daughter first attended. Paul and I both served on the Parent’s Association and dealt with all sorts of school-related headaches. Having gotten to know him to some extent, it comes as no surprise

Paramedic Lain Thysse and wife, nurse Eunice Thysse, Anna Reed, and Karen Conception collecting donations from Cebu.

to me that Paul has thrown himself headlong into Yolanda relief operations. After all, he is wired that way. When calamity strikes, Paul responds. I remember joining Paul several years back on a relief distribution effort to communities affected by Typhoon Ondoy. From collection and repacking of goods, to coordinating with military personnel for transport and distribution, Paul and his Rubicon team were on the ball, all the way. Fast forward to last week: The day after Yolanda hit, Paul was on his Facebook page, actively calling on people to donate relief goods. He has teamed up with groups such as the Philippine Marines, special interest groups like the Land Rover Club, and various foundations to mobilize relief efforts in Tacloban and other areas. On November 12, his Facebook update read: “Multiple pickup points, multiple runs 7 Rovers, several SUV’s, 7 trucks hauled relief to the port of Manila. Thank you to those who coordinated, who donated, who picked up and delivered the goods to the ship, to the crew and cadets of MV Kapitan Felix Oca, Angkla, PTC, the Norwegian Group, AMOSUP, LRCP ERT, and the Philippine Marine Corps. Maraming salamat, now praying for a safe voyage to Tacloban.” Another update on November 16: “Day 3, 5000+ packs completed 600+ volunteers thank you very much to all the donors, volunteers, Philippine Marines, Angel Brigade, Land Rover Club and Cartwheel Foundation. Packs heading to Bantayan Cebu tom. We are

requesting for volunteers tom 2pm Philippine Marines auditorium, we are packing 6,000 relief packs again. Thanks.” That’s no small feat. And knowing Paul, he is far from done helping. The Millers and their extended family. Maria and gal pal, Anna. Paul and his extensive network. The likes of these folk restore my faith in humanity. This is not to pretend that selfish, self-centered corrupt folk no longer exist—that would be a utopia in which unicorns walk the streets, and a pot of gold is to be had at the end of every rainbow. This slippery lot is still around; and sadly, many have shenaggled their way into public office. Hence the lack of life-saving equipment in provincial hospitals (remember my story about newborn babies dying? The article I read did not blame this on Yolanda as much as on the hospital being so ill-equipped.) It is true—the Philippines is crawling with these unsavoury characters. But the Philippines is also home to random street sweepers willing to share their meal; people like the Millers, the Marias and the Pauls of this nation willing to put others before themselves and do what they can to make things better. These are the people whose actions set the wheels of change in motion. They are the ones who help me see the world not through oft deceptive rosecolored lenses, but through the eyes of shared humanity—both the burdens and the joys of it. They make me proud to be Filipino. ■




Income Protection 101 BY SURRINDER VARPAUL FOLLOWING LAST week’s show, we had a number of great questions e-mailed to us in regards to Disability Insurance. In this week’s article, we will give a quick definition of what disability insurance is and then address some of those concerns below. Disability insurance is designed to replace the income of the policy owner in the unfortunate event of an accident leading to an injury that leaves them physically unable to work. Though disability insurance is less advertised in comparison to life insurance, experts agree that income coverage is essential to every financial plan. Many Canadians are covered through provincial or private health insurance to look after the medical costs of sickness or injury, however without an individual disability insurance

policy; they are not prepared for the loss of income that accompanies such events. Q: If I make $4000 gross income on a monthly basis but I only declare $2000 as my earned income, which amount will my disability insurance cover? A: Firstly, tax evasion is never a good thing. You should make it a habit to declare all your income and seek out a tax specialist to help you take advantage of any deductions or write-offs that may be available to you. Secondly the insurance company will go by your earned income as per your tax assessment, meaning whatever amount you declare is what they will insure you for. Also keep in mind that if you declare $2000 a month as your gross (before-tax) income, the insurance company will insure 65% of your net (after-tax) income because your premiums are paid with after tax dollars, your

