Humanitarian Disaster in the Philippines – In the Cruel Aftermath of Tropical Storm Ketsana by Michel Chossudovsky

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Dandelion Salad

by Michel Chossudovsky (photos)
October 6, 2009

I arrived in Manila barely a week after the disaster struck, affecting the lives of more nearly 4 million people, devastating more than 700,000 households, creating a public health disaster, destroying the lives of population groups, which were already living well below the poverty line.

During my visit to Manila, I was hosted by the Ibon foundation and the CDRC, one of the main NGOs involved in relief efforts, in close liason with people’s organizations in the affected areas.

Under the auspices of CDRC and other NGOs involved in relief work, I visited Marinika, one of the main disaster areas in Metro Manila, where an entire urban area was devastated by the floods, with water levels reaching the second floor of people’s homes. There was no government presence, no medical or public health officials on location, no electricity, no drinking water. Toxic waste, garbage, piles of mud have accumulated.

The WHO is present in providing medicine first aid kits including 10,000 water containers. What we are dealing with is one of south east Asia’s a largest natural disasters.

The international media has casually focussed on the climatic event without providing in depth coverage of an impending humanitarian crisis.

In a follow-up report, I hope to provide more information on the disaster. Below is the initial report of the CRDC which hosted me during my stay in Manila.

Global Research has contributed to the appeal for financial support.

We invite our readers to support the CRDC in its endeavors. We hope that in the next week or so we will be able to have an online donation form, which will be sent out to our readers and members.

Michel Chossudovsky, Manila, October 7, 2009



72-A Times St., West Triangle Homes, Quezon City, Philippines

Fax: (632) 929-9822

Tel. No. (632) 929-9820



Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana), which caused the Philippines’ worst flooding in four decades, left Php8.3 Billion worth of damages to infrastructure (P2.7B) and agriculture (P5.5B), the National Disaster Coordinating Council said.

Ondoy battered Metro Manila and parts of Luzon after it made landfall near the boundary of Aurora and Quezon last September 26. Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Rizal were the most affected by the massive floods.

Ondoy also left 797,404 families of 3.8 million people affected. The total number of casualties has already reached 335. Of this number, 288 were killed, 5 injured and 42 missing.

In Metro Manila alone, over 100,000 people from over 900 barangays were evacuated after incessant rains caused heavy flooding in Manila, Marikina, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Valenzuela, San Juan and Quezon City. Flood water in some areas have already reached the second and third floors of buildings, forcing residents to seek refuge on the roof of their houses. Other areas such as Pasig and Cainta remain flooded up to this day.

In Bulacan, 113 baranggays in Marilao, Meycuayan, San Miguel and Bocaue Sta Maria, Calumpit, Bustos and Norzagaray were heavily flooded. In Pampanga, 64 barangays in San Simon, Guagua, Masantol, Apalit, Lubao, Porac, Sto Tomas and San Fernando were flooded as well.

In Rizal, several barangays were flooded and 5,000 families were affected by rising floodwater. Many villages were not accessible to the rescue teams, leaving several families trapped on rooftops for hours.

Landslides occurred in Mt Province-Cagayan via Tabuk in CAR; Brgy. San Juan-Banyo, Arayat, Pampanga in Region III; Brgy. Bongalon, Sangay, Camarines Sur in Region V; Tagaytay-Taal Road, and Tagaytay-Talisay Road in Cavite; and Antipolo-Teresa Road and Sumulong Highway in Rizal.

Appeal for assistance

Right after the typhoon, CDRC and its Regional Centers immediately conducted a Damages, Needs and Capacities Assessment (DNCA) in the affected areas.

Of the total number of affected families, the most vulnerable were carefully identified, taking into account the gravity of destruction, their economic capacity to cope, their accessibility to relief services conducted by other agencies, and their willingness to help themselves.

On the basis of these criteria, 100,000 families have been identified as the most vulnerable families from among the total affected. They were among the worst affected by the typhoon and floods. Their houses were destroyed, and many of these areas are still difficult to access and therefore receive very little assistance if any. Immediate needs are food supply augmentation and other essential non-food items.

Needs include:

  • food provisions
  • water supply
  • medicines (for common colds and diarrhea)
  • clothes
  • bedding (mats, blankets, mosquito nets)
  • plastic sheet
  • kitchen utensils
  • sanitary napkins
  • construction materials (plywood, corrugated metal roof, etc)

Donations for the evacuees may be sent through the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center at 72-A Times St., West Triangle Homes, Quezon City. Concerned individuals and donors can easily reach us at (632) 929-9822 / (632) 929-9820. Donations may also be sent through the following bank accounts:

Dollar Account

Account Name: Citizens’ Disaster Response Center
Account Number: 2-63600158-3

Bank: Metrobank, Examiner Branch

Bank Address: Corner Examiner and Quezon Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines

Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Peso Account

Account Name: Citizens’ Disaster Response Center
Account Number: 3-63600741-3

Bank: Metrobank, Examiner Branch

Bank Address: Corner Examiner and Quezon Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines


Reports from:

Community Response for Enlightenment, Service and Transformation (CREST)

Alay Bayan Incorporated (ABI)

Southern Tagalog People’s Response Center (STPRC)

© Copyright Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2009

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2 thoughts on “Humanitarian Disaster in the Philippines – In the Cruel Aftermath of Tropical Storm Ketsana by Michel Chossudovsky

  1. My thoughts are with those suffering and I’m hoping that soon they will be able to start rebuilding their lives.

    I saw a widget on your blog titled ‘Obama Body Count’. This seems to be related to the Iraq Body Count website, whose sampling methodology is fundamentally flawed and lacks any credibility and the deaths they list are vastly understated. If you’re interested I can provide you with more information.

    Best regards

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