MANILA – As 2015 ends, the Philippine government – working closely with its development partners, the private sector and non-governmental organizations – continues to see steady progress in the Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation efforts. According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the overall weighted physical accomplishment (OWPA) of completed and ongoing Yolanda programs projects and activities (PPAs) now stands at 63.2 percent – 30.3 percent completed and 33.1 percent ongoing. Most of the ongoing projects are scheduled for completion by 2016.
“The government is making strides in rebuilding resilient communities in the Yolanda corridors in the Visayas regions, as well as in MIMAROPA region, particularly through sustainable infrastructure development and responsive social services. True to our aim to “Build Back Better,” the reconstructed roads, bridges, ports, telecommunications facilities, as well as health and education facilities, are now subscribing to more stringent structural standards. Many Yolanda survivors now have better prospects with the help of government’s various livelihood assistance programs,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director General Arsenio M. Balisacan.
NEDA has noted the following areas of Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation that are completed or nearing completion of targets based on the agencies’ submissions as of November 15, 2015:
- Distribution of 339,745 learning kits to Yolanda-affected schools has been completed;
- Almost all damaged airports (35 out of 37 or 94.6 percent) have been rehabilitated;
- Most municipal facilities (295 out of 309 or 95.5 percent) under the first batch – such as civic centers, municipal halls and public markets — have been rehabilitated;
- A significant majority (89.21 percent of the total target of 1,852.53 lineal meters) of damaged bridges have been rehabilitated, and
- Majority (72.4 percent) damaged national roads (77.9 km out of 107.6 km) have been reconstructed.
As of November 15, 2015 submissions, the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) has benefited 788,747 households or 76.3 percent of the targeted 1,033,827 families whose houses were damaged by the typhoon. The families with partially damaged houses received Php 10,000 worth of cash or materials; while families with totally damaged houses received Php 30,000 worth of cash or materials. The ESA was intended to help affected families rebuild sturdier houses provided they are away from the danger zones. Distribution of ESA is still ongoing.
A total of 48,995 Yolanda survivors, or 89.4 percent of the targeted 54,825 beneficiaries, have had their fishing boats repaired or replaced. Meanwhile, thousands more received fishing gears and paraphernalia than originally targeted: 76,598 sets were distributed while the original target was 68,636; distribution of an additional 4,779 sets is ongoing.
The distribution of rice and corn seeds is also nearing completion, with 94,020 or 85.7 percent of 101,708 targeted bags distributed to beneficiaries.
In addition to restoring the livelihoods of farmers and fishers, the government has also undertaken to provide new livelihood opportunities to survivors; an example of this is the entrepreneurship training – majority (80.22 percent) of the targeted 364 trainings have already been completed.
Balisacan noted that resettlement of the survivors from the danger zones continues to be the most challenging among the recovery efforts. To date, only a total of 13,335 housing units have been completed, with construction of 79,219 houses ongoing and scheduled for completion by December 2016. Among the issues slowing down the building of resettlement sites are policies on procurement and land acquisition and the many required permits and clearances needed to start certain projects. NEDA is intensively coordinating efforts to address these policy and implementation issues with the concerned agencies.
In April this year, President Benigno S. Aquino III, through Memorandum Order No. 79, transferred the coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of all disaster-related PPAs from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery to NEDA.