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Progress Report For the Month of March 2015–UNRCO Tacloban

Posted on 28 May 2015 by Ingming Aberia

 

Submitted byThe Liaison Team for Recovery Activities (Tacloban)
United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office
UNICEF Tacloban City Field Office
Report as of 27 March 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

  1. Introduction.. 3
  2. Highlights of activities for the month of March 2015.. 3
  3. Meeting with Partner Agencies (3 March 2015). 3
  4. Meetings of 4 Committees of the Regional Development Council 8.. 4
  5. Meeting on Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation.. 5
  6. Meeting with IOM… 6
  7. RDC 8 Full Council Meeting. 6
  8. Meeting with OPARR Staff. 8
  9. Meeting on DP/DRR.. 8
  10. Meeting with Governor Dominic Petilla of Leyte Province. 9
  11. Support for Capacity Building. 9
  12. OPARR/CRRP Cluster Meetings. 10

III.    Issues and Concerns. 13

  1. Mainstreaming Monitoring and Coordination Mechanisms. 13
  2. Implementation Issues. 13
  3. Recommendations. 14
  4. Activities for Next Month (April 2015). 15
  5. Annexes (Notes To File). 15
  6. Partners’ Meeting on Recovery Coordination.. 16
  7. RDC Development Administration Committee (DAC) Meeting. 20
  8. Social Development Committee (SDC) Meeting. 23
  9. RDC Economic Development Committee (EDC) Meeting. 27
  10. Infrastructure & Utilities Development Committee (IUDC) Meeting. 28
  11. Meeting on Mangrove & Beach Forest Rehabilitation.. 31
  12. Coordination Meeting with IOM… 34
  13. RDC 8 Full Council Meeting. 35
  14. Coordination Meeting with OPARR.. 37
  15. Market Linkage Sub-Cluster Meeting. 39
  16. Meeting on DP/DRR (Draft). 41
  17. Meeting with Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla. 45
  18. Resettlement Cluster Meeting. 46
  19. Cluster Heads Meeting (Draft). 49

I.            Introduction

The shift from Emergency Response to Recovery in the Typhoon Yolanda-hit areas has not diminished the need for coordination support among agencies involved in recovery activities.

The UNRCO Liaison Mechanism was established to address that need. It also tries to respond to the request by the government, through the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR), for the UN to provide support for its coordination role with international partners, to deliver and integrate work, build capacity and pursue results. The OPARR is a special office created by the Philippine government specifically for Typhoon Haiyan recovery.

The UNRCO has deployed (by March 2015) three Liaison Teams: one each in Tacloban, Borongan, and Capiz. The teams have three main objectives:

  1. To facilitate the interface and information sharing of UN agencies and partners with national recovery management structures, with special attention on coordination concerns involved in resettlement, livelihood, shelter, and protection;
  2. To facilitate greater consistency and complementarity of UN-supported recovery interventions, with particular emphasis on capacity development initiatives; and
  3. To provide a forum for the identification of issues that may require collective advocacy through the RC, e.g. issues in the implementation of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP), including the management of remaining humanitarian needs, if any.

Specifically for CRRP implementation, support for coordination aims to address lingering issues encountered in such areas as the rehabilitation of settlements and shelter, where effective interventions require close integration with water, sanitation, livelihood, and other related social services, as well as in central-local coordination for cross-cutting land use, housing policies and infrastructure support.

This report is the first in a series of monthly updates on the work of the Liaison Team in Tacloban.

II.       Highlights of activities for the month of March 2015

1.     Meeting with Partner Agencies (3 March 2015)

The UNICEF-hosted UNRCO Liaison Team in Tacloban facilitated/helped organize the second monthly meeting on 3 March 2015 among partner agencies involved in recovery activities in Region 8.

In this meeting, the UNRCO Liaison Team presented maps illustrating the deployment areas of various development partners in Region 8, including the specifics of their engagement (e.g. shelter, livelihood, etc.). These maps are some of the information management (IM) products developed by the Team to facilitate information sharing, coordination and complementation among partner agencies, and were generated from information they themselves shared through a mapping exercise on recovery activities. These maps are updated monthly.

The Team also shared a list of various government-led recovery meetings since November 2014 in which it had opportunity to participate. The team benefitted from information made available through these meetings, and shared those relevant pieces of information with various development partners. Some meeting participants also shared updates on the status of their recovery activities being coordinated with government. These updates included announcement of forthcoming events, such as meeting on mangrove-related activities with DENR, training on data monitoring platform with DTI 8, and a shelter cluster meeting being organized by the City Government of Tacloban.

Also discussed in the meeting were latest issues and concerns on recovery interventions. UNDP solicited help from partners who might be able to share market studies for livelihood projects. Solidarites International lobbied for support for vulnerable and needy LGUs in Western Samar and to focus on finding ways to fill gaps rather than just on reporting of activities. PLAN International requested data on the bigger picture of DRR—who is doing what and where.

2.     Meetings of 4 Committees of the Regional Development Council 8

The UNRCO Liaison Team participated as observer in meetings of 4 committees of the Regional Development Council 8 (RDC 8).

