Palace asked to form task force for rehab of ‘Pablo’ victims




Congress has asked President Aquino to create a presidential task force to coordinate relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of Typhoon “Pablo” in the worst-hit provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

Before it went on a Christmas recess on Wednesday, the Senate unanimously adopted the House resolution calling for the  creation of the task force for the two provinces.

Congress said that complete focus was required in rebuilding the devastated areas and in bringing the affected families to normalcy.

The devastated region is likely to have a wet Christmas with an approaching low pressure area (LPA), according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Forecaster Buddy Javier said the LPA might reach the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday evening and take the same path as Pablo, which blew with deadly force across Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental Dec. 4.

But there was only little likelihood that the LPA would intensify into a tropical storm. “It’s most likely that it will dissipate by Dec. 26,” Javier said.

The government’s rehabilitation plan  has so far amounted to P11.8 billion, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Thursday.

Citing a report by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the NDRRMC said the figure includes the P5.26 billion worth of emergency shelter assistance provided to more than 63,000 families whose houses were totally destroyed.

It also includes the continuing relief assistance to 245, 803 families worth P1.8 billion and livelihood assistance and cash-for-work program amounting to P2.5 billion and P402.7 million, respectively.

Bunk houses

The NDRRMC said that 81 bunk houses—60 in Davao Oriental and 21 in Compostela Valley—were being built for the homeless residents.

The council said the number of fatalities had reached 1, 047 as of yesterday, with 692 bodies identified and 355 bodies unidentified. There are still 841 people missing. The number of injured has reached 2, 662.

The estimated cost of damage to infrastructure, crops and private property has reached P24.2 billion, it said.

Logs and timber that tumbled down the mountains during the typhoon will be used to build houses for the homeless, according to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.

These include illegally cut logs and those that were uprooted by strong winds during the storm, Paje said in a memo to Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson seeking their help in the initiative.

Paje said the retrieval of fallen trees was part of preemptive measures by the DENR to “prevent possible log jamming and destruction of bridges and other vital infrastructures and facilities during the rainy season.”


IOM donation

The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced that a $100,000 donation had allowed the agency to construct stormproof wooden houses for families left homeless during Pablo’s onslaught.

The houses will be handed to the Philippines government over the weekend and in time for people to move in before Christmas, IOM said in a press statement.

IOM has already delivered shelter materials, including toughened plastic sheeting, to protect 30,000 homeless people from the elements, and is reaching out to Filipinos at home and abroad to help the emergency aid and reconstruction appeal.

“There’s a desperate need to scale up the response to this emergency so that people can at least have a roof over their heads for Christmas,” said Brian Kelly, IOM’s Regional Emergencies and Post Crisis Adviser.

“We need funds to protect the vulnerable and disabled who have lost homes and loved ones and are literally destitute. We want to get them out of harm’s way and under cover. For this we need funds to purchase, distribute and build shelter for at least 5,000 families. Health and psychosocial care is also urgently needed.”


$7-M appeal

Thus far only 10 percent of IOM’s appeal for $7 million in Mindanao has been met. Funds have been promised by Canada and the United Nations from its emergency relief on top of the direct donation of $100,000 from IOM’s central emergency fund.

Individual Filipinos have started giving generously, with at least one donation of $1,000 received by IOM, the agency said.

IOM has developed a Donation Tracker website  to allow individuals donate across the sectors where IOM delivers relief goods: emergency assistance; reconstruction; health and life-saving communications. Regular reports to the affected communities and through the media will keep people informed on how their funds are being spent and what aid is in the pipeline.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • EdgarEdgar

    After mishandling Sendong, Noynoy’s mishandles Pablo again:

    Noynoy’s instruction # 01 — Do not compare Pablo to Sendong. Stop bringing up past failures.
    Noynoy’s instruction # 02 — Let’s keep the fatalities unofficial until they’re official. Pls. understate.
    Noynoy’s instruction # 03 — Stop assigning blame. I’m in no mood for blame game now.
    Noynoy’s instruction # 04 — Stop pointing at my uncle & my KKK. What illegal logging?
    Noynoy’s instruction # 05 — Keep them victims hungry and scrambling for the goodies.
    Noynoy’s instruction # 06 — Hungry grassroots are easier to uproot & nip in the bud.
    Noynoy’s instruction # 07 — Let’s form a new task force because our initial relief & rehab failed.

  • Your_King

    Aquino has already long forgotten about the ‘Pablo’ victims which is why he needs to be reminded that many Filipinos are still suffering from the catastrophic effects of typhoon ‘Pablo’. But after the reminders, it will no longer be due to forgetfulness that these victims are not being helped by Aquino it will be because of neglect. 

  • catmanjohn

    The lumber and mining companies, who are the culprits for exacerbating the death tolls, should be compelled to hire those who were afflicted, and in the clean up process, which they should contribute to, the conversion of debris wood to plywood should be used to rebuild homes that becomes a model unit for future homes of such need. Using this dire situation to make substantial improvements for the future is crucial in turning this area around to the road of recovery.

  • charles

    Now what are you guys at the DENR (Sec. Paje) gonna do to the bald and denuded mountains in Davao Oriental and Comval?…are you gonna wait for another super typhoon to come, and wreak havoc, before you guys act?..

    • catmanjohn

      The DENR needs to be purged of fat corrupt bureaucrats, whose abuse of power borders on feudalism, and sometimes defies common sense. Their notion that the Nation serves them, and not the other way around, must be set straight.

  • Fulpol

    don’t bother BS Aquino III for now… he still celebrating from winning the RH bill fight.

    his winning retaliation against Catholic Church is too good to savor… 

    remember, he always went up to the stage rally against Arroyo, but the Catholic Church never listened to his appeal..

  • generalproblem

    bakit ba tuwing may kalamidad eh presidente ang sinisisi nyo eh meron naman local govt. asan na yung mga mayor governor congressman at kung sino pang politican na taga duon sa lugar ano ang ginagawa nila at asan sila. diba meron silang calamity fund asan na yun siguro nasama na sa aman futures. hanapin nyo muna ang local govt official nyo bago ang national govt. kainis. iboboto nyo ang mag politiko nyo na yan tapos ngayong pinabayaan kayo eh iba ang sisihin nyo

  • batangsulpok

    Isang solution ay ipadala diyan ang isa o dalawang Engineer Construction Batallions ng Phil. Army para sila ang gumawa ng construction and rehabilitation dahil nang nasa serbisyo ako ay 24/7 ang schedule namin kaya madaling natatapos ang mga project.

  • tata_boy

    maayos na ba ang mga biktima ni Sendong? saan napunta iyong mga donation para sa mga biktima ni Sendong? ngayon, may malaking donation para sa biktima ni Pablo, baka naman malusaw ito at di pakinabangan ng mga biktima. Pnoy, huwag ka namang matulog sa pansitan at bilis-bilisan mo naman ang kilos mo, aanhin ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?

  • etomacq

    Puro naglalakihang fiures ang pinagmamalaki ng gobyerno pero ayun, nagpapatayan na yung mga biktima para lang sa relief goods! Mga biktima namamalimos na sa kalsada. Mga biktima nagkakasakit na. Asan na ang pinagmamalaking tulong ng gobyerno? Halos isang buwan na mabagal pa rin aksyon nila.

    Puro pagmamayabang. Kulang naman sa aksyon. Mga inutil.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos