• Yolanda rehab projects 30% completed – NEDA

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    THE government said it has completed 30.3 percent of the overall projects and activities under rehabilitation and recovery efforts after Supertyphoon Yolanda [international name: Haiyan]lashed the Visayas two years ago, with most of the ongoing projects expected to be accomplished by the end of 2016.

    In a statement on Thursday, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the government–working closely with its development partners, the private sector and non-governmental organizations–continues to see steady progress in the Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

    The agency said the overall weighted physical accomplishment (OWPA) of completed and ongoing Yolanda programs projects and activities (PPAs) now stands at 63.2 percent, comprised of 30.3 percent completed and 33.1 percent ongoing.

    As of November 2015, the NEDA said the areas of Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation that are completed or nearing completion of targets based on the agencies’ submissions include the distribution of 339,745 learning kits to Yolanda-affected schools; rehabilitation of 35 damaged airports out of 37; rehabilitation of 296 municipal facilities out of 309; rehabilitation of 89.21 percent of the total target of 1,852.53 lineal meters of damaged bridges; and the construction of 77.9 kilometers out of 107.6 km of damaged national roads.

    The NEDA added that Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) has benefited 788,747 households or 76.3 percent of the targeted 1,033,827 families whose houses were damaged by the typhoon.

    The families with partially damaged houses received P10,000 worth of cash or materials, while families with totally damaged houses received P30,000 worth of cash or materials.

    “The ESA was intended to help affected families rebuild sturdier houses provided they are away from the danger zones. Distribution of ESA is still ongoing,” it said.

    A total of 48,995 Yolanda survivors, or 89.4 percent of the targeted 54,825 beneficiaries, have had their fishing boats repaired or replaced, it added.

    Meanwhile, the agency reported that thousands more received fishing gears and paraphernalia than originally targeted: 76,598 sets were distributed while the original target was 68,636; and distribution of an additional 4,779 sets is ongoing.

    The distribution of rice and corn seeds is also nearing completion, with 94,020 or 85.7 percent of 101,708 targeted bags distributed to beneficiaries.

    The government has also undertaken to provide new livelihood opportunities to survivors. An example is the entrepreneurship training, in which majority or 80.22 percent of the targeted 364 trainings have already been completed.

    Building of resettlement sites slow
    “The government is making strides in rebuilding resilient communities in the Yolanda corridors in the Visayas regions, as well as in MIMAROPA region, particularly through sustainable infrastructure development and responsive social services,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

    “Many Yolanda survivors now have better prospects with the help of government’s various livelihood assistance programs,” he said.

    Balisacan, however, admitted that resettlement of the survivors from the danger zones continues to be the most challenging among the recovery efforts.

    To date, only a total of 13,335 housing units have been completed, with construction of 79,219 houses ongoing and scheduled for completion by December 2016. That translates to a completion rate of just 14.4 percent.

    Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general, said among the issues slowing down the building of resettlement sites are policies on procurement and land acquisition and the many required permits and clearances needed to start certain projects.

    Because of this, he said the agency is coordinating efforts to address these policy and implementation issues with the concerned agencies.

    In April this year, President Benigno S. Aquino III, through Memorandum Order 79, transferred the coordination, monitoring, and evaluation of all disaster-related PPAs from the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery to NEDA.

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