FOR NORTHERN CEBU'S YOLANDA-HIT AREAS: LACSON TO ASK NOY TO DO REHAB ASAP

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo “Ping” Lacson yesterday promised to recommend to President Benigno Aquino III that the government implement the rehabilitation plans for northern Cebu and Leyte as soon as possible. He said that since local government leaders have submitted their respective rehabilitation plans, there is no reason to further delay rehabilitation efforts, especially in northern Cebu. Lacson was the guest in yesterday’s agreement signing and groundbreaking for the construction and repair of classrooms by the Aboitizes in San Remigio town. The day before, he also visited Tacloban City. He said that once all the concerned local government units in calamity-stricken areas have submitted their provincial rehabilitation plans, the national government would then create a master rehabilitation plan, which would submitted to the president for approval. The master plan would be based on the post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) that is scheduled to be submitted on April 21.Lacson, though, said that the creation and implementation of a master rehabilitation plan may take longer due to international protocols to be adhered to and provisions of Republic Act 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010) that must be complied with. “What I intend to do is not to wait for the PDNA but recommend to the president to proceed with the rehabilitation plans in northern Cebu and Leyte, para naman merong incentive yung mga (as incentive for) local government officials who have been proactive enough in submitting the needs and damage assessment for their rehabilitation plans,” he said.

ALSO: Govt allocates P1.79B for Yolanda-hit areas

The national government has allocated almost P1.8 billion for the rehabilitation of vital public buildings owned and operated by local government units in Yolanda-affected areas, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas announced on Thursday. Roxas said the government, via the DILG, will release the funds, amounting to P1.7914 billion beginning this month of April subject to the complete submission by LGUs of required documents. Roxas toured Yolanda-affected areas in Leyte province to personally distribute the check for the rehabilitation fund to mayors who had submitted all the needed documents. He noted that the P1.79 billion fund comprises only the first batch of rehabilitation fund for LGU-owned buildings. The second batch, amounting to over P358 million is still being processed by the Department of Budget and Management. Roxas said that the special funding was made possible through the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda — the national government’s strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction in areas devastated by the super typhoon. The objective of the plan is to restore the economic and social conditions of Yolanda-affected areas to their pre-typhoon levels, while also establishing a higher level of disaster resilience. READ MORE...

ALSO: ‘Negros not getting enough rehab aid’ says UN rep

A REPRESENTATIVE of the United Nations said Thursday that Yolanda-hit areas in Negros Occidental are “under-covered” by assistance from international non-government organizations (INGOs). Sandra Uwantege Hart, coordinator for Western Visayas of the UN's Food Security and Agriculture Cluster, said that unlike other areas devastated by the super typhoon last November, those in the province do not get enough assistance that they need for their rehabilitation efforts. Hart said that in Iloilo, where northeastern areas were among the hardest hit, 40 NGOs are working in the affected areas. “My job is to coordinate actions of INGOs and other UN agencies’ assistance for agriculture, food security and fishery sector,” Hart said. Hart paid a courtesy call to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. on Thursday at the start of her three-day consultation with local NGO, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM). Last month, international humanitarian group Concern Worldwide donated P25-million worth of financial assistance to the Provincial Government for its typhoon rehabilitation efforts. Only a few NGOs have provided assistance to Negros Occidental, including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which provided palay seeds and tools to four towns and UN International Labor Organization (ILO)."We've noticed that many NGOs working in Western Visayas are not consulting adequately with the communities," Hart added.

