Typhoon Pablo-One Year After
Message of Solidarity of UNDP Country Director, Toshihiro Tanaka, to Compostella Valley Governor, Arturo Uy, and Davao Oriental Governor, Corazon Malanyaon
Greetings of solidarity from UNDP!
One year has passed since Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) hit Mindanao, particularly Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Provinces. The devastation was beyond imagination as the strong winds knocked down tens of thousands of houses and millions of coconut trees and the heavy rains caused flash floods that vanished towns and communities with significant casualties.
Responding to the needed assistance in both Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley Provinces, UNDP was able to provide emergency employment to 15,762 workers using the cash-for-work scheme, with an approximate cumulative income of Php35,622,120 distributed to beneficiary households, and has cleared approximately 458,840.05 cubic meters of debris.
As we recall, villagers themselves were the first line of respondents. Army and local volunteers made heroic efforts to save people’s lives and the Government, both national and provincial, had swiftly established effective mechanism for the distribution of relief goods. International community was quick to respond to the call of the Government of the Philippines and made concerted relief and early recovery interventions in support of the national efforts.
Transport and communication had been the challenge at the beginning to reach affected communities. UNDP through its Early Recovery interventions coordinated by Office of Civil Defence and Department of Social Welfare and Development, worked side by side with the Provincial and Municipal governments organizing the people to clear debris and restore their access to critical humanitarian and public services.
Likewise, we all remember the pain and suffering that the people and the local governments of Compostela Valley have gone through; and at the same time, we all recognize the heroic efforts of the Comvaleños at all levels–women and men, youth and elderly, indigenous people and civil society groups–who have risen up from the debris to build a more resilient community and empower lives in Davao Oriental. With people’s participation, UNDP was able to successfully implement debris management project starting from the municipalities of Cateel, Baganga and Boston. UNDP early recovery programme worked on the immediate removal, treatment and reuse of typhoon-accumulated debris, including the disposal of waste in an environmentally sustainable manner.
We wish to convey our heartfelt salute to you for taking an exemplary and admirable leadership in the province’s recovery from the devastation of Typhoon Pablo. The resilience of the people and devotion of the public servants in facing the challenges brought by the typhoon have been remarkable. There is a lot to learn and share with other LGUs affected by the natural disasters, particularly, in the context of the Typhoon Yolanda recovery and reconstruction efforts.
While your province takes the path to recovery and development, we are mindful of the need to ensure the principle of building back better with enhanced community resilience and returning to sustainable development pathway. UNDP, with the support of the Australian Government, and in partnership with the Climate Change Commission, Office of Civil Defence, Department of Interior and Local Government and the Task Force Pablo, will continue to extend critical technical support to the Provincial Government in the areas of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Debris and Waste Management and Monitoring and Evaluation.
On behalf of UNDP, I would like to express our solidarity with the people and the government of Compostela Valley in your continuous journey towards resilient recovery and sustainable development.
With warm regards.