Gov’t Releases P18B for ‘Yolanda’ Rehab Efforts

A seaside area devastated by Typhoon Yolanda. Photo credit: Reuters / Romeo Ranoco
A seaside area devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.
Photo credit: Reuters / Romeo Ranoco

Three months after super typhoon “Yolanda” hit Visayas, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released almost P18 billion in government funds for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas.  

These funds are also meant to provide additional relief to the typhoon-hit areas.

According to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, the release of the funds will help speed up the recovery of Yolanda survivors and speedier restoration of infrastructures and basic public services.

Restoration of Clean Water Supply

Many areas in Leyte and Samar were hit so hard that the devastation continues to manifest even to this day.

Within the weeks immediately after the typhoon made landfall, the water supply in the area showed signs of contamination, especially with many residents falling ill with diarrhea and related ailments.

Tests have verified the presence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria and other forms of contamination in many water sources across Leyte and Samar.

Part of the newly released P5.72-billion budget allocation for the rehabilitation of public facilities will be used to reestablish clean water supply to the residents of the affected area so that they won’t have to rely on donated bottled water for drinking.

Aside from that, there is also a separate P77.01 million allocation for the repair of local water sources, with the funds channeled via the Local Water Utilities Administration.

Restoration of Electricity

Power lines also suffered major damages in the wake of Yolanda, leaving many areas without power for days.

Even today, three months after the typhoon struck, there are still many areas without electricity in Leyte and Samar.

Some P1.5 billion of the released funds was allocated for fixing transmission facilities while P101.2 million is set to repair generation facilities, with all these funds released to the government-owned National Power Corp.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) manages the bulk of the P3.93 billion intended for the restoration of power supply in the typhoon-hit areas.

Building Homes for Survivors

Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed by the typhoon, with many reduced to rubble so that the survivors had very little left to go home to.

With the assistance of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau which helped identify the areas where the shelters should be built, the National Housing Authority (NHA) also received P2.2 billion to provide homes for the affected residents.

In the weeks that followed the typhoon, food and water were so scarce that looting became rampant, especially in Tacloban City.

Relief goods were delayed, mostly by red tape and other unforeseen problems.  Later on, the government was able to streamline the distribution of relief for faster assistance to the needy survivors.

Still, more relief assistance is necessary so the government also allocated P1.88 billion for supplementary feeding activities and food distribution.

Temporary jobs were also created, especially to assist in clean-up and recovery operations; this is covered by an additional budget allocation of P953.5 million.

There is also P2.87 billion set aside for agriculture and fishery while P2.01 billion was given to local government services.

The DBM also allocated P1 billion for education and health services plus an addition of P1.07 billion for quick response funds.

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