Tag Archives: Typhoon Haiyan

[Press Release] 1,000 kilometer, 40-day Climate Walk Marches to Ground Zero Tacloban on Typhoon Haiyan Anniversary

1,000 kilometer, 40-day Climate Walk led by Philippine Chief Negotiator for UN Climate Talks
Marches to Ground Zero Tacloban on Typhoon Haiyan Anniversary

The ship that ravaged a community still stands as a reminder of what happened one year ago during typhoon Yolanda's landfall. www.facebook.com/ClimateWalkNow

The ship that ravaged a community still stands as a reminder of what happened one year ago during typhoon Yolanda’s landfall. http://www.facebook.com/ClimateWalkNow

Dubbed as the Climate Walk: A People’s Walk for Climate Justice, the march gathered various environmental groups, celebrities, government officials, faith groups, youth, and individuals[i] during its launch last October 2 in Luneta, Manila, the International Day for Non-Violence, to take on a 40-day walk to reach Tacloban City on November 8, the first anniversary of the super typhoon’s historic land fall.

Led by Philippine Negotiator to UN Climate Change Talks and Climate Change Commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Saño, the Climate Walk campaigned for local governments to commit to taking action against the climate crisis by committing to draft their own Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP) and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Programs and for world leaders to take drastic, urgent action against climate change.

Yeb Sano, the usually shy negotiator from the Philippines whose family’s hometown, Leyte, suffered most the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan, was ushered into the international spotlight when he delivered a very emotional speech at the UN Climate Talks last year in Warsaw at the height of the devastation of Haiyan that hit the Philippines. In his speech, he called on world leaders to “stop the climate change madness” and started a fasting during the COP until a meaningful outcome has been achieved. Saño’s own brother, AG Sano, a popular visual artist in the Philippines, survived the onslaught, helped gather dead bodies and rescued survivors.

In a statement in one of the Climate Walk programs in Samar, Eastern Visayas, Yeb Sano said “This battle can only be won in the grassroots. We cannot wait for sovereign nations to take action. We must, at the grassroots, embrace solutions.”

Philippines Demands Climate Justice

In 2013, the Philippines suffered the tremendous impact of Typhoon Haiyan, taking almost 10,000 lives and destroying farmlands, fisheries, and livelihoods of people. Months after, Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas were again hit by Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda), which damaged billions-worth of infrastructures and livelihood. Recently, Typhoon Mario (Fung-Wong) flooded the streets of Metro Manila, paralyzing the country’s capital and causing about PhP 1.14B crop damage.

Following the People’s Climate March last September 23 in NY, which mobilized about 400,000 people, Climate Walk encouraged people deemed most vulnerable to climate change – farmers and fisherfolks – as well as youth, faith groups, and the public to support the Climate Walk even in their own little ways. Photos of “selfeets” or “selfies of feet” began flooding social media as netizens from all over the world showed their support to the Climate Walk.

“Our destination is not only Tacloban. Our destination is the hearts and minds of the nation and the whole world, hearts and minds that can change the world,” Saño ended his statement.

For more inquiries and updates on the Ground Zero Tacloban activities of the Climate Walk, please contact Rash Caritativo (+63) 917 863 8055 or email at media.climatewalk@gmail.com.
For photos and stories of the climate walk, you may download at http://bit.ly/1zr6hYP. Kindly credit photos to Climate Walk.climate walk

[Press Release] World-renowned Filmmaker Lav Diaz Dedicates His Latest Masterpiece, Storm Children, to Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan and to the Advocacy for Climate Revolution -DAKILA

World-renowned Filmmaker Lav Diaz Dedicates His Latest Masterpiece, Storm Children,
to Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan and to the Advocacy for Climate Revolution

Storm4 small

The Philippine premiere of the latest masterpiece of world-renowned filmmaker, Lav Diaz, was held last November 4, 2014, Tuesday, 7pm at the Cinema 6 of Ayala Trinoma Mall. The Philippine premiere was presented by Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, an artist group inspiring social consciousness formation, in partnership with the Embassy of Canada, Voyage Studios and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

Dakila new

Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children) tackles how children deal with devastations after the storm. The compelling photography of Lav Diaz beautifully weaves the story of three children and how they cope with disasters. The special screening is for the benefit of DAKILA’s climate revolution campaign, which initiated the Climate Walk from Manila to Tacloban and for the trust fund of the children featured in the film.

The Philippine premiere of “Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children)” coincides with the anniversary week of the landfall of Typhon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban and the culmination of the Climate Walk for Climate Justice, a 1,000 kilometer and 40-day journey from Kilometer 0 Luneta to Ground Zero Tacloban, participated by DAKILA’s core members musician Nityalila Saulo, visual artist AG Sano, filmmaker Charley Sta. Maria, advertising professional Christine Orias and development activist Steph Tan and led by Philippine Chief Negotiator and representative to the UN Climate negotiations, Commissioner Yeb Sano of the Climate Change Commission.

According to DAKILA Vice President and musician-activist, Noel Cabangon, “As changing weather patterns bring about strong typhoons like Yolanda, climate change has already become an issue of human survival. With the worsening impacts of climate change being most felt in developing countries like the Philippines, the issue of climate change is now more real than ever.”

