The people must help each other in times of disaster! Demand the government’s accountability on disaster response and rehabilitation!

This article is available in Pilipino

NDF-Bikol rallies the Bikolano masses to help each other in the wake of supertyphoon Karding. Just like in previous calamities and adversities the country faced such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the worst damages will be felt by the most disenfranchised sectors of society. Amidst all societal crises piling up on each other, the typhoon’s destruction means another cross for the Filipino nation to bear.

NDF-Bikol also urges all members of the revolutionary movement to assist those who were affected so that the people may collectively rise up from the havoc brought by the strongest typhoon yet this year. Mobilize revolutionary mass organizations in cities and countryside to immediately extend help in rehabilitating communities destroyed by typhoon Karding. While conducting different levels of relief operations and social services, all units of New People’s Army in Bikol must be on high alert and maintain its capacity to defend against any treacherous attempt of the AFP-PNP-CAFGU to take advantage of the situation to abuse and invade communities.

Along with the call for help amongst the people, the nation must also continue its demand for the government to undertake concrete steps that will make the country recover from typhoon Karding. It must not be forgotten that the gamut of damages that a natural calamity could cause has been amplified by the government’s continued negligence of environment and the prioritization of the widely destructive neoliberal policies. It is their mandate to the people to provide long term solutions against calamities and not just fleeting stop-gap measures, pretentious and occasional displays of disaster response.

Budget allocation for disaster response always trails behind while corruption funds balloon. Purposeless projects are prioritized but programs that would have built the country’s sustainable defense against calamities, swift responses and long-term rehabilitation are in the back burner. Year after year, the masses are struck with typhoons and calamities. Year after year as well, the government makes the same promise of improving its response the next time. A promise that has never been kept even once.

In the end, radical socioeconomic reforms are needed to fully improve the country’s capacity to face natural calamities. There is the need to break free from neoliberalism that destroys not just the environment but people’s lives and sources of living. The rampant housing insecurity must also be resolved. Millions of Filipinos have no decent housing. The storm battered them under thatched roofs, dilapidated quarters, under bridges and overpasses. The problem of agriculture, still one of the most vulnerable sectors against calamities, must be addressed completely. The disaster response framework must also be overhauled. A few cans of sardines and noodle packs that the government doles out belatedly after each storm are far from enough. Preemptive measures for disaster response as well as rehabilitation plans for communities must be prepared ahead of time.

The people must help each other in times of disaster! Demand the government’s accountability on disaster response and rehabilitation!