Logistic Nightmare in the Millennium Storm

A problem of distribution not supply

by Bernie Lopez

It is commendable that UN’s humanitarian chief Valerie Amos admitted that the rescue and relief speed is too slow. The tendency of Filipino government officials interviewed by CNN and other international media is to paint a pretty picture and not focus on the problems. CNN’s Amanpour cited many past cases elsewhere on this. Government pronouncements are contradicted by victims interviewed by media clamouring for food and water. The public has the right to get the naked truth rather than PR statements.

President Aquino’s verbal assurances must be supported by field data. He blamed local governments unable to respond quickly, silent on the culpability of the national government. He failed to realize the gravity of the situation by not ordering the military to launch mandatory evacuation days before the arrival of the storm. Instead, preparations were limited to refugee centers and relief goods.

It must be clarified that this is the only category 5 storm in human history. Katrina and Andrew were of lower categories. It is just logical that logistics will somewhat fail to cope with the massive devastation. We cannot blame the anger of people who remained un-serviced. The looting was caused by despair. The solution is not martial law but getting aid to move faster. The massive international support is in contrast to the logistical nightmare, which is now slowly being addressed. Is it possible that the policeman, who was sacked for telling CNN casualties may reach 10,000, might be right? If so, he must be commended and restored to his post. (eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com)