The Philippine premiere of Storm Children is held in partnership with the Embassy of Canada. The Government of Canada is one of the countries that have taken decisive action to provide assistance to the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. According to Canadian Embassy Political Counsellor, Elizabeth Baldwin-Jones, who graced the screening of Storm Children, in behalf of Ambassador Neil Reeder, “The Embassy of Canada is pleased to be a partner of the Philippine premiere of this important documentary from an acclaimed filmmaker. We at the embassy would like to see our engagement in this initiative in two lenses: first is a tribute to an outstanding Filipino director – Lav Diaz, who, with his recent feature film ‘Norte, End of History,’ wowed audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. And the second is a constant reminder of the need to prepare responsibly for disasters and natural calamities.”

She further added, “The Government of Canada has contributed Cad$ 85 million in humanitarian assistance to Yolanda-affected communities in the Philippines. This matches the Cad$ 85 million raised by private companies, organizations, and ordinary, civic-minded Canadians, bringing the total of our assistance to Cad$ 170 million (approx. PhP 6.8 billion). We are committed to support the long-term rehabilitation plans of the Philippines in rebuilding the communities devastated by Yolanda. Complementing that support is our advocacy to promote disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Following on the Philippines’ ‘Build back better’ vision, we’d like as well to see communities and cities taking disaster risk reduction and preparedness seriously and consistently.”

In 2013, the Philippines suffered the tremendous impact of Typhoon Haiyan, taking almost 10,000 lives and destroying farmlands, fisheries, and livelihoods of people. Months after, Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas were again hit by Typhoon Rammasun (Glenda), which damaged billions-worth of infrastructures and livelihood. Recently, Typhoon Mario (Fung-Wong) flooded the streets of Metro Manila, paralyzing the country’s capital and causing about PhP 1.14B crop damage.

DAKILA, the group that presented the film screening, has been in the forefront of campaigning for climate action. Advocates taking part in the Climate Walk encouraged local government units along the route to commit to taking action against the climate crisis by committing to draft their own Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAP) and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plans (DRRM). The Climate Walk for Climate Justice calls on world leaders to arrive at arrive at a fair and binding deal and take concrete actions on climate change.

Dakila Executive Director, Leni Velasco, in her statement said, “The Philippine premiere of Lav Diaz’ Storm Children comes in a very relevant time when our nation needs to focus on the impacts of climate change and disasters to our people’s lives, especially to our children who are most vulnerable and at risk. Every day we confront the reality of climate change – uncertainties over food security, water and the vulnerability to diseases and natural disasters. And for a developing nation like the Philippines, this reality is far worse. A year after Yolanda, the nation is still in shambles – with many of our country men still displaced, with no secure jobs or livelihood and still vulnerable when the next disaster strikes.”

In his director’s statement, Lav Diaz likened the storm to the system that continues to wreck havoc in the lives of the Filipino. He said, “And if I may dwell on the figurative side of storms battering the Filipino, the psyche comes into the fore. The worst storms, man-made storms, become evil batterers of the Malay soul–think of the long years of Spanish and American colonization, the Japanese Occupation of World War II and the brutal Martial Law years of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Institutionalized corruption in our system and culture bleeds the Malay Filipino. This is the most relentless storm.”

Ending her statement during the screening, Velasco said, “Dakila presented this important film because we believe in the vision of Lav Diaz. Our film program, the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival, believes in the power of cinema to project truth, truth that scares us, truth that shocks us, truth that moves us to action. The truth is climate change is real. The truth is that climate change is an issue of the survival of the human race. Let us refuse to succumb to a future that sows fear to our people every time a typhoon hits our land. Let us refuse to accept that suffering from devastation is a fact of life. Let us refuse to surrender the dignity of life of our people. Let us refuse to yield powerless against climate change.”

“We can no longer wait for another Haiyan. We need to fundamentally change the way we live, and the way things work in our planet. It is time we take part in this climate revolution.” Velasco ended.

Environment advocates, civil society organizations, the art and film community came in full force for the screening of Storm Children. Prior to the screening, an exhibit on the climate walk was unveiled to the public. Storm Children will compete at the Copenhagen International Film Festival 2014. Lav Diaz’ other films, Norte, the End of History was screened in Un certain Regard of Cannes 2013 (France) and his latest film, From What is Before (Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon) won the Golden Leopard at the 2014 Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland). Lav Diaz’ films has also won in several other festivals including the Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. His films include West Side Kid, Evolution of a Filipino Family, Heremias, Death in the Land of Encantos, Florentina Hubaldo, Century of Birthing and Melancholia.

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[Statement] SONA 2014: More work needed in inclusive risk reduction -Oxfam

SONA 2014: More work needed in inclusive risk reduction

Following his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), we, a consortium of international aid agencies that has been working to realise inclusive, community-based disaster risk reduction (ICBDRR) in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, had hoped President Benigno Simeon Aquino III reported extensively on his administration’s state of risk reduction efforts both in terms of rehabilitation and recovery of Haiyan-affected areas and the broader disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies.


Nine months since the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall hit the country, thousands are still living in tents in coastal areas. When Glenda hit the Visayas two weeks ago, more than 7,000 people in Haiyan-affected areas sought cover anew. Back in April 2014, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) already cited that only 53 out of 643 or 8 per cent of evacuation centres can be used in Eastern Samar.

These communities are being exposed to tremendous risk and uncertainty. They urgently need to know when permanent relocation will move forward, what other settlement options they have, and what the implications will be for their livelihoods. They must be consulted in ongoing and meaningful ways to ensure any settlement measures represent truly durable solutions.

