Rebuilding for the Better Philippines updates
Canadian relief contribution to Typhoon Yolanda Victims nears $40M; readying VISA Free entry for Students and Workers
Canada is the 4th largest donor to Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines
"One of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world's history. - "NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said
Canadians, both individuals and businesses, have donated almost $20 million to the relief effort in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The government of Canada initially committed $5 million in aid money, and then added another $15 million Monday. Much of the second amount is matching money tied to individual Canadians' contributions.
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Total donations from Canada so far amount to almost $40 million, making Canada the fourth largest donor, after the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.
The powerful typhoon, which struck over a week ago, has affected 13 million people in the Philippines and displaced four million, according to figures from International Development Minister Christian Paradis, who spoke at a media briefing Tuesday.
The government has promised to match all individual donations to registered charities until Dec. 9. It will not match business donations.
The money donated by Canadians is in the hands of the charities, and the government does not yet have a figure breaking down what has come from individuals and businesses.
The $15 million announced by Harper at a Filipino church in Toronto on Monday is an estimate of the matching funds from government, and the figure may grow. However, the money was freed up so it could be spent immediately rather than wait for the charities to submit receipts.
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Paradis announced how the government has allocated money so far to the relief effort:
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): $2 million.
- United Nations World Food Programme (WFP): $4 million.
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF): $3 million.
- World Health Organization (WHO): $800,000
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): $200,000
- CARE Canada: $1 million
- Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada: $1 million
- Oxfam Canada: $1.5 million
- Plan Canada: $1.5 million
- Save the Children Canada: $1 million
- World Vision Canada: $2 million
17 Canadians still unaccounted for
Officials at the media briefing confirmed that 17 Canadians are still unaccounted for in the Philippines, although as communications continue to improve, the numbers of those missing are dropping. Ten more are still in unreachable areas, but have made some contact.
Col. Stephen Kelsey of Canadian Joint Operations Command told reporters that 64 Canadian Forces personnel left Trenton, Ont., on Monday, bringing the total to 300 in the Philippines working on the military's relief effort.
He said a second water purification unit left Monday. A third Griffin helicopter is on its way.
A Canadian mobile field hospital will be operational within 24 hours in the hard-hit city of Ormoc, in Leyte province, Kelsey said.
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Both opposition leaders led off question period Tuesday with inquiries about the Canadian relief effort. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called the situation "one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world's history."
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to extend the deadline for matching donations until the end of December, and to grant visa exemptions for students and temporary workers from the typhoon-hit area.
"We will apply the appropriate flexibility," Harper replied. – CBC News
WARLIKE air and naval showdown for over 50 Warships, Aircraft carrier, hundred Aircrafts – hovering over Visayas aftermath of Yolanda
Imagine the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (haiyan) showing the coconut plantations totally destroyed with coconut trees uprooted or tumbled down like sugarcane stalks trundled in every directions.
Imagine these war ships and war crafts sailing and flying over the central Philippine Islands
USA – About 50 Warships
- Aircraft carrier USS George Washington with 5,000 Sailors
- About 80 Aircrafts
- Amphibious Ship (USS Germantown LSD-42)
- Amphibious Ship USS Ashland LSD 48
- 10 C-130
- 12 V-22 Opsreys
- 14 Seahawk helicopters
Canada – C-17 Cargo planes
- 3 Griffon Multipurpose Helicopters
United Kingdom (UK) – C-17 Aircraft loaded with JCB diggers, two Land Rovers and a forklift truck emblazoned
- Royal Navy destroyer HMS Daring
Australia – RAAF C-130 Hercules
Japan – 3 Warships with Trucks and Engineering Equipment and Transport aircrafts
Thailand - C-130
Indonesia – C-130
Singapore – C-130
Switzerland – Cargo Plane
Russia – 2 Cargo Planes
"I shall return Untold Promise"
Dramatic U.S. humanitarian effort in Philippines aids Asia "pivot" (Reuters)
By Manuel Mogato and Aubrey Belford (Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Robert Birsel) – Reuters
The U.S. military's response to the devastation wrought by one of the world's most powerful typhoons has been breathtaking.
