DavOr sees solution to clearing typhoon debris

Subscribe Now February 20, 2013 at 07:30pm

The provincial government of Davao Oriental is closing on its goals of keeping fallen coconut trees from rotting as Provincial Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon has made government agencies agree to partner in managing huge volume of tree debris accumulated as a result of Typhoon Pablo. Malanyaon led a coordination meeting held last Feb. 19, focusing on recovery and rehabilitation of Typhoon Pablo-affected communities in Davao Oriental during which debris management and shelter came out as the current major concern in the province.

She was particularly concerned on cleaning up wastes and debris as she wanted the province to fast-track efforts of “building back even better” the three typhoon Pablo devastated towns of Baganga, Cateel and Boston.

In his presentation during the inter-agency meeting held at the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Provincial Planning Officer Freddie Bendulo identified coconut trunks, uprooted trees, construction materials, non-biodegradable and bio-degradable materials as the major debris which, he said, could be hazardous to health and the environment.

Among them, coconut trunks contribute the major volume of wastes as there are about six million of them which are either felled or uprooted due to strong winds of typhoon Pablo.

The provincial government had already made known earlier that it would only be using about 500,000 trunks for reconstruction and shelter assistance purposes.

Tuesday’s inter-agency meeting of Malanyaon with heads of regional line agencies yielded the creation of clusters of government agencies to handle the collection, cutting and transport of coco trunks; warehousing; and processing, marketing and training.

Among those agencies tasked to handle the hauling of coconut trunks to a warehouse are the Provincial local government unit (PLGU) Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development through which cash for work program can be utilized to run the task.

Assigned to carry out warehousing were PCA, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), while those taking charge of processing and marketing were DOST, DENR, DSWD, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

As coconut trunks would likely get rotten after six months, PCA will handle the treatment process, aside from taking part in cutting of coconut trunks using a cash for work mode of directly employing people to operate 40 chainsaws that it had distributed in areas with so much coconut debris.

Meanwhile, Malanyaon found an answer to concern on retrieval of coconut trunks in privately-owned lands as DSWD Davao Oriental coordinator Rebecca Sta. Maria, head of DSWD Protection services opened the idea of buying them using the livelihood assistance grants of DSWD.

In a separate interview, Sta. Maria explained that beneficiaries can use the P10,000 livelihood assistance grants as start-up capital to roll out a community business of buying and selling coconut lumber.

DTI was also looking at mobilizing traders based in and outside of Davao Oriental to buy coconut lumber from the province.

On the other hand, optimism ran high on meeting shelter needs as Sta. Maria revealed that the DSWD was set to build this year 20,673 housing units for typhoon-affected residents in Davao Oriental.

In an earlier interview, Malanyaon was sure that 15,000 housing units would be made available this year for the typhoon-displaced families, aside from the on-going construction of some 2,000 housing units .

“We already had two ground-breaking ceremonies, in Baganga and in Cateel,” she said referring to the project of the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) group of companies and the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Village.

On top of the national government housing projects, Malanyaon disclosed interest of the private sector agencies, from the Filipino-Chinese community and from the Senators, among others, to answer housing needs.

Source: pia.gov.ph

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