Death in fire of Haiyan victims – mother and her six children – fails to make headline news in Philippines

Indeed, how much a society cares for the least of its members is reflected in the headlines of its biggest media outlets. The Washington Post recently reports

MANILA, Philippines — An overnight fire razed a tent used as a temporary shelter by survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, killing a woman and all six of her children, including a 4-month-old girl, officials in a central Philippine city devastated by the massive storm said Thursday.

The tragedy highlights the slow progress in the resettlement of tens of thousands of survivors of Haiyan, which struck more than six months ago and is one of the world’s strongest typhoons to make landfall.

An appalling tragedy to say the least. You’d think something like this would make top headline news in the Philippines.

A quick review of stories making prime real estate on the websites of the country’s biggest media conglomerates reveals something else however (screen images captured 1517h 29 May 2014 AEST)…

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The Inquirer editor apparently thought a “study” on the bulging waistlines of the world’s people was something highly relevant to Filipinos.



GMA News did a bit better as it had the fire included in their list of “Top Stories” and even considered the Haiyan (Yolanda) disaster an afterthought worthy of its main headline section — within the context of the Philippines’ incredible shrinking economic growth rates, that is.

GMA Network News

GMA Network News

ABS-CBN News reserved a plum spot for the story on its “Editor’s Pick” section, coming up third after stories about a has-been starlet’s lovelife and a teen idol’s religious epiphany.



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The plight of the victims of super-typhoon Haiyan which struck central Philippines in November 2013 is far from being resolved. Despite much lip service paid to relief efforts, the results remain disappointing.

“The problem is that so many people are still living in tents and we have been saying all along that these tents are fire hazards,” [Tacloban city disaster management officer Derrick Anido] said. “And we have been requesting (the national government) to relocate them to safer shelters.”

He said only 1,000 temporary houses made of wood with galvanized iron roofing had been built so far, while 14,000 families in the city still live in vulnerable coastal villages and need to be relocated.

The apathy of the Philippine media goes somewhere towards explaining what many foreign observers find baffling: that an entire nation could be transfixed by a no-results “investigation” of thievery surrounding congressional Pork Barrel — a criminal practice that had persisted as an institutionalised part of Philippine governance for decades — and not be moved at all by the banal tragedies that happen everyday at their doorsteps.

7 Replies to “Death in fire of Haiyan victims – mother and her six children – fails to make headline news in Philippines”

  1. Has been living in a tent for about 6 months…. that alone tells you something about the people tasked to handle the aftermath of Haiyan. Incompetent idiots!

    And they are now saying that the bunkhouses they built for the survivors were not overpriced but rather substandard. PhP 900K+ for pigeonholes with common toilet, and it is not overpriced? And that the reason for being substandard was lack of funds? In the midst of a “hearing” about hundreds of billions of pesos stolen by greedy arseholes.

    I can’t blame those crappy media outlets, the thing is people do patronize them, that is why they are still in existence. If people stop patronizing these media outlets then they will cease to exit.

    1. And those people are only waiting for the government to help them. They know that the government is a turtle, yet they’re doing nothing.

      1. Can you substantiate your statement that people there are just doing nothing?

        People there who are stripped of their livelihood should be given due assistance by the government. It is like you are saying “bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo”. How can they rebuild their homes in the absence of their livelihood? Oh, yeah, they can’t, that is why up to now they are living in tents. Guess what the economy of Tacloban is propped up with…tourism, commerce and education. How far have they gone as far as restoring their sources of income is concerned? Do you have any idea?

  2. I’d like to think that audits are conducted to reassure all the foreigners who donated generously that their money was spent appropriately. That helps me sleep at night…

  3. The truth is no one cares and no one wants to hear it. A callous society run by thieves produces such things.

  4. News Media in our country is controlled by the Feudal Oligarchs…the Aquino administations…and Aquino’s propaganda machine.

    Bad news are swept under the rug…good news that are irrelevant; and favors the Aquino administration are shown in the tabloid.

    It is like the Propaganda Machine of Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany; managed by his news manager , Joseff Goebels…

    Or like the news to totalitarian states like North Korea, Cuba, etc…bad news are hidden…good news/irrelevant news featured…plus the diversion like the: Napaoles List, Pork Barrel Scandal, etc…

    No wonder people are now borderline YellowTards…

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