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Rehabilitation of Tacloban City to cost P20 billion

The local government of Tacloban on Thursday outlined a detailed rehabilitation plan for the city ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda some six months ago. The pricetag? A cool sum of more than P20 billion.

The Tacloban Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan, a roadmap that “identifies the immediate actions and operational strategies that will lead Tacloban and its people towards recovery, rehabilitation, and sustainable development after Typhoon Yolanda,” concentrates on six aspects to foster the rehabilitation of its people.

“The total budget for the identified projects in the rehabilitation plan is P20.7 billion. This includes projects proposed for national, local, and non-governmental organizations’ funding,” the 63-page plan said.

The plan allocates around P12.9 billion for Economic Development and Livelihood, P2.3 billion for Infrastructure, P4.8 billion for Shelter, P670 million for Social Services and P151.8 million for the Environment.

According to the Tacloban City government, a core part of the rehabilitation plan is making a fund available for businesses to take out loans to help start building their businesses again.

“Access to operating capital through a soft loan program by using a portion of the funds (US$200 million) pledged by international donors can be pooled into a micro 'Marshall Plan' type Fund to provide long-term, low-interest loans and grants to enable enterprises to rebuild their businesses; reconstruction of damaged homes, institutions and facilities; to finance building of new houses and other structures; and to fund anchor industries,” it said.

The Marshall Plan, or European Recovery Program, was a US aid program to help parts of Europe recover after World War II. The focus of the Marshall Plan was economic recovery and not reconstruction.

Based on the latest tally by authorities, the monster typhoon has affected more than 11 million individuals, killing some 5,600 people, and leaving millions homeless and displaced.
The super typhoon, said to be the strongest to make landfall in recorded history, damaged about P30 billion worth of agriculture and infrastructure.

The Department of Budget Management earlier said it has allocated more than P130 billion to bankroll the rehabilitation of calamity-stricken areas in the Visayas.

Around P50 billion of those funds will be sourced from budget allocations for 2014, savings from the 2013 national budget, and unused “pork barrel” funds of lawmakers.

The other P80 billion will be sourced through “concessional loans” from multilateral lending agencies, the DBM said. — Patricia Denise Chiu/JDS, GMA News