VP Binay: Stop finger-pointing on Yolanda tragedy

This is not the right time to blame each other, says Vice President Jejomar Binay as the country reels from the devastation brought by monster typhoon "Yolanda."

“There will be time to determine what went wrong, but at this moment our urgent task is to extend much needed help to the survivors and restore vital public services,” Binay said in a statement Sunday.

His statement comes after President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's controversial statement that Tacloban, which was most hit by Yolanda, appeared to be not as prepared as other areas. Tacloban is the capital of Leyte whose leaders include Alfred Romualdez, nephew of former first lady Imelda Marcos. The Marcos family is Aquino family's nemesis.

It could be recalled that on the eve of the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda, Aquino appealed to the public via national television to evacuate and prepare for the disaster. Reports say however that even evacuation centers were not spared from Yolanda's wrath.

Binay, who flew to typhoon-hit area Mindoro, described Yolanda damage as a "national tragedy" and that there must be a concerted effort to help Filipinos affected. Aquino meanwhile flew to Tacloban to assess the situation Sunday.
“The damage inflicted by Typhoon Yolanda is a national tragedy that cries for a national concerted response,” Binay said.

Binay, who heads Pag-IBIG fund, said the agency already deployed help desks so members who lost their homes can easily avail of housing assistance.
 
"Pag-ibig members may avail of a calamity loan at 5.95 percent annually, payable in two years and a three-month moratorium for those who have existing loans. The Fund also offers assistance to members in insurance claim against allied perils such as typhoon or flood," he said.

Binay said the National Housing Authority will also help families rebuild their homes with a partial P10,000-worth of building materials.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council have said over 100 are confirmed dead and dozens remain missing in areas hit by Yolanda. Other reports on the ground however claim that some 10,000 people are feared dead in the "tsunami-like" disaster.

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