PDNA: Education first to be sacrificed; Hardship may force studes to drop out, look for work
posted 10-Feb-2017  ·  
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Many students may drop out of school and go to other places to find jobs, the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) team said in their report, stressing that education usually is the first to be sacrificed in terms of rehabilitation of a rural family in the lower income bracket after a calamity.

To address this, the team recommended that student aid be made available to these poor families for continuing education, especially to graduating students this semester particularly in private schools. In considering possible financial assistance for private education, it suggested the softest loan and a longer repayment.

In the team’s Social Impact Assessment (SIA), it cited the calamity’s impacts on the populace such as loss of main source of income, lack of resources to re-build damaged houses, lack of capital to replant crops, being forced to work underpaid, incapacity to continue the tertiary education, and an increase in malnutrition incidence.

Those affected, including women and youth, may seek alternative jobs, even temporary ones, as well as work outside the province. Some may be forced to avail of loans, the team said. While relief goods from different agencies and non-government organizations were provided to affected families, the community needs sustainable livelihood from the government since capital is the missing element in the recovery, the PDNA team emphasized.

In the area of public schools, the team reported that of the 275 DepEd schools in Catanduanes, 121 were affected, with 229 classrooms either totally damaged or with partial major damage costing a total of P148,817,077.21. Also damaged were 2,356 pieces of furniture, 333 computer sets, and 41,972 learning resources, valued at a total of P11,849,311.90

The Deped has provided P15,000.00 for each affected school for clean-up and minor repairs as well as Temporary Learning Spaces costing P60,000.00 each in most affected schools. The TLS will come with learning and teaching kits, tents and school-in-a-box kits.

In the Housing sector, the report informed that in Catanduanes, a total of 7,980 houses were totally damaged and 24,031 were partially damaged, with Virac having the highest number of damaged houses at 9,515 (2,419 totally and 7,096 partially damaged).

The team noted that as Catandunganons are not used to staying at evacuation centers for a long time, majority of the affected families left immediately after the typhoon and fixed their houses at their own initiative.

Most of the totally damaged houses were located in coastal areas and made of light materials, with Nina’s gustiness as the main cause of structural damage. Of the total, 7,506 were shanties, 321 mainly wooden houses, one two-floor wooden house, and 152 wood-concrete buildings.

Estimated total damages to housing came up to P1,143,409,433.00, with Bato having the highest damage at P272,559,688.00. San Andres housing sustained P228M in damage, San Miguel P151M, Baras P133M, Viga P102M, Virac, P101M, Bagamanoc, P52M, Gigmoto P47M, Panganiban P27M, Caramoran P17M, and Pandan P10M.

Total losses due to factors such as foregone income, cleaning up of debris, higher operating costs and other unexpected expenditures incurred by both the public and private entities amounted to P329,482,679,66, with the capital town suffering the highest loss at P128,957,748.00.

In its impact assessment, the PDNA team said typhoon Nina increased the exposure and vulnerability of the households to the impact of damages, as most of the areas with high numbers of totally and partially damaged houses are prone to tsunamis, landslides and flooding.

It noted that most of the affected families are in the process of rebuilding their houses on the same site, some of which are danger zones. Citing local officials, the report said most LGUs encounter problems in allocating land for housing projects due to scarcity of fund for land acquisition or scarcity of land with a terrain suitable for resettlement projects. Some LGUs have identified sites for housing but are still in the process of procurement and compliance to documentary requirements in availing government housing programs, it added.

As access to livelihood is a common reason why people do not prefer living in the resettlement sites even if the location of their houses are already hazardous, the Housing sub-sector thus recommended the conduct of a thorough study of the identified resettlements to ensure acceptability by the project beneficiaries thru community support facilities and livelihood interventions.

It called for the harmonization of different housing programs at the LGU level and asked LGUs to validate data by profiling the identified beneficiaries for housing assistance. The LGUs should also strictly enforce the no-build zone policies on danger zones to prevent the loss of lives during emergencies and disasters, it added.

The team also recommended the institutionalization of financial assistance mechanism to eligible individuals and households for repair/reconstruction of damaged houses through the NDRRMC, LGUs and other entities; implementation of Cash- and Food-for-Work program/s to augment the financial capacity for repair/reconstruction of damaged housing through DSWD, DOLE, TESDA and DA; conduct of awareness activity to the residents on the proper design and materials for the construction of disaster-resilient dwellings; revision of the building code and strict implementation of the code and other permits to new construction and rebuilding activities; inventory and assessment of resettlement sites that may be suitable for relocation projects and encourage practice of land banking among local government units; and, strengthening data management of concerned agencies and LGUs to ensure availability of data with or without disaster.

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