President Rodrigo Duterte’s approved the release the funds of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) funds for the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) proposed Coconut Debris Management Plan.
The program primarily supports the government’s Shelter Assistance and Recovery Program by providing reusable housing materials for the communities hit by Typhoon Odette last December. The funds allow the government to expedite the disposal of affected coconut trees that pose a hazard to health and environment by converting them into coco lumbers.
The President witnessed first-hand the damage brought about by the typhoon to the agriculture sector especially to coconut farmers.
“Kaya iniutos kaagad niya na matulungan ng gobyerno ang ating mga magsasaka at ang coconut industry (That’s why he immediately ordered that the government set up a mechanism to help our farmers and the coconut industry),” Senator Chritopher Bong Go.
The funds amount to P331,003,192 and will be released to the PCA. The plan is consistent with Presidential Directive No. 2022-011 for the conversion of fallen trees into reusable housing materials for Typhoon Odette survivors.
Senator Go said, this will also facilitate increased mobility and disposal of affected coconut trees that pose a hazard to health and the environment, prevent the occurrence of pest infestation, and generate coco lumbers for the construction of temporary housing facilities for the typhoon victims.
The project also involves the hiring of 11,573 chainsaw operators who would be paid through a cash-for-work scheme, and to be implemented simultaneously in provinces in Regions IV, VI, VII, VIII, X and XIII.
Earlier, a total of 97,500 families whose houses were damaged or destroyed by Typhoon Odette last December 2021 received special financial assistance of P5,000 each from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Meanwhile, Go renewed his call for the mandatory creation of safe and properly equipped evacuation centers in every municipality, city and province across the Philippines.
The senator stressed the urgent need to act on disaster resilience measures such as his SBN 1228 or the “Mandatory Evacuation Center Act”, which he filed in 2019 to ensure that victims of disasters will have temporary shelters that will guarantee their safety, promote their social well-being, and guard their welfare while they recover and rebuild their lives.