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Philippine Typhoon Haiyan Victims Join ‘People Surge’ Protest

Written by Mong Palatino On 1 February 2014 @ 17:31 pm | 4 Comments

In Disaster, East Asia, English, Environment, Feature, Governance, Philippines, Photos, Politics, Protest, Weblog

'People Surge' protest gathering in a public university in Leyte. Photo from Tudla [1]

‘People Surge’ protest gathering in a public university in Leyte. Photo from Tudla

Also see Haiyan Devastates the Philippines, our special coverage page. [2]

More than 10,000 typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) victims in the Philippines joined [3] a protest dubbed ‘People Surge’ [4] to condemn [5] the slow arrival of relief and rehabilitation efforts in their communities. The ‘People Surge’ is also an alliance of typhoon Haiyan victims mainly from the provinces of Leyte and Samar.

Haiyan [2], the world’s strongest storm of 2013, battered [6] the Visayas islands of the Philippines last November 8 which killed more than 6,000 people. Thousands more were left homeless after a tsunami-like storm surge devastated several towns in the region.

Participants of the ‘People Surge’ are complaining [7] about the lack [8] of government assistance in restoring the homes and livelihoods of typhoon victims. They are also opposing the ‘No Build Zone’ policy which they claim will lead to the displacement of thousands of residents in coastal areas.

The ‘People Surge’ first assembled in a public university before marching around the city of Tacloban, the ground zero of the Haiyan disaster.

A Catholic nun, convenor of the People Surge, introduces the objectives of the action. Photo from Tudla [9]

A Catholic nun, convenor of the People Surge, introduces the objectives of the action. Photo from Tudla

'People Surge' assembly in Tacloban. Photo from Tudla [10]

‘People Surge’ assembly in Tacloban. Photo from Tudla

Residents hold improvised placards declaring their opposition to the 'No Build Zone' policy. Photo from Tudla [11]

Residents hold improvised placards declaring their opposition to the ‘No Build Zone’ policy. Photo from Tudla

Residents, both young and old, are calling for the scrapping of the 'No Build Zone' policy. Photo from Tudla. [12]

Residents, both young and old, are calling for the scrapping of the ‘No Build Zone’ policy. Photo from Tudla.

A typhoon victim voices out her concern to some aspects of the government's rehabilitation program. Photo from People Surge [13]

A typhoon victim voices out her concern to some aspects of the government's rehabilitation program. Photo from People Surge

A participant of the rally calls for immediate rehabilitation of typhoon-affected villages instead of militarization. Photo from Tudla [14]

A participant of the rally calls for immediate rehabilitation of typhoon-affected villages instead of militarization. Photo from Tudla

Protesters warn against land grabbing in favor of big business. Photo from Facebook of Elle Freem [15]

Protesters warn against land grabbing in favor of big business. Photo from Facebook of Elle Freem

The event used the Twitter [16] hashtag #PeopleSurge [17]. Angel de Guzman† thinks the ‘People Surge’ was one of the biggest rallies in the region in recent years:

Leon Dulce, an environmentalist, explained [20] why residents are against the ‘No Build Zone’ policy:

Compounding the survivors’ woes is the no-build zone policy that government imposed over the devastated coastal areas, which supposedly removed settlements away from the hazards presented by storm surges, but divorced the fisher folk and other coastal communities from shelter and livelihoods in the process.

Amando Doronila, a veteran journalist, warned [21] the government not to undermine the anger of the poor victims:

After enduring for more than two months deprivations in food, shelter and medicines, more than 12,000 residents of Leyte and Samar converged on devastated Tacloban to express their indignation against the agonizing inaction of the national government, whose relief workers were still recovering decomposing corpses from the ruins at the rate of three a day, so the relatives of the dead can give the remains a decent burial. Under Filipino custom, nothing can be more sacrilegious and profane than leaving the dead unburied, especially by a negligent state

Elle Freem, a volunteer worker, observed how the organized campaign [22] unfolded in Tacloban:

The Eastern Visayas region is probably the epitome if resilience, the people are ready to rise up in face of not only the material and psychological hardship of the super storm but also in face of an apathetic government who is profiteering on the aid pouring in. Tens of thousands of people made their way to the university of eastern visayas to voice their perspective on how to rehabilitate their homes and region. The communities here are organized and have a clear plan on how they want to proceed but will the government listen?

Also see Haiyan Devastates the Philippines, our special coverage page. [2]


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/01/philippine-typhoon-haiyan-victims-join-people-surge-protest/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=720422261302381&set=a.399442170067060.101977.211951365482809&type=1&theater

[2] Also see Haiyan Devastates the Philippines, our special coverage page.: http://globalvoicesonline.org/specialcoverage/haiyan-devastates-the-philippines/

[3] joined: http://tudlaproductions.com/videos/newsreel/12000-typhoon-Yolanda-victims-from-Eastern-Visayas-marched-to-protest-Aquino-govt-neglect

[4] ‘People Surge’: https://www.facebook.com/peoplesurge.phils?hc_location=stream

[5] condemn: http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/01/26/-people-surge-against-pnoy/

[6] battered: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/11/23/after-haiyan-disaster-philippines-calls-for-relief-and-justice-for-climate-change-victims/

[7] complaining: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/01/21/philippine-typhoon-haiyan-victims-complain-of-slow-relief-and-substandard-shelters/

[8] lack: http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/01/29/yolanda-survivors-protest-lack-of-govt-assistance/

[9] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=719672604710680&set=a.212608905417055.58471.211951365482809&type=1&theater

[10] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=719586981385909&set=pcb.719588191385788&type=1&theater

[11] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=719196544758286&set=a.719196308091643.1073741871.211951365482809&type=3&theater

[12] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=719196561424951&set=a.719196308091643.1073741871.211951365482809&type=3&theater

[13] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=426036087527210&set=a.424114954385990.1073741828.416753661788786&type=1

[14] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=719329658078308&set=a.714422598569014.1073741870.211951365482809&type=1&theater

[15] Image: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10101485691903447&set=a.10101485685176927.1073741845.13609276&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-frc3%2Ft31%2F1780192_10101485691903447_395881211_o.jpg&smallsrc=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-ash3%2Ft1%2F1604650_10101485691903447_395881211_n.jpg&size=1920%2C1280

[16] Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeopleSurge

[17] #PeopleSurge: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PeopleSurge&src=hash

[18] pic.twitter.com/cfEtXMdyfl: http://t.co/cfEtXMdyfl

[19] January 26, 2014: https://twitter.com/sipsipbloom/statuses/427278657871020033

[20] explained: http://350.org/haiyan-survivors-rising-up/

[21] warned: http://opinion.inquirer.net/70507/beware-of-the-anger-of-the-tacloban-poor

[22] organized campaign: https://www.facebook.com/leah.freeman/posts/10101481819688397?stream_ref=10

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