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While relief is on the way, many in frantic scramble for food, water in Philippines

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 15th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

While much needed food, water, clothing and medical supplies are now making their way across the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, many survivors remain without. This has proved especially true to survivors in more remote areas of the country, far from the main focus of the disaster, the devastated city of Tacloban.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Tourism worker Jose Barrios in the small island of Polopina, in the Concepcion municipality, says the area bore the full brunt of last week's deadly storm.

"Concepcion is completely wrecked," Barrios said. "We don't have anything at all. People are asking for help. We need clean water, food, clothes, people have lost everything."

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The media's focus remains on such ruined cities such as Tacloban and Cebu. Other areas, he says, are being forgotten in the rush.

"The main focus right now is on Tacloban and because we're pretty remote and no one knows our place I guess they haven't noticed what we lost," he said. "Pretty much they are all focused on one place and they are forgetting people who are in bad way. Of course we feel bad for them but we're in a bad way too."

Many survivors complain that relief efforts are not being launched in more remote and obscure parts of the country, as they are among the worst-affected zones.

Th on bright spot is that logjams against international food and medical supplies have eased. Still, many rural islands communities have yet to receive any help.

In the meantime, the Philippine government is adding a strange spin on the term "damage control."  Officials say that the police official who told the media the death toll could be 10,000 has been removed from his post and counseled for stress.

According to the Manila Times, A government spokeswoman said that "There is no attempt to hide or to fudge any figures."

The United Nations says the death toll from the monster typhoon had reached 4,200. The Philippine government disputes this figure, setting it at 3,621 early Friday.

United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says she acknowledges aid should have been quicker in coming and more widely distributed.

"I think we are all extremely distressed that it is already day six and we have not managed to reach everyone," she told reporters in Manila.

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