• NEDA to ‘refine’, re-submit to Malacanang the critical immediate actions on post-Yolanda recovery on Friday

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    The National Economic and Developmet Authority (NEDA) presented five “critical immediate actions” to Malacanang on Wednesday to be undertaken for immediate rehabilitation of the areas affected by the Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), but will be under “refinement” and will be submitted for the president’s approval today (Friday).

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    In a statement released on Thursday, the NEDA said that the five immediate actions included in the rehabilitation plan presented during the cabinet meeting at the Malacanang is directed towards poor families and to restore their livelihood.

    “It is important to complete these critical actions as soon as possible. Otherwise, the already adverse impact of the disaster on poor families could be permanent and intergenerational, especially for families with small children deprived of health and education services,” said Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general.

    The NEDA highlighted the priority for housing, livelihood and employment as well as restoration of infrastructure and facilities, which was approved by President Benigno Aquino 3rd but is under “further refinement” for the implementation and disbursement of funds for the planned immediate actions which will be further discussed on Friday.

    Balisacan also said in the third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) announcement that the Wednesday cabinet meeting also concluded a P38.8-billion budget within the year for the immediate actions laid down by the board.

    The NEDA director general said that there are four stages of actions–immediate, short term, medium term and long term–these actions, especially the immediate actions to be done within the year, will restore normalcy and revive economic activities in the affected regions.

    The five critical immediate actions included in the rehabilitation plan were:

    – Site development to provide housing and basic amenities, prioritizing families that live in “no-build zones” and thus need to be permanently resettled;

    – Housing assistance for the purchase of housing materials for affected families to be identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of the Interior and Local Government;

    – Cash-for-work programs integrated in clearing and construction operations in the affected areas;

    – Seedlings and other assistance to farmers and fishermen to restart agriculture and fishing activities; and

    – Repair of classrooms, public market, hospitals and other public facilities.

    According to the NEDA director general, the unified recovery and rehabilitation plan is a detailed blueprint on the restoration of the Visayas areas hit by Yolanda, which is currently a work in progress by the NEDA in cooperation with government agencies and international organizations on ground, that will serve as a guideline on the actions restoration and rebuilding of the whole of the affected areas. Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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