ALSO: NY-based author Ninotchka Rosca to report on rebuilding after Yolanda

“Typhoon Haiyan,” said writer and women’s advocate Ninotchka Rosca, “is a vivid illustration of what’s coming with climate change.” She added: “It is incumbent for all of us to take full measure of its toll on human life. This is not just for those of Philippine ancestry. No race, no ethnicity can escape these changes, and we need to cooperate to make sure that survival won’t be only for the few with resources.” With the highest landfall speed ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Yolanda) decimated the island of Leyte, as well as parts of Samar and Cebu islands. Estimates of fatalities range from 8,000 to 12,000, with 600,000 homeless and 11 million directly affected by the storm. Seven million trees, including entire coconut groves upon which the livelihood of thousands depended, were destroyed. Along with AF3IRM National Chair Jollene Levid, Rosca visited Leyte, Cebu and Zamboanga this January. They went through villages which had been totally wiped out by the typhoon and where residents were desperately re-building on their own, while searching for missing relatives and friends. In the course of this needs-assessment mission, Rosca tracked down a rumor about a thousand still unburied bodies – something denied by authorities – and the two found them in the yard of a building near the San Juanico bridge. Following reports of sexual assaults – also stringently denied by authority – in the typhoon areas, AF3IRM, in cooperation with the National Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders to End Sexual Violence and Exploitation (NAPIESVE), sent Rosca and Levid to the Philippines to conduct a needs-assessment analysis, focused on women and children. READ MORE...

ALSO: Tanauan, Leyte looking forward to first harvest after Yolanda, Tacloban still struggling

It will soon be harvest time in Tanauan, Leyte. The rice fields in Tanauan town in Leyte are now colored green and yellow. Soon, it will be harvest time. Looking at them, it was hard to imagine that five months ago, the town was all mud and rubble, caused by super typhoon Yolanda in November. Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest typhoon to hit land, left 1,252 people dead in Tanauan, representing 2.5 percent of its population. It is the highest number of deaths in percentage to its population. But as the rice fields symbolize, life is slowly coming to Tanauan. In a recent interview, Mayor Pel Tecson said the local government has stopped providing relief goods to those affected by the super typhoon. Instead, local officials are giving away fertilizer, seeds, and other agricultural materials for the residents to use. Tecson recalled that after Yolanda, the local government asked the assistance of the Department of Agriculture to provide them with palay seeds. A month later, while many affected areas were still reeling from the devastation, Tanauan folk were already planting seeds. As for coconut farming, which is one of the major sources of livelihood in the town, planting has already started. The local government plans to cover a minimum of 200 hectares in its coconut replanting. The town has about 1,000 hectares of coconut farm lands. The LGU has also ventured into inter-cropping coconut with corn. Tacloban still struggling However, the rosy picture of Tanauan is a far cry from what is happening in Tacloban City. Although businesses in Tacloban are now open, livelihood, especially for minimum-wage earners, is sparse, and families in temporary shelters still rely on relief goods. READ MORE...


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For Northern Cebu’s Yolanda-hit areas: Ping to ask PNoy to do rehab ASAP


Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson (4th from right), Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro (2nd from right) and Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III (5th from right) led yesterday’s burial of a time capsule during a groundbreaking ceremony for a school building in San Remigio town. With them were (right to left) San Remigio Mayor Mariano Martinez, and Erramon Aboitiz, Department of Education-7 Director Carmelita Dulangon, Jon Ramon Aboitiz, Jaime Jose Aboitiz, and Susan Valdez of the Aboitiz Group. JOY TORREJOS

CEBU, APRIL 14, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento (The Freeman) - Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo “Ping” Lacson yesterday promised to recommend to President Benigno Aquino III that the government implement the rehabilitation plans for northern Cebu and Leyte as soon as possible.

He said that since local government leaders have submitted their respective rehabilitation plans, there is no reason to further delay rehabilitation efforts, especially in northern Cebu.

Lacson was the guest in yesterday’s agreement signing and groundbreaking for the construction and repair of classrooms by the Aboitizes in San Remigio town. The day before, he also visited Tacloban City.

He said that once all the concerned local government units in calamity-stricken areas have submitted their provincial rehabilitation plans, the national government would then create a master rehabilitation plan, which would submitted to the president for approval.

The master plan would be based on the post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) that is scheduled to be submitted on April 21.Lacson, though, said that the creation and implementation of a master rehabilitation plan may take longer due to international protocols to be adhered to and provisions of Republic Act 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010) that must be complied with.

“What I intend to do is not to wait for the PDNA but recommend to the president to proceed with the rehabilitation plans in northern Cebu and Leyte, para naman merong incentive yung mga (as incentive for) local government officials who have been proactive enough in submitting the needs and damage assessment for their rehabilitation plans,” he said.

