Develop rehabilitation plan to aid flood victims -- Sen. Alan Cayetano

Helicopter supplying flood victims relief goods
Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the government to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to aid flood victims recover from the devastation brought about by typhoons.

He cited the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's (NDRRMC) assessment that pegged the recent damages by the recent two successive typhoons estimated at P15 billion in properties and a death toll of 102.

Pedring affected 651, 899 families in 3,545 villages in 312 towns and 42 cities in 35 provinces while Quiel affected 260, 216 families in 1,720 villages in 135 towns and 10 cities in 17 provinces.

While the senator commended the efforts of government officials who took part in handing out relief goods to those who were hit hardest by the typhoons, he also said that the government should do more to enable the victims to fully recover from the calamities.

"What is the rehabilitation plan of the government? Kung anak mo 'yan, sapat ba na sabihin na, 'Anak, nawala ang buo mong negosyo, ito ang limang libo'? Hindi. Ang iisipin mo, 'Anak, mag-meeting tayo. Paano mo ba mapapatayo ang negosyo mo ulit para makabangon ka?'" he said.

The minority leader called on the Aquino administration to follow the example set by neighboring Asian countries and institute more social service programs like a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to aid victims of calamities.

"As we commemorate the International Day for Disaster Reduction, I think the government needs to ask itself: "Were we able to bring a real rehabilitation program or did we just stop at the distribution of relief goods?'" he said.

Cayetano pointed out that the task of fully equipping the country to handle the average of 20 typhoons includes both the preparation for these typhoons and the rehabilitation of the lives of the victims if there are any.

"It is essential that we do not use piecemeal solutions to solve this widespread problem. This means that all our actions now must be part of a well-thought bigger picture which is complete disaster preparedness for the whole country," he said.