In this respect, the SONA would have been an opportunity for the President to update the nation on its plans for recovery and the critical role that DRR will play in ensuring that we truly “build back better”. The Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda (RAY) plan was released by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in December 2013 but is now woefully out of date as the transition from emergency relief to recovery and rehabilitation is underway. Further, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, which is key to strengthening transparency and accountability, has yet to be released. These documents are critical to better understand the substance of a few LGU’s “rehabilitation and recovery plans”, which the President said he recently approved.

With a clear trend of increasingly frequent and intense natural hazards, the government must lay out a strengthened commitment to enacting and implementing policies that increase our nation’s resilience to disasters. Renewed efforts and scaled-up resourcing are needed following the massive impact of typhoon Haiyan, which exposed weaknesses in existing prevention, preparedness and mitigation efforts. In particular, it further highlighted the disproportionate impact such a disaster has on women, children, persons with disabilities and isolated communities. The Gender-Based Violence Area of Responsibility, led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has previously observed the limited security, inadequate bathing and latrine facilities and lack of privacy in evacuation centres as well as the limited number of female police officers in hard-hit areas. A recent Oxfam paper also suggested the continuing vulnerability of women and children whose families are still struggling to find sources of livelihood.

Hence, the administration must iterate its policy direction on DRR, ensuring that the sunset review of Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 truly strengthens the impact of this law at regional, provincial and local levels, among others. We urge the President to lay down his commitment to ICBDRR, including the strategies and mechanisms that will ensure the meaningful participation, protection, and much-needed livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and families.

29 July 2014 For immediate release
Contact persons:
Rhea Catada, +63 9173654649 , RCatada@oxfam.org.uk
Nina Somera, +63 9177014286, MSomera@oxfam.org.uk
For interviews with Justin Morgan, country director of Oxfam, project lead of SURGE and/ or Jenny Lyn Hernandez, project manager of SURGE

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[From the web] Philippines: Justice in the wake of natural disaster -OHCHR

Philippines: Justice in the wake of natural disaster

Typhoon Haiyan has affected nearly ten million people in the Philippines, with more than four million displaced in nine regions. In the aftermath of the disaster, the administration of justice, an essential institution often overlooked, has been severely affected with court buildings, equipment and places of detention substantially destroyed in a number of major centres.


Judicial processes were badly hit in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. © OHCHRAlphinor Serrano, Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court in Tacloban City, explains: “the scale and destruction brought by Typhoon Haiyan took us all by surprise. With no emergency plan to rely upon for a disaster of this scale, our court rooms, offices, files and equipment were destroyed. Ninety five percent of my case files were under water and mud and court staff spent their days manually drying files and hanging them out to dry.”

“While we have made great efforts to get our courts functioning again, it is difficult and time consuming work and any delay has an impact on a person’s right to speedy trial and other due process rights,” Serrano said.

The UN Human Rights Office collaborating with the Human Rights Commission of the Philippines has undertaken a joint project to assist in rebuilding the judicial process in the affected regions and to begin a process which ensures better preparedness for future natural disasters.

After the destruction of a number of prisons, some inmates were moved to other jails without adequate access to their families, lawyers and medical care. Often, too, the cases of people who had been arrested and detained before the typhoon could not be processed as the files had been destroyed or lost.

Senior Police Superintendant Domingo Say Cabillan, from the city of Tacloban has reported that he is “dealing with a significant number of detainees who have been held for five months in police cells. The maximum time limit in Philippine law for people to be brought before the Prosecutors office to file a case upon the commission of the crime is thirty six hours for grave offences.”

“As the case files submitted to the Prosecutor’s office have in many of these cases been washed away, we have struggled to resolve the situation of these cases caught in a legal limbo,” Cabillan said.

The Human Rights Office and Human Rights Commission of the Philippines have been working very closely with the police, prison authorities and judiciary to address these issues of concern. At the end of April, OHCHR organized with the Commission a roundtable on the administration of justice with representative of the judiciary, the Philippines police, the Public Attorney and Prosecutors Offices, the Bureau of Jail and Penology Management and the Warden of Leyte province.

Participants discussed the impact of typhoon Haiyan on the administration of justice, proposing solutions to case backlogs, including the situation of twelve inmates, who have been detained in police cells since the typhoon struck in November last year and recommendations to limit the devastating effects of future disasters.

Judge Serrano welcomed the initiative: “It is clear that we need to rethink our institutional preparedness so that we can reduce the disruption to the justice system after a disaster. We need to make clear recommendations for action and put systems in place such as storing information electronically.”

The Chair of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, Loretta Ann Rosales stressed the importance of the collaboration with the UN Human Rights Office: “Our joint monitoring with OHCHR has shown that our justice system is not only vulnerable but has ceased to function for a significant amount of time in the aftermath of a disaster such as Haiyan.”

“Where can I go to challenge the legality of my detention if the court is destroyed and the records are washed away? We need to plan. When people caught in this legal limbo have little opportunity to claim their due process rights, and duty bearers in the administration of justice are not able to respond to the challenges of the legality of detention, the right to due process will not be fulfilled,” Rosales said.

“We must not forget the vulnerability of criminal justice systems during emergencies,” she said. “Access to justice should become a critical part of our future disaster risk, resilience and reduction efforts in the Philippines.”

Source: www.ohchr.org

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[People] Reggie’s flight to freedom. Fr.Shay Cullen

Reggie’s flight to freedom.
Fr.Shay Cullen

As if the upheaval,death and destruction of Typhoon Haiyan(Yolanda)was not enough suffering for up to a million survivors human disasters are still ongoing and we are trying to protect children and orphans from exploiters and traffickers. We sounded the alarm months ago and we are still very active in preventing hurt and healing the victims.


