“I am not satisfied. As a matter of fact, it’s BS (bullshit). I’ll be back here in December (and) I want all of them transferred to the bunk houses by (then).” This was the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte as he ordered Leni Robredo to speed up the construction of houses for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. The President made the comment during the commemoration of the third anniversary of typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City.

Duterte’s terse remark was in response to the slow pace of rehabilitation after one of the world’s largest environmental disasters left 6,300 Filipinos dead and more than Php 90 billion worth of properties was damaged.

Saying that the relief efforts should have been finished two years ago, Duterte also tasked Rebrodo, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council to cut through the red tape, improve efficiency and make sure the work is done quickly.

“The ‘Yolanda’ relief should have been finished one year after. I do not know where I will start. Is it really the rules which is also to protect the money of the people? Or the people who refuse to do their jobs?”

Duterte however declined to follow the practice of past presidents in blaming their predecessors for the problems currently being faced by the people. And instead chose to apologize for the delay himself.

“What am I supposed to say here? Three years from now have passed and you are just waiting for another typhoon. We hope no one is here when that time comes so we do not have to say I am sorry it has gone to this. Really, I am apologizing to you.

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