PH to seek int'l help anew for Yolanda victims

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 16 2014 09:39 AM | Updated as of Aug 16 2014 05:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines will again seek the support of the international community for the ongoing rehabilitation effort in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said yesterday.

Del Rosario made the statement during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) high-level conference on Assistance for the Recovery of Yolanda-Affected Areas (ARYA) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

“I think we had an appeal for the original relief and now we’re into reconstruction. There is another effort for reconstruction in terms of assistance from the international community,” Del Rosario told reporters.

The DFA chief also thanked ASEAN member-states for their continued humanitarian assistance and “steadfast solidarity for the Filipino people.”

“I’m pleased to inform you that our rehabilitation plan has moved on from relief operations to recovery phase disaster management,” Del Rosario told ARYA participants.

He cited the P170.9-billion comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan (CRRP) submitted by Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson to President Aquino recently.

The post-Yolanda rehabilitation master plan covers four sectors: resettlement, P75.6 billion; infrastructure, P35.1 billion; livelihood, P33.6 billion; and social services, P26.4 billion for 171 typhoon-hit municipalities.

Del Rosario also cited the importance of developing regional response to disasters.

Yolanda, considered as the world’s strongest typhoon in 2013, left more than 6,000 people dead and P36.69 billion in damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

“We’re trying to encourage an exchange of ideas on expertise and knowledge on resilience after disaster. We’re always looking for new contributions because the world recognizes this disaster is going to be overcome,” Del Rosario said.