  • RDC Development Administration Committee (DAC) meeting on 9 March 201
  • Presenta?tion of FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM—DBM explained that the budget process for 2016 is different from that of previous years. Introduced for 2016 are (1) 2 Tier Budgeting Approach, and (2) Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in the resource allocation.
  • Presentati?on of FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP) by DAC Secretariat—The TRIP has been prepared with the aim of generating regional inputs for RDC officials’ reference in the RDC-ACO dialogue on 30-31 March 2015 in Manila. It is a compilation of infra projects formulated from Updated 2014-2016 RDIP, 2009-2013 Comprehensive Integrated Infrastructure Program, CRRP, other programs and projects recently endorsed by RDC VIII. The estimated total cost of TRIP is Php 278.812 billion.
  • Updates on Bo?ttom Up Budgeting (BUB) by DILG—presented was the statuses of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 BuB implementation. For 2013, there was a total of 428 projects in Samar and Leyte provinces.  Forty-nine of those projects have been completed, 78 are ongoing, 149 are pipelined, 54 are proposed, and 98 were discontinued. Delivery rate by agency shows that except for DAR, DILG, DSWD, NEA, and PHILHEALTH, government agencies involved in BuB have delivery rates of 50 percent or less. For 2014, delivery rates slowed down even more for all agencies except for DOH (81 percent) and DTI (67 percent). All 2015 BuB projects are approved and already in the GAA. LGUs that don’t pass the Good Governance filter will not be eligible, and funds allocated for them will be withdrawn by concerned NGAs. For 2016, all but 3 of the 143 LGUs in the region were able to submit complete documentation to support their respective project proposals.  The regional agencies are now in the process of validating the proposals.
  • Prese?ntation of PAMANA Programs and Projects—The DAC Secretariat and OPAPP presented the programs and projects of PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA). Aiming to bring peace and development in isolated hard-to-reach and conflict-affected areas, PAMANA provides the framework for the government’s peacebuilding activities. Projects at an estimated cost of Php4.6 billion have been proposed for the three provinces of Samar Island.
  • Presentati?on of the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF) by RDC Secretariat—The VSDF is a development plan for the 3 Visayas regions, focusing on their physical endowments (specifically resources bases in land, water as well as developed areas) as bases for development. It analyzes opportunities and constraints, among other things, as means of formulating sound development strategies and proposing appropriate investment areas, programs and projects.
    • RDC Social Development Committee (SDC) meeting on 9 March 2015

The SDC meeting discussed the (i) Typhoon Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas, (ii) Rebuilding of the Visayas State University (VSU), (iii) Status of the Samar State University (SSU) Maceda Gymnasium, and (iv) Philippine Qualifications Framework.

Topics that were commonly discussed during the SDC and DAC (above) meetings were (i) Orientation on the FY 2016 Budget Call, (ii) Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Plan (TRIP), and (iii) the Visayas Spatial Development Framework.

For the Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas, NEDA explained that the Framework for Region 8 was basically lifted from the National Framework, except for indicators where applicable Region 8 data were used.

For the rebuilding of VSU, the SDC endorsed the Rebuilding of VSU-Tolosa Project for KOICA Funding Assistance in the amount of USD4 Million. The SDC also endorsed for RDC approval a resolution recommending the inclusion of the rehabilitation of SSU in the 2016-2018 TRIP. The Philippine Qualifications Framework—presented by TESDA—is a “ladderized program” of TESDA, with descriptions on its academic equivalency credit system targeted for vocational graduates who intend to pursue a baccalaureate degree.

  • RDC Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting on 10 March 2015

Except for other matters, the EDC meeting discussed topics common to the DAC and SDC meetings, namely (i) FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM, (ii) FY 2015-2017 TRIP, (iii) Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF), and (iv) Region 8 Yolanda Reconstruction Results Framework.

For other matters, DOT presented its Accomplishment Report and its 2011-2016 Road Map; and DTI presented its Bahandi Trade Fair 2015 Project which aims (i) to inform the public that Region 8 SMEs are back in business, and (ii) expand their access to market, reconnecting to their old buyers and meeting new ones. The EDC endorsed DTI’s request for RDC to adopt the project as its own activity.

  • RDC Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (IUDC) meeting on 11 March 2015

The IUDC meeting discussed the same topics covered in three other RDC Committee meetings, namely:  (i) Visayas Spatial Development Framework, (ii) FY 2016 National Budget Call, (iii) Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Plan (TRIP), and (iv) Region 8 Yolanda Reconstruction Results Framework. A new item was presentation and discussion of the status of implementation of the CRRP Infrastructure Cluster Rehabilitation Plan (infra sector).

3.     Meeting on Mangrove and Beach Forest Rehabilitation

The DENR met with INGOs on the Complementation of Resources for the Mangrove & Beach Forest Rehabilitation in Eastern Visayas at its office DENR on 11 March 2015. The meeting aimed to promote coordination among agencies involved in mangrove reforestation in Eastern Visayas. Aside from the DENR, agencies who participated in the meeting included FAO, UNDP, OXFAM, IOM, Plan International, and CARE. Mr. Lawrence Aporto of the Liaison Team also participated in this meeting.

Among other agreements, FAO has offered to work closely with DENR especially on adoption of good practices and lessons learned in other Regions. Participants also agreed: (i) to hold future coordination meetings to be organized by the DENR Regional Office 8; (ii) DENR coordination mechanism chart will be shared to INGOs; (iii) DENR & INGOs will share notes on mangrove & beach forest-related interventions for complementation, and (iv) the DENR will circulate the presentation of updated figures on target areas as per NGP.

4.     Meeting with IOM

The Team met with Mr. Manuel Ferreira on 16 March 2015 to discuss status of IOM-supported recovery programs directed at the 3,800 displaced families that still require permanent shelter; and coordination concerns that the UN RCO could be of assistance to the agency, among other things.

IOM reported that the transition from temporary to permanent shelters for the IDPs has been slow, although the current rate of accomplishment (10 percent of target after 1.5 years that normally gets completed in 3 years) is within manageable range.

On coordination, IOM expressed desire to know about OPARR’s Recovery Plans so that they may be able to maximize use of their limited resources and deliver greater impact, especially to the local communities that they serve.  In particular the agency would like to know, for example: What are OPARR’s information dissemination strategies? How could CSOs/INGOs/UN collaborate and align better with their programs? How could IOM and other development partners interface better with OPARR?

