Mitos: PNoy should be more visible during disasters

By David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Oct 04 2011 11:55 AM | Updated as of Oct 04 2011 08:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines -  Zambales Rep. Milagros "Mitos" Magsaysay on Tuesday urged President Benigno Aquino III to be more visible especially during times of crises.

Magsaysay said the President does not have go to disaster-hit areas but should be seen on TV giving directions to officials so that people know what he is doing for them.

"With regards to PNoy, it would have been better if he was more visible kasi pag nakikita ng tao ang pangulo nila maski sa TV lang giving directions to [Department of Social Welfare and Development], [Department of National Defense], [National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council] we know that the agencies are working even faster because they have to show the President that they are taking action and focusing on the problems," she told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."

The lawmaker said her call for the President to be more visible should not be misinterpreted that she wants Aquino to do more photo ops.

She also said that she found it in bad taste that NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos was cracking jokes during a press conference on disaster relief operations after typhoon Pedring.

"I found it in bad taste that Undersecretary Ramos was making jokes. It is not a laughing matter anymore. Maraming tao ang naghihirap. They lost their homes and they haven't eaten," she said.

Meanwhile, DSWD Secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman said Aquino was on top of the situation even while out of the country during the onslaught of typhoon Pedring.

"When the storm started, he was in Japan. He called us to find out what was happening. When he got back (Wednesday night), he was monitoring from Malacañang. Ang kausap niya hindi lang ako but other agencies and the governors were texting him," she said.

Soliman said Aquino did not go to areas such as Calumpit and Hagonoy, Bulacan "since the boats that he will use will come from us."

"Mas minabuti na sa mga araw na kailangan ng rescue ay gamitin ang mga assets na ito sa rescue at pagpapahatid ng goods. Pinag-usapan at nanaig ang pag-iisip na gamitin muna ang assets sa pagtulong sa mga mamamayan kasi yun ang kasagsagan na marami ang nagpaparescue," she said.

The DSWD chief denied that Aquino was not hands-on despite failing to go to the NDRRMC after floods hit Pampanga and Bulacan. She said the President was giving instructions by phone and making sure that help would be delivered in the quickest time possible.

Magsaysay, however, was not impressed with the government's response to the disaster.

"The feedback from the blogs, Twitter and Facebook is that the response is too slow. I thank the local government units that with limited capabilities they are moving heaven and earth to help their constituents,"she said.