Reggie, 17, a victim of human trafficking from a remote village in Bogo, Northern Cebu, one of the towns badly affected by the most powerful typhoon (Haiyan/Yolanda) in history to hit land. Desperate for a job to get food for his hungry family and grandmother, he was lured by criminal human traffickers to join a large fishing boat with six other victims.

After many days of hard work day and night, the fishing boat made land in Batangas port on Southern Luzon Island to sell the big catch. They helped off- load the fish. To their shock the boys,several of them minors, were not paid but ordered back to the boat. They refused and ran away from these harsh conditions.

Reggie found his way to Metro Manila after walking for almost two days carrying his few pieces of old clothes in a yellow plastic bucket that was his only possession. He begged for food along the way.

Arriving in Manila, instead of getting help and protection from the authorities, he received additional misery and hardship when he was taken off the street for being a vagrant and was put into a youth detention prison in Pasay, Metro Manila. There Preda social workers ,rescuing other children, found him behind bars malnourished,hungry and forced to sleep on the concrete floor in an mosquito infested cell that was as hot as a boiler room.

He was left there and forgotten without a legal complaint or charge made against him or a court hearing. Thats the plight and injustice suffered by thousands of children around the country. Our campaign to change the system is meeting stiff resistance.

There was no one to listen to Reggie’s story or help him. He was left in the jail with other youth,some as young ten years of age in sub-human conditions. Every day, he survived on only a handful of rice and a spoon of vegetables as his daily food.

He felt abandoned, lost and very frightened and threatened by the bigger boys who controlled life in the cells and took most of the food for themselves and made the younger ones wash their shorts and T-shirts and forced them to sexually comfort them.

His day of release was a happy one for him. He almost cried when brought out from detention by Preda social worker Emmanuel Drewery and father Shay and was taken immediately to a restaurant for a good meal as he was famished, malnourished, weak and depressed.

This is the first time I have ever eaten in a restaurant², he told them.
He grew up in an impoverished village in the remote part of Northern Cebu island which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan(Yolanda). It was that extreme poverty that drove him to look for work on the fishing boat where he was put into forced, unpaid labor.

After his rescue, he asked to stay at the Preda Boy¹s home where he was happy and recovered his physical and emotional strength. He joined the other lucky forty youths who were also released from horrific unhygienic and psychologically damaging conditions of bare jails and prisons by the Preda Foundation workers. They got a court transfer order by writing to the judge.

They were jailed by police without charges or for what amounts to a misdemeanor like stealing food but greatly exaggerated and made appear to be robbery so the policeman could meet his quota or get a promotion.

Reggie was free and loved to play basketball and go swimming with the other boys there in the no-gates ,no-guards open living home staffed by nursers and social workers. Troubled youths don’t rebel when they are respected and properly cared for. Reggie was free of the traffickers but had suffered greatly because of them and the uncaring authorities.

After several months of recovery and rest at the Preda Home for Boys, he was ready to travel home and experience his first ever airplane flight which was a great thrill for him. He went with Mr. Francis Bermido, the Preda Executive director and his assistant director Emmanuel Drewery. Besides attending to the administration of all the Preda projects, they frequently join in the field work and direct and supervise the Preda relief and anti-trafficking training seminars in Tacloban and Palo.

There the Preda education and psycho-therapy team are helping hundreds of traumatized survivors cope with the greatest natural disaster to hit the Philippines.

They also distribute thousands of packets of vegetable seeds. to help the small farmers grow food. The greater unnatural disaster is the slew of politicians that are plundering the treasury and stealing the money that could be used to help the victims.

Reggie was thrilled when together, they took a low cost flight on Air Asia and landed in Cebu. Within a few hours of travel through the wrecked countryside of torn up coconut trees and shattered houses Reggie was happily and tearfully reunited with his family.In the middle of such widespread disaster from the typhoon where the trafficking of children and youth is spreading this is one of several happy endings.

Preda Foundation will provide more help to the family of Reggie to help them recover from the losses to their livelihood and the near destruction of their little house. Thanks to the supporters and donors,better times lie ahead with a scholarship for Reggie to finish his education and get good employment. St.Columban’s ,Solihull. B93 9AB shaycullen@preda.org http://www.preda.org

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[Blog] The Moral Depravity and Despicable Barbarity of the Impertinent PH Media. By Jose Mario De Vega

The Moral Depravity and Despicable Barbarity of the Impertinent Philippine Media
By Jose Mario De Vega

I am compelled to write to register my disgust with the way the media handles and reports the case of a certain model and a TV personality.

Bloody hell, here we go again with our impertinence and ignoble character! It been more a week now that the banners of the ‘shocking headlines’ and the dominant talk of the town whether in the newspapers, various social networking sites, including the radio and television is the event that happened to ‘boy manyak’ there in Taguig!

Mario De Vega

To quote Marlen V. Ronquillo of the Sunday Times, “Philippine society: Inexorably marching to full Kardashian-hood”, February 2:

“Since last week, no topic of substance and national importance has managed to get traction and public attention. To hell with stock market drops, the killer floods in the South and the traffic nightmares that Metro Manila would have to confront starting April. Even the most important news of the moment – the prospect of lasting peace in Mindanao and, the possible end to the historic bloodletting in the troubled region – was obscured by the messy news about TV host Vhong Navarro.