benefits are received tax-free. Q: I have disability insurance through work, why should I buy an individual policy? A: Let’s go back to the basics on this one, who pays you first when you get hurt at work, WorkSafe BC, of course, therefore they are what we call the primary carrier. If you get hurt outside of work then you would be able to receive benefits from your disability plan. But here’s the tricky part, what is your elimination period on the policy? Another thing to keep in mind is the impact your injury will have in your workplace. I’m going to tell the story of one my friends who broke his wrist outside of work while helping a friend move, the company he worked for at the time had a short-term disability policy that he was able to receive benefits from for a short time. The day he was healthy and ready to go back to work his employer laid him off, claiming he was

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now a ‘liability”. So I pose the question to you, if you got hurt outside of work how long do you think your employer would keep you around? Q: What is the Elimination Period? A: The elimination period is a period of self-insurance between the time the injury is reported and the benefits are made payable, which means the longer the elimination period is the longer the insured retains the risk of disability. Below is an example of someone whose disability needs were met: Jim is a Senior Manager at a marketing company, a career that provides him with an income that allows his wife to stay home with their two children. Jim and his family have a very active lifestyle, enjoying things like biking, hiking, boating in the summer and taking advantage of the slopes in the winter. Unfortunately, while play-

ing soccer in the back yard with his children, last year left Jim with a terrible knee injury that required surgery, something that the slightest twist the wrong way had caused. He will recover but it will be many months before he is back on his feet and able to perform his duties at work including earning the income that supports his family. The great news is that Jim purchased an individual disability plan, suggested to him by his financial advisor when Jim first earned his promotion to Senior Manager. He was off work for a total of 24 months, required physiotherapy, medications for pain and a number f other medical expenses. How long could your family survive if you or your spouse lost your income due to an injury tomorrow? If you earn an income, you need to protect it. ■

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Jason Day says multiple members of his family died in Philippines typhoon BY DENNIS PASSA The Associated Press MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA— Australian golfer Jason Day has confirmed that eight of his relatives died in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including his grandmother. “I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan,” Day, who plans to play at this week’s World Cup, said in a statement released Monday by the PGA Tour. “My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern.” Day was attending a corporate outing in Melbourne on Monday and it was not clear whether he would be at Royal Melbourne, where the World

Cup tournament begins Thursday. He and his Australia teammate Adam Scott, who won the Australian Masters on Sunday, were scheduled to hold a news conference on Wednesday. “We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy,” Day added in the statement. “While I understand the media’s interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Philippines, I hope that all will respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time. “I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you.” Day’s mother, Dening, had earlier told Monday’s edition of the Gold Coast Bulletin that the play-

Alberta to... Monday with representatives of the local Filipino community behind him. He said the province will use gaming revenues to match money donated to the Red Cross. “These monies will provide some of the badly needed assistance that is now required in the Philippines.” The announcement came just hours after the NDP said it would seek an emergency debate in the legislature on why Premier Alison Redford had not joined the federal government and other provinces to deliver aid. Lukaszuk said the announcement had been in the works for days and was not timed to the NDP’s criticism. New Democrat Leader Brian Mason said the $500,000 is “a little small” compared with up to $5 million the province has delivered to victims of other in❰❰ 18

er’s uncle and six cousins also died in the typhoon, which has killed nearly 4,000 people and left more than a thousand missing. Day’s mother, who migrated from the Philippines to Australia 30 years ago, told the newspaper “my daughter has been updating him, but I don’t want to bother him because he has commitments.” She said many of her family members lived in the area around Tacloban, the capital of hardest-hit Leyte province. Day is playing at Royal Melbourne as Australia’s secondhighest ranked player at No. 20. Scott is No. 2 and the Australian pair is among the favourites for the tournament which has team and individual components. Day is entered to play in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney next week. ■

ternational disasters. “Considering the size of the Filipino community and their concern, their fears for their loved ones back in the Philippines, I think the government could afford to be more generous than this,” said Mason. “But nevertheless it is the first statement we’ve seen from this government that they’re acknowledging the severity of the disaster and taking some responsibility to contribute towards (alleviating) it. “I’m pleased about that.” The federal government is also matching donations dollar for dollar. On Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the total federal contribution currently sits at $20 million. Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on Nov. 8. About 4,000 people are so far known to have died and another 1,600 are missing. About four million people have no food, water and shelter. ■





