World Bank releases $496 million loan for Ompong aid


Posted at Oct 02 2018 04:31 PM

The devastation of typhoon Ompong in the municipality of Gonzaga, Cagayan province on September 16, 2018. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The World Bank on Tuesday said it has released a total of $496.25 million (P26 billion) loan to support the government's rehabilitation efforts after typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) devastated the northern part of the country in September. 

The assistance will give the government flexibility to help communities reconstruct infrastructure and restore basic social services, the World Bank said in a statement. 

Ompong has destroyed billions in infrastructure and agricultural products and has triggered landslides that left dozens dead. Its total damage to crops and livestock was estimated at P26.7 billion, data from the Department of Agriculture showed.

“Natural disasters can exacerbate poverty through loss of lives, livelihood, property and infrastructure, and can roll back years of development gains," Mara K. Warwick, World Bank Country Director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand said in a statement. 

"We want them to know the Bank supports the country’s efforts to address their needs," she added.

The World Bank said funds were accessed from the contingent line of credit called the "Second Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO 2). 

The Cat-DDO is one of the many forms of assistance from the group to help countries plan efficient responses to natural disasters, it said. 

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has said the Department of Agriculture (DA) needed supplemental budget to help rehabilitate farm areas hit by typhoon Ompong.