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PIA Press Release

OCD encourages LGUs affected by typhoons to formulate rehabilitation plans

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (24 October) -- From relief operations, the Cordillera Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (CRDCC), is paving the way to the rehabilitation phase.

A joint CRDCC - Regional Development Council Technical Secretariat meeting was held last Tuesday to discuss assessment of typhoon damages and preparation of rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for fund sourcing. The rehabilitation plan shall not only be limited to restoration and reconstruction of damaged areas but will also focus on the long term development including relocating communities in hazardous areas and decongesting Baguio City.

Relative to this, Office of Civil Defense Regional Director Olive Luces is urging all local government units devastated by typhoon "Pepeng," to start preparing their rehabilitation and development plan. "I am encouraging all local chief executives to formulate their rehabilitation plans, so that it could be integrated, before submitting to the National Disaster Coordinating Council for fund exploration," Luces said.

Based on the CRDCC report as of October 23, typhoon Pepeng which wrought havoc in the region left 312 dead, of which 297 died during its second wave on October 8 and 9, 18 missing and 181 injured. Affected families totaled to 88,409 or 421,861 persons with 379 families still in existing evacuation centers. Totally damaged houses numbered to 940 while 5,638 houses were partially damaged.

Initial estimated cost of damages to roads is pegged at P1103.356B, P167.635 m for public schools and P178.150M for irrigation systems. Damages to crops is estimated at P698.687, livestock-P11.827M and P9.56 for fishery.

At the local level, we are financially exhausted we need the assistance of the national government. In collaboration with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), we really have to plan for the development we want for Cordillera," Luces added.

Meanwhile, as part of the relief efforts especially to the remaining isolated areas and in anticipation of typhoon Ramil, the CRDCC chaired by PRO-Cor Regional Director PCSupt. Orlando Pestaņo, in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-CAR), AFP Technical Operations Group (TOG 1) and the Philippine Air force (PAF), spearheaded the pre-positioning of relief supplies in different parts of Benguet and Mountain Province since Monday. Six helicopters, including two United Nations (UN) choppers were used in operation.

In terms of relief supply, CAR is getting overwhelming support, not only from the national government, but also from the private sector and the international community It is just a matter of delivering them to the victims, Luces said.

Pestano is urging everybody to be vigilant and take precautionary measures to prevent similar occurrence as that of the previous typhoon that hit the region. Preemptive evacuation is still in effect to minimize damages and loss of lives and property as a preventive measure and disaster preparation.

Meanwhile, Luces highlighted the importance of the citizenry's help or doing their share during time of calamities. She noted that Cordillerans are resilient and during the time of need, the "bayanihan" system happened in the remote areas and even the provinces have been able to manage the calamity brought by "Pepeng," themselves. Luces also stressed the importance of shifting into a more pro-active response on emergency management, by focusing into risk prevention and loss reduction. (PIA) [top]

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