Dinky: No walkout of 'Yolanda' survivors

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 13 2014 06:30 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2014 02:30 AM

MANILA – Social Welfare Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman on Thursday denied a broadsheet report saying that leaders of a group of typhoon "Yolanda" survivors walked out of a meeting yesterday.

Soliman said the meeting between her and leaders of the "People Surge Alliance of Yolanda Survivors" had been civil, contrary to a Manila Standard report which stated that the typhoon survivors walked out of frustration with the secretary.

"Maayos kaming naghiwalay. Nagpasalamat pa nga ho si sister na hinarap ko sila at ako rin ay nagpasalamat na naging maayos ang dayalogo," Soliman told dzMM, referring to Sister Elfleda Eslopor, leader of the People Surge Alliance of Yolanda Survivors.

Soliman, however, admitted that she and the group's leaders had a disagreement over the latter's demand that the government give P40,000 directly to each survivor family.

"Ang maaring na-disappoint sila at pinanggalingan ng frustrations is yung hinihingi nilang P40,000," she said.

"Nung nag-usap kami, ang pahayag nila eh lahat ng biktima ng Yolanda. 280,000 families iyun lahat. Paano natin ia-account iyan?"

Nonetheless, Soliman said the government will continue giving food packs to families who still do not have means of livelihood four months after the deluge.

She also explained that local government units are the ones tasked to carry out the government's cash-for-work program, as the department is currently barred from handing out funds to non-government organizations in the wake of the pork barrel scam.