Relief Operations of Progressive Partylists:

Bayan Muna gondolas in Brgy. Maybunga, Pasig City to distribute relief goods


 October 10, 2009


Bayan Muna      Kabataan Partylist       Migrante International     Serve the People Brigade    Dita tree saved 36 lives


All UP Workers Union    Gabriela    AllUPWUAEU    Salinlahi     Anakpawis1     Anakpawis2     Bayan Muna in Brgy. Maybunga




With the aid of makeshift water transports, Bayan Muna's Operation Serve the People distributed relief goods directly to the residents in their flooded homes in Brgy. Maybunga in Pasig City. Almost a thousand families benifited from the relief operation.

Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Javier Colmenares joined the staff, members, and volunteers of the partylist organization in conducting the relief operation. Click here to help!

(Photos by Marion Abiog Ramirez)





Satur calls for strict monitoring of foreign aid for victims of Ondoy; reminds gov’t it’s a mortal sin to steal from those who have already lost everything

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo today called on the government to make a public accounting of how it is utilizing the millions coming in the form of donations from the international community.

“Based on the latest reports from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), donations and pledges from other international organizations and from foreign countries have reached more than US$13.22 million (or around P615 million). These should all go to the victims of Typhoon Ondoy,” Ocampo said.

The DFA said that a total of US$7.33 million came from bilateral partners; US$3.64 million from multilateral and regional organizations; US$283,351 from international organizations, and US$150,000 from foreign nongovernment organizations.

“Given the critical situation of our brothers and sisters in the evacuation centers and areas ravaged by Ondoy, it is urgent to ensure that the funds the Arroyo government received in the name of the victims benefit only the victims and their families. The administration’s well-deserved reputation for corruption leaves one uneasy to think that the money for the victims is left to this government’s management,” Ocampo said.

Based on a list released by the DFA, the top 12 donor-countries are Canada (US$4.63 million), Spain (US$1.46 million), Australia (US$866,000), Germany (US$729,000), Italy (US$314,000), South Korea (US$300,000), Switzerland (US$242,000), Japan (US$223,000), China (US$140,000), United States (US$100,000), Singapore (US$30,000) and France (US$14,583). In the meantime, Filipino overseas communities from the Marianas to Dubai, gave relief funds amounting to US$5,820. DFA personnel in Philippine embassies and consulates raised US$7,802 while other private individuals and groups contributed US$64,582.

Ocampo suggested that the Commission on Audit (COA) as well as a private and independent auditing institution connected with Church institutions be immediately put to the task of monitoring the acceptance, disbursement and accounting of the funds.

“For the sake of those lost, and those still missing, for the sake of the children suffering in the evacuation centers, for the sake of those grieving and all that has been irretrievably lost, let’s not allow the donated aid as well as what remains of government disaster funds go to corrupt ends,” he said.

“Every single centavo must be utilized to ensure the health, security and rehabilitation of the victims and their homes, as well as their damaged communities. The Arroyo government must be frequently reminded that it’s a mortal sin to steal from those who have already lost everything,” Ocampo concluded. #



Raymund Villanueva reports directly from Operation Serve the People's relief operation in Guimba, Nueva Ecija.




Satur calls for 3-6 year foreign debt payment moratorium

Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo today urged the Macapagal-Arroyo government to suspend payments, both interest and principal, on the Philippines' foreign debt and instead use the funds for disaster response measures.

He called for a moratorium on debt servicing for the next three to six years or until the country recovers from the series of disasters that have befallen it.

"It would be the height of insensitivity and callousness if the government continues to allocate billions towards debt servicing when the Filipino people are in desperate need for relief. It will take years to rehabilitate the damaged areas, and it is certain that it will take much longer for the Filipinos severely affected by the calamities to get back on their feet and recover physically, emotionally and psychologically. It is also the state’s duty to ensure that the welfare of the victims is looked after, and their homes and communities are rebuilt and improved," Ocampo said.

The activist lawmaker said that now is not the time for the government to prioritize foreign debt servicing. He said that now, more than ever, it is necessary to scrutinize and then overhaul the government's budgetary priorities as it puts more importance to debt payments over social and productive spending. As of October 2007, the country's foreign debt was P1.589 trillion, or US$39 billion, according to the Bureau of the Treasury. More than 30 percent of the national budget for 2008 was allocated to interest payments.

"Pres. Arroyo should do all that is in her power as executive to seek help for the Philippines and the victims of Pepeng and Ondoy; and she can start by notifying the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other international finance institutions that the Philippines will be suspending debt payments immediately,” Ocampo said.

