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‘Yolanda’ rehab still unfinished

TWO years after Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) hit the Philippines, the government said it has completed only 30.3 percent of projects to rebuild affected communities.

On Dec. 31, the National Economic and Development Authority said the government has finished only 30.3 percent of the identified projects and is still working on 33.1 percent.

Some 36.8 percent of the rehabilitation projects have not yet even begun.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan noted that the resettlement of survivors from the danger zones continues to be the most challenging among the recovery efforts.

New chapter? Storm survivors like this child are greeting the New Year from their bunk houses in Leyte. MEL CASPE
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.

Neda said the obstacles were policies on procurement and land acquisition and the need for permits and clearances to begin the resettlement sites.

Most of the ongoing projects are scheduled for completion by 2016, the agency said.

Even though less than half of the rehabilitation projects have been completed, Socio-economic

Planning Secretary Aresenio Balisacan said many Yolanda survivors “now have better prospects with the help of governments various livelihood programs.”

Among the accomplishments, Neda cited:

• The distribution of 339,745 learning kits to Yolanda-damaged schools.

• The rehabilitation of 94.6 percent of the 37 airports damaged in the storm.

• The rehabilitation of 295 out of 309 civic centers, municipal halls and public markets damaged by Yolanda.

• The rehabilitation of 89.2 percent of damaged bridges.

Neda also said 72.4 percent of damaged national roads or 77.9 kilometers out of 107.6 kilometers have been reconstructed.

As of  Nov. 15, the Emergency Shelter Assistance has benefited 788,747 households or 76.3 percent of the targeted 1,033,827 families whose houses were damaged by the typhoon, Neda said.

The families with partially damaged houses received P10,000 worth of cash or materials; while families with totally damaged houses received P30,000 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.

Neda also reported that 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 gear 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.

The government has also planned to restore livelihoods of farmers and fishermen through the 364 targeted entrepreneurship training sessions. Of the total target, 80.22 percent were completed.

On Thursday, the Labor Department released more than P15 million for an emergency employment assistance program for victims of typhoons “Nona” and “Lando.”

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that of the P15 million, P5 million was granted for livelihood formation and restoration, and emergency employment programs for informal workers in the provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija affected by severe flooding brought about by Typhoon Lando.

Baldoz said that the department has also released P9.6 million as part of its emergency employment assistance for victims of Typhoon Nona in the Provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon. With Vito Barcelo

Topics: Typhoon Yolanda , Yolanda rehab
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