Also in the discussions, Mr. Ferreira brought up his concern regarding non-inclusion of IOM’s data in the maps produced by UN RCO. This eventually prompted an exchange of emails between IOM and UN RCO that clarified the issue.

5.     RDC 8 Full Council Meeting

The UNRCO participated as observers in the RDC Full Council Meeting on 17 March 2015.

The RDC approved several resolutions earlier endorsed by four of its Committees, viz:

  • EDC Resolution No. 6, s. 2015, “Recommending to the RDC VIII the Adoption of 17th Eastern Visayas Bahandi Trade Fair as an RDC VIII Activity and Enjoining the Heads of Regional Line Agencies and Local Chief Executives to Attend the Trade Fair.”

The Bahandi Trade Fair 2015 Project, to be held on 2-6 September 2015 in Megamall, Mandaluyong City, aims to “(i) inform the public that Region 8 SMEs are back in business, and (ii) expand their access to market, reconnecting to their old buyers and meeting new ones.” The EDC earlier approved the resolution in its meeting on 11 March 2015.

  • The FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP)

The TRIP is a compilation of infra projects formulated from Updated 2014-2016 RDIP, 2009-2013 Comprehensive Integrated Infrastructure Program, CRRP, other programs and projects recently endorsed by RDC VIII. Estimated total cost of the TRIP is Php 278.812 billion.

The presenter (Engr Ernesto Octaviano, RDC Secretary) explained that the TRIP went through a process where agencies, LGUs and PSRs, among others, participated in validating the list, providing forward estimates, and proposing priority or additional projects, etc. He requested the RDC to approve the TRIP; the RDC, in turn, approved it.

On UNRCO’s query if it was possible for NEDA to update what appeared to be inaccurate or even conflicting figures between TRIP and infra-related CRRP projects, NEDA 8, through Regional Director Uy, said the RDC approval of the TRIP was conditional—it still needed to be updated and finalized, and the corrections will be made in the updating process.

  • The Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF)

Ms. Meylene Rosales of NEDA 8 presented the VSDF. Unlike in her earlier presentations at the Committee meetings, she did not go into details, although the presentation materials she used were the same.

She made the point that the four committees, namely DAC, SDC, EDC and IUDC, earlier endorsed to the RDC Full Council the draft VSDF for its approval.

The RDC approved the motion for its approval.

  1. Typhoon Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas

The Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas has been endorsed by the Committees for approval by the RDC. Although approved by the RDC Full Council, the framework still needs revisiting as some of the targets and indicators are incomplete.

Accountability for its implementation also needs to be clarified. Under the current set-up, two basic structures and a maze of committees are identified:

  • For monitoring and validation

Responsible for monitoring and evaluation is the RPMC Sub-Committee on Yolanda Rehabilitation and Recovery Monitoring and Validation, which is chaired by NEDA 8, and is under RDC 8. NEDA 8 is the Vice Chair and Secretariat of RDC 8.

(The current practice is both OPARR and NEDA are jointly undertaking this monitoring and validation function.)

  • For implementation and coordination

Responsible for implementation and coordination are (i) NEDA 8 as Chair of the Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee under the RDRRMC; and (ii) RDC Committees, namely: IUD Committee for Infrastructure Cluster, SD Committee for Social and Resettlement Cluster, ED Committee for Livelihood Cluster, and DA Committee for Support Cluster. Where RDC Clusters combine social and resettlment, the CRRP clusters do not. Again, as mentioned, NEDA is the Vice Chair and Secretariat of RDC.

NEDA as Chair of Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee under RDRRMC is further supported by four committees, namely: Infrastructure Committee, Social Services Committee, Resettlement Committee, and Livelihood Committee.

As things stand now, NEDA 8 as RDC Secretariat is responsible for monitoring and evaluation; and both (i) NEDA 8 as RDRRMC Vice Chair for Rehabilitation and Recovery and (ii) NEDA 8 as RDC Secretariat are responsible for implementation and coordination.

  1. Other Resolutions Approved by the RDC

The RDC also approved the following resolutions:

  1. Confirmation of PSR for the Environment Sector and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as Special Non-Voting Members
  2. Proposed RDC VIII and Sectoral Committees Work and Financial Plans
  3. Specific RDC Committee (EDC, SDC, DAC, RPMC) Concerns

6.     Meeting with OPARR Staff

The meeting with OPARR Staff was, among other things, a follow up discussion to the 26 February 2015 Resettlement Cluster meeting.

On the status of 3,800 internally displaced families, OPARR Region 8 Coordinator Edwin Corvera explained that 2 clusters (social services, led by DSWD, and permanent housing, led by HUDCC/NHA) are directly responsible for them.

Reports show that the 3,800 families are still housed in bunkhouses as of January 2015. For Tacloban City alone, the status summary is reported as follows:

  1. 14,000+ targeted resettlement houses
  2. 12,000 housing units have been bided out to contractors and under various stages of construction
  3. 15 permanent housing sites
  4. 300 housing units completed to date (i.e. out of the 14,000+ target)
  5. Only 17 families have moved in vis-à-vis the 300 housing units completed (i.e. per NHA figures)

OPARR also reported that there are minimal to no takers of housing projects in Eastern Samar. Each housing unit costs approximately PhP 292,000 (i.e. is both lot and the structure).  NHA was unable to adjust the budget ceiling despite the failed bids experienced lately.

Participating contractors are usually based either in Metro Manila or Cebu.  Hence, they are unwilling to participate in the resettlement projects in Eastern Samar owing to increased logistic costs, low volume of houses to be constructed and scattered location of project sites.

