Borongan bishop: ‘Yolanda’ survivors becoming overdependent on aid

By , on February 20, 2015


A destroyed house on the outskirts of Tacloban on Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. Photo by Eoghan Rice for Trócaire, Caritas / Wikipedia
A destroyed house on the outskirts of Tacloban on Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. Photo by Eoghan Rice for Trócaire, Caritas / Wikipedia

MANILA — A Catholic bishop on Wednesday urged Church leaders and groups involved in Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) rehabilitation efforts to help survivors stand on their own feet by inculcating the right values in becoming more productive.

Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez expressed concern over the dependency of Yolanda survivors on assistance being given by the government and other donors, two years after super typhoon Yolanda hit the province.

Varquez said survivors in Eastern Visayas are somehow complacent that aid will come to them.

He said it was observed that many survivors are spending money to buy beer than their family’s basic needs.

“Meaning to say that in the process of recovery many survivors spend much of their money for beer rather than basic needs of their family,” the prelate said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

He added that many survivors, particularly those in the villages, have no time to plant in their farms.

“They are just waiting for the assistance given by the government, international and local non-government organizations, and other groups,” Varquez said.

With this, he urged Church leaders and government leaders and groups involved in the rehabilitation efforts to help address the problem by inculcating the right values to the people.

“Let’s teach them to stand on their own feet and not be dependent on others. Let us empower them to become more productive. Value formation is the key,” he said.

More than 6,000 died and thousands of people displaced when the super storm hit Central Philippines in November 2013.