“Until today, what remains “trending” has been the sorry saga of Navarro inside a Fort condo.”

I am truly irritated with regard to this utterly rubbish issue. I cannot understand why some people have shown such interest and delight to this incident which to my view is a complete nonsense!

To paraphrase Shakespeare:

The whole bloody thing is a nonsensical tale told by the idiots, full of sound and fury, yet undeniably signifies nothing at all!

This is the heights not only of idiocy, but also of shame and unexplainable absurdity!

I am not saying that the media should not report the details and the facts of the alleged event, but to report and to highlight this ‘news’ as if this is so bloody important and to dwell on this like an extreme maniac and fanatic, in my view is the heights of foolishness and undeniably idiocy of the highest order!

There is nothing complicated with this issue and the facts are quite simple, hence I cannot understand why it seems that the bastard media are making big fuzz out of nothing!?

Why make a forest out of the damned tree?

Why go deeper to the sea, when the truth is already there at the beach for all to see?

‘Boy maniac’ alleged that he was buggerized, abused, physically assaulted and extorted! Is that so? Then, file the appropriate case before the duly constituted authorities! Done! Finish!

That self-proclaimed model, on the other hand claimed and cried that she was sexually assaulted and raped! Is that so? Then, file the appropriate complaint to the court of competent jurisdiction! Done! Finish!

While the assertion of that violent gangster group is that, they only do a heroic act and that is by helping a woman being rape! Is that so? Fine! Prove it then in an open court in an actual case! Done! Finish!

So, that it! Now, I cannot understand why some people are so agitated, so passionate to the point of being fanatical to this utterly rubbish and incontestably good for nothing event?

I am heavily thinking and wondering aloud: do those people also think what the hell would they gain from this issue?

Where the hell is the greater public interest here?

Is their act of feasting on this gossip, like hungry hyenas, bunch of piranha freaks and gluttonous vultures will develop their character and humanity? Will it make them better human beings and responsible citizens, not only of our society of also of the world?

This bastard country has so many pressing social issues and earth-shaking problems, yet I cannot fathom nor understand why it is that some of our people are wasting them time and energy to this undeniably garbage and nonsense news.

Instead of taking about those pertinent and important issues that gravely affect the whole of our body politic and to act accordingly as responsible and active members of our community, why the hell some of our people have become bastard gossipers and showbiz freaks?

I am referring to those utterly important social issues and burning questions such as the impending rise (again) to the fare of the LRT, MRT, the (nonstop) oil price hike, the call to kick out the stupid and useless head of the ERC (who is a super thick face and have no sense of decency and dignity, whatsoever), the call of the Labor sector to the ERC to allot a seat to their office that will come from the consumer, that utterly inhumane and incontestably Satanic secret torture chamber in Binan, Laguna (which the CHR discovered and promptly reported), the debate on the revival of the Death Penalty Law, the question of why up to now, the RH Law is still pending before the Supreme Court, the on-going debate on the FOI, that material question as posted by Senator Pia Cayetano, where does the money derived from the Sin Tax go?, the creeping threat from the bastard Chinese with regard to the issue of our territorial claims, the monopoly of the market of Meralco and their collusion with ERC, those bloody demolition at North Triangle and at Agham Road, the continuing struggle and suffering of the Yolanda victims; etc. — now, given all of these issues and problems, why the hell some of our people are wasting their time and energy on that garbage and rubbish news?

What kind of society do we have? What kind of people does that society produced?

What kind of people or citizens are we?

To quote from Benign0’s “ABS-CBN saturation coverage of Vhong Navarro and Deniece Cornejo causing Filipino intellectual bankruptcy”, Get Real Philippines, January 29:

“In recent days, that unsavory aspect of the character of Philippine society has yet again reared its ugly head. As the saying goes, a distracted mind is a happy mind. In no other place in the world does this truism apply better than in the Philippines where, despite monumental wretchedness casting a long-term pall over its society, a perverse “positivity” prevails. Is it really possible to distract an entire nation from its own wretchedness? Apparently it’s been proven time and again by successive Philippine governments that it is easy as pie.

“With many crises of national proportions raging around them — the humanitarian challenge left by Typhoon Haiyan, the vast corruption scandal rocking Philippine Congress and Malacanang, a brewing international conflict with China, and a parceling out of Mindanao “autonomy” resting on dubious philosophical grounds — Filipinos have tuned in en masse to a sensational rape-cum-gangster-cum-extortion drama (with apologies for the pun) involving a two-bit celebrity, a fame-starved facially-reconstructed starlet, and a shady underworld thug.”

I am blaming some of our people for their lack of character and sense of responsible citizenship! I am also categorically blaming and extremely denouncing the local media for their stupidity, impertinence and barbarity!

Instead of reporting about the truth, what they do is to sensationalize and dramatize issues; that does not contain even an iota of social relevance!

Shame on them for betraying their sacred duty base on the fundamental law and on social morality!

I join Benign0’s concurrence with columnist Isagani Cruz’ sharp indictment of the Philippine media industry in an article dated 16th of June, 2006 on the Inquirer.net:

“Benjamin Franklin said that if the people misuse their suffrages, the remedy is not to withdraw the precious privilege from them but to teach them in its proper use. The entertainment industry, which has the most available access to the [Filipino] people through the movies, television, radio and the tabloids, is instead purposely miseducating them.

