TACLOBAN CITY- A total of P13 billion were donated by is country to the Philippine government when supertyphoon Yolanda hit the country close to a year now. This was disclosed by British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad during his visit to Tacloban on September 23. “Most of it was spent directly to help feed and provide emergency shelter, washing facilities and hygiene. The remaining funds will enable them to unlock what is needed to be done for preparedness for future disasters,” Ahmad said in an interview during his visit in Barangay 88, San Jose district, worst hit area in Tacloban. Ahmad said that the fundamental shift now or what the Philippine government wants is to take responsibility and ownership for long-term rehabilitation and their relationship with the local government units. He added that they want to see the national government “ultimately resettle everybody in a safe place,” referring to the survivors who are still living in temporary shelters or tents, almost a year after the November 8, 2013 massive typhoon.
However, he conceded that it would be difficult for the country to recover given the magnitude of destruction if the international community would not provide enough assistance. “There are still people living in tents and it really need to come to an end. But I understand that the government will transfer families in tents within this year,” he added. (DONNA BULA, LNU Intern)