Department of Foreign Affairs
TYPHOON Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) has left the Philippines totally devastated.
With an official death toll of 2,357 (and going up) and 600,000 people displaced—tales of death, destruction and survival have come to light recently as “normalcy” slowly returns to the provinces which suffered the brunt of the tropical cyclone.
Perhaps a side-effect of the Janet Lim-Napoles pork barrel scandal, but the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed that most of the donations will not be handed over to government agencies, but instead sent—as directly as possible—to the affected communities.
Worse, there are also reports that US Marines escorting cargoes of relief goods from the United Nations have been instructed not to let Philippine government officials and politicians get their hands on relief goods that are scheduled to arrive in Samar aboard five C130 planes.
Has the image of the Filipino government official gone so crookedly low that he can’t be trusted even during this time of great crisis?
You fill in the answer to this one, reader.
Survivors became increasingly frustrated with the government’s slow response to distribute badly needed food and water. Tacloban City officials have reported that only 20 percent of the typhoon victims have received aid. There have been reports and video footage of near anarchy as some people resorted to looting warehouses and shops to find food, water and supplies. The images are enough to make anyone cringe.
The storm has passed but the death toll continues to rise. Eight people were crushed to death when alleged looters decided to raid a government stockpile of rice in the town of Alangalang, Leyte. In another incident, a homeowner shot and killed a number of persons outside his home thinking they were out to rob him of his food and supplies.
Looters, officials said, should not be treated as criminals since they are just desperate for food and water. It’s all a matter of survival and self-preservation. But what about those who break into ATM machines, are stealing television sets, chest freezers and small appliances essential for survival? It has also become a field day for common thieves.
President Benigno is embattled as ever, this time fending off supposed false reports on the number of deaths, which was initially pegged at above 10,000. At ground zero, aid workers and survivors are increasingly becoming skeptical of the President’s comments.
They expect PNoy to give it to them straight like the promises of his “Daang Matuwid”.
- 8 dead in rice looting in typhoon-hit Philippines (boston.com)
- 8 dead in rice looting in typhoon-hit Philippines (stripes.com)
- Haiyan/Yolanda: Eight die in food stampede amid desperate wait for aid (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Desperation triggers anarchy in typhoon-hit areas (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Eight killed in typhoon food crush (itv.com)
- Philippines typhoon: eight die in food stampede amid desperate wait for aid (theguardian.com)
- Typhoon Haiyan Death Toll Tops 10,000, According To Official Estimates (huffingtonpost.com)
- 8 Dead in Rice Looting in Typhoon-Hit Philippines (abcnews.go.com)
- Storm survivors ‘desperate for aid’ (bbc.co.uk)
- 8 dead in looting of government warehouse in typhoon-ravaged Philippine town, official says – @AP (seattlepi.com)
THE Philippines topped the first Hong Kong Open Memory Championships at the True Light Girls College in Hong Kong last September 28-29.
A 20-member Philippine team got a total score of 15,198 in the event, beating representatives from Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Indonesia and India.
“The First Hong Kong Open Memory Championships included events, such as names and faces, random numbers, speed numbers, playing cards, spoken numbers, binary numbers, abstract images, historic/future dates, random words and speed cards,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
In a news release, the DFA said Mark Anthony Castañeda won the gold with a high score of 5,239.
Erwin Balines won a silver while Johann Randal Abrina won a bronze in the event, it added.
The DFA said the Hong Kong Memory Championships was founded by the Hong Kong Memory Sports Council and is sanctioned by the World Memory Sports Council.
“Memory sport is for everyone. It has become popular among Western countries for some time and is rapidly gaining popularity in Southeast Asia where more people are aspiring to become mental athletes,” the DFA said. #OpinYon #Foreign #Philippines
- Filipino workers not pawns in HK demand for apology – DFA spokesman (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- What Hong Kong needs to become a kick-ass destination? (fromasiawithlife.wordpress.com)
- Hong Kong could switch to yuan and dump US dollar (endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com)
- HK amenable to ‘put behind’ hostage-taking issue (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Mobile Activities in the Hong Kong Metro: Texting, Playing, Videos (mobilesociety.typepad.com)
- PCCW, I-Cable Win Free Television Licenses in Hong Kong – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- De Lima denies HK trip rumor (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Chinabound: Shenzhen (sonjamarlene.com)
- HK journalists evicted from APEC (justanotherhker.wordpress.com)
- DFA protests call to bar Filipino workers from Hong Kong (globalnation.inquirer.net)
A FILIPINO community leader in Hawaii has been awarded for his outstanding accomplishments in the field of equal opportunity, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced on Friday.
Dr. Serafin “Jun” Colmenares, executive director of the Hawaii State Office of Language Access (OLA), received the 2013 William J. Harris Equal Opportunity Award last September 19, the DFA said in a statement.
The DFA described Colmenares as “a prominent and active leader of the Filipino community in Hawaii. He received the award during the 77th Annual Conference of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) in Denver, Colorado. #OpinYon #Pinoy #Foreign
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- DFA will assist Filipina elderly allegedly mistreated in Seattle airport (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- For passport needs, DFA opens Alabang office (rappler.com)
- BI to DFA: Watch out for passports with Napoles, brother look-alikes (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Why 3,300 Pinoys refuse to leave Syria (rappler.com)
- DFA memory bandwidth (cs.stackexchange.com)
- Filipino nurse in Riyadh dies from lethal respiratory disease (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Hawaii community council to host entrepreneurship seminars – Inquirer.net (prgnewshawaii.com)
- Saudi Arabia: A few more details on the Filipina MERS cases (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Aquino to visit South Korea in October (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- No Filipino hurt or killed in fresh clashes in Egypt (globalnation.inquirer.net)