(MARCH 21 - APRIL 19)

(JUNE 22 - JULY 22)

(SEPT 23 - OCT 22)

(DEC 22 - JAN 19)

You should feel especially romantic and sexy today. Tonight should be wonderful if you can spend it in the company of your significant other. Some vivid dreams could haunt your sleep tonight, almost to the point where you don’t want to wake up. Write them down and try to figure out what they mean later.

TAURUS (APRIL 20 - MAY 20) Social events could take up a lot of your time tonight, and you may enjoy being in contact with friends you haven’t seen for a while. Conversations should be fascinating. You may even discover a new interest. An encounter with your partner could prove more passionate than usual. This should be a thoroughly enjoyable day as long as you conserve your energy..

Love of someone from far away could be very much on your mind today, and perhaps love for the place where the person lives. You may be bored with your routine and anxious to embrace adventure. This is a good time to plan a vacation, particularly if accompanied by a partner or close friend. Your artistic instincts could also be inspired by geniuses from other cultures.

Valuable tips to increase your income could come your way today, possibly from a close friend or colleague. You should feel well and look particularly attractive. Your approach to others may be more outgoing than usual. Pets could be a source of joy. Enjoy it while you can! In the evening, indulge your artistic streak.



(JULY 23 - AUGUST 22)

(OCT 23 - NOV 21)

A number of interesting visitors could show up today. Perhaps you’re having a party or hosting an activity. These callers could include people in the sciences, or people who deal with money, such as bankers, investment counselors, or real estate brokers. Listen to what they have to say. You could learn something that boosts your financial standing.

Romance and art are the keys today. You could feel spiritually inspired by great music, paintings, poetry, or drama. You might want to share these feelings with a special someone. Children could also be a source of pleasure. Their innocence make you feel young again. In the evening, write your impressions of the day.

A desire to learn through a group activity - a lecture or workshop, perhaps - might put you in the middle of a crowd. You’ll find it exhilarating. If you’re planning to attend such an event, don’t go alone. Your enjoyment will be heightened by the presence of a close friend or your partner.

AQUARIUS (JAN 20 - FEB 18) You’ve had recent success in your profession. You’ve worked hard and learned things, and this hasn’t been lost on those above you in the hierarchy. You have earned new respect for yourself and your skills. You might want to put one of your gifts to work. This could be an artistic talent or the gift of healing. Make the most of it!





(MAY 21 - JUNE 21)

(AUG 23 - SEPT 22)

(NOV 22 - DEC 21)

(FEB 19 - MAR 20)

Work and career matters could finally bring you the success and good fortune you’ve been hoping for. This may be acknowledgement for effort and dedication as well as hard work. Expect a raise, and increased respect and status among friends and co-workers. Don’t celebrate so much that you suffer the effects of overindulging!

Publications could bring some fascinating new knowledge your way. You’ll want to discuss it with friends. Conversations about any subject should be informative and beneficial since your mind is so perceptive and retentive. Affection for friends, relatives, and your special someone should fill your heart today. An intimate evening with your partner will be especially fulfilling.

Today you won’t be indifferent to anything. Good news could elevate you to near ecstasy. Bad news could send you to the depths of despair. Visitors provide a welcome distraction, while spiritual pursuits may be your favorite topic of conversation. This isn’t going to be a predictable day, but it will be wonderful.

Today should be very fortunate, particularly where love is concerned. Relations with your special someone could be closer than ever. You might even feel warm and loving toward everyone, even strangers. Your spiritual beliefs could have as much to do with this as anything else. You should feel especially intuitive. Optimism and enthusiasm rule, but don’t forget to be realistic!




