By: Darwin G. Amojelar, InterAksyon.com November 25, 2013 2:03 AM
MANILA - The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will submit to Malacanang this week a short-term plan to help the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.
"It's an action plan that will describe priority sectors and areas that we need to put in place," NEDA Director-General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Baliscan told reporters last Friday night.
He said the most urgent needs of typhoon survivors are food, shelter, medicine, water, electricity, access of goods and access to transportation.
"We will submit this plan to the President, outlining the most important actions to implement this early recovery program," Balisacan said.
He said the government will prioritize the restoration of livelihoods, particularly of farmers.
"We will be providing them with assistance, so that they could plant for the coming December. We will also provide them with materials and tools," he said.
As for the medium- to long-term rehabilitation plan, Balisacan said the objective is to make the areas not only better-equipped, but also more resilient communities.
"We just don’t replace what was lost, but we do more than that, ensuring this time, we are building hospitals and roads, which are structurally more resilient. That’s what we are doing," he said, adding that the rehab plan would take longer to draft.
Earlier, the Cabinet Economic Development Cluster formed an interagency task force to craft the plan, focusing on immediate and near-term actions needed to rebuild facilities, restore social services and revive economic activities.
The government's Yolanda Recovery and Reconstruction Plan aims to speed up government operations to enhance delivery of services in the affected areas; find and develop resettlement sites; and restore public utilities and facilities using upgraded standards.
The task force will prepare a detailed master plan, indicating short- and long-term actions. Immediate actions include assessment of damage to infrastructure and preparation of more resilient design standards for infrastructure projects.
These will be used in the rehabilitation and construction of critical infrastructure such as housing; roads and bridges; hospitals; provincial, city and municipal halls; seaports and airports; public markets; water supply and distribution systems; irrigation systems; power; telecommunications; as well as other government offices and facilities.