On the matter of coordination, OPARR admitted that their hands are full in monitoring of the implementation of 3,000+ projects in the Yolanda corridor alone.  In Region 8, for example, their staff complement of 24 (where 1 coordinator covers 5 LGUs at the least) could hardly cope with the volume of work.  Assistance is thus sought from development partners through the UN RCO if the UN/INGOs could help OPARR in information sharing, monitoring and coordination.

7.     Meeting on DP/DRR

Partners, consisting of UNDP, World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, Nazarene Disaster Response, IOM, GOAL, AMG Philippines, IMC, GIZ, NCCP-ACT Alliance, CRS, FAO, ACTED, Save the Children, Oxfam, World Renew, CFSI, ACTED International, CARE Philippines, UCCP, UN RCO, among others, met on 20 March 2015 to continue discussions on DP/DRR which they started in late 2014.

Discussion items included (i) Revisiting the TOR of DP/DRR Working Group, (ii) Agency updates on DP/DRR-related projects/priorities, activities, areas of coverage, and implementation time frame, and (iii) DP/DRR Working Group ways forward.

To facilitate coordination, participants agreed that the TWG would be the primary point of interface with government institutions relevant to DRRM.  In turn, it would serve as springboard to member UN and INGO partners on government directions/thrusts/guidelines pertinent to DRRM.

On the suggestion for the TWG to initiate a meeting with NEDA and the RDRMMC, the UNDP offered assistance in convening said meeting.

On ways of moving forward, the TWG suggested the harmonization of its tools as well as operational definition(s) on DRRM.  Thus, the next meeting would tackle a (i) common definition of term(s), and move for (ii) the harmonization of the training modules, interventions and approaches of member agencies insofar as DRRM is concerned.  The proposed harmonization would also include usage of CRS and Oxfam’s market study, which could provide valuable insights as well as opportunities to synergize vis-à-vis the various livelihood initiatives of member agencies.

A core group was formed, which shall deliberate the action points/concerns raised during the meeting, prior to the plenary monthly meeting agreed to take place during the last Friday of each month.  Members to the core group include UNDP, WVI, FAO, Action Aid International and GIZ.

The core group would also devise a simple matrix that shall contain the project updates of member agencies. Said worksheet would be presented in the next (big) group meeting.

8.     Meeting with Governor Dominic Petilla of Leyte Province

The UNRCO Liaison Team-Tacloban paid a courtesy visit to the Office of Leyte Provincial Governor Leopoldo Dominic Petilla on 20 March 2014.

The Team told the Governor that the UNRCO is tasked among other things “to establish effective communication and support mechanisms between provincial government authorities and partners, and to help build their institutional capacity for their inter-sectoral rehabilitation and recovery coordination.” It added that UNRCO shares or provides information products like maps and project/agency data/reports to interested organizations. UNRCO can also provide trainings on mapping when required or requested.

On a backdrop that bodes well for building strategic partnerships and strengthened working relations with the Provincial Government of Leyte, Gov. Petilla acknowledged the support given by UN Agencies and INGOs to the provincial government and its constituency especially during the emergency response period. He specifically cited FAO, which he said was one of the first agencies to effectively respond to the need of Leyte rice farmers for farm inputs. FAO’s timely assistance (consisting of 63,000 bags of certified rice seeds) enabled the rice farmers to regain their livelihood and for the rest of Leyte and nearby provinces to be assured of a steady supply of rice. He said that 4 months after Yolanda, the Department of Agriculture announced a bumper harvest of rice in Leyte.

Gov. Petilla also stressed that his administration is now focusing less on dole outs associated with relief and rehabilitation/recovery and more on sustainable development. He said economic development is the basis for resilience among communities and for the advancement of education, health and general well-being of constituents. Conversely, he recognized that it is by addressing specific issues of health and nutrition, education, infrastructure, and by promoting proper values among the people that sustainable development is achieved.

Future meetings with various departments of the Provincial Government of Leyte are planned.

9.     Support for Capacity Building

The Team distributed soft copies of updated maps and related info to recovery partners; responded to request for copies of maps and other information materials/products from ECC, Presbyterian Mission Agency, among others.

The Team has also received verbal requests from an LGU in Eastern Samar and a Tacloban-based INGO for Mr. Lawrence Aporto of UNRCO Tacloban to act as Resource Person in the conduct of training on mapping for their respective staff. UNRCO suggested to prospective clients to address their requests to Central Office and, in the case of Eastern Samar LGUs, to coordinate with the UNRCO in Borongan.

10.           OPARR/CRRP Cluster Meetings

  • Market Linkage Sub-Cluster (Livelihood) Meeting

The meeting among members of the Market Linkage Sub-Cluster (under Livelihood Cluster) on 19 March 2015 gave occasion for the Liaison Team to discuss concerns regarding reporting requests.

Before the meeting started, the Team had a private discussion with Mr. Oliver Cam, Point Person for Trade, Industry and ICT of the Eastern Visayas and Leyte Chambers of Commerce & Industry (EVCCI/LCCI), as well as Private Sector Representative (ICT Sector) of RDC 8. UNRCO brought up the matter of facilitating data collection requests addressed to recovery partners (UN Agencies and INGOs) using prescribed forms or matrices. As a backgrounder, the UNRCO as part of its role has been requesting partners on a monthly basis (since January 2015) for updates on their recovery activities using a prescribed format. The Leyte EVCCI/LCCI, in support of DTI’s monitoring and coordination mechanism, also recently requested recovery partners’ livelihood-related data using a matrix that in many ways are similar to that of UNRCO.

