MANILA (UPDATE) — Bohol Governor Arthur Yap on Wednesday urged national government to give emergency credit line to provinces hit by Typhoon Odette so they could start construction efforts.
The typhoon left 99 people dead, while less than 20 are missing and 100 were injured, he said.
"It’s (Super Typhoon) Yolanda all over again, it’s the first responders being victims again, so who do you call? I had to spent 2 whole days sending people to personally locate each and every mayor in Bohol. Bohol has the most number of LGUs (local government units) and barangays," he told ANC's Headstart, referring to the deadly 2013 super storm that struck central Philippines.
"All our roads were blocked because trees went down, concrete posts went down... Waters rose after the wind and typhoon left, the rains started washing down from the mountains. I live in Loboc, my 2-storey house was inundated. Whatever clothes I have in my car are the only clothes I have right now."
The province has spent the last P30 million of its budget, the governor said. He called on the Department of Finance to open an emergency credit line for local governments since the Mandanas ruling would be implemented next year.
The 2018 Supreme Court ruling increases the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local governments by 55 percent in the 2022 budget.
"Kung alam naming LGUs how much we're going to get, since DOF controls DBP and Landbank, hindi ba pwede signalan ang DBP and Landbank na releasan kami ng emergency credit line ngayon so we can start construction efforts?" he said.
(If we knew how much we're going to get, since DOF controls DBP and Landbank, can't it signal the latter to release emergency credit line so we can start construction efforts?)
"I can see the fear eh, everybody's so afraid to move kasi baka ma-COA, mademanda, makasuhan (because they might face charges before the Commission on Audit)."
The governor called on the social welfare department to continuously send aid as there have been some reports of looting in the northern part of the province.
"If we cannot really give this assistance at this point in time, more untoward incidents may follow," he said.
He also urged fuel companies to send storage barges.
"I'd like to ask the big 3 triplehin niyo ang stockpile dito, triplehin niyo na sa lahat ng probinsiyang tinamaan kung gusto niyo ng Christmas dito... So our water refilling stations can now start working again, mamigay kayo ng generator," he said.
(I'd like to ask the big 3 to triple their stockpile here, in all provinces hit by Odette, if you want us to have a Christmas. Give us generators so our water refilling stations can now start working again.)
TOURISM MAY BOUNCE BACK SOON
Yap said in the municipality of Panglao, a town in the southern portion of the island of the same name that is known to be a diving site, the damage is "bearable."
"Ok naman. Of course there are some damage to the roofs. I’m sure everybody has some repairs to make, but I don’t see the private sector not being ready in a matter of a week or two," he said.
"We’re more concerned with families, people’s lives and microfinance opportunities for them. They’re really the people we need to help at this point… The hotels are going to survive," he added.
These hotels remain open for visitors, he said.
Ports going in and out of Bohol "never closed" except for Tubigon, which had to shut for a day to accommodate repairs, he said.
"Of course, there are repairs that need to be done… But generally, kung tourism ang pag-uusapan, mabigyan lang natin ng transitional housing, ng pagkain at tubig 'yung mga tao dito, and believe me, give us a little help to clear our roadways and the tourism areas, we’re ready to receive clients in a month’s time," he said.
(But generally, if we're speaking of tourism, once we give transitional housing, food, and water to the people here, and believe me, give us a little help to clear our roadways and tourism areas, we're ready to receive clients in a month's time.)