He added that the provinces of Cebu and Leyte have already submitted their provincial rehabilitation plans complete with the program of works and estimates.

He also said that PARR has already acquired an advanced copy of the raw data submitted by the two provincial government units.

He acknowledged that the typhoon survivors are already getting impatient as to when the national government would start its national rehabilitation program amid the pockets of recovery in calamity-stricken areas.

It was last February when the Malacañang vowed to build permanent structures in worst-hit areas in the Visayas region.

Lacson said that having identified the gaps in the national government, he initially appealed for the private sector to reach out to the typhoon survivors.

When Aquino and some of his cabinet members visited northern Cebu last January, Lacson said he recommended for the president to allot funds to LGUs that are capable of rebuilding and reconstructing their municipal halls, public markets, and civic centers through the resources from the national government.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, who also attended the Aboitiz activity, lauded Lacson in promising to him that rehabilitation of Cebu would begin as soon as possible.

Lacson hopes that implementation of the national government’s rehabilitation and reconstruction programs would already be in full-swing by June.

“If you are still thinking that northern Cebu is out of our hearts and minds in the national government, please don’t,” he said in jest while addressing the local government officials in attendance.

He also said they have already reclassified certain areas as either unsafe/high-risk zones or safe zones instead of strictly implementing the no-build zones, especially along coastlines, since it could affect the tourism industry of the country in general, and northern Cebu in particular.

He said that this would prompt resort establishments to prepare evacuation centers when disaster strikes.

Davide agreed with Lacson, saying that although the Capitol owns a few lots, it is still looking for possible relocation sites, especially for those living in coastal areas. —/RHM (FREEMAN)

Govt allocates P1.79B for Yolanda-hit areas By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated April 10, 2014 - 11:20am 0 1 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The national government has allocated almost P1.8 billion for the rehabilitation of vital public buildings owned and operated by local government units in Yolanda-affected areas, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas announced on Thursday.

Roxas said the government, via the DILG, will release the funds, amounting to P1.7914 billion beginning this month of April subject to the complete submission by LGUs of required documents.

Roxas toured Yolanda-affected areas in Leyte province to personally distribute the check for the rehabilitation fund to mayors who had submitted all the needed documents.

He noted that the P1.79 billion fund comprises only the first batch of rehabilitation fund for LGU-owned buildings. The second batch, amounting to over P358 million is still being processed by the Department of Budget and Management.

Roxas said that the special funding was made possible through the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda — the national government’s strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction in areas devastated by the super typhoon.

The objective of the plan is to restore the economic and social conditions of Yolanda-affected areas to their pre-typhoon levels, while also establishing a higher level of disaster resilience.

"Sinisimulan na namin ngayong buwan ang pagbibigay ng pondo para masimulan na ng mga LGUs ang pagpapagawa ng mahahalagang gusaling pampubliko na winasak ng Bagyong Yolanda," Roxas said.

"Bahagi ito ng pagsisikap ng pamahalaan na pabilisin ang normalisasyon sa mga lugar na nasalanta ng bagyo at maibalik ang regular na serbisyo ng LGU sa mamamayan sa lalong madaling panahon," he added.

The DILG has instructed all LGUs affected by Yolanda to submit their Program of Works for the rehabilitation of damaged public buildings in their respective areas, particularly the provincial, city, and municipal halls, public markets and civic centers.

Of the 14 provinces and 171 cities and municipalities falling within the 50 km. radius of Yolanda’s path, four provinces and 146 municipalities and cities were reported to have sustained significant damages on the three priority facilities.

Reported damages of critical governance facilities in the 150 LGUs ( four provinces and 146 municipalities and cities) reveal that 92.3 percent, or a total of 323 facilities, are partially damaged while only 27 (7.7 percent) are totally damaged.

The total cost of approved POWs for the partially-damaged facilities is P1.245 billion, while total cost of submitted POWs for the totally-damaged facilities is P853.8 million.

The biggest chunk of the rehabilitation fund for cities and municipalities will go to Tacloban City, which was allocated more than P230 million for the repair of the city hall, public market, and civic center.

