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Quick-track recovery plans for the Dinagat Islands: solon

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

Rep. Alan 1 Ecleo is encouraging national government authorities to expedite programs necessary to fully restore the province from the severe damages it experienced from the massive typhoon one year after it wreaked havoc in the Dinagat Islands with Super Typhoon Odette.

We still have a long way to go before fully recovering from the second-costliest typhoon in Philippine history, Ecleo said. “While both the local and the national government have done so much in the past year, we still have a long way ahead of us.”

In order for us to properly recover, it is evident from the Dinagat Islands Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (RRP) that national government agencies must step up and deliver the necessary projects, programs, and activities.

One of the hardest hit locations by Odette was the Dinagat Islands, which suffered billions of pesos’ worth of damage to government infrastructure, roads, agriculture, and fisheries in addition to 22 fatalities and 803 injuries. A minimum of 37,033 families have been impacted, and 16,336 dwellings have been completely demolished.

“A year later, our school buildings have not yet been completely repaired, with the PDNA and RRP estimating a required amount of at least PHP306 million for the reconstruction and repair of destroyed classrooms; and roughly PHP130.25 million for the replacement of lost and damaged equipment,” Ecleo said.

He continued, “At least PHP114 million, plus an extra PHP160.5 million for fisheries, is also required to reinvigorate our local agriculture.

In the meantime, PHP2.5 billion is required to build, renovate, and maintain crucial public infrastructure, like roads, bridges, and seawalls.

These are only a handful of the project sectors that, according to Ecleo, need the national government’s immediate attention and financial support.

The second-term legislator claimed that despite increased support for the Dinagat Islands under the Duterte government and even under President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., attempts to raise money for their comprehensive rehabilitation are still being mobilized.

“We have not wavered in coordinating efforts from national agencies and their regional and municipal counterparts to expedite the distribution of financial relief to Odette survivors in the first six months of our second term,” Ecleo added.

He said this might be accomplished, among other things, through the Emergency Support Assistance (ESA) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) and Government Internship Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The House Resolution requiring the Departments of Education (DepEd) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to develop a Master Plan to keep schools in coastal areas disaster-resistant was spearheaded by Ecleo, who is currently the chair of the House Disaster Resilience Committee.

In order to promptly address food shortages and hunger, particularly following natural catastrophes, we also recently discussed and approved in committee a law creating National Food Banks, he added.

We are shaped not only by the catastrophes we have survived but also by our efforts to advance and get better as we recover. A year after Odette, we still feel a feeling of urgency, and we hope that the rest of the country, especially the federal government and our congressional colleagues, will remember as well.

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

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