Saturday, December 21, 2013

DSWD should provide ‘Noche Buena’ packages to 1.1-M ‘Yolanda’ survivors — Salceda
By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 21 (PNA) -- Albay Gov. Joey Salceda on Saturday said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should provide a “Noche Buena” package to each of the 1.1 million families displaced by super typhoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas.

“DSWD should have started repacking Noche Buena packages, but four days to go, we have yet to see such initiative being played up,” he said.

At P500 worth of package per family, the P 500 million should be seen as an investment in national solidarity that no one is left behind the seven-percent gross domestic product growth that the country has recently achieved, the Albay governor who is United Nations’ Green Climate Fund chairman for developing countries, said.

Morever, Salceda said, local government units in hardly lashed areas are now fully normalized as machinery for delivery of government services and thus, it should not be as messy as before.

He also encouraged non-government organizations, international non-government organizations, development partners, civil society organizations and people's organizations to display the same zeal of giving in this most important day for children.

“Christmas, being the birth of our Redeemer, should be a day to recommit the nation to redeeming Yolanda communities from the claws of poverty arising from unfulfilled rehabilitation,” he stressed.

It is a grievous fault to deprive children, in Yolanda-ravaged areas already suffering from displacement, even the most simple of celebration of Child Jesus' birth, he said, adding that another 1.1 million packages should be delivered next week for the New Year’s Media Noche.

For his part, Salceda said, he will be in Basey and Marabut, Samar, on Dec. 24 for Christmas sharing with the affected residents there.

He recalled that for super typhoon “Reming” that hit Albay seven years ago, with less time since it happened Nov 29, Albay, on its own initiative and funding, was able to procure and deliver for all affected families that numbered hundreds of thousands families.

Five apples, one meat loaf and two cans of sardines were in the package. (PNA) CTB/FGS/DOC/CBD/RSM