“From 2003 to 2007, for instance, the Philippines' foreign debt repayments amounted to some 1000 billion pesos. Do the math and consider how that money could have been used to improve the country's disaster response capabilities. Funds being earmarked for dept payments for 2010 until 2016 should be utilized now for the relief operations and rehabilitation campaigns. The victims in the evacuation centers and in the devastated areas can be given much more than instant noodles and canned good; soup kitchens can be put up and the victims can be served nourishing meals. Medicine and vitamin supplements can also be brought and distributed free, and sanitation facilities can be built," Ocampo pointed out.

Finally, Ocampo said that an immediate moratorium on debt servicing will also allow the purchase of necessary technologically up-to-date weather forecasting equipment.

" Scientific, efficient and reliable weather forecasting and broadcasting equipment is an important service that will save lives and help reduce the potential damage to infrastructure," he said. #



Progressive parties’ relief efforts are ongoing despite difficulties

(This is in reply to Mr. Ramon Tulfo’s On Target Column in the Inquirer and various text messages falsely accusing progressive parties for not doing anything to bring relief to the victims of unprecedented floods brought by Typhoon Ondoy)

Progressive parties under Makabayan, specifically Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Migrante, Courage, Act Teachers and Katribu have been conducting relief, clean up and medical missions since Monday (September 28, 2009) to immediately help the victims of Typhoon Ondoy.

Officers, members and volunteers of our parties have devoted time, energies and our meager resources to gather, repack, distribute food, clothes and other donations to the most affected communities and families. We continue to call for donations and volunteers to gather support and extend aid and services to the typhoon victims.

Initial and partial reports show that our parties have been able to extend relief assistance to thousands of victims, specifically in:

1. Tumana, Malanday and Olandes in Marikina City;
2. Sampaloc, Malate, V. Mapa and Arlegui in Manila;
3. Bagong Silangan, Tatalon, Talayan, Pinyahan, D. Tubo, Pechayan, Old Capitol Site, San Vicente, Libis, Old Balara, Masaya, North Fairview, Nagkakaisang Nayon,and Sto. Domingo in Quezon City;
4. Bagong Silang in Caloocan City;
5. Manggahan-Floodway in Pasig City;
6. Binangonan, Montalban and San Mateo in Rizal;
7. Potrero in Malabon
8. RMT Compound in Muntinlupa City;

Our respective provincial and municipal chapters have been conducting their own relief, clean up and medical missions.

If Mr. Ramon Tulfo and those who invent and circulate baseless text messages took the time to call the office of any of our representatives in Congress or any of our party offices, they would have at least been informed out that their insinuations or accusations are baseless.

The disinformation campaign became obvious and ridiculous with the text messages being circulated vilifying our parties for misappropriating our pork barrel.

Our parties have long been denied of pork barrel funds since June 2005 when we took the lead in seeking the resignation, impeachment or ouster of Mrs. Arroyo because of massive election fraud, plunder and human right violations.

Despite this, we endeavor to deliver services to our people to the best of our abilities.


Bayan Muna Rep. Satur C. Ocampo
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares
Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano
Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod
Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza
Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan
Kabataan Rep. Raymond Palatino



Satur asks House leadership to prioritize approval of Disaster Management Bill; calls on GMA to certify bill as urgent

Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo called on the House leadership “to prioritize the immediate plenary approval of the consolidated bill for a stronger disaster and risk management organization that would be attached to the Office of the President.”

“It would be best for Speaker Prospero Nograles to calendar the National Disaster Risk Reduction Bill for plenary approval before the break. Likewise, I call on Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to certify this bill as urgent. This can be a way towards saving face for the absolute government unpreparedness for the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy,” Ocampo said.

The progressive solon is among the main authors of the consolidated disaster reduction and management bill in the 14th Congress.

“This bill will hopefully spawn a major re-orientation of the current government program on disaster management, including replacing the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) with a stronger organization, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council (NDRRC). The NDCC’s miserable failure to swiftly and effectively respond to natural calamities and aid the people is reflective of the government’s over-all orientation regarding disaster response,” Ocampo said.

“Government needs to undertake a full range of programs in disaster preparedness, including education, training and organizing that are not being fully addressed under the present set-up. The Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are already burdened with other responsibilities. As a result, government actions in disaster management have been generally limited to reactive measures such as inadequate rescue, relief and relocation operations as seen in Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City, Rizal, Laguna and many other areas,” Ocampo said.

“Disaster response should not be a knee-jerk reaction, the way the Macapagal-Arroyo government has been going about it. The consolidated disaster management bill mandates that plans should be made far in advance, giving scientific and rational consideration to the Philippines’ history as a country frequently visited by typhoons and other natural calamities. It is high time to institute an efficient and scientific national disaster risk reduction, management and recovery orientation and framework. Hence the House should fast-track the passage of the bill,” Ocampo said.

“Sufficient funds should be set aside for disaster response campaigns, equipment, medicine, shelter, food and other emergency necessities to ensure the swift rescue of victims and the rehabilitation of affected areas. Needless to say, not a single centavo of these funds should be utilized for any other purpose,” he said. #