Gov’t thankful of UN recognition for country’s response to ‘Yolanda’

By on August 2, 2015

MANILA — The Palace expressed gratitude to United Nations Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani who commended the Philippines for its effective response to the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

Beyani praised the Philippine government for its efforts in extending assistance to internally displaced persons, adding however, that government efforts must be sustainable and durable.

“We agree with the observations and we thank him for recognizing the efforts of government when it comes to caring for internally displaced persons,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Saturday.

Rebuilding communities and helping displaced people is a big task, Valte said noting the government cannot extend one-time help and then leave communities that are still recovering.

“That is also a task that involves the national government, in cooperation with the local government, she said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

Valte cited Sabah, when the government relocated a large number of Filipinos after Malaysia initiated a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The palace official also acknowledged the gargantuan task ahead, especially the sentiments of typhoon victims such as difficulty in accessing basic needs like electricity and water. The UN Rapporteur had similar observations.

“Marami pa talaga tayong kailangang gawin para doon sa ating mga kababayang nasalanta ng bagyong ‘Yolanda,’ and, of course, it’s a big task,” she said.

But the President continues the monitoring of government programs being implemented in Eastern Visayas, Valte said, adding that the President calls for frequent meetings with his Cabinet secretaries to see the development there.

Beyani, who visited Philippines from July 21 to 31, said the Philippine government must be commended with regard to its responses to Typhoon Yolanda.

It has shown leadership in putting in place institutional and policy structures and frameworks that have proved to be effective in the immediate crisis response period.

Through this difficult and challenging time the Philippines has developed much valuable experience to share with the international community and with specific States in all regions that may be affected by similar crises, he said.

“This experience can benefit us all as we collectively seek to strengthen our ability to prevent and respond to the effects of climate change related disasters that sadly seem to be ever more frequent,” he said in a statement.

He also recognized government policies like the ‘Build-Back-Better’ policy, which he said was designed not only to respond to disasters, but to mitigate the effects of future climate change induced displacement in the region that is prone to disasters.