Cordillera seeks P18-B rehab fund

BAGUIO CITY — The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is asking the national government for a PHP17.93-billion fund that will be used to rehabilitate and restore the region after being battered by Typhoons Ompong and Rosita in 2018.

The fund will be used to rebuild the damaged public infrastructures, houses, livelihood affected by both typhoons in September and in October last year.

“The master plan to restore the socio-economic conditions in the disaster-affected areas with high level of resilience and reduced poverty was prepared by the Cordillera Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council’s (CDRRMC) committee on recovery and rehabilitation composed of mostly government agencies and led by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). It will be submitted to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) with the hope of getting its quick response budget to fund the proposals,” NEDA supervising economic development specialist Marie Olga Difuntorum said on Monday.

The plan includes short and medium-term projects for livelihood or business development, agriculture and fisheries, housing and settlement, social services, physical infrastructure, and cross sectoral undertakings on environmental protection.

From the total amount, PHP16.9 billion will be requested from the NDRRM; PHP543.16 million will be funded by the budget of the regional line agencies; PHP338.94 million to be sourced from the local government units, and PHP144.48 million will come from non-government sources.

The programs in the master plan will focus on repairs and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads, flood control facilities, provincial bridges, road slope protection, drainage and irrigation systems.

There will also be rehabilitation of municipal buildings, gymnasiums, evacuation centers, barangay clinics, day care centers, warehouses and construction of regional evacuation centers.

Difuntorum said based on the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report, the Cordillera recorded PHP21 billion in damages and losses due to the two typhoons that hit the region in 2018.

However, with the line agencies’ immediate response, some programs have been started and others are in progress, cutting down the proposed rehabilitation fund to PHP17 billion.

PDNA report shows the region suffered PHP5.3 billion worth of damages in infrastructure which will include transportation, flood control, irrigation system, power and water supply; PHP13.5 million in the productive sector like agriculture, fisheries and tourism; PHP1.9 billion in social sector including health, education and housing; and PHP227.7 million in the cross-sector which includes governance and the environment.

Difontorum said Kalinga province recorded the biggest percentage of damage with 36.3 percent of the total; followed by Baguio City (17.7 percent); Mountain Province (16.7 percent) percent; Abra (13.9 percent); Apayao (11.8 percent); Ifugao (2.6 percent) and Benguet (1 percent).

In the productive sector, Kalinga suffered 34.1 percent damage, followed by Apayao (22.9 percent), Ifugao (20.2 percent), Mountain Province (9.5 percent), Abra (6.9 percent), and Benguet (6.4 percent).

In social sector, there were a total of 1,583 completely damaged houses while 37,497 were partially damaged. A total of 65 percent of the damage houses were recorded in Apayao, while 25 percent in Abra.

Meanwhile, Office of the Civil Defense Cordillera (OCD) Regional Director Albert Mogol said the rehabilitation and recovery plan for the region “will determine the extent of the damage left by a disaster.”

He said the Cordillera DRRMC is now focusing on the mitigation aspect of a disaster by coming up with flood control and slope protection measures.

“The DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highway) has said that slope protection will be included as a component of road projects to make sure that water will have its own access and will not seep on concrete and damage the road as well as cause the mountain to erode,” Mogol said.

“The national government is really helping us. They are committed in supporting us to be a disaster prepared and resilient region,” he added. 
Pamela Mariz Geminiano / PNA –