Robredo visits 'ground zero' in Itogon, meets rescuers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2018 08:20 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Level 070 in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, on Friday, September 28, 2018, as search, rescue, and retrieval operations are still ongoing following the landslide in the area last September 17. Here, she was able to meet some of the rescuers, and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Office of the Vice President)

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Level 070 in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, on Friday, September 28, 2018, as search, rescue, and retrieval operations are still ongoing following the landslide in the area last September 17. Here, she was able to meet some of the rescuers, and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Office of the Vice President)

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Level 070 in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, on Friday, September 28, 2018, as search, rescue, and retrieval operations are still ongoing following the landslide in the area last September 17. Here, she was able to meet some of the rescuers, and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Office of the Vice President)

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Level 070 in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, on Friday, September 28, 2018, as search, rescue, and retrieval operations are still ongoing following the landslide in the area last September 17. Here, she was able to meet some of the rescuers, and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Office of the Vice President)

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Level 070 in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, on Friday, September 28, 2018, as search, rescue, and retrieval operations are still ongoing following the landslide in the area last September 17. Here, she was able to meet some of the rescuers, and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Office of the Vice President)

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Level 070 in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet, on Friday, September 28, 2018, as search, rescue, and retrieval operations are still ongoing following the landslide in the area last September 17. Here, she was able to meet some of the rescuers, and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Office of the Vice President)

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo visited Barangay Ucab in Itogon, Benguet Friday, where dozens were buried following a landslide due to typhoon Ompong.

While in "ground zero," Robredo was able to meet some of the rescuers and thanked them for their service.

According to Robredo, she visited Itogon to assess the situation and to provide help to landslide victims.

"Sinasabi nila na maraming tumutulong sa relief, maraming nagbibigay ng mga damit, pero iyong pinaka-problema talaga nila, kabuhayan saka tirahan," she told reporters.

(We looked at how we can help the victims of the landslide. We had a meeting with the evacuees, we talked about what kind of help they need. They said a lot of people give relief goods and clothes, but their biggest problem is livelihood and housing.)

She also said she is looking into permanent relocation for those affected by the landslide.

"Iyong sa kanila talaga, permanenteng relocation—iyon iyong number one—kasi hindi din sila makaplano ng hanapbuhay until hindi nila alam kung saan sila mare-relocate," she added.

(Their number one problem is permanent relocation, because they cannot think of livelihood activities until they know where they will be relocated.)

Although she acknowledges the perils of small-scale mining, Robredo said it is more important to ensure that the victims of the landslide be given alternative sources of livelihood so they won't think of going back to mining.

"Madali lang kasing sabihin na itigil, pero mas mabuti sana isipin paano iyong kabuhayan nila? Kasi hanggang hindi natin binibigyan ng alternative na kabuhayan, mahihirapan iyong mga tao na intindihin iyong dahilan ng pagpapatigil," she said.

(For me, it is easy to say they should stop mining, but it is also important to think of their livelihood. Until we give them alternative sources of livelihood, it will be difficult for them to understand why they should stop [mining].)