About 50 U.S. ships and aircraft have been mobilized in the disaster zone, including 10 C-130 transport planes, 12 V-22 Ospreys and 14 Seahawk helicopters air-dropping supplies from an aircraft carrier.
The accelerating relief efforts underscore a fast-expanding U.S.-Philippine military alliance that could grow even stronger in the wake of the catastrophe as the United States pursues its "pivot" towards Asia.
As U.S. ships deliver food, water and medicine, they are also delivering goodwill that could ease the way for the United States to strengthen its often-controversial military presence in one of Southeast Asia's most strategic countries.
"It is not that the United States used assistance to promote rebalancing, but that rebalancing enabled to the U.S. to respond so decisively," said Asia security expert Carl Thayer.
The Philippines is one of Washington's closest allies in Asia and a crucial partner in President Barack Obama's strategy to rebalance U.S. military forces towards the region to counter the rising influence of China.
The United States sent the nuclear-powered USS George Washington aircraft carrier to lead relief efforts after Typhoon Haiyan killed at least 3,900 people on November 8, leaving many survivors dazed and without food and water for days.
By coincidence, and heavy in symbolism, the carrier is moored off the coast near where U.S. General Douglas MacArthur's forces landed on October 20, 1944, in one of the biggest Allied victories, fulfilling his vow "I shall return".
Hi five all round
The U.S. forces are also using an airfield in Guiuan, one of the worst-hit towns in Eastern Samar province, which was a major base during World War Two and then abandoned.
Now U.S. helicopter crews dump tarpaulins and stacks of food aid, dishing out a round of high-fives to grateful villagers before jumping back into their helicopter and taking off for the next drop.
On Monday, the United States announced an additional $10 million in aid, bringing the total U.S. humanitarian aid to more than $37 million.
The United States and the Philippines are in the middle of negotiations to increase a rotational presence of U.S. forces in the country, deploying aircraft, ships, supplies and troops for humanitarian and maritime security operations.
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The widening military cooperation, that includes the use of bases for temporary deployment, signals rapidly warming security relations after Manila closed big U.S. military bases that had operated for decades in 1992. Manila later allowed the return of American troops for training and joint exercises. The new agreement is expected to expand these activities.
A senior Philippine officer said some of the equipment the United States provided had been in place before the typhoon struck.
"But, in the future, we'll be better prepared to deal with disasters if our two governments signed the framework agreement on enhanced defense cooperation and increased presence," he said.
"The humanitarian cooperation we're seeing between the Philippines and the United States makes the new agreement more relevant."
China's response to the disaster was slow off the mark and, some would say, less than generous. The world's second-largest economy initially announced it was giving $200,000 and then raised that by $1.64 million. Only on Sunday, more than a week after the storm struck, did it say it was ready to send rescue and medical teams.
Japan has sent three ships with trucks and engineering equipment, while Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore have sent C-130s.
"China found wanting but dragged down by their anti-Philippines campaign"
China and the Philippines are locked in a bitter dispute over islands in the West Philippines Sea "Palawan Territory" South China Sea and many Chinese took to Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, to say the Philippines should not be given anything in aid.
China's politicking anti-Philippines campaign over territory disputes yield a bad fruit to China's image for surging nationalistic and anti-Philippines to many Chinese dragging down further china's image building to the international community hampering their wants to help but their people against it.
How could you be called as a "world superpower if in other cases like humanitarian crisis you could not even respond? Being a world superpower entails lots of responsibilities to help and protect humanity; do you think china is ready to take responsibility?
"China has been found wanting in (humanitarian aid) capacity in 2004 and again in 2013," Thayer said, referring to the 2004 Asian tsunami. "If one were looking at a connection between political motivations and humanitarian assistance, Beijing would be a good place to start."
Brigadier General Paul Kennedy, commander of Third Marine Expeditionary Brigade, commanding the U.S. operation, said there was no plan for a permanent presence in the Philippines.
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"I've been coming here for 28 years training, much of it done over disasters, obviously," he said. "It's already a tacit agreement that when a disaster happens, we'll do this.
"The United States isn't going to take advantage of the crisis to increase its footprint. It would be taking advantage of someone's appreciation."
Asked how long the U.S. military presence would last in Guiuan, he said: "We'll base it on the demand from the Philippine side."
