Please ease the requirements to approve the death cash claims of the family members of the casualties of Yolanda.
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Casimiro Villas, former police chief of Palo, Leyte, turned 59 on March 5, 2014 -- for the first time without four of his offspring, all lost to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Eight other siblings and cousins also perished when the storm surge slammed into their coastal town.
Months after the tragedy, Casimiro and his kin, like many residents of Palo, have still to collect on death claims. The government insists on several documentary requirements (e.g. certificates of live birth, marriage contract, two valid IDs) for both deceased and their heirs. But Yolanda washed away the entire town and the regional center, Tacloban City. Local government units are still not fully operational.
Bereft of all property, struggling to resurrect livelihood, Casimiro and his folk have to travel hours to Catbalogan, on Samar island. There they endure the crowds, hunger and fatigue, sometimes for days.
This is why I started this petition asking the government to either relax requirements for death claims or set up alternative methods of applying for public document replacements in communities devastated by Yolanda.
Casimiro and San Joaquin Barangay Captain Papoose Lantajo have tried to appeal to officials of the Office of the Civil Defense on behalf of the families of the village’s 370 Yolanda casualties. Yet officials cannot seem to see the logic of having agencies do field work, instead of asking millions of weary typhoon survivors to swarm into Catbalogan.
You can help them, Casimiro and Papoose, pressure the government to either allow attestation by the barangay captain as proof of identity or arrange community visits by document depository agencies so Yolanda survivors can pursue claims without shouldering additional financial and emotional burdens.
PHOTO CREDIT: Man who lost everything in 2013 looks to the new year with hope. Danny Petilla, Contributor, Philippine Daily Inquirer. 5 January 2014.
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