“The Philippine entertainment industry is not only a vast wasteland, as television has been described in America, but a vicious instrument for the abatement of the nation’s intelligence. The shows it offers for the supposed recreation of the people are generally vulgar and smutty, usually with some little moral lesson inserted to make them look respectable, but offensive nonetheless. On the whole, they are obnoxious and unwholesome and deserve to be trashed.

“The indiscriminate audience eagerly laps them up because it has not been taught to be selective and more demanding of better quality shows for their pastime. In fact, the easily satisfied fans have been taught the exact opposite reaction — to accept whatever garbage the industry offers them and, to add insult to their injury, to pay for it too.

“The leaders of the entertainment industry are supposed to be responsible people but they have evaded their duty to elevate the taste of their mostly unthinking supporters. They have instead cheapened them into a mass of automated individuals whose ultimate joy is to roll up in the aisles at the lewd jokes of potential senators.”

The Filipinos must wake up and start to get a life!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Press Release] Filipino Groups Demand Real Action for Climate Justice to the UNFCCC COP19 -PMCJ

Filipino Groups Demand Real Action for Climate Justice to the UNFCCC COP19
Sent Filipino Communique to the Conference of Parties

Photo extracted from Herbert Docena FB

Photo extracted from Herbert Docena FB

Filipino groups still dealing with the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan/ Yolanda, conveyed their outrage that UN negotiations on climate change are still failing to arrive at any meaningful outcome, in a communique from the Philippine movements and civil society organizations.

The release came as lead negotiator of the Philipines Yeb Sano accepted a petititon with over 600,000 signatures from online campaign group Avaaz calling for devleoped countries to increase their climate controls, honour their finance promises and adopt a loss and damage mechanism to deal with climate impacts like Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

“This is a time of outpouring of support and solidarity from all around the world. We are touched and strengthened and grateful. But our people need more than solidarity – we demand climate justice.” Said Lidy Nacpil, National Convenor of Phillipine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) and the Coordinator of Jubilee South – Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

“Our people are suffering the terrible impacts of a climate crisis they had no part in causing, while those most responsible refuse to take the actions necessary to effectively address climate change – its causes and its consequences.” .” Said Nacpil

“Instead, we see the continued excessive consumption of energy by elites and corporations, the expansion of fossil fuel projects the aggressive promotion of false solutions, and the drive for profit-seeking investments in “Climate” projects and carbon markets.” She added.

“This is a most painful and difficult time for the people of the Philippines. Not only for those among us who have lost loved ones and homes, staying in crowded ‘shelters’ with little food, or still waiting to be rescued, living with great uncertainty about our immediate future.” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)

“It is painful even for those of us who were much less affected by Typhoon Yolanda but grieve with our relatives, our friends, our colleagues, with entire communities, towns, cities and islands for the untold loss and destruction.” said Arances, of the devastation that his country has experienced.

The typhoon that is Yolanda/Haiyan may be the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall in recorded history – but it was not the first of its terrible kind nor will it be the last. The country have experienced the 4th super-typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013. In 2012 it had Habagat in Luzon and Typhoon Pablo in Southern Mindanao; in 2011 it had Typhoon Sendong in Northern Mindanao; in 2010 it was Typhoon Pepeng in Central Luzon, and in 2009 it was Typhoon Ondoy devastating MetroManila.

“Every year, extreme weather events hitting the Philippines are increasing in number and magnitude.” Arances added.

The groups are demanding climate justice to the government representatives gathered here in Warsaw.
The Philippines, despite its low contribution to the historical global greenhouse gas emissions, which is pegged at 0.3%, is one of the most vulnerable countries around the world for the past ten years.

Key demands of the groups included:

· The fulfillment of obligations to provide finance and technology needed by developing countries like the Philippines for adaptation and building resilience. We demand reparations for inescapable losses and damage from the onslaughts of the climate crisis.

· An end to false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and corporate domination of the climate negotiations.

Since the opening of the Convention when Commissioner Yeb Sano announced that he will fast in solidarity of his brothers and sisters that have been devastated by Typhoon Hainan/Yolanda, fasting in support of the Philippines and demanding climate justice are spreading like wildfire here inside the UN talks and gathering and in almost all countries around the globe, including the Philippines.

“This year we continue our support, in all the ways we can, including the solidarity fast. We do it to show the resilient people of the Philippines that we are still standing with them, and to send a message to our own government that we will never accept an outcome that is not based on equity and climate justice. An outcome in Warsaw with weaker controls than when we started is not acceptable.” Said Silje Lundberg, of Friends of the Earth Norway, who has been fasting for the past two weeks.

The Philippine Communique outlines clearly what the Filipino people, and in solidarity of the rest of humanity, needs from the representatives of governments in the climate convention here in Warsaw, “We demand immediate, drastic cuts of global GHG emissions, which will not happen without banning new fossil fuel projects and stopping the excessive consumption of energy by elites and corporations. Thus it is imperative to demand an end to public subsidies for private fossil fuel corporations and mobilization of public finance for swift and just transition to low carbon economies. “

Communique went on to demand that “These demands are greatly connected to the fulfilment of obligations to provide finance and technology needed by developing countries like the Philippines for adaptation and building resilience, and at the same time reparations for the inescapable losses and damage from the onslaughts of the climate crisis.”

The Philippine movements and civil society organizations also reiterated their stand against false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and corporate domination of the climate negotiations.