UNRCO pointed out to Mr. Cam that recovery partners may consider responding to both requests as an unnecessary duplication of effort on their part. This led to an agreement that, in view of UNRCO’s ongoing information sharing and liaising work with recovery partners, the EVCCI/LCCI as well as the DTI, can forego with a separate request and instead access livelihood-related information from UNCRCO. Also discussed was Mr. Cam’s concern for additional details of information his organization needed, such as data on production volume, production cycle (timeframe or schedule), and pricing. He explained that these pieces of information are key to making their efforts of linking farmers (or groups of farmers) to contract or bulk buyers (of agriculture or SME products) work. To address this issue, an agreed option was for UNRCO to follow up with partners that are into the livelihood sector with request for the needed market linkage-related information.

However, a separate issue (not discussed with Mr. Cam) can emerge where the UNRCO liaison mechanism could, although not intended, evolve as a substitute to, and in fact be interpreted as undermining, government coordinative mechanisms. To address this, there are two options:

  1. UNRCO can provide NEDA 8 and OPARR training on mapping as a strategic entry point for facilitating the transition from OPARR-coordinated recovery to NEDA8-managed and coordinated recovery activities in Region 8; and
  2. This can also offer an opportunity for UNRCO to be involved in the mainstreaming process (such as helping organize a mainstreaming workshop) where this information-sharing function and probably other related OPARR functions are institutionalized at the NEDA as DRRMC Vice Chair for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery. This workshop (or series of workshops) can be another entry point for the planned the transition.

During the meeting itself, the participants brainstormed and discussed issues and concerns such as: perceived oversupply of vegetables, falling selling prices, typhoons, and Sustainability.

Addressing these concerns, participants discussed several options: (i) the need to link with government agencies that provide training or capacity building for farmers or farm groups especially in the area of production programming; and (2) farmers need to diversify to other high-value crops or value-adding activities.

New Opportunities

Mr. Cam also shared the information about ABS-CBN Foundation’s recent discussions with LCCI pertaining to coconut nectar production. He said the Foundation is interested in supporting the establishment of at least one Shared Service Facility in each of the provinces of Southern Leyte, Leyte, and Samar. The one in Southern Leyte has in fact started operating.

Coconut nectar production was discussed as another frontier for coconut farmers as production does not require the coconut to be actually bearing fruit—as in the case of copra or tuba production, for example—but only for the tree itself to be alive. Price of coco nectar is several times higher than that of tuba or suka and its market is reported to be growing.

  • Resettlement Cluster Meeting

The resettlement cluster meeting on 26 March 2015 was organized/led by the National Housing Authority. This was the fourth meeting of the cluster since 2014. Among those present in the meeting were representatives from UN Habitat, Oxfam and UNRCO.

  1. The focus of discussions was on issues related to construction of permanent shelter.
    • Development Permits that can’t be granted by LGUs due to the following deficiencies:
  • Land conversion (from agri to residential) or reclassification (land use plan, zoning ordinance)
  • Right of way problems
  • Access road to construction sites
  • Water treatment from sewage systems
  • Easement violations (eg power posts or creeks)
  • Contractors Tax (Letter of Exemption to be sent by NHA to Tacloban LGU)
    • NHA cannot pay developers due to non-compliance with works specifications, substandard materials
    • NHA cannot request releases from DBM due to non-submission by LGUs of masterlist of beneficiaries
  1. NHA reported that as of yesterday (25 March 2015) a total of 689 permanent housing units have been substantially completed. These units are ready for occupancy except that the removable materials (eg lighting, doors, bowl, etc) are not yet in place for fear that they might be stolen or burglarized. What keeps NHA from awarding the completed units is the LGU-endorsed masterlist of beneficiaries.
  2. In preparation for providing livelihood support to resettlement beneficiaries, discussion shifted to profiling of beneficiaries. It was noted that people have been subjected to many surveys and those who are interested to provide livelihood support (including Oxfam) wanted to know if there was such a data available. Tacloban City committed to submit a profile of beneficiaries, along with the masterlist, of at least 8,000 (out of more than 14,000) beneficiaries by second week of May 2015.
  3. UNRCO also volunteered the information that UNRCO can make available matrices/maps containing information about partners, aside from Oxfam, who are interested to work with government in providing livelihood support to individuals or communities in resettlement sites.
    • Cluster Heads Meeting
  4. OPARR brought up a concern raised by some LGUs about their need for resettlement housing units that are not included in the CRRP. This prompted a discussion on why the number of permanent housing needs is bigger in Region 6 than in Region 8.

NEDA8 RD Uy said regional line agencies in Region 8 could be called to answer for why the need for permanent housing in Region 8 is lower than that in Region 6. To address the issue, he suggested that an official request be addressed to NHA, being the cluster head, together with DILG and DSWD to conduct re-assessment of actual damage and further recommend, if warranted, a revised number of permanent housing units needed in Region 8. The cluster heads unanimously approved the suggestion.

OPARR added that it can prepare an initial revised listing, and endorse it to NHA, DILG and DSWD.

  1. On questions regarding the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), DSWD (Pauline Nadera) reported that guidelines have been issued defining, among other things, who are the eligible beneficiaries. She also explained that those who have already received assistance from private organization.

Ms. Nadera also reported that a total amount of Php 2.085 billion has been released to LGUs (Leyte, Western Samar and Eastern Samar) for ESA; another amount totaling Php 419 million has been obligated (for release to same LGUs).

  1. OPARR presented an online demo of eMPATHY and when asked if the system was fully operational and functional, OPARR said yes. What was lacking was that some agencies (mostly government) were not done in uploading their data yet.
  2. Updates on implemented projects from clusters
    • Livelihood

DTI8 RD Cynthia Nierras said that the latest accomplishment report of the Livelihood Cluster is being finalized and will be ready for presentation in the next meeting. For the time being, she raised the point that while resettlement sites are not yet ready for livelihood, it was important for concerned agencies to share with DTI their beneficiary profiles as the DTI is not in a position to conduct beneficiary surveys. This information is essential for DTI to plan livelihood programs for resettlement sites.

