… The ability of government and humanitarian organizations to deliver aid to areas devastated by Yolanda is hampered by decades – if not generations – of economic underdevelopment brought about by a multitude of factors. It’s a wound that cuts to almost everything from literacy to education to employment to housing to disposable income to disaster preparedness. It’s a wound cut by the knives of political patronage, dependency, backward policy, and the perpetuation of top-down development that does little – if not nothing – for the poor.
These days, social media is a hotbed for criticisms against President Aquino for not doing enough. As President, he is not blameless. He should be at the forefront of the reforms in policy and redistributing resources in Eastern Visayas, in particular. But generations of underdevelopment and poverty can be pinned down not only to him, but to every President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative who has ignored the imperative to prepare the most vulnerable people in the country for the worst through a national plan and execution for sustainable development.