For the provinces, Leyte received the biggest funding with allocation amounting to P801.8 million, or about 45 percent of the total rehabilitation fund.

Allocation for the other provinces in Region 8 includes P19.9 million for Biliran; P100.2 million for Eastern Samar; and P16.5 milion for Western Samar.

In Region 6, the rehabilitation budget was divided with Iloilo getting the biggest slice of P78.8 million; followed by Capiz with P66 million; Aklan with P27 million; Antique with P24.8 million; and Negros Occidental with P5.15 million.

FROM THE SUN-STAR ONLINE

‘Negros not getting enough rehab aid’ says UN rep -AA+A By Teresa Ellera Friday, April 11, 2014


More than 50,000 Negrenses had been displaced by super typhoon Yolanda in Negros Occidental, but no life was lost, local officials said on Friday, November 8. COURTESY OF RAPPLER.COM

A REPRESENTATIVE of the United Nations said Thursday that Yolanda-hit areas in Negros Occidental are “under-covered” by assistance from international non-government organizations (INGOs).

Sandra Uwantege Hart, coordinator for Western Visayas of the UN's Food Security and Agriculture Cluster, said that unlike other areas devastated by the super typhoon last November, those in the province do not get enough assistance that they need for their rehabilitation efforts.

Hart said that in Iloilo, where northeastern areas were among the hardest hit, 40 NGOs are working in the affected areas.

“My job is to coordinate actions of INGOs and other UN agencies’ assistance for agriculture, food security and fishery sector,” Hart said.

Hart paid a courtesy call to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. on Thursday at the start of her three-day consultation with local NGO, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM).

Last month, international humanitarian group Concern Worldwide donated P25-million worth of financial assistance to the Provincial Government for its typhoon rehabilitation efforts.

Only a few NGOs have provided assistance to Negros Occidental, including the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which provided palay seeds and tools to four towns and UN International Labor Organization (ILO).

"We've noticed that many NGOs working in Western Visayas are not consulting adequately with the communities," Hart added.

She said that: “There is no adequate amount of inclusion of local NGOs, civil society and community organizations in the provision, planning and delivery of humanitarian assistance."

She added the consultations in the province is her office's initiative by working with local partners like PRRM.

Hart added they will "go directly to the communities and employ a mix approach of interviews at the community level.”

They will also conduct focus group discussions with fisherfolk and farmers to get their feedback on the assistance delivered, she said.

The assistance delivered include food, relief assistance, seeds and planting tools, and boats and tools for boat repairs.

"There was also an assistance in the form of cash transfers through the Department of Social Services and Development," Hart said.

She said the consultations are “not about a promise of assistance nor an assessment for assistance but rather taking the voices of communities and bringing it to the INGOs and UN agency level.”

The aim is to trouble shoot and tell these INGOs what is wrong with the assistance that have been provided so far, and advice them what the communities are asking for livelihood recovery, she said.

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

NY-based author Ninotchka Rosca to report on rebuilding after Yolanda April 10, 2014 1:03pm 96 4 0 104


Rosca (right) and Jollene Levid with a local community leader (center). Photo courtesy of AF3IRM

“Typhoon Haiyan,” said writer and women’s advocate Ninotchka Rosca, “is a vivid illustration of what’s coming with climate change.”

She added: “It is incumbent for all of us to take full measure of its toll on human life. This is not just for those of Philippine ancestry. No race, no ethnicity can escape these changes, and we need to cooperate to make sure that survival won’t be only for the few with resources.”

With the highest landfall speed ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan (known in the Philippines as Yolanda) decimated the island of Leyte, as well as parts of Samar and Cebu islands. Estimates of fatalities range from 8,000 to 12,000, with 600,000 homeless and 11 million directly affected by the storm. Seven million trees, including entire coconut groves upon which the livelihood of thousands depended, were destroyed.

Along with AF3IRM National Chair Jollene Levid, Rosca visited Leyte, Cebu and Zamboanga this January. They went through villages which had been totally wiped out by the typhoon and where residents were desperately re-building on their own, while searching for missing relatives and friends. In the course of this needs-assessment mission, Rosca tracked down a rumor about a thousand still unburied bodies – something denied by authorities – and the two found them in the yard of a building near the San Juanico bridge.