She explained that DTI’s preference would be to implement livelihood projects that the beneficiaries themselves have been doing before Yolanda. She also said that it is more efficient to target individuals rather than groups.

She also reported that one strategic thrust of the DTI is to do convergence with LGUs and other agencies such as CSOs, and a forum for this is set on April 6-7, 2015 in Cebu. The idea is to promote a per product convergence using the value chain approach, and for which assistance from the INGOs would be welcome.

  • Resettlement

Before sharing its updates, NHA reminded participants about an agreement reached at the Resettlement Cluster meeting (26 March 2015) where each member agency would take turns in hosting monthly meetings. Hosts would shoulder the cost for venue and meals. At this point the UNRCO, while aware of some of the agencies’ constraints in hosting the meetings but at the same time mindful of how international partners can maximize the opportunity of discussing common issues with the government, suggested not only to disseminate processed information—such as matrices and maps—to government agencies, but also to invite some of the INGOs to the next Resettlement and Livelihood cluster meetings. NHA and DTI were receptive to the suggestion.

NHA reported that it has targeted a total number of 29,365 housing units. Of this number, 18,474 have been awarded to contractors, which 10,891 have been bidded out but award to contractors is pending due to non-release of funds. Table 13 below shows the status of accomplishments for contracted projects.

  • For the Infrastructure Cluster, DPWH reported the same status report it presented in the IUDC meeting.
  • For Social Services, the DSWD reported the status of Emergency Shelter Assistance.

III.          Issues and Concerns

1.     Mainstreaming Monitoring and Coordination Mechanisms

Although there exists a government mechanism for monitoring, implementation and coordination for CRRP there is no clear plan yet for the mainstreaming of this mechanism from OPARR (temporary) to NEDA (permanent). For purposes of monitoring and validation of CRRP projects, OPARR regularly conducts field visits and validate. In Febuary 2015, OPARR and NEDA, along with cluster agencies, have jointly conducted monitoring and validation activities. For implementation of CRRP projects, OPARR organizes cluster meetings to identify and address implementation issues.

Created by virtue of a Memorandum Order (62) from the Office of the President, OPARR’s tenure is co-terminus with the Aquino administration, which will step down in June 2016. There is therefore a need to plan for NEDA to eventually take over the role of OPARR as provided under Section 5 of RA 10121.

2.     Implementation Issues

Bottlenecks for Resettlement Projects

The transition from temporary to permanent shelter is taking a longer time than expected. Other cluster activities within resettlement sites (like livelihood and social services) are on hold until significant progress is made on the resettlement cluster. Despite AO 44, which aims to streamline the process of issuance of permits, certificates, clearances and licenses for resettlement projects, the NHA and its developers continue to experience delays in securing development permits (due for example, to issues related to land conversion, transfer of titles, right of way, easement violations, contractors’ tax, etc.) NHA is also hampered by lack of a masterlist of beneficiaries supposedly to be certified by LGUs. Developers also experience shortage of construction materials in Region 8, which causes increase in their logistics costs.

Profile and Masterlist of Beneficiaries

Both the Resettlement and Livelihood clusters are in need of a final report or masterlist of beneficiaries as well as individual beneficiary profiles. These are needed in order for them to undertake their respective activities. At the cluster heads meeting (27 March 2015) this document should come from the LGUs (supported by an inter-agency committee, or LIAC), or DSWD as an alternate source.

IV.          Recommendations

  1. On Monitoring, Implementation and Coordination Mechanisms, the UNRCO needs to be represented in meetings or mainstreaming workshop where participants (government and partners) can map the process of transferring OPARR functions (as well as the support role provided by UNRCO) to the NEDA. These meetings, workshop, or series of workshops, can identify, among other things, NEDA resourcing requirements as well as means of streamlining the workflow within RDC and RDRRMC committees involved. It can target as one of the outputs the crafting of an enabling issuance (AO or joint memorandum circular among agencies involved) that would provide guidelines for the transition.
  2. On delays in the resettlement cluster, the Resettlement Cluster meeting should be inclusive and participation of partners should be encouraged. The LGUs (provincial, municipal and barangay) and even community members should be encouraged to participate in discussions that aim to resolve nagging issues. OPARR’s Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood (CDSL) proposal offers an alternative modality for efficient and responsive provision of permanent shelter to target communities. This has been endorsed by the clusters and support from clusters is needed.
  3. Sponsorship for Cluster Meetings

To ease government clusters from their constraints in organizing meetings involving participation of as many stakeholders as possible, UNRCO can propose to OPARR and cluster heads its availability as temporary (April-September 2015) host of these meetings. This will seize the opportunity to enhance UNRCO’s facilitative role in promoting coordination among agencies. The proposal entails shouldering the cost for venue and meals, among other things, as well as inviting 5-8 partners in each of the meetings.

This proposal requires an estimated cost of Php 282,250 for the 6-month period, details of which are shown in Table 6 below.

Table 6. Estimated Cost for Hosting 2015 Monthly Cluster Meetings (60-65 participants)

Month Social Services Cluster Resettlement Cluster (Venue Only) Total
April 31,750.00 Oxfam 31,750.00
May 31,750.00 15,000.00 46,750.00
June 31,750.00 31,750.00 63,500.00
July 31,750.00 15,000.00 46,750.00
August 31,750.00 15,000.00 46,750.00
September 31,750.00 15,000.00 46,750.00
Total 190,500.00 91,750.00 282,250.00
Notes:(1)    Cost is based from price quotation by Ritz Tower de Leyte at Php 450/pax for venue, 1 lunch and 1 snack for a maximum of 65 participants. Additional Php 2,500 is needed for LCD (Projector) rental per meeting. For the Resettlement Cluster, UNRCO will co-host with a cluster member. Meetings are assumed to last not more than 5 hours, starting at 8:30 AM.