Patrick Cronin, an Asia-Pacific security expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, said the United States remained focused on helping survivors of the storm.
"America's response includes our military, civilian disaster and foreign experts, and non-governmental organization, all pulling together to minimize misery and catalyze reconstruction," he said.
"The emergency response opens an opportnity to move forward with long-discussed plans for a modest U.S. rotational military presence in the Philippines." With report from Reuters
Philippine Government and Politicians; clean your Nickname “KAWATAN” corrupt! The world is watching you and WE do not trust you
Nov. 18, 2013 - The inside of a C-17 U.S. military plane which flew 683 people out of the Tacloban airport in the Philippines to the airport in Manila. This was the largest number of people the US has airlifted out of the typhoon-devastated area of the Philippines yet. The plane was expected to travel to Okinawa, Japan next, to pick up more supplies-- water purification systems, trucks, wreckers, bulldozers. (DAN GALLO/FOX NEWS)
Typhoon Yolanda killed thousands of majority poor people in several forgotten places in central Philippines with only few low-standards public infrastructures which are among destroyed by the killer typhoon.
Anderson Cooper, a CNN journalist criticized the Philippine government for not investing solid infrastructure in the area while millions of dollars siphoned by corrupt government officials through the Pork barrel scandal alleged mastermind Janet Napoles and cohorts highlighted at least 3 powerful political leaders Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, actor Bong Revilla and other 127 lawmakers.
How could these politicians live happily with stolen money from the government fund while millions are suffering from hunger and poverty?
These thick face politicians deserves public execution; stoning them to death and confiscate all their wealth and assets then return to the government so their family would also feel how to live like their victims; No food, no house, no gadgets etc.
Now, you have no face to be proud of but purely shame because even other country's government didn't trust you as well.
New Zealand government initially announced to send aid to the Philippine directly to the Red Cross not to the Philippine government to assure that the aid would be deliver to the victims.
While using the people's fund Jejomar Binay early electioneering use the people's money to make an early campaign by printing his name to all his packed relief goods.
DSWD official Dinky Soliman was also buzzed for "Bawas gang" by slashing 50% off from the printed label for the content of each packed relief goods.
Politicians are helping the victims not candidly but with personal interest "Vote me in the coming election" while other government workers hold other relief goods. "mabulunan sana kayo sa mga pagkain itinago nyo na hindi para sa inyo at sumasainyo nawa ang sakit sa balat na walang lunas sa mga damit na itinago nyo"
Fox News: Philippine corruption magnifies typhoon's effects
When a newspaper for Filipino workers in New Zealand told readers how to donate to the typhoon relief effort in their homeland, it mentioned agencies like the Red Cross but not a list of government bank accounts that the Philippine Embassy had sent over.
"I'm not going to mince words," said Mel Fernandez, the editorial adviser for the Filipino Migrant News. "We would like every cent to reach those poor people there rather than getting waylaid."
Corruption is a concern after any major natural disaster, as millions of dollars in cash and goods rush in from around the world. But those worries are especially acute in the Philippines, where graft has been a part of life for decades.
The government of President Benigno Aquino III, who has made fighting corruption a priority, is promising full transparency in reconstruction spending in areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda. It announced Monday that it has established a website called the Foreign Aid Transparency Hub where funds given by foreign donors can be tracked.
"There's an urgent call now for us to monitor the movement of foreign aid funds for Yolanda so they will go exactly where they're supposed to: to the survivors of the typhoon," Undersecretary of Budget and Management and Chief Information Officer Richard Moya said in a statement.
More than $270 million in foreign aid has been donated to help the victims of the Nov. 8 typhoon, which killed at least 3,976 people and left nearly 1,600 missing, according to government figures updated Monday. More than 4 million people have been displaced and need food, shelter and water. The typhoon also wrecked livelihoods on a massive scale, destroying crops, livestock, coconut plantations and fishing boats.
Several battered communities appeared to be shifting from survival mode to one of early recovery Monday. Markets were reopening, though with very limited wares. Some gasoline stations were pumping and residents were repairing damaged homes or making temporary shelters out of the remains of their old ones.
