VP Leni promises to eliminate bureaucracy in disaster response if elected president
Vice President Leni Robredo vowed to show sense of urgency and eliminate bureaucracy, particularly in disaster response if elected president, noting that difficulties in availing assistance in crisis situations only adds to the plight of those who have already suffered.
Robredo underscored this importance of expeditiously sending aid to victims of calamities on Wednesday, March 30, in a dialogue with the fisherfolk community along the coastline in Brgy. San Jose in Sogod, Southern Leyte. The fishermen’s homes and fishing boats were wiped out when Typhoon Odette ravaged the province in December,
“Pag sabi namin na tutulungan kayo, andiyan kaagad. Dahil ‘yan din po ‘yung tatak ng opisina namin. Pinapakita po namin na kaya naman na kahit gobyerno kami, sa oras ng pangangailangan, mabilis tumugon ‘yung gobyerno,” Robredo said.
Immediately after one of the strongest typhoons lashed at the country last year, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) sent food packs to address their most pressing needs.
Robredo said that despite the several aid packages sent by the OVP, its meager budget could not cover the rehabilitation cost given the extent of destruction brought by Odette.
She said that she learned from Sogod Mayor Imee Tan and Vice Mayor Jose Ramil Golo, with whom she met just before speaking with the fisherfolks, that an Australian non-government organization has committed to building 4,000 houses in Sogod, but is stalled by the numerous and complicated requirements for housing assistance required by the national government.
“Naging Congresswoman din ako, 'yung asawa ko matagal Mayor. Ang karanasan ko din, ang tagal nang natapos ng bagyo, pero 'yung housing assistance, wala pa din. Dahil sa burukrasya, kung anu-ano ipapa-submit sa inyo,” Robredo said.
“Ang paniniwala po namin, dapat hindi na pinapahirapan, kasi dati nang naghirap eh. Nawalan na ng bahay. Pero kung papahirapan mo pa, ang dami mo pang papeles na hinihingi, may mga pictures ka pang hinihingi, sa oras ba naman ng sakuna na nawalan ka na ng bahay, ‘yun pa ba ‘yung iisipin mo? Kaya ito, may problema talaga sa burukrasya, na kailangan nating palitan,” she stressed.
Robredo shared how under her hands-on leadership, bureaucracy has been eliminated in her office.
“Nakita niyo naman ‘yung ginawa namin sa Office of the Vice President, walang mga hiningi na kung anu-ano, pero 'yung tulong andyan kaagad… ‘Yung pinakamahalaga para maayos namin ito, ako po talaga 'yung tumututok. Ako mismo. Hindi ko pinapapaniwala na basta nandiyan lang ‘yung programa, pero ako sobrang kulit ko po. Sobrang kulit ko na parati kong chine-check kung nasaan na, nababa na ba ‘yung tulong, natanggap na ba ‘yung tulong. Kasi, tingin ko ‘yung oras napakahalaga,” Robredo said.
“Sa Bicol, bagyuhin po kami. Parating reklamo ng tao na napakabagal talaga bumaba ng tulong. So, ito po 'yung isang aasikasuhin natin, na sisiguraduhin natin na kung ano man 'yung mga programa ng pamahalaan, lalo na pagdating sa sakuna, dapat hindi na kayo papahirapan,” she added.
In Sogod, through the OVP’s Sustainable Livelihood and Training (SLT) program, financial assistance worth P10,000 each was turned over to 30 fisherfolks in Brgy. San Jose and 30 fisherfolks in Brgy. Zone II in February 2022.
Shelter repair kits worth P3.5 million were also provided by the Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc. and the Robredo People’s Council to 540 families rendered homeless by Typhoon Odette in Padre Burgos, Sogod, Libagon, Tomas Oppus, San Juan, San Francisco and Maasin City in Southern Leyte.
In the entire province, the OVP assisted 101 individual livelihood beneficiaries, including those from other towns, such as San Juan, Libagon and Hinunangan, as part of the recovery program.
In all, the OVP had sent more than P30 million worth of aid to help the fisherfolk and their families start over. [End]