3 Comval towns slowly recovering from ‘Pablo’-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
RESIDENTS of three Compostela Valley towns are slowly recovering two months after Typhoon Pablo left a trail of destruction in the province.
New Bataan Mayor Lorenzo Balbin Jr. said they already cleaned up the debris left behind by the calamity, although he admitted the devastation had changed the landscape of his municipality.
"This was the first time that this happened," Balbin said.
A total of 444 bodies were recovered by authorities with 421 still missing in Balbin's municipality alone.
Now, relief and rehabilitation efforts have gone full blast in New Bataan especially in Barangay Andap, the hardest-hit village.
Balbin said they have finished building more than 50 percent of the initial 72-temporary shelters for affected residents, adding that the local government of New Bataan will construct around 300-temporary shelters.
The mayor said the shelters are sturdy, because the flooring is cemented and the roofing is made up GI sheets.
Typhoon Pablo destroyed a total of 2,200 houses, damaged some 5,000 more houses and affected some 12,000 families in New Bataan.
He said it would take five to 10 years before they can fully recover from the calamity.
Balbin added that they are focusing on the livelihood program to help the residents recover after the calamity also obliterated their farmlands and coconut plantations.
Coconut is the main product of New Bataan, according to Balbin.
For the short term approach on livelihood, residents had planted rice, corn and vegetables just to earn a living. The medium term means the planting of cacao, coffee beans and abaca, while the long term is the planting again of coconut and rubber trees.
The towns of Compostela and Montevista are also slowly recuperating from the tragedy that killed more than 1,000 people.
Compostela Valley municipal information officer Emm Obenieta said the calamity affected around 23,000 families in her town. Forty-one people were also killed with four others reported missing.
Montevista Vice Mayor Ruel Abucejo, meanwhile, reported that Pablo killed 13 residents in his place, where thousands of houses were destroyed.
Both Montevista and Compostela are hoping to fully recover from the calamity in five years time.
Relief and rehabilitation efforts have also intensified in the two municipalities with the help of the Provincial Government of Compostela Valley.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 09, 2013.