Three Filipino civil society delegates, Gerry Arances, Claire Miranda and Herbert Docena, will commence today their fasting in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Filipinos from all walks of lif, and different parts in the Philippines have already commenced a 6-day fasting last Sunday until the end of the COP19 on November 22 to put pressure to the parties to have a more ambitious targets on emissions cuts, setting up of a loss and damage mechanism, and climate finance for adaptation and mitigation of developing countries.

“Yes, we are a resilient people. We are also a people that know how to persevere and fight hard for justice.“ Nacpil concluded.

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[Blog] Climate crime. By Rodne Galicha

Climate crime
By Rodne Galicha

Typhoon Haiyan speaks to us of climate inaction, injustice, apathy and irresponsibility.
Enough with all the suffering, enough with this madness. When will they listen? When there will be no people to listen to? When our voices are buried with the rubble left by storm surges and strong winds?

Rod Galicha2

As help from different parts of the globe arrives, we are thankful for the the sympathy – but what we need most is empathy. After global assistance has been delivered, states emitting large amount of carbon dioxide may still remain business as usual.

They must submit themselves to a legally binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions, or else we will expect more typhoons which are larger and more intense.

This is the price of carbon, but we are confused – why are we the ones paying almost every year? We continue to seek climate justice. Climate debt must be settled.

Our islands, in 2008, suffered the deluge brought by Typhoon Fengshen. In 2009, Typhoons Ketsana and Parma; followed by Megi in 2010; then, Nesat and Washi in 2011; Bopha in 2012 – and now Haiyan, with an estimated damage of about $14 billion.

Haiyan is the worst of that cluster. And, as it lashed our communities, affecting millions of innocent people, it may finally exhaust our unique Filipino resiliency.

We thank the world for their kindness but we expect developed countries to take ambitious steps to prevent more Haiyans. We have suffered enough.

For four years, since 2009, I have worked with the communities living in Manicani and Homonhon Islands off Guiuan town in Eastern Samar. I haven’t heard anything about them since Haiyan hit the islands.

I haven’t heard about our partner community in MacArthur, Leyte. I am worried and I mourn. The devastation is beyond imagination, beyond compare.

In my province of Romblon, where I decided to stay, the disaster risk reduction and management council was also hard hit by Haiyan. That’s especially so for the island of San Jose, the southern areas in Tablas Island and Sibuyan Island.

Almost 6000 households were partially damaged and around 750 families are without homes. The local government estimated the damage to around 80 million Philippine pesos ($2 million).

But there are small Philippine islands most people have never heard of that were smashed by Haiyan. So, an initiative to adopt a small island has commenced.

Our climate leaders here in the Philippines are doing all their best on how to help and assist. Brother Jaazeal Jakosalem and Father Manny Bolilia went to Tacloban City this weekend for a faith mission called “Spiritual Marines” to bless the dead and spiritually uplift the survivors. With their religious congregation, they have established the Heartanonymous campaign for relief efforts.

Now a local public official, Miguel Magalang, is starting a national initiative to re-orient a controversial pork barrel fund known locally as PDAF, to turn it into a disaster relief fund.

(Edited version of this article appeared in the newspapers The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Canberra Times. The original article was first published online by 350.org.)

Visit Rodne’s blog @rodgalicha.com

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[Appeal] in Behalf of Victims of Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda -Oplan Sagip Bayan

November 12, 2013

Dear Friends and Allies,

We are switching on our Oplan Sagip Bayan operations (Oplan People’s Rescue) in light of the damage by Typhoon Haiyan’s rampage (local name: Yolanda) in Eastern and Central Visayas.

This is in close coordination with CONCERN or Center for Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation who has more than twenty five years of consistent work in the field of disaster-risk and rehabilitation and has assisted more than one million individuals since 1988.

kpd logo

Residents of Cebu, Bohol and nearby province of Leyte have been served with a double whammy as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake came twenty four days earlier, on October 15.

The energy released by the Visayas quake is equivalent to 951.5 kilotons of TNT, 796,214 lightning flashes, 30.16 million gallons of gasoline, or 1.90 billion sticks of dynamite according to the internet news site Rappler.

Following the quake, seventy-seven out of almost 2,900 aftershocks monitored by Philvocs were felt. The structural integrity of houses, buildings, including heritage churches still left standing by the quake are already severely compromised, sink holes began appearing as a result.

Last November 8, Super Typhoon Haiyan came blowing in from the eastern seaboard bringing winds howling at 235 kmh (147 mph), waves were reported to reach 15 meters (45 ft) and brought in 400mm (15.75 inches) of rain in some places.  This early, the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000 and for those that survive the devastation, there is little food, no electricity or clean water. Clean clothes and other provisions necessary for survival are scarce.

As we switch on Oplan Sagip Bayan, we are sending out an appeal to all our friends and allies, like you, in the hope that we can gather both food and non-food support intended for the Haiyan victims, specifically for Northern Cebu and three towns in Leyte or around 5,000 families.


Our ability to respond to this crisis hinges on how fast we can muster the needed support for the victims such as:

o       standard food relief packages for a family of six for three days consisting of the following items approximately worth Php 1000 (USD 25 ) :

6 kilos of rice                 ½ kilo of washed sugar
½ kilo of dried fish            ½ kilo of mongo beans
¼ kilo of iodized salt          3 canned of sardines

o       non-food items such as mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, flashlights or paraffin lamps, rubber boots, drinking water, used clothes, etc.

o       medicines such as Paracetamol tablets and syrups, antibiotics, anti-allergies, cough and colds, water purification tablets, medical supplies for first aid such as alcohol, sterile gauze, plaster, Betadine antiseptic solution, etc.

o       Equipment for use of the Emergency Operation Centers such as radio transceivers, warehouses, vehicles, fax machine, photocopiers, cellular phones, generators etc.


