‘Pablo’ to exact P9.6B value losses in 2013–MinDA

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/ 23 December)—Typhoon “Pablo” would exact an estimated value losses of P9.6 billion for 2013 in areas hardest hit by the disaster, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), which is appealing for an integrated approach to rebuild the provinces wrecked by the typhoon.

In a statement on Friday, MinDA said the value losses would include direct and indirect employment, businessmen’s income, losses from rental of lands and other related services.

“It bears to point out that the hard hit areas of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental are among the top producing agricultural provinces of the country, especially banana, coconut and other high value commodities,” the agency said.

It added that the next two to three years of rehabilitation and reconstruction will certainly need to have strong focus on reviving the agri-industry strength of these areas to provide greater employment opportunities and catch-up growth.

As this developed, Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, MinDA chair, said the hard part of carrying out rehabilitation and reconstruction of areas ravaged by Pablo requires integration of all strategies and resources.

In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr. and officials of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program office in Davao City recently, Antonino stressed the need for greater coordination in doing medium and long-term programs.

The meeting was also attended by Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman and Governors Arturo Uy and Corazon Malanyaon of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, respectively.

“We need all hands on deck to do the job of bringing normalcy to the lives of affected families and to move ahead with rehabilitation and reconstruction,” Antonino said in the statement.

She added “the broader scale of medium and long term interventions entail greater integration.”

Thomas reportedly said the US government will extend continuing support to ongoing relief operations as well as to reconstruction plans for areas devastated by the typhoon.

As immediate needs of affected families such as food, shelter and other basic necessities are currently being address by the DSWD with support from international development partners and private volunteer organizations, MinDA together with local government units of affected provinces and other key agencies are starting to put together plans for early recovery and long term reconstruction, the statement said.

A report made by MinDA noted that the initial impact assessment pointed to significant pull down of agricultural output including export oriented commodities, and a projected dent on Mindanao’s overall agri-industry performance.

It recorded a total value loss in production of P25.8 billion due to damages that cover total or partial destruction of physical assets existing in the affected area. Its monetary value is expressed in terms of replacement costs according to prices prevailing just before the event. (MindaNews)