MANILA - President Aquino rejected proposals to give victims of typhoon Yolanda P40,000 in financial assistance, saying government intends to give long-term aid and build disaster-resilient communities.
Aquino said that cash would not last long to address the needs of the calamity victims.
“‘Ano ba ang magiging pangmatagalan na solusyon ‘yung 40,000 na ‘yan? So ‘yon hindi ko nakita,” Aquino told reporters.
“Siyempre, madaling magmungkahi, ‘Halika, sumama ka dito, meron kang 40,000.’ So gaano katagal kaya nila mapapangtustos ‘yon sa kanilang pamilya. Maitatayo kaya nila ‘yung pamamahay nila?”
Aquino chastised victims of the typhoon who reportedly staged a protest action in Mendiola complaining about the slow pace of government’s reconstruction efforts.
“Baka dapat huwag na lang akong magkometaryo dahil tila naasikaso nilang pumunta dito, puwede naman sigurong maasikaso ‘yung pangkabuhayan nila doon,” he said while expressing openness to hearing their concerns.
But Aquino defended the implementation of “no-build zones” to prevent residents from rebuilding homes near waterways or danger zones.
“‘Yan naman ang hinahabol nung “no-build zone” e. Ilayo ka kung saan, ‘di ba, ‘yung magkakaroon nitong mga waves brought about by the storm na kaya kang lunurin, kayang gibain ‘yung mga istraktura mo,” he said.
“Sa totoo lang, binabalangkas na natin ‘yung kumpletong solusyon para sa pagtugon nga nung ating tinatawag na more climate-resilient or disaster-resilient communities.”
To speed up the rebuilding of homes, he said, families who live in safer grounds are being given assistance in the form of construction materials.
He said that construction of bunkhouses takes longer because it is “labor-intensive.”
Aquino plans to revisit areas affected by the typhoon next week.