August 3, 2015
PM Region 8
Informal workers associations in
Leyte are asking the government to engage with people’s
organizations in the implementation of the Yolanda rehabilitation
in the face of criticism of the pace and scale of work done.
“The delay in the release of funds for the Yolanda rehab is just part of the problem. The participation of the people themselves is vital in the success of the Yolanda rehab plan. Yolanda survivors should not just be passive recipients of aid but active stakeholders in the reconstruction process,” asserted Judy Torres, chair of the
tricycle federation (TAFEMDO) and coordinator of Partido Manggagawa (PM) in
Region 8. Tacloban City
Torres averred that “People’s organizations can also serve as watchdogs against graft and corruption in the rehab process. Even more than the problem of temporary shelter, the input of the people is crucial in the issue of permanent housing. We insist on in-city relocation and climate-resilient socialized housing program for informal settlers.”
PM and TAFEMDO had earlier criticized the overpriced and substandard bunkhouses when it was exposed in 2014. For two years, the groups have been campaigning for decent employment, social protection and people’s participation as pillars of Yolanda rehabilitation plan.
In December of 2013 TAFEMDO held in Tacloban a motorcade of a hundred tricycles which were garbed in tarp posters with the message “Make jobs a priority in Yolanda rehab.” Last year, the Tacloban tricycle federation together with drivers associations in Hilongos and Baybay,
Leyte issued a manifesto calling for
decent employment to be a priority in the rehab plan. It also held a motorcade
The demand echoes reports by the United Nations and the International Labor Organization that more need to be done to provide decent work in the Yolanda affected areas that includes ensuring minimum wages, sound occupational safety, skills development and social protection.
“Decent jobs are a necessity since it is a guarantee to a person’s long-term security and a life of dignity” Torres argued.