The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) VIII through its Vice-Chair for Rehabilitation and Recovery, NEDA VIII, has conducted a week-long writeshop on May 2-6, 2016 on the 2016-2019 Typhoon Nona Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan of the Province of Northern Samar.

The document, dubbed as “Padayon” (a Waray-waray term for “continue”), spells out Northern Samar’s road to building back better after the devastation wrought by Typhoon Nona.

The writeshop focused on consolidating the programs, projects and activities (PPAs) and policy recommendations as well as potential risks/bottlenecks to implementation. These were earlier identified in a rehabilitation and recovery planning workshop conducted on March 10-11, 2016 in Catarman, Northern Samar, with the participation of various stakeholders from the provincial and regional levels. The PPAs will comprise the Nona investment program with specific cost estimates per year of implementation. “Padayon” is divided into four (4) sectors, to wit: a) infrastructure, b) social, c) productive, and d) cross-sectoral.

Backed by substantial experience from crafting the Yolanda Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan for Eastern Visayas, NEDA VIII responded to the call of the Provincial Government of Northern Samar for technical assistance in the preparation of the plan.

“Preparing this plan is one of top priorities of our office since this will be the basis of the government’s response to help Northern Samar recover and build back better from Typhoon Nona,” said NEDA VIII Regional Director Atty. Bonifacio G. Uy in his welcome message.

Present during the writeshop were RDRRMC VIII Chair and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) VIII Regional Director, Dr. Edgar L. Posadas, OCD VIII Assistant Regional Director Rey M. Gozon, and NEDA VIII Assistant Regional Director, Engr. Alan L. Olavides. Also present were the core team of writers from the OCD VIII and the Provincial Government of Northern Samar. Selected technical staff from NEDA VIII provided technical guidance during the writeshop.

The RDRRMC VIII is chaired by OCD VIII with DOST VIII as Vice-Chair for Disaster Mitigation and Prevention, DILG VIII as Vice-Chair for Disaster Preparation, DSWD as Vice-Chair for Disaster Response, and NEDA VIII as Vice-Chair for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery.

Typhoon Nona, with international name Melor, made landfall in Northern Samar over Batag Island, Laoang, Northern Samar on December 14, 2015 at around 11:00 AM. It moved in a northwest direction, leaving destruction on its path largely in the northern coastal towns of the province. Nona is the strongest typhoon to hit the province in 34 years with a reported peak intensity of 10-minute sustained winds at 175 km/hr.

Jay-ar O. Ragub, PFPD, NEDA VIII