‘Yolanda’ causes $12-B to $15-B damage

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International risk assessment firm Kinetic Analysis Corp. (KAC) said on Tuesday that the Philippine economy may suffer $12-billion to $15-billion worth of damages (P523 billion to P654 billion) from Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).

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Charles Watson, research and development director of KAC, said in a Bloomberg article that the Philippines sustained “catastrophic” damage estimated from $12 billion to $15 billion, which can have a great negative effect to the country’s quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

“A $12-billion storm is not really that bad here in the United States. [But] for the Philippine islands, it is catastrophic,” he added.

Furthermore, Joseph Foltz, Office of Environment, Energy and Climate Change deputy chief of US Agency for International Development (Usaid), attributed KAC in his Twitter account, where he said that the super typhoon is “estimated to reduce the Philippine GDP [growth]by 4.8 percent to 6 percent.”

In an earlier statement that circulated on reports over the weekend, Bloomberg Industries senior analyst Jonathan Adams cited KAC, saying that the typhoon’s economic impact to the country may reach $14 billion as it affected 9.7 million people in Visayas area.

But the Philippine government remains optimistic that the country’s GDP growth will hit 7 percent by the end of the year, said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

Though outlook on economic performance remained positive, Balisacan said that the government is are still more worried and concerned on the lack of jobs, and the poverty that will be caused by Yolanda’s destruction.

Balisacan also said that agriculture and services will be the hard-hit sectors in terms of employment in the Visayas.

The Philippines has been obtaining high scores for economic performance for the current year: 7.6 percent in the first quarter; and 7.5 percent in the second quarter. The government expects third-quarter GDP growth hit above 7 percent.

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