Philippines welfare secretary calls for patience from typhoon victims

Philippines welfare secretary calls for patience from typhoon victims

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has called for greater patience and public understanding amid persistent complaints about the slow provision of relief to survivors of Supertyphoon "Yolanda."

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman is also appealing to local governments in Central Luzon, especially rich cities, to continue helping the typhoon survivors who have lost their homes and belongings.

"We recognise that efficiency is hampered due to stressful situations but we are exerting our best efforts to respond to the whole process of addressing the needs of our typhoon-affected countrymen," the DSWD said in a statement.

It said that volunteer efforts, comments and feedback were most welcome, "provided these will facilitate and improve existing disaster efforts."

"I invite all the critics to link arms with us so [the delivery of relief] will be even faster," Soliman said.

"We are focused on delivering the needs of the victims in partnership with local government[s], NGOs (nongovernment organisations) and private-sector groups," she said.

The DSWD cited a post of a male volunteer on his Facebook account detailing his observations after he and his friends helped to repack goods at the relief hub in Tacloban City.

In his post, he said relief supplies were being "stocked for a long period of time" and volunteers were being made to wait for their turn to repack goods. He also observed that typhoon victims were being made to repack relief under a so-called food-for-work programme of the DSWD.

The DSWD said it appreciated that such matters were being brought to its attention and gave assurance that lessons were learned and improvements were made.

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