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Palace: Aquino not insensitive, to spend EDSA anniv in calamity-hit areas

Posted On 2014 Feb 21
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President Benigno S. Aquino III tours and inspects the facilities of the Estero de San Miguel Micro Medium-Rise Building (mMRB) Model Unit at the Claro M. Recto High School in Barangay 412, Zone 42, Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila City on Wednesday (February 19, 2014). The Estero de San Miguel Project is in line with the program goal of providing safe, affordable, decent and humane relocation in accordance with the Relocation Action Plan (RAP) through the People’s Plan mechanism and process for on-site, near-city relocation of affected ISFs in accordance with People’s Plan that contains shelter solutions and finance scheme development, validated and accepted by the ISFs themselves. The MRB model unit started construction in November 2013 and was completed in January 2014.(MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III tours and inspects the facilities of the Estero de San Miguel Micro Medium-Rise Building (mMRB) Model Unit at the Claro M. Recto High School in Barangay 412, Zone 42, Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila City on Wednesday (February 19, 2014). The Estero de San Miguel Project is in line with the program goal of providing safe, affordable, decent and humane relocation in accordance with the Relocation Action Plan (RAP) through the People’s Plan mechanism and process for on-site, near-city relocation of affected ISFs in accordance with People’s Plan that contains shelter solutions and finance scheme development, validated and accepted by the ISFs themselves. The MRB model unit started construction in November 2013 and was completed in January 2014.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 20 (Mabuhay) – A Malacañang spokesperson on Thursday downplayed a reported disconnect between typhoon victims and President Benigno Aquino III, saying the President will even spend the anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution in calamity-hit areas.

“Is there a disconnect? I don’t think so. I think the actions of the President have shown that he is anything but insensitive,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press conference.

Lacierda’s remark came a day after Aquino thumbed down the demand of some Yolanda survivors for the government to grant their families P40,000 each, saying it will not solve their problem in the long run.

Lacierda, however, said the “resolve to help and assist the people on the affected areas remains to be strong.”

In fact, Lacierda said Aquino even decided to spend next week with victims in calamity-stricken areas, including Bohol and Cebu.

The 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Feb. 25 will be held in Cebu.

“He wants to be one with the people especially those who were affected by the natural calamities…most especially in this time, the EDSA celebration, it shows solidarity with those people who were affected [by the calamity] so this is a good opportunity for the President. He wants to spend time with the people,” he said.

As for criticisms against government’s handling of rehabilitation efforts, the Palace official said everyone is entitled to their opinion.

“There will always be people who will say something negative about government … there will always be people who will not be happy, satisfied with our efforts,” he said.

“But we will not be deterred … our determination will never diminish, will not waver because that is our responsibility. The government’s responsibility is to restore them, to bring them back, to build back better,” he added.

But he said people must remember that rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts will take years.

“Our commitment has always been there. We’ve tackled Typhoon Yolanda day in, day out. The President has already mentioned that Yolanda is a priority for us. [But] this is not going to happen overnight,” he said. (MNS)

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