Data audit of scientist group Agham on DSWD Yolanda Report reveals
survivors to be starving, without livelihood and decent housing

Press Release

21 February 2014

While DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman expresses high hopes for the Typhoon
Yolanda survivors on its 100th day report, scientist group Agham
Advocates of Science and Technology for the People concludes otherwise.

“A close look on the agency’s data reveals an embarrassing, if not
outright appalling, response her agency and the BS Aquino regime took
towards the disaster,” says Ms. Finesa Cosico, Secretary of General of
progressive scientist organization, AGHAM.

The group AGHAM, with Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU) conducted a
data audit of the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub, NEDA’s Rehabilitation
Assistance for Yolanda and DSWD’s 100th day report to see how the
current administration responded to the disaster and if it held its
promise of transparency in the use of foreign aid.

The group found the following:

An average of 4 food packs were given to survivors of Yolanda in Eastern
Visayas which includes about 3, 6 or 25 kg of rice. For a typical
family, this ration is not even able to provide 1% of the daily
kilocalorie requirement set by the international humanitarian agencies.
Ground reports even indicate that survivors actually received a measly 2
kg pack of rice. It is no wonder that survivors are crying for
additional relief.

Its cash for work program only benefitted a neglible 1.6% of affected
families. Those who were included in the program earned about P245-260
daily for 10 days. Is P25 a day sufficient for a family’s decent living?

There is almost no effort to provide houses, temporary or permanent. An
almost nil or 0.17% of affected families were transferred to substandard
bunkhouses.

Residents are displaced from their former houses due to the ‘No build
zones’ policy that targets families of fisherfolks living in the coastal
communities. The government cited that the removal of dwellings along
coastal areas is part of the safety measures that the government is
implementing in the event of typhoons and other related hazards such as
storm surge. In that case, the government must have an alternative plan
for the displaced communities that would ensure of long-term alternative
livelihood, safe relocation areas, free housing and access to social
services. What is disconcerting though is that the areas vacated by the
communities will be devoted to ecotourism zones to be operated by big
businesses.

According to Cosico, “The DSWD’s report is just one indication that
points to the government’s criminal negligence. The manner and measures
the government have taken since Day 1 of the disaster up until now show
utter insensitivity to the plight of the survivors and incompetence in
providing for the needs of Filipino people.”

“The offensive actions of the government are further highlighted in
President Aquino’s rejection of the typhoon survivors’ plea for a Php
40,000 immediate relief assistance per family,” states Cosico.

The group is referring to the denial of the demands of People Surge, a
group with more than 12,000 members, composed of Yolanda survivors and
their supporters. People Surge has submitted petitions to Malacanang and
expressed their calls in various actions and mobilizations but was even
met with criticisms by President Aquino.

“The DSWD report, the government’s appalling response to Typhoon Yolanda
disaster and Aquino’s downright dismissal to the demands of the survivor
are enough proof that not much can be expected from the current
administration. Aquino has demonstrated this fact even since the Sendong
and Pablo disasters. It is now up to the Filipino people to demand for
their rights and uphold the welfare of the survivors of these
disasters,” ends Ms. Cosico.
Reference: Finesa Cosico, Secretary General, Agham Advocates of Science
and Technology for the People 09178115445.

Make science and technology serve the people!

ADVOCATES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR THE PEOPLE (AGHAM)
127-B Scout Fuentebella St. corner Sacred Heart, Kamuning, Quezon City
+63 2 998 4226
www.agham.org