French village of Saint Emilion draws visitors with wine, charms with history BY DIANA MEHTA The Canadian Press SAINT EMILION, FRANCE— As visitors tread the winding cobblestone streets of the ancient French village of SaintEmilion, there’s no doubt they’re in wine country. The cluster of medieval buildings atop a hill amidst the rolling vineyards of the Bordeaux region is dotted with cellars, stores and restaurants all advertising their best bottles from the UNESCO world heritage site. Those tempted by tastings can nip into a number of speciality stores to sip their wares, others stunned by the scenery can stroll the lush vineyards that surround the village. There’s even the option of descending into one of the many deep musty cellars where wine ages in row upon row of dusty bottles and barrels. But the locals in the area say there’s more to the charming village than its famous wines. “We’ve got a big history. From the first century to nowadays,” says Agnes Vergnaud, a guide from the local tourism office. “I’m really proud to show the real Saint-Emilion to the tourists because I think it’s a bad idea to think that it’s just the wine.” Vergnaud fell in love with the village in southwestern France as a child, when her parents first brought the family along for a visit. “I came back here, year after year with my parents and then when I was a teenager, with my friends, and now I’m a guide here,” says Vergnaud, who now lives in the area. What drew her to return time and again was the village’s rich history and strong character.

“Saint-Emilion is a small village, a typical one,” Vergnaud explains. “I think it’s one of the reasons that so many people like to come here to walk around. Because it’s totally authentic.” Visitors soak in some of that authenticity as they traverse the steep “tertres” or laneways that are too narrow for modern vehicles, feast on local fare in the main village square and run their hands along the sides of sun-baked stone buildings that have stood for hundreds of years. For those who want to learn more about the area’s storied past, walking tours allow access to the simple underground dwelling of the monk who gave the village its name and to some of the shadowy catacombs once traversed by religious pilgrims. Other architectural gems include the village’s imposing ramparts, the ruins of a monastery and the remnants of a convent. Saint-Emilion also boasts Europe’s largest monolithic church— a building at the heart of the village which was carved from a hillside between the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. The structure, which doesn’t look like much from the outside, is cavernous on the inside, with visitors craning their necks to take in faded, ancient artwork on the high ceiling. A climb to the church’s bell tower offers breathtaking views of the village and the picturesque countryside that surrounds it. For a local guide like Vergnaud, strolling through the village is sometimes like stepping back in time— a feeling she tries to share with visitors. “When I’m going inside the chapel, inside the catacombs, inside the Catholic church, in-

side the monolithic church, I like to imagine how it was before,” she says. “And when I can imagine that, I try to show that to my tourists.” The structures which allow visitors to easily picture the past do, however, owe their preservation to the region’s long-running wine industry. “Through the French Revolution and through the other wars we were quite preserved because of the wine,” says Vergnaud with a chuckle. “During the First and the Second World War the Germans really liked our wine and really didn’t want to damage it.” With the vineyards intrinsically linked to Saint-Emilion’s history, Vergaud hopes those visiting the region will appreciate all aspects of the village. “If Saint-Emilion is famous around the world, it’s because of the wine,” she says. “But to my mind, I’m a guide from Saint-Emilion and it’s one of my responsibility to show the real Saint-Emilion.” If you go

Trains run from the city of Bordeaux to Saint-Emilion. The journey takes about 40 minutes. The Saint-Emilion train station is about a 15 minute walk from the village. h t t p : // w w w. r a i l e u r o p e A variety of multilingual tours are offered by the SaintEmilion tourism office year round: ■







