Malacañang’s spokesperson on Saturday said the government would not only rebuild areas hit by Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu), but it would make new structures more disaster-resilient.
In a radio interview, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the government will start the “build back better” phase as its agencies continue relief efforts for those areas affected by the typhoon in Luzon.
“Moving forward, we will remain in close collaboration with other sectors as we build back better the affected areas,” Valte told government-run dzRB radio.
“Build back better” is the mantra used by the government in referring to the rehabilitation work in areas devasted in November 2013 by Supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan).
Valte cited that the government’s response efforts for Lando has been credited by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
“The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction credited this improvement to preemptive evacuations and the early communication of warnings,” she said.
Valte said that the key to the government’s successful response to Lando “lies in partnership.”
“As a result, we were able to minimize the number of casualties, compared to previous typhoons,” she said.
She added that close coordination from the national down to the local levels and other sectors was the main factor for the successful evacuation of people living in high-risk areas.
Valte reported that 5,426 families or 23,993 people in Regions I, II, III, IV-A, and Cordillera Administrative Region were preemptively evacuated.
The government has counted a total of 46 deaths from Lando’s wrath as of 6 p.m. Friday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 1.6 million people were affected by the cyclone in seven regions in Luzon.
The government has pegged Lando’s damage to agriculture and infrastructure at P9.5 billion.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Saturday said that it continues to send relief supplies to those affected by Lando in Luzon.
The DSWD said that as of 1 a.m. Saturday, a total of 159,473 family food packs have been made available for those affected by Lando in National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region , Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and the CALABARZON area.
It added that P947 million in standby funds has been distributed to its field offices in the affected regions.