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Palace on Tacloban: Wala kaming sinisisi

President Benigno S. Aquino III personally distributes water to the families displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Hainan) at the evacuation center during his visit to the province of Leyte to assess the extent of damage in the area on Sunday (November 10). Typhoon Yolanda is the world's most poerful typhoon in 2013. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III personally distributes water to the families displaced by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Hainan) at the evacuation center during his visit to the province of Leyte to assess the extent of damage in the area on Sunday (November 10). Typhoon Yolanda is the world’s most poerful typhoon in 2013. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 11 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Monday denied blaming local officials for the devastation wrought by super typhoon “Yolanda” to Tacloban City but emphasized the need for coordination between the local government unit and national government.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras said President Aquino is very particular on “moving forward” and helping the victims of the super typhoon.

He said that in Roxas City, the President told local officials: “Wag niyo na ho ikwento sa akin ano ang ginawa niyo, ano ang nangyari kasi nandito na tayo. We are pressed for time. We need to respond. We need to move. Mas gugusto ko sabihin ninyo sa akin ano ang kailangan nating gawin at paano natin gagawin. Pag usapan natin kung paano natin gagawin.”

“As far as blaming local government, I don’t think that is an accurate description,” he added.

Almendras, however, emphasized the need to have good coordination between local officials and the national government especially since the local officials should know their territory better.

He said that one lesson learned during the response to Typhoon Pablo is that distribution of relief goods is easier when national government and local officials help each other.

“We cannot fly a chopper or truck with goods. Basta chambahan lang na may madaanan tayo. Better if we know how many people are in one area so we know how many relief goods to bring. Local knowledge and local information should be available so we can move,” he said.

He also noted that there is a lot of rice supply in Tacloban but there is a problem on where to send the rice.

“Kailangan po namin yung information, yung coordination. Hindi kami nanunuro. Wala po kaming sinisisi. Napaka importante na meron kaming katuwang, merong makakasabi sa amin kung saaan dapat dahil yung tulong,” he said.

Almendras also noted that preparation in Tacloban did not account for the 15-foot storm surge that hit the city.

“Sabi nila: ‘Ready kami sa hangin e. Hindi naman kami bago sa bagyo. We were ready for the wind, we were not ready for the water. In some areas, it was 15 feet kaya sinasabi nila umabot sa ceiling ng 2nd floor,” he said. (MNS)

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