Editorial: State of Calamity

THE Cordillera Administrative Region may have minimal deaths during super typhoon’s Lawin onslaught but still, the effect of the super howler has left its residents stumble in its after effect.

At least four provinces have also declared State of Calamity with hard hit Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. province and Benguet readying their stand by funds to help rebuild the lives of their constituents which left 3,078 families or 16,142 individuals displaced where 1,397 families or 8,023 individuals are housed in 51 evacuation centers and the remaining 1,509 families or 7,885 individuals are in neighbors or relatives houses.

Some 12,382 houses were damaged — 11,190 partially and 1,192 totally. Most of them were recorded in Kalinga.

The Department of Agriculture reported that a total of P390,027,737 million worth of agricultural crops in the region were damaged covering around 11,854 hectares of agricultural land.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported damage worth P6,472,427 million from all six provinces of the region.

As four provinces are trying to rebuild, a senator has urged the national government to cut the red tape which slows down the release of calamity funds to disaster hit areas which always ends up arriving "in trickles" due to the "complicated rules and cumbersome requirements" set by the government.

At least nine requirements are needed by the national government before these funds are released to the local government units.

Most provinces in the Cordillera region, like Apayao and Kalinga needs at least a month before power lines and telecommunications are restored 100 percent and the funding for such, has yet to review by several government agencies before they are approved and released.

In times of calamity, funding for rehabilitation is vital and expediting the procurement of relief goods and rehabilitation materials may be done without too much red tape.

Even in times of calamities, there is red tape. Let’s just hope the region gets enough attention in rebuilding their communities without the bullshits.

r

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