Workers’ groups begin collecting relief goods for calamity stricken communities, call for volunteers for relief operations

The Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) has called on different workers’ institutions, unions, organizations, and federations in Southern Tagalog to gather help and prepare for relief operations in the coming days, following heavy floods that placed Laguna and Cavite under state of calamity.

Despite continuous heavy rainfall in Laguna, workers under the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) have began gathering relief goods from unaffected communities to prepare for relief operations in the coming days.

At dawn of Monday, flood waters began rising in different towns of Laguna and Cavite. Most communities struck by floods are where workers from various economic zones and factories live.

In Sta. Rosa Laguna, 15 out of 18 towns have been affected by floods. Binan towns have also been largely affected, placing not less than 17 barangays such as Malaban, Dela Paz, San Jose, San Antonio, Sto. Nino, Sto. Domingo, Sto. Tomas, Tubigan, Canlalay, San Vicente, Poblacion under knee-deep to 20 feet deep water.

Cabuyao city has likewise been placed under state of calamity, where households and establishments suffered from knee-deep to waist deep waters. In communities near the Laguna Lake, at least 4-feet deep flood waters submerged homes and livelihoods. In the whole of Laguna, a total of 69 barangays have been affected by the floods. Not less than 20,000 families are currently in evacuation centers.

At 1 o’clock in the afternoon yesterday, various workers’ groups, institutions, and Anakpawis, Migrante, and Piston party list members left their own drenched homes and personal belongings to come together and once again join the Southern Tagalog Serve the People Corps, a relief-driven organization that convenes in times of necessity, especially during calamities.

“Despite being victims of the floods ourselves, we have come out of our way and gathered to launch another relief mission, not only for affected workers, but also for other flood-stricken communities as well. While we continue to call for our basic rights to social services and the Aquino government’s attention in providing a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan, we will do our best to provide immediate assistance for flood-stricken communities in the southern tagalong region.” Wenecito Urgel, PAMANTIK-KMU Secretary General said.

In 2012, southern tagalog provinces were likewise placed under state of calamity after torrential rains caused heavy flooding in various communities in Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Batangas. Different groups slammed the Aquino government for its unsatisfactory response and preparedness for calamities such as floods, following the budget cut in the country’s disaster preparedness programs.

“Just as the people are enraged with piercing issues regarding the pork barrel scam involving numerous lower house representatives, third parties primarily led by Janette Napoles, and now the president’s inability to junk the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) popularly called ‘pork barrel’, the recent heavy rains have further enraged the people and made them realize that it is about time to divert and reallocate commonly misused pork barrel funds to what we really need—genuine social services including free and habitable housing, proper drainage systems, calamity assistance, and a comprehensive plan that will prevent damages and casualties during times of calamities.” Urgel added.

“We will continue to gather help for our needy fellowmen, but stand firm that these immediate reliefs are only temporary. To prevent these unlikely events that place our people in such dire situations, the government needs to prioritize its people and not their own and their cohorts’ greedy plans.” Urgel ended.###




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