STATEMENT ON THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA/TROPICAL CYCLONE HAIYAN
It has been a year since Typhoon Yolanda (Int'l. Name Haiyan) has entered and devastated central parts of the Philippines. It left more than 6000 persons dead and more than 1 million homes damaged in its wake. This event sparked discussions about climate change as a clear danger to the Filipino people and tested the resiliency of community members and the resurgence of the bayanihan/community cooperation which every tribe and village in the country has traditionally practiced. There were also observations and lots of questions about disaster preparedness and risk reduction and management from the community level up to the national levels of government and the people.
Indigenous communities in Panay Island, other parts of Visayas and Mindanao, and Busuanga in Palawan were not spared by the super typhoon's devastation. While many eyes, ears and hearts of the people of the country and the world were sympathizing with victims from Tacloban, Samar and communities which were greatly covered by mass media, indigenous peoples seem to be not included. They also received minimum aid in the aftermath of the super typhoon.