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St. John’s restaurant owner promotes ‘nouvelle Newfoundland cuisine’ BY SUSAN GREER The Canadian Press LONDON, ONT.—IN Newfoundland, cod, especially salt cod, is king. “We love it pan fried, deep fried as in fish and chips, in chowder, baked, in fish stew, in fish cakes,” says St. John’s restaurateur Andrea Maunder. But cod is just one of the traditional ingredients of Newfoundland and Labrador featured at Bacalao (Spanish for cod), which opened in 2007. From the beginning, Maunder’s goal for the restaurant was to draw inspiration from the unique dishes and ingredients of her home province to create what she calls “nouvelle Newfoundland cuisine.” Until then, “A few restaurateurs had an indigenous dish or two on their menu, but nobody was really embracing that hyperlocal focus,” says Maunder, who is Bacalao’s owner, wine director and pastry chef and a columnist for Downhome Magazine. When they realized this approach could be successful, more and more restaurants began celebrating homegrown cuisine, carrying the “eat local, eat seasonal” banner, and she says this has been spreading back to the populace. Maunder, who lived and worked in other parts of Canada before returning home, is keenly aware of the historic, geographic and economic influences that shaped the singular cuisine of the province. “We have this rocky chunk of land and it’s always been very difficult to eke out subsistence from the soil. ... Traditionally people lived in very remote areas. The original settlers all came from the British Isles and then we had some Portuguese influences through the years as well. “People living in such remote communities had to preserve what they could without electricity. So salting and brining became the way to preserve fish and meat,” she explains. “The vegetables we have always eaten are those that you could store in your root cellar. “Berries were stored in a barrel in water on the back porch

and that would freeze over, so in the winter you went out and just sort of chinked out some berries for whatever it was you wanted to make. “So our cuisine began from a subsistence kind of living, but the reality is that over the years we have come to love these flavours.” When the “modern era” brought electricity, grocery stores, imported goods and convenience foods to even isolated communities, people moved away from the old ways and dishes. But in the last few years, Maunder has seen a resurgence of interest in traditional ingredients, particularly among young people. The restaurant always features a salt cod fish of the day that “could be something of our own invention or something that’s influenced by the cuisine of the world (such as Tanzanian salt cod curry) and that’s very different from the traditional dishes made with salt cod.” Cod tongues are “a real Newfoundland Labrador delicacy,” she says. “We season, flour and flash deep-fry them so they are crispy, tender and light. They can be best described as similar in flavour and texture to a fried oyster, sweet and delicate, and yes, they really are the tongue of the cod.” The restaurant’s signature dish is an updated version of a traditional Jiggs dinner. “It hearkens back to the day


when you had an enormous hearth and not very many things to cook with,” so everything was cooked in one pot. Salted meat (beef or pork spare ribs) went into the pot first to simmer, followed in order of hardness by whole carrots and parsnips, chunks of turnip, whole potatoes and onions and chunks of cabbage. Split yellow peas in a muslin bag would be suspended from the edge of the pot to cook with the vegetables to make pease pudding. When everything was cooked and drained, it was tipped onto a large platter and served with the pudding and sweet mustard pickle, usually at midday on Sunday. For supper, the leftovers would be made into a

hash fried in butter with caramelized onions. Bacalao’s version is an appetizer in which the Jiggs dinner hash is put inside a cabbage leaf and steamed. It is served with a dollop of pease pudding, sweet mustard pickle and a shooter of “pot liquor,” a small cup of the broth the dinner was cooked in. “All the elements and flavours of this very traditional big meal are there but in an elegant appetizer,” Maunder says. Wild game—rabbit, partridge, grouse, moose—is still “a big part of Newfoundland cuisine” she says, particularly in rural areas. “But even inside the city there would be people who have game in their freezers. And the

restaurants are certainly embracing that. Caribou not so much now because the herd is endangered. We took it off our menu last year.” Like elsewhere, turkey is traditional for Thanksgiving and Christmas in Newfoundland. But the stuffing must be made with Newfoundland savoury, Maunder says. It’s a summer savoury with “a very specific flavour and quality” and Newfoundlanders on the mainland often send home for it in advance of the holidays. “A Newfoundlander would never use sage or thyme, but even more than that, they would never purchase fresh or dried savoury from anywhere else.” ■








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Christmas wishes from the Singing Nannies BY CHING DEE Philippine Canadian Inquirer WITH CHRISTMAS just around the corner, the Philippines is still coping Rose P. Taruc To have peace and brightness in our life. Even though there is sadness and disaster, life must go on. Be happy and joyful and always pray to the Lord, and also to the blessed Virgin Mary, to help us in our undertakings. Carina Alamil

I got my Christmas wish already. I found a good job with good money. I am getting along with my daughter now and my granddaughter called me “Lola” again. I always pray to God whenever I need His help. I’m always thanking God for what he’s given to me. Sana lahat po ng tao ay magmahalan, mag ngitian, and magbigayan. [I hope all people will love each other, give smiles, and be giving.]

through the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the central Philippine islands of Visayas. As international aid pour in, thoughts and prayers make its way as well to encourage Filipinos to stay strong and

hopeful after the tragedy. The Singing Nannies, a group of Filipina nannies who will be performing in CDWCR’s Pasko na naman fundraiser on Novermber 23, send their messages of hope and love and their wish for the holidays.