Following reports of sexual assaults – also stringently denied by authority – in the typhoon areas, AF3IRM, in cooperation with the National Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders to End Sexual Violence and Exploitation (NAPIESVE), sent Rosca and Levid to the Philippines to conduct a needs-assessment analysis, focused on women and children.

“Trafficking, prostitution and child prostitution are much feared and much talked about,” noted Rosca wryly, “but about which not much is done.”

Both Levid and Rosca have been giving presentations on the typhoon to various groups. “We approach the issues comprehensively,” explained Rosca, “so that people leave with a sense of how to interface with the damaged communities.”

On Friday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Rutgers University’s Asian American Cultural Center, AF3IRM member Ninotchka Rosca will give a report on the aftermath of the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). The Rutgers Association of Pilipino Students (RAPS) is hosting the event which is open to the public. The Center is at the Livingston Campus, 49 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854, and can be contacted at 848-445-8043.

Phase 2 of the AF3IRM/NAPIESVE Philippine mission will begin in second half of this year. It will focus on training people to establish safety zones for women and children, as well as ensure that their specific needs are among immediate relief goods.

Anyone who wishes to help, contribute or work with the mission can email nynj@af3irm.org. For direct cash donations, please access the AF3IRM project page at www.sponsorphilippines.org. — The FilAm

Tanauan looking forward to first harvest after Yolanda By ROUCHELLE DINGLASAN, GMA NewsApril 9, 2014 2:37pm 564 16 0 592


It will soon be harvest time in Tanauan, Leyte. Rouchelle R. Dinglasan

The rice fields in Tanauan town in Leyte are now colored green and yellow. Soon, it will be harvest time.

Looking at them, it was hard to imagine that five months ago, the town was all mud and rubble, caused by super typhoon Yolanda in November.

Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest typhoon to hit land, left 1,252 people dead in Tanauan, representing 2.5 percent of its population. It is the highest number of deaths in percentage to its population.

But as the rice fields symbolize, life is slowly coming to Tanauan.

In a recent interview, Mayor Pel Tecson said the local government has stopped providing relief goods to those affected by the super typhoon. Instead, local officials are giving away fertilizer, seeds, and other agricultural materials for the residents to use.

Tecson recalled that after Yolanda, the local government asked the assistance of the Department of Agriculture to provide them with palay seeds. A month later, while many affected areas were still reeling from the devastation, Tanauan folk were already planting seeds.

As for coconut farming, which is one of the major sources of livelihood in the town, planting has already started. The local government plans to cover a minimum of 200 hectares in its coconut replanting. The town has about 1,000 hectares of coconut farm lands.

The LGU has also ventured into inter-cropping coconut with corn.

Tacloban still struggling

However, the rosy picture of Tanauan is a far cry from what is happening in Tacloban City.

Although businesses in Tacloban are now open, livelihood, especially for minimum-wage earners, is sparse, and families in temporary shelters still rely on relief goods.

“Mahirap po dito kasi wala pong trabaho ang asawa ko. Hindi naman [pwedeng] parati na lang sardinas [ang ulam namin]. 'Yung anak ko nga nagtatae 'yan kasi laging 'yun na lang ang pagkain," said Vernabeth Amarilla, who is living in a bunkhouse in Tacloban City.

“Sabi nila meron daw livelihood, pero wala pa ngayon,” she added.

Asked if her husband opted to avail of the government's cash-for-work program, she noted that he refused to participate because compensation would only be given after 15 days of working.

Currently, her husband is looking for odd jobs that provides daily wages.

Pinoy resilience

Kasper Engborg, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Tacloban, said “when you have a disaster at this level, it takes time to recover.”

"No country would be able to prepare for the devastation that Yolanda created. It takes time to recover," he said in a separate interview.

Still, he noted that resilience of Filipinos is remarkable compared to other countries that have also been victims of natural disasters.

“The resilience we see here is far greater in all countries,” he said. — KBK/JL, GMA News

The reporter's trip to Tacloban City was sponsored by the German Development Cooperation.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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