“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

Archbishop’s observation contradicts Aquino survey rating

MANILA, Jan. 26, 2014— President Aquino got a high mark from the victims in his performance after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda but a church official’s observation is different.

Palo Archbishop John Du refused to comment on the Social Weather Station survey’s “very good rating” for Aquino, but said many victims gave more credit to the help of non-government groups.

“All I know is that they are always waiting and it is the Church that’s always giving them what they want especially those who would say that they have not received anything yet,” Du said.

Archbishop John Du (left) and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, president of Catholic Relief Services check damage to the cathedral in Palo, Nov. 17, 2013.
Archbishop John Du (left) and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, president of Catholic Relief Services check damage to the cathedral in Palo, Nov. 17, 2013.

He said that it is the international humanitarian agencies and church-based organizations that played major role after the devastation.

“I have observed that it is really the church people, those from foreign agencies, non-government organizations and other religious communities who are working very hard in the area,” he said.

According to the latest SWS survey, which was conducted on Dec. 11 to 16, 73 percent of Yolanda victims are satisfied and only 19 percent are dissatisfied of Aquino’s performance.

Among the non-victims, 69 percent of non-victims said they were satisfied while 21 percent dissatisfied with Aquino’s performance, for a net satisfaction rating of +48 or “good”.

The Aquino administration was criticized earlier for the slow response in delivering emergency assistance after the typhoon.

“I cannot give a confirmation to what the people in the survey are saying. I do not go into it asking them if they are satisfied with the government or not. We are just doing our part,” Du said.

The head of the social action center in the Archdiocese of Capiz, one of the hard-hit areas apart from Leyte, meanwhile, could not believe with the result of the survey.

As far as Capiz SAC Director Fr. Mark Granflor is concerned, the presence of local and foreign NGOs in Capiz province is “overwhelming” compared to the government.

“When I heard that (survey), I kept on smiling,” Granflor said. “I’m sorry but the people here did not really feel the presence and response of the government during and after Yolanda.”

“Maybe the respondents of the survey really received enough aid from the government but it’s not the case here in our area,” he said.

The priest said the archdiocese’s aid efforts have now shifted from emergency assistance to recovery and rehabilitation programs to help affected communities return to normal.

“The situation is returning to normal with people trying to work to support their needs but many groups are still helping with the archdiocese facilitating and coordinating the works,” he added.

In Leyte, rehabilitation efforts are also ongoing as the archdiocese tries to provide livelihood for the victims “so they will be able to stand and not just depend on whatever dole outs”.

“We want to help them earn a living,” Du said. (CBCPNews)

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