Mayor Alfred Romualdez reveals thoughts of Taclobanons about "missing" Yolanda donations; prepares for Pope Francis’s visit in 2016

Sinagot ni Mayor Alfred Romualdez ang isyung nababahiran ng pulitika ang planong pagbisita ni Pope Francis sa Tacloban City sa January 2016, at isiniwalat din niya ang saloobin ng kanyang mga kababayang nabiktima ng bagyong Yolanda tungkol sa mga nawawalang tulong-pinansiyal para sa kanila.


Pinaghahandaan na ni Mayor Alfred Romualdez at ng kanyang misis na si Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez ang pagbisita ni Pope Francis sa Tacloban City sa January 2016.

Sa panayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at iba pang piling miyembro ng media kay Mayor Romualdez kahapon, August 21, sinagot nito ang isyung umiiral daw ang pulitika sa nalalapit na pagbisita ni Pope Francis dahil sa iringan ng local government at national government.

Saad niya, “I want to make it clear with regard not only to the Pope, or the President or high-ranking officials, we give priority on the plan of the visiting guest.

“The priority is where they want to go and we will just make the arrangement.

“The mere fact that they want to go to Tacloban is really a blessing to all of us.

“And we don’t want the Pope or any other high-ranking officials to feel that there is a problem with regard to where they go and where they should stay.

“I can assure everyone, we stand committed whoever goes to Tacloban.

"And wherever they want to go, we will support it, and we will make sure their visit is not only fruitful but is also memorable.”

Dagdag pa ni Mayor Romualdez, “Ang coordination sa amin, pero ang nagdedesisyon talaga kung saan pupunta ang Santo Papa ay siya mismo, thru the Vatican.

“They’re the one who decides what they want to do, where they want to stay, where they will go, and what they will do there is all decided by the Vatican.

“Katulad niya, kung may gustong puntahan ang Santo Papa, gusto niya na pumunta sa isang lugar, tinatanong lang sa amin kung kaya namin na i-facilitate, kumusta yung security. Yun lang ang coordination namin.

“We just make available the facilities and we prepare the facilities and we secure the visit.

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“Hanggang doon lang, pero siyempre ang Santo Papa ang magdedesisyon.

“Ako naman, natutuwa ako nang umabot sa akin ang mensahe that the Pope really wants to go to Ground Zero and be with the victims and the poor people.

“I think that is very noble and that is very true to what we are saying about the Pope.”



YOLANDA DONATIONS. Sinagot din ni Mayor Romualdez ang isyu tungkol sa mga donasyon ng iba’t ibang bansa na hindi raw nakararating sa mga biktima ng typhoon Yolanda sa Tacloban dahil sa pag-iral pa rin ng pulitika.

Ang Tacloban ang isa sa pinakamatinding napinsala nang manalasa ang bagyong Yolanda noong November 2013.

Saad ni Mayor Romualdez, “Unang-una sa lahat, I believe na after a tragedy like this, the first couple of days, it was important to us that people would focus on helping the people.

“There were issues that we could have raised but it will just create now a distraction.

“At ang mangyayari niyan, mag-aaway lang ang local government at saka national government, walang mangyayari.

“That was not the time for any issue.

“So, we focused really on helping the people and I thought at that time, that is what we had to do.

“Kailangan maintindihan natin na Yolanda is bigger than Mayor Romualdez.

“Yolanda is bigger even than Mar Roxas. It’s even bigger than President Aquino.

“People died. A thousand died.

“We have now to focus on how to help the people and, at that time, all other issues should have been set aside and we should focus really on helping others.

“As it stands now, marami naman tulong ang dumarating, pero siyempre, hindi sapat, kulang pa rin.

“Ang nakakalungkot, kailangan i-revisit natin yung mga nangyari noon para mai-correct natin.

“Hindi para magtuturo tayo o pabagsakin natin ang sinuman na nagkamali diyan. That is not my purpose.

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"My purpose is we are hit by typhoon and we have to study this issue, study it carefully, so we can help more lives in the future storms or even disasters."

QUESTIONS. Patuloy ng alkalde, “I can share with you ang pakiramdam ng Taclobanons.

“Unang-una sa lahat, masakit, kasi marami silang nabalitaan na maraming tulong ang ipinaaabot sa kanila, in terms of financial support.

“Now, obviously, ang masama dito ay talagang hindi nila nakita o naramdaman talaga ‘yon.

“Ang mas masama pa doon, sinasabi nila, yung mga nagbigay ng pera, hindi naman naglagay ng mga kundisyon bago iabot yung pera sa kanila.

“Bakit bigla-bigla na lang, parang pinapadaan sila sa butas ng karayom?

“Kailangan na i-explain namin sa tao, iniisip nila na dumaan sa amin yung mga donasyon, lalo na yung galing sa ibang bansa.

“Hindi naman ho dumaan sa amin.

“Isa pang problema diyan ay nung nalaman nila na ang dami-dami palang pera na na-release at hindi nga dumaan sa Kongreso na bilyun-bilyon.

“Yun na ngayon ang naging imbestigasyon sa national scene kaya siyempre, lalong sumama ang loob nila.

“’Bakit ganoon,’ ang sabi nila, ‘marami pala ang pera na nagastos pero hindi naman napunta sa amin, e, kami yung tunay na emergency?

“’Kasi talagang nawalan kami ng bahay, nawalan kami ng gamit, at may mga namatay sa aming mga kamag-anak.’

“Kaya nahirapan kami talaga na mag-explain.

“Kaya nagsalita ako noon na huwag na lang banggitin na maraming pera o maraming donasyon.

"Kasi ang lumalabas pa, nalulungkot ako, ang sinasabi nila, yung mga Taclobanon daw e matakaw sa pera. Bakit hindi nila tulungan ang sarili nila?

“Hindi ho, tinatanong lang nila, saan na napunta yung pera na dapat napunta sa kanila? Hindi naman sila humihingi ng napakalaki.

“Ang sinasabi nila, yung dapat na mapunta sa kanila, sana naman, umabot sa kanila.

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“That is what I have experienced and what I have seen.

“I do not want to comment whether totoo nga na libo-libo, o sabihin natin bilyon o milyon na mga donasyon, na hindi umabot sa kanila, kasi hindi ko nga nakita.

“Mahirap maghusga o magsalita nang hindi ko naman nakikita.

“I believe sincerely that if you pour in all government resources, okey lang ‘yon, because there is no such thing as an overkill when you’re saving human lives.

“I think more attention should be given to that.

“And I hope the President will be true to his word when he said that isasantabi muna niya ang pulitika at talagang tututukan niya itong mga isyu at problema ng bansa.”


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