Siargao needs P2.5B to recover from typhoon onslaught, says Surigao Norte lawmaker | Inquirer News

Siargao needs P2.5B to recover from typhoon onslaught, says Surigao Norte lawmaker

Siargao needs P2.5B to recover from typhoon onslaught, says Surigao Norte lawmaker

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SIARGAO — Tourist haven Siargao Island still needs at least P2.5 billion to fully recover from the onslaught of Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) in December 2021.

This amount would be needed to rebuild destroyed classrooms, roads, multipurpose buildings, and the seawall, which protects the island from the strong waves and surges whenever a typhoon comes, Surigao Del Norte Rep. Fransisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas II said.

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“We do not know when the typhoon will come. If we cannot restore it, we don’t have any first line of defense,” Matugas said in an interview on Monday, Oct. 17.

Matugas said the seawall saved the people living near the beach during Typhoon Odette.

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Matugas said they also needed to rebuild roads, several schools, and houses. They also needed to create several multipurpose buildings in many barangays that would serve as evacuation centers during calamities.

General Luna town also needs to reconstruct the iconic viewing tower for surfing activities at Cloud 9.

Matugas said the national government through House Speaker Martin Romualdez facilitated the release of P200 million from the Quick Response Fund of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

A separate P45 million was also released for General Luna’s housing program for 100 families hardest hit by Odette.

Tourism in Siargao has started to bounce back, especially with the recent holding of the International Surfing Cup. Even without the events, foreign and domestic tourists have started visiting the island to learn to surf and experience the waves in Siargao.

Flights are being added up by both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines. A third carrier, Sunlight Air, will also add more flights to Siargao.

Most of the foreign visitors in Siargao are European, and some are from Australia, Israel, Japan, and other southeast Asian countries.

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The nightlife in Siargao has also returned, with several restaurants and bars filled up for parties, especially now that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased.

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TAGS: Siargao, Tourism, Typhoon Odette
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