You can also send your in-kind donations to this address:

•       Metro Manila: # 22 Domingo Guevarra St. Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City 1550

You can send your donations through the women sector account:


Account Name: Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan Inc. (KAISA KA)

Account Number: 106930026351


Routing No.:  021-000089

Name of the Bank:  BDO-Mandaluyong Libertad Branch

Address of the Bank Branch:  G/F Sierra Heights Place Domingo Guevarra corner Sierra Madre Streets,Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1550


Help us help the Haiyan victims, now. For more information please call our office number 717-3262 or visit us at #22-A, Libertad St., Brgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City and look for Mr. Fidel Fababier or Marie Guzman.


We will acknowledge all sponsors/donors and shall provide a concise report on the same.  Thank you in advance for yoursupport.





Fidel Fababier
National Coordinator, Oplan Sagip Bayan

+639461115073 (Mobile)


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[Blog] A storm is a product of nature. A tragedy is man-made. By CJ Chanco

A storm is a product of nature. A tragedy is man-made.

Suggestions by some quarters to crack down on “looters” are completely out of place. We need the military to deliver aid, not clamp down on the typhoon victims. We need paratroopers to fly in relief goods – not a police state.

CJ Chanco

Again, it isn’t looting if local sari-sari stores are giving away fresh vegetables to desperately hungry families because it’s pointless to sell anything when there’s nothing to buy, and money is practically worthless on the ground. I’ve heard this happen time and again. I’m sure there is more in Tacloban than complete desolation, Red Cross-stealing hooligans, and survival-of-the-fittest. While we in Manila consider ourselves their heroes, people are already acting on their own accord to piece together the fragments of their lives — for the most part, without the government’s aid.

This is the sort of resilience the media should be focusing on. Whatever happened, after all, to the much-vaunted “Filipino spirit”?

On the other hand, what some see as anarchy others see as survival. Crime and “hooliganism” – where they occur (which happens to be few and far between, despite PNP press statements) – are completely natural responses to human scarcity.

This does not in any way distract from the gravity of the situation. Because it *is* disturbing. This is the sort of thing we will increasingly see from communities neglected by the government for so long (with or without these disasters), if we choose to continue along this path.

Indeed, it can happen in Manila and New York and Paris just as easily as it is now happening in Tacloban. It’s the sort of Hunger Games-Planet Z-do-or-die epic we will increasingly see as governments everywhere clamp down ever harder on people already stripped of all the essentials of life.

Crises like these won’t be solved by replacing civilian officials in the province of Imelda Marcos – or anywhere else – with a military force to “control” the situation there. They won’t be solved by sending 500-men military battalions to crush “unrest” and further disempower local communities.

On this score, Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, there is a world of a difference between declaring a state of emergency and declaring martial law

Peace and order will be restored only when people rebuild their own lives and above all start to question why all of this is being allowed to happen in the first place. There is politics involved in all this whether we like it or not. The very causes of the disaster – from climate change to corruption and poor preparation – have deep political roots.

Haiyan made landfall just as the Warsaw UN Climate Summit was about to begin. If there ever was a sign from god, this is it.

But Western governments’ statements of solidarity with the Philippines are a bit laughable considering their shameful role in stifling all attempts at cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions in the ongoing negotiations:


Of course, any sort of “aid”, from any government, granted with no strings attached, is more than welcome at a time like this. But no amount of charity or “aid” is every going to make up for these countries’ investments on our own shores that are wreaking havoc on the environment. No amount of “aid” is ever going to cut the greenhouse emissions of the world’s multinationals and the fossil fuel industry (including our own coal-fired plants) that are rising by the day. Last minute pork barrel-infusions won’t help either, for so long as the system stays in place: a system eating away at the very heart of the planet while leaving millions vulnerable to future calamities like this one.

Our inaction today is what generations ahead will pay for in existential debt, plus interest.

Real solidarity with the people of Leyte, Samar, and the rest of the country cannot and will not stop at donating and packing relief goods. Joining people as they organize and mobilize *around the world* to move toward a genuinely sustainable and socially just future – yes, it’s a cliche – should be part of our efforts. It’s time to connect the dots.

Haiyan is a symptom of a problem rooted in a society that is swallowing itself alive on a global scale. It is not the result of an impending rapture, a media cover-up, or a US military experiment. These are the facts. It’s time to wake up.

There are also other ways of delivering aid to flood victims without depending on largesse from Malacanang or Pnoy’s PDAF, or on charity from big relief agencies, from crowd-sourced funding online to grassroots community networks. At any rate, Oxfam, the Red Cross, Unicef, Balsa, the small churches and people’s organizations we’re now helping out – and yes, guerillas in the countryside (whatever their politics) – are doing a far better job at it than our own government.

There are already deep rifts within the Pnoy administration. The disaster has caught everyone off guard: http://www.rappler.com/…

We really do need all the help we can get, and we can’t depend on the government alone for it. Please remember how long it took for its agencies to get its act together to help the victims of Typhoon Pablo — a much smaller storm.

This is my last uber-long post for the day/month- I promise. The longer we spend on the social networks, I think, the less is done on the ground.

#ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help


#YolandaPH #ClimateJustice


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