MANILA — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is mobilizing government agencies and multilateral development partners as it drafts a unified plan to rehabilitate areas damaged by Typhoon Yolanda. 

Citing the importance of well-coordinated and properly sequenced actions following the Typhoon Yolanda that struck Eastern Visayas on November 8, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan pushed to accelerate identification and mobilization of member agencies of the Task Force in charge of recovery and reconstruction. 

“While we appreciate the various initiatives of agencies and development partners, we need to have a well-coordinated plan so that we can make the most out of resources now being made available,” Balisacan said. 

NEDA issued on Monday a memorandum to member agencies to designate representatives for the Task Force. Balisacan, who is also Director General of NEDA, said that under the Task Force, agencies are enjoined to work together on a unified post-disaster needs assessment and a coherent recovery and reconstruction plan. 

The unified plan will serve as basis for coordinating recovery and reconstruction efforts, including donor assistance. 

It will identify immediate actions that will need to be put in place. The plan will also identify near- to medium-term priority projects that can be included in the budget for 2014 and for 2015 and that can be funded by either official donor assistance or the private sector. 

“We need to act quickly but we also need to determine the right sequence of actions so we can address both immediate and longer-term needs,” Balisacan said. 

The Task Force is co-chaired by NEDA, which will oversee planning, and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which will oversee implementation. 

In separate meetings on Monday, Balisacan met with Asian Development Bank and the World Bank for post-Yolanda recovery and reconstruction efforts. 

He noted the need for multilateral and bilateral agencies to likewise coordinate their assistance, in accordance with the government’s plans. 

For their part, the ADB and World Bank, led by Neeraj Jain and Motoo Konishi, country directors of ADB and World Bank, respectively, expressed appreciation for the government’s clear direction and stressed the importance of government-driven disaster response efforts. 

NEDA is a member of the National Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Management Council. The NEDA Director General is Vice Chairperson for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.