Gov’t agencies speed up burial of remains of 1,400 Yolanda fatalities PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 January 2014 13:48

Concerned government agencies are working closely with the Tacloban City government to speed up the burial of some 1,400 fatalities of super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Departments of Health and Public Works and Highways sent added equipment while the National Bureau of Investigation redeployed its forensic team on the ground.

Quoting a report from Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson, he said the DOH has sent 1,500 body bags and protective kits for personnel handling the remains while the DPWH sent additional backhoes and payloaders.

“Ginagawa na po ito sa pamamagitan ng puspusang pagtutulungan ng DOH, NBI, DPWH at kanilang pakikipag-ugnayan sa Tacloban City government (The DOH, NBI and DPWH are coordinating with the Tacloban City government in this regard),” he said.

Coloma also said the agencies are considering other suggestions to speed up the burial, including modifying the procedure used by the NBI to identify the remains.

He said some sectors had pointed out that the NBI adheres to the procedures used by the International Police Organization (Interpol), which are rather thorough but would take more time.

“Sa obserbasyon naman po ng ibang mga ahensiya, at ito ay na-convey na rin sa NBI na baka naman pwedeng ma-modify ang procedure on the fact that iyong Interpol procedures are procedures being used to gather evidence in criminal cases, kaya siyempre mas detalyado ito. Ang mga victims of the calamity, hindi naman similarly situated as victims of crimes, kaya I think iyon ang isang punto na tinalakay nila (Some agencies had conveyed to the NBI a suggestion to modify the procedures since Interpol procedures are used to gather evidence in criminal cases and are thus more thorough but time-consuming. Victims of the calamity are not similarly situated as victims of crimes, so I think that is a point that may be discussed),” Coloma said.

He said discussions are ongoing to have the NBI comply with Interpol procedures but at a faster pace.