Amid looming hunger and GRP neglect, CPP carrying out rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda areas

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
February 18, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said all units of the New People's Army (NPA) and revolutionary mass organizations in the areas most devastated by supertyphoon Yolanda last November 8, 2013 are undertaking all-out efforts at rehabilitation amid looming hunger and grave neglect by the Aquino government.

"More than 100 days since the Yolanda devastation, the Aquino regime has all but completely abandoned the small peasants, poor fisherfolk, urban poor and ordinary income earners after having declared the end of relief efforts, satisfied at having distributed small grocery bags of emergency food supplies and cramping people in tents and subpar bunkhouses," said the CPP.

"According to information released by Aquino's officials, social welfare agencies were able to distribute just above 4.3 million 3-6 kg rice food packs and 395,108 25 kg rice packs to 1.4 million people," said the CPP. "This would amount to a measly average of 0.15 to 0.20 kg/day of rice, which is just half of the Filipino daily consumption average of rice of .35/kg"

"The DSWD further boasts of promoting a P245-260 per day cash-for-work program (CFW) although this only covered just above 5% of the total number of families for a short period of 10 days."

"Aquino's officials boasts that 1,455 families have already been transferred to bunkhouses, when in fact, 1.1 million homes were devastated by the supertyphoon," said the CPP. "Worse, tens of thousands of people, especially small fisherfolk and urban poor are being prevented from rebuilding their old houses in the Aquino-defined 'no-build-zones' within 40 meters of the high-tide shoreline."

"The Aquino regime is effectively displacing tens of thousands of poor people only to provide their land to Aquino's big comprador supporters who are now profusely salivating over the prospects of building malls and other capitalist infrastructure in the areas," said the CPP.

"All in all, the Aquino regime has refused to heed the demand of the people for assistance to resume livelihood," said the CPP. "It has instead made use of the grave destruction to justify the allocation huge investment in infrastructure projects that it is now offering to its big business supporters"

"Widespread and prolonged hunger threaten the people whose livelihood were devastated by Yolanda," pointed out the CPP. "Because of the insufficiency and high prices of rice, poor peasant families have started to consume their buffer palay stock meant for the next planting season, further threatening local production of palay and food sufficiency."

"With the New People's Army, revolutionary mass organizations are waging collective effort to carry out rehabilitation to build communal farms in order to produce root crops, vegetables and other food stuff for their immediate consumption," said the CPP.

"The peasant masses are gearing to wage agrarian struggles. Particularly in Leyte island, which population is comprised largely of poor peasants working in big haciendas and coconut farms, peasant mass organizations are demanding from the big landlords land to till and produce food crops," said the CPP.

"The people's democratic government through the National Democratic Front (NDF) is exerting efforts to course funds through revolutionary mass organizations in order to jump start production, even as the peasant masses demand the cancellation of usurious debts," added the CPP.

"NPA Red fighters have been instructed to plant a minimum number of food crops including a quota of banana trees, camote and other root crops and other vegetables together with the revolutionary peasant mass organizations in the areas devastated by Yolanda," said the CPP. "In anticipation of the planting season this May, NPA units, Party committees and mass organizations are busy training people in planning out production and administering their communal farms."

The CPP added: "The people's democratic government is stepping up efforts to raise funds to purchase or produce farm implements, as well as provide locally applicable infrastructure to raise agricultural productivity, including basic irrigation systems. The NDF is also mobilizing resources to acquire and distribute motor bancas to kickstart the livelihood of poor fisherfolk."