Catherine Bernabe Come and see the Singing Nannies on Nov 23. Let us reminisce times na kinagisnan nating mga kanta nung tayo’y lumalaki and sana maipasa sa ating mga anak, lalo na yung mga sinilang dito, they’re unfamiliar with the songs. Hopefully, masimulan dito yung tradition. [Come and see the Singing Nannies on Nov 23. Let us reminisce times with the songs that we listened to while we were growing up and I hope we can pass it on to our kids, especially those who were born here in Canada, they’re unfamiliar with the songs.]

Cherryl Ramilo Sana kapiling ko yung mga anak ko, ang pamilya ko. Ang hirap ng malayo sa kanila. [I hope I can be together with my kids, my family. It’s hard being away from them.]

Teresa Ginodepanon Andyan lang yung pagmamahal lagi. Keep praying. [May love always be there. Keep praying.]

Ludivina Padilla Inting Pasko is love. Sana andon parin ang love sa family, unity and peace and bonding para (maramdaman) natin ang spirit of Christmas. Merry Christmas, happy new year. [Christmas is love. I hope there will still be love for our family, unity and peace and bonding so we can feel the spirit of Christmas.] Judith Diesta Yung wish ko sana matigil na yung mga nangyayaring hindi kagandahan sa Pilipinas, kagaya ng calamities and politics... Wish ko lang na sana magboom lalo yung Philippines dahil umaangat na ang economy natin. Sana mag continue parin yung economy (growth). [My wish is for the Philippines to stop experiencing notso-good things, like calamities and politcs… I wish the Philippine economy would continue to boom and continue to grow.] Revielynnn Tucay Tulong-tulong para maging maayos ang lahat. [Let us help each other so that everything will be okay.] Mary Love Bantique Christmas is hope, hope that whatever happens or trials or problems that we’ve been through, there’s always hope that we can do everything with Jesus and everything is possible. Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, we should give back to Him by sharing and supporting each other and being with [our families]. Vivian de Guzman Sana lahat masaya. Magkaron ng peace. Kung hindi man lang makabigay ng peace, magkaron sila ng peace sa sarili. [I hope eveyone will be happy. May there be peace. If we cannot give peace, let us at least have peace within ourselves.] ■

Publisher Philippine Canadian Inquirer Editor Melissa Remulla-Briones Associate Editor Laarni de Paula Correspondents Gigi Astudillo Angie Duarte Maria Ramona Ledesma Katherine Marfal Frances Grace Quiddaoen Agnes Tecson Ching Dee Socorro Newland Lizette Lofranco-Aba Graphic Designer Victoria Yong Jennifer Yen Photographers Solon Licas Angelo Siglos Danvic Briones Operations and Marketing Head Laarni de Paula (604) 551-3360 Advertising Sales Alice Yong (778) 889-3518 Antonio Tampus (604) 460-9414 PHILIPPINE PUBLISHING GROUP Editorial Assistant Phoebe Casin Graphic Designer Shanice Garcia Associate Publisher Lurisa Villanueva In cooperation with the Philippine Daily Inquirer digital edition Philippine Canadian Inquirer is located at Suite 400, North Tower | 5811 Cooney Road, Richmond, B.C., Canada Tel. No.: 1-888-668-6059 or 778-8893518 | Email: info@canadianinquirer. net,, sales@ Philippine Canadian Inquirer is published weekly every Friday. Copies are distributed free throughout Metro Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto. Member



Philippine Canadian Inquirer Issue #91  
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