(2)    UNDP supports Livelihood Cluster; while the Infra Cluster is not meeting regularly.

 

V.  Activities for Next Month (April 2015)

  • Partners Meeting
  • Cluster Meetings
  • Meeting with Tacloban City Mayor
  • Meeting with PLGU and OPARR Staff
  • Meeting with DSWD, NHA/HUDCC Staff
  • Meeting with NEDA Staff

VI.          Annexes (Notes To File)

  1. Partners’ Meeting on Recovery Coordination
  2. RDC Development Administration Committee Meeting
  3. RDC Social Development Committee Meeting
  4. RDC Economic Development Committee Meeting
  5. RDC Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee Meeting
  6. Meeting on implementation of mangrove/beach forest rehabilitation on Yolanda affected areas at the DENR (11 March 2015)
  7. Meeting with IOM
  8. RDC Meeting participated in by UNRCO as Observer
  9. Meeting with OPARR Staff
  10. Market Linkage Sub-Cluster Meeting
  11. Meeting on DRR
  12. Meeting with Governor Dominic Petilla of Leyte Province
  13. Resettlement Cluster Meeting
  14. Cluster Heads Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.      Partners’ Meeting on Recovery Coordination

03 March 2015, 11:00AM

4/F, UNICEF Building, M.H. del Pilar Street, Tacloban City

 Attendees : Maulid Warfa UNICEF
Toby Monsod UN RCO
Hermilando Aberia UNICEF
Lawrence Aporto UN RCO
Melvin Diancin Help from Germany
Chris Morales World Renew
Anbes Abate IMC
Meron Nicolas Solidarites International
Rivier Emilie Handicap International
Joselito Sosmeña NCCP-ACT Alliance
Venjie Rex Firmalino World Vision
Sheena Carmina Mateo World Vision
Eden Garde UNDP
Boyet Garcia CFSI
Yeon Phan Samaritan’s Purse
David Liban Jr. Habitat for Humanity
Nicholas Nguyan ChildFund
Primo Obsequio II ChildFund
Katherine Detros AMG
Jeff Balistoy HELPAGE/COSE
Allison Gocotano WHO
Emily Balderamos CCI-CERD
Nestor Tabungar Relief International
Georgios Ntais Arche Nova
Cathy Detalo NDR
Jezzel Amor NDR
Ana Ferreira CRS
Rener Lambert CRS
JF Mona Saroinsong
Peter Agnew FAO
Frederich Binghoy Oxfam
Leah Payud Oxfam
Israel Infante Oxfam
Teshome Assefa Plan International
Nancy Obias Save the Children
Arvi Miguel UN RCO
Chaired  by : Maulid Warfa, UNICEF, Tacloban Chief of Field Office
Co-Chaired by : Toby Monsod, UNRCO
  1. Meeting Agenda as approved: 
    • Presentation of agency mapping (as of February 2015);
    • Update on government coordination mechanisms for recovery;
    • Latest issues and concerns on recovery interventions (by agency);
    • Any other business (AOB), which included the concern raised on DRR.
  2. Opening Statements

Mr. Warfa (Chairperson) formally opened the meeting by thanking all participants for accepting the invitation. He briefly recounted the history of the UN Liaison Mechanism, including the transition from OCHA to RCO in September 2014.

Ms. Monsod (Co-Chairperson) also briefly explained why, at post-SRP stage, there continues to be a demand for information sharing and coordination among development partners involved in the recovery efforts. She said the UN RCO facilitation mechanism has three primary purposes, namely:

  • To facilitate the interface and information sharing of UN agencies and partners with national recovery management structures, with special attention on coordination concerns involved in resettlement, livelihood, shelter, and protection;
  • To facilitate greater consistency and complementarity of UN-supported recovery interventions, with particular emphasis on capacity development initiatives; and
  • To provide a forum for the identification of issues, which may require collective advocacy through the RC, e.g. issues in the implementation of the CRRP, including the management of remaining humanitarian needs, if any.
  1. Presentation on Agency Mapping

The UNRCO Liaison Team presented the various information management (IM) products developed, especially the maps illustrating the deployment areas of various development partners in Region 8, including the specifics of their engagement (e.g. shelter, livelihood, etc.).  Maps were generated from information shared by partners through an agency mapping exercise on recovery activities; 43 of the 56 UN Agencies/INGOs responded.   The information has been circulated to both partner INGOs and government line agency counterparts in recovery.  A call will be sent out again on the 3rd week of March 2015 to update the maps, targeting their re-circulation by 1st week of April 2015.

It was noted that the maps show both CRRP priority municipalities and LGU income classification as the base map.  The income classification gives development partners an idea of the fiscal capacity of LGUs. Mr. Meron Nicolas (Solidarites International) inquired about the parameters used to define the “target areas” for intervention.  He wanted to know whether these areas are being targeted because of certain government priorities or based on the significant number of vulnerable beneficiaries.  He also commented that the maps do not reflect information about Typhoon Ruby and therefore the way government identified the priority areas may not be accurate.

Ms. Monsod suggested that soft copies of the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP), from which the list of priority municipalities was obtained, and provincial/city plans, will be circulated to partners for reference information.

