THE NETHERLANDS – Filipinos based in the Netherlands are urging the Aquino administration to speed up the relief efforts in remote areas in typhoon-hit Leyte.
“Yung mga aunties ko, yung mga cousins ko, dalawa na lang yung natira. Tapos nalalaman na lang naming minas-grave na sila kasi yun nga nandun na lang sila, walang tumutulong," said a Pinay OFW.
Another OFW, Jane Padillo, is calling on President Aquino to quickly go to San Joaquin, Palo in Leyte, where her only two surviving relatives and other victims, have not yet been reached by people handling the disaster relief and rescue operations.
Palo has a registered 63,000 residents based on the 2010 National Census.
The Philippine Embassy in The Hague said it is willing to help coordinate the messages of Filipinos to officials back home.
"Sabihin po nila sa amin saan exactly yun then we can send the information back home para matulungan agad," Consul Charlotte Tang said.
Tang assured that the government is doing its best to help the victims of the super typhoon.
"Ginagawa ng gobyerno, ginagawa ng relief agencies lahat ng makakaya nila para maabot nila yung mga nasalanta," Tang said.
Padillo is afraid that the survivors in Palo will eventually die soon.
“Nabuhay nga sila after the storm. I don’t know kung ano kinakain nila. I just get message from Facebook na wala silang pagkain, Kelan pa darating dun, baka mamatay pa sila sa gutom,” a sobbing Padillo said.
Padillo said that her parents and sister who are from V&G Subdivision in Tacloban are all safe now in Cebu.
She also suggests that the government send humanitarian transport to remote areas. She said she was informed that buses there are taking advantage of the situation by jacking up the fare from the normal P100 to P1000 for a trip from Tacloban to Ormoc.
"Nasalanta na nga sila, wala silang pera, ganun pa gagawin nila," Padillo said.
Padillo was in contact with her family when they were preparing for the coming of Yolanda.
"Yung local government talaga nag-prepare sila, kahit mga kamag-anak ko nag-prepare before the typhoon. Nag-send pa sister ko na, ate, tignan mo yung pila dito sa store, parang nagpa-panic buying sila before the storm,” said Padillo.
"Talagang naka-prepare sila ng food, during the typhoon. After the typhoon, nawash out talaga. Yung food nila walang natira,” the Pinay added.
One Pinay felt it wiser not to sit and wait for any form of assistance to reach her loved ones.
Marinette Abluro from Ormoc, Leyte went on her own in order to quickly send aid to her relatives in Kananga, where majority of the houses were swept away during the storm surge.
Abluro did not expect the relief and rescue operations to reach Kananga that fast because of the size of Leyte.
“Lahat ng bahay doon washed out, mga kapitbahay namin lahat sira, na nawalan din ng pamilya. Kahilingan ng lahat, tulong, pagkain, kaya lang sa laki ng Leyte, di lahat matutulungan. Kaya gumawa ako ng sarili kong paraan na tumulong,” Abluro said.
“Kasi apat na araw wala pang pagkain. Natuwa ako nung nagkaron ako ng contact sa kapatid ko. That time nag-send agad ako ng tulong. Pinabili ko ng bigas, mga goods dun at pinaghati-hati sa bawat barangay. Sa bawat tao na tumanggap ng tulong, iyak at laking tuwa na kahit papano nakakain sila,” Abluro added.
Instead of spending for a round-trip airfare which would cost around 800 euros (P50,000), she said it is wiser to add it to the donations she received from friends and fellow Pinoys to buy food and goods that she herself will send.
The Pinays are hoping that immediate help will be provided to the victims of typhoon Yolanda who have not yet been reached, located nor discovered.