Western Visayas needs P18B in investments to recover from ‘Odette’

Residents wade through muddy floodwater after Typhoon Odette hit Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on Dec 16, 2021. Around P18 billion in investments is needed for Region 6 to rebound from the typhoon’s effects. (Photo courtesy of Macoy Sellarim/file)

The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) endorsed to its national counterpart the PHP18-billion Western Visayas Typhoon Odette Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (RRP) on Wednesday.

In his presentation during the RDRRMC special full council meeting, National Economic and Development Authority in Western Visayas chief economic development specialist (EDS) Engr. Alexander O. Aquio, the lead for the RRP Investment Programming, said that the investment requirement to address damages, losses, and needs brought about by the typhoon is PHP18 billion.

“As shown in the graph, the lion share or the bulk will be coming from government agencies, while 10 percent will come from the local government units (LGUs), the six provinces and two highly urbanized cities,” he said.

The six provinces are Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental with Iloilo and Bacolod as the two highly urbanized cities.

The Investment Program covers the implementation of 1,165 projects that will be executed in three years or until 2024.

The projects were broken down into sectors to include the housing and settlement with 618 projects; infrastructure with 618; social services, 172 projects; agriculture and fisheries, 274; projects; livelihood and business development, 60; and cross-sectoral with 23 projects.

“As I was saying two-thirds of the investment requirement will come from the NDRRM (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management) fund and quick response fund of PHP11.8 billion. One-fifth will be coming from agency budgets, while less than 10 percent will be coming from LGU funds, which maybe general fund, IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment) or local calamity fund,” Aquio added.

He said changes in the RRP should be anticipated because it was done after the 2022 national budget was signed into law.

The central offices of the concerned government offices will have the last say on the projects, he clarified.

Aquio said it is also expected that projects will be further scaled down and will automatically slide down to the following year.

In the Investment Plan, it was proposed that PHP14.17 billion worth of projects will be implemented this 2022, PHP2.48 billion in 2023, and PHP1.40 billion in 2024. (PNA)