Business slowly rebounds in Visayas – ADB

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Manila-based multilateral Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Friday that business activity in Visayas, which was hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), has been resuming slowly more than two months after the super typhoon hit the region.

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In a statement, ADB said that improvements such as business entities teaming up for a unified mobile phone charging system service and selling of flashlights were observed.

“In downtown Tacloban, the market is back in full swing, with people buying their daily necessities from vendors using makeshift stands,” the ADB said, citing that developments in the business environment in the region were getting “very brisk.”

“Shoppers are lining up waiting for their turn to get into some malls and drug stores that are back in business, with police and security guards on hand to ensure order,” the multilateral added.

On the rural side of Visayas, which was also hit by Yolanda, farmers have planted coconut seeds and other crops.

Though challenges arise in livelihoods, the ADB said that people in the affected areas did not wait for government aid, but started livelihood and businesses amongst themselves.

Also with schools reopening their classes by January 6, students and their families were reportedly still using evacuation centers, but hotels were also resuming partial operations, according to ADB.

The ADB said that given the damage of the typhoon to families and their houses, international non-government organizations were very keen on helping families to build and repair their homes as the reconstruction of Yolanda-hit areas resume.

At present, ADB said that there are about 2,000 people who are temporarily settling at the Astrodome with about 20 pregnant women and over 1,000 children.

Relatedly, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is investigating damage that Super Typhoon Yolanda might have caused in sites the agency had identified for reforestation under the 2011-2016 National Greening Program (NGP).

“The special team we deployed to the Visayas this mid-January is tasked with assessing NGP sites there,” said DENR’s Forest Management Bureau director Ricardo Calderon.

Calderon said the team’s priority targets are Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte provinces being areas most affected by Yolanda.

With PNA

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