Climate Migration: Filipino families to flee amid typhoons
MANILA – Philippine immigration authorities have deported more than 1,000 migrants from the central Philippines, where many families have fled their communities to escape floods, landslides and landslides triggered by the deadly storms this month.
The government has been criticized for sending those who requested to return home soon after they were deported, leaving the communities they came from in the lurch with no way to rebuild their homes.
The deported migrants were sent back to where they originally came from – mostly from the Sulu and Palawan provinces – where the storms hit hardest.
Those who were deported have been sent to remote rural communities in other regions as the government scrambles to rebuild communities after the disasters. In some parts of the central Philippine archipelago, officials have been accused of doing the opposite of what they were originally instructed to do – sending those eligible to return home soon.
“I don’t know why they didn’t send the people back home yet that was their instruction,” said Raul Garcia, an activist in Cagayan de Oro City who coordinated the distribution of food and medicine in evacuation centers set up after the floods. “What they didn’t know was that more and more people want to return and go home.”
More than 8,000 flood refugees have been evacuated from areas affected by Super Typhoon Sendong, while 1,500 are expected to remain in evacuation centers until Dec. 31, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Nearly 3,000 of the evacuees had been relocated to the Cagayan de Oro City area, where they could obtain food and medicine from volunteer organizations operating in the evacuation center.
A group of people had arrived in the evacuation center yesterday, while another group had arrived from the towns of Mandaue and Antique, east of Manila.
Garcia said he would bring food, water and medicine to them until the government has allocated enough funds to ensure their immediate return.
“I am going to personally look for food and water for them until the government provides the funds for them to leave,” he said.
He said that he would accompany them to leave the evacuation center to ensure that the government doesn’t abandon them.
The government has yet to set up a government-run shelter for evacuees, leaving them to seek shelter at the evacuation centers operated by religious