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Davide: We will build a stronger and more resilient Cebu

| by: Stanley Cin

IMG_1612A unified approach in addressing the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda will rebuild a “better, stronger, and more resilient Cebu.”

This was what Governor Hilario P. Davide III said as the province held a multi-cluster needs assessment workshop on the typhoon-hit areas in northern Cebu on Wednesday, December 11 at the Capitol Social Hall.

Representatives from the regional line agencies, private sector groups and United Nation (UN) bodies participated in the workshop, presided by National Economic Development Authority 7 Officer-In-Charge Efren Carreon.

The workshop is also in line with the participatory, consultative and transparent style of governance by Governor Davide with both the private and public sector.

Denis McClean, chief of communication and outreach, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) also attended the one-day activity.

The mayors and representatives of the affected local government units were also present during the activity. They composed the plan implementation and coordination group in the workshop.

Davide hoped the workshop will give the provincial government an inclusive roadmap for its rehabilitation and reconstruction plan.

“Yolanda was nobody’s fault. It will be our fault kung di nato mahatagan sa igong pagtabang ang katong nagkinahanglan gayod sa atong tabang,” he said.

“Let us view the devastation wrought by Yolanda as an opportunity to build more disaster-proof school buildings and structures, a more resilient agricultural system adaptive to climate change, a more intelligent land use plan and zoning conscious of natural hazards.”

He said the calamity has set them off “to capacitate communities” and fill its individual members “the culture of safety and preparedness.”

Davide formed Task Force Paglig-on to coordinate the planning, implementation and monitoring of all rehabilitation and reconstruction programs and activities in the areas affected by Yolanda.

According to Carreon, Cebu was the most heavily hit by typhoon Yolanda among the four provinces in Central Visayas.

In the partial damage assessment report consolidated by NEDA 7, the over-all cost of damage already reached P1,878,230,000.00 in northern Cebu.

The agriculture, livestock and fisheries sector lost an aggregate amount of P1,110,932,000.00; P12,500,000.00 in irrigation systems; P11,369,000.00 in roads and bridges; P2,500,000.00 seawalls/flood control; P26,450,000.00 seaports (Hagnaya, and Polambato ports), P585,239,000.00 in social infrastructures; P129,240,000.00 in public buildings.

Yolanda also totally flattened 88,165 houses and partially destroyed 52,920 houses.

Aside from the damage assessment, the UN World Food Program (WFP) also presented its initial humanitarian assessment. WFP will finish their work in few days.

In the workshop, the participants were grouped according to their own areas of concern: Infrastructure and Utilities, Livelihood and Employment, Social Infrastructure, Social Development, and Plan Implementation and Coordination.

They were tasked to identify the damages/needs as well as proposed plan of activities or programs and its estimated budget.

The timeline of the plan of activities was also asked to be indicated in the remarks portion of their activity sheets. This is to indicate whether the plan of action was already implemented or should be implemented late in the year until the first semester of 2014, or second semester of 2014, or for the year 2015 or for the year 2016 onwards.

They would also indicate if the particular projects or programs are already in the pipeline, which means these already have firm funding commitment but only awaiting for its release. Xerxes Alkuino