By Elinando B. Cinco
Disaster strikes twice – both man-made and natural – and the sight of the enormous destruction is daunting. But the word from the Office of the President is encouraging, “We will do the rehabilitation efforts ourselves.”
Such remark from the Palace is inspiring to the public. It strikes into the consciousness of the Filipino people, prodding them to share in the determination of President Duterte to help the victims in Marawi and in southern Leyte rise from despair.
“Yes, the Filipino can do it,” to recall a battle cry launched by an earlier administration. And certainly the public displayed its cooperation to set in motion its steadfast resolve.
It is easy to realize the extent of the tragedies in the two mentioned areas. They illustrate the loss of human lives and the destruction of property. The rehabilitation and rebuilding programs will take some years to accomplish.
But the fear is lessened by the assurance that the national government has the resources to tackle what the twin-disasters have wrought. Some affluent local government units have already signified their intention to help financially.
The DU30 administration has the astute agencies to take the lead in the massive program, implemented by experienced bureaucrats.
In separate media interviews, some senior officials of the Duterte administration emphasized that if they had their way, the national government should handle the amelioration effort.
Yes, they face an enormous task. One top DOH official was even hinting of a “humanitarian crisis.” He supported his assumption with the observation that a number of Marawi residents have showed symptoms of depression and were advised psychiatric hospitalization.
There is that similar concern for some victims in the Leyte earthquake.
Opinion-makers are one in saying that the President is saddled every day with multifarious problems. What happened in Marawi and in Leyte are the major ones.
The Chief Executive is now faced with those two Herculean tasks. But he appears ready to take them by the horns.
By the way, this is the time of year when the monsoon rains pour heavier and the wind blow stronger. It is wise to prepare and expect similar wrath of nature destructions to pummel us.
We realize that these problems will give the President sleepless nights. And we have nothing but compassion and prayers for him and for the country as we face these difficulties.
He needs all the support of the citizenry because as it is, and many are saying, ”the President is already overworked!”
Friendly countries are donating materials and cash for the victims and to the government for the overall rebuilding program, even if we do not openly seek their assistance.
Expectedly, help will come from traditional donors like the United States, Australia and China, and even Taiwan. The ASEAN nations can be counted upon for assistance.
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