"The darkest night is over but it's not yet 100 percent," regional military commander Lt. Gen. Roy Deveraturda said.
On Sunday, Aquino toured the disaster area and promised to step up aid deliveries.
Aquino said he was happy to see typhoon-battered areas slowly rising from the devastation. The aid effort remained daunting, he said, adding that the government is feeding about 1.4 million people a day.
"One is tempted to despair," Aquino told reporters in Alangalang town in Leyte province, where he met with officials and survivors. "But the minute I despair, then everybody gets hampered in the efforts to get up."
Presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said Aquino would stay for a second night in Tacloban city and visit more typhoon-battered towns on Tuesday.
In one sign of how much work is ahead, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla pledged to restore power in all typhoon-battered regions by Dec. 24, a job that will require erecting about 160 giant power transmission towers and thousands of electrical posts toppled by the typhoon. He said he will resign if he fails.
"It's difficult to celebrate Christmas without light," Petilla said.
The government wants to show that it will be more responsible than previous administrations were following other natural disasters, when that funds intended for reconstruction were allegedly siphoned off. Prosecutors are investigating allegations that $20.7 million in government funds for rebuilding towns devastated by a 2009 storm in northern Luzon island were stolen by local officials via bogus nongovernmental agencies.
On Nov. 7, a day before Typhoon Haiyan hit, Filipinos were glued to their television screens, watching Senate testimony in which Janet Lim Napoles denied allegations that she masterminded a plot to plunder millions of dollars of government funds intended for projects to relieve poverty.
It is far too soon to say how much aid intended for victims of last week's Typhoon Haiyan might end up in the wrong hands. Foreign donors demand strict anti-graft measures in projects they fund, but privately admit that "leakage" of funds is sometimes inevitable.
Much of the assistance in the early phase of a disaster response is in the form of food, water and other supplies. Far richer opportunities for graft occur later when rebuilding occurs and contracts are up for grabs.
But corruption probably has already made this typhoon worse. Money for roads was diverted, giving people less ability to evacuate. Hospitals didn't get the resources they should have. Some houses might not have been flattened if they had been built to code.
"Petty corruption in urban areas means that building inspections don't happen and building codes are not enforced," said Steven Rood, the Manila-based representative of The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit development organization. "Even middle-class homes are not built to withstand a typhoon, much less poor homes."
Filipinos working abroad and sending money home to their families are an important source of cash in the country under any circumstances, but Fernandez, the New Zealand editorial adviser, expects that they will be skeptical about giving money to the government. He said he thinks they will simply donate to nongovernmental agencies providing aid to typhoon victims, but Rood wasn't certain even of that.
"There's a lot of cynicism, particularly in the expat community," Rood said. "People are put off. You see it in the social networks. People are saying there's no point -- if they give money, it will just get stolen."
The typhoon has come at a time when some feel the Philippines might finally be cracking down on corruption. In its latest global corruption report, Transparency International found the Philippines was just one of 11 countries in which people said they were noticing an improvement in corruption levels.
Rood said he believes Philippine government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development are less corrupt than they once were and can be relied on to take the lead after disasters like the typhoon.
Doracie Zoleta-Nantes, a Filipino and research fellow at the Australian National University, said the recent debate in the Philippines on corruption has been intense and people are demanding improvements. She said media scrutiny on places like Tacloban, a city devastated by the typhoon, will help ensure aid gets distributed.
"But some victims will be marginalized because they are not aligned politically," she added.
Tecson John Lim, the city administrator in Tacloban, said the city is recognized for its good governance and its accounts are transparent. He added that corruption concerns tend to center around people like cement suppliers, and "right now, you can't even buy anything."
Valerie Amos, the U.N. humanitarian chief, said in Manila that the U.N. is not expecting to find widespread corruption as it responds to the disaster. "Everyone's concern is focused on getting the maximum aid to the people who need it," she said.
Aid agencies are taking their own precautions to avoid corruption.
Chris Clarke, the chief executive of World Vision New Zealand, has visited areas affected by the typhoon. He said World Vision has its own supply chains, collects donations directly, and even issues microchips to victims to record the amount of aid delivered to them.
"It's always an issue we're asked about," he said. "Does the money get there, and does it get to the right people?" – Fox News