Livelihood Lack May Spell Trouble

MANILA, Philippines --- Lack of livelihood assistance to typhoon victims may lead to the rise of insurgency.

This was the warning of former Sen. Richard Gordon yesterday, noting that last week's attack on a Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) office in Davao by typhoon "Pablo" victims "is just a preview of what would happen if the government would continue to tarry in delivering assistance or finding alternative livelihood for residents of disaster-hit areas" in Mindanao.

Typhoon victims reportedly carted away sacks of pre-packed relief goods and boxes of coffee and instant noodles.

Gordon, a United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial bet, said the people are already enraged by the government's inefficient system, not only in relief distribution but in assisting victims of disasters to recover so they could get on with their lives.

"This is just a portal of things to come. People are already angry. They are also hungry which is why they are now resorting to violence. I condemn the government's delay in taking action to help the victims get back on their feet," he said in a statement.

"It is not enough to give them food reliefs. Instead of just giving doleouts, the government should have immediately found alternative livelihood for those affected by typhoon 'Pablo,' especially those whose plantations were heavily damaged, and all the others hit by various disasters," he said, adding that with numerous typhoons visiting the country annually, the government should have already taken measures, such as crop insurance, to mitigate their effects.

The former senator warned that the alleged lack of governance could lead to a rise in the country's insurgency since victims would turn to insurgency if they would have no means to feed their family.

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