Questions were raised on the where information about Typhoon Ruby activities is reflected and on whether the Liaison maps can adopt or incorporate matrices which other government agencies are circulating. For instance, FAO is also participating in the coordination meetings organized the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the Business Resource Center (BRC) for Eastern Visayas and the Tacloban City government and the Expanded Livelihood Cluster (led by DTI) is circulating a progress update matrix for partner’s to accomplish.  Also partners have submitted quite a substantial amount of information to eMPATHY through its  online facility. If eMPATHY was to be an information hub as envisioned, would there be a need to continue with a mapping service.

It was clarified that the Liaison Team immediately coordinated with DTI so as to reduce duplications moving forward, i.e. by including beneficiary and barangay-level details in RCO-produced matrices.  Also, the IM services being provided by the team are not a substitute for government information systems.  Rather, the directory/ mapping evolved from a request by DSWD and continues to evolve while eMPATHY may not yet be fully operational, even as government cluster leads have taken the initiative of developing and populating their own progress monitoring workbooks to satisfy their specific information requirements.

Action Points:

  • A call would again be sent out by the 3rd week of March 2015 to update the maps, targeting their circulation by 1st week of April 2015.
  • UN RCO Liaison Team to (i) coordinate with OPARR and other agencies concerned to explore options on how to best streamline information flows among government agencies and development partners, given the possibility that eMPATHY may or may not be fully operational in the immediate future; (ii) circulate matrices/maps again to government clusters and partners for their appreciation; and (iii) provide soft copies of the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) and provincial/city plans to partners.
  1. Update on Government Coordination Mechanism(s)
    • A list of various government-led recovery meetings since November 2014 in which the Liaison Team had opportunity to participate was presented. The team benefitted from information made available through these meetings, and shared those relevant pieces of information with various development partners. The idea is to provide conditions for better coordination and complementation among development partners, including NGAs and LGUs involved in recovery activities.

OPARR, as part of a transition strategy, is in the process of devolving some of its functions to other agencies, that have specific mandate on rehabilitation and recovery, specifically NEDA, through the RDRRMC and RDC mechanisms. NEDA is the chair of the rehabilitation pillar under the NDRRMC law, and is the vice-chair of the RDC.  NEDA is also chair of the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) which is a special committee of the RDC.

  • Partners contributed additional information on government coordination as follows:
  • DENR is calling for a meeting on 11 March 2015, whereby it would discuss mangrove-related activities that are being undertaken by the agency and would like to know the development partners’ initiatives relevant thereto.
  • DTI 8 will have a training within March on the data monitoring platform for the information management (IM) focals of member agencies for the Expanded Livelihood Cluster.
  • Tacloban City Shelter Cluster will convene a meeting on 27 March 2015. Tacloban City also convenes its own livelihood cluster meetings.

Action Point:

RCO to incorporate information on other meetings and disseminate.  The team, as requested, will touch base with Leyte PLGU and Tacloban LGU, to secure information on its recovery plans and priorities, among other things.

  1. Partner Issues/Concerns on Recovery Interventions
    • Eden Garde of UNDP inquired if a market study for selected crops was readily available from among partners, saying some of UNDPs livelihood programs in the area are hampered by lack of supporting marketing studies.

Information was shared that the CRS, Oxfam and Save the Children consortium have undertaken such studies for priority crops, including root crops, in partnership with both DTI and DA.  The studies are expected to be finalized and released by either end of March or early April.

Action Point:

To request CRS, Oxfam and Save the Children consortium to share its market study with UNDP, once finalized and cleared by DTI and DA.

  • Nizolas (Solidarites International) made an observation on the lack of interventions for vulnerable and needy LGUs in Western Samar. He raised the concern that although these areas were not affected by Yolanda, they remain impoverished and in dire need of assistance.  He also pointed out that there are affected municipalities without agency presence.  He suggested that future meetings may do well to focus on finding ways to fill gaps rather than just on reporting of activities.

Mr. Warfa aired a similar observation whereby poorer LGUs outside of the Yolanda corridor remain underserved.  Hence, development assistance may be shifted to these areas.

  • Teshome Assefa (PLAN International) requested data on the bigger picture of DRR—who is doing what and where. He said various initiatives address only certain components of DRR.  He explained that if interventions are expected to make more lasting impact on the communities we serve, they ought to promote overall disaster resilience, approaching DRR holistically. Towards this end, another suggestion was raised to promote CCA alongside DRR, as both are interrelated at some point.

Ms. Monsod stated that there is an initiative among UN agencies to level off on the operational definition of DRR/CCA and this would entail a case study of interventions in Region 8.  She asked whether partners would be willing to participate, to which there was an affirmative reply.

Ms. Garde said that there used to be a DRRM working committee handling this thematic issue.  She suggested that it may be timely to reconvene the committee.

Oxfam and Plan have a DRR initiative to map DRR efforts called SURGE.  This is focused primarily on response preparedness planning.  One of the planned activities under SURGE is the conduct a training of trainers (TOT) on DRRM, tentatively set the 2nd week of March 2015.  Another activity pertaining to a sunset review of government legislation and policies is set also within the month of March.

Action Point:

To reconvene the DRR working committee, with UNDP as lead, to establish a commonality of understanding on DRR/CCA concepts, further deliberating on DRR/CCA activities undertaken by partners. Coordination with the SURGE initiative will be undertaken to maximize synergies. Participation in the Region 8 case study will be facilitated.

  • It was suggested that poverty information of the various LGUs illustrated in the maps are included in subsequent maps, aside from the usual LGU classification by income class. However, it was pointed out that existing poverty data at municipal levels are not reliable, although these were used for Ruby response mapping. The Liaison team will nonetheless see what can be incorporated.
  1. Any Other Business
    • WHO aired DOH Region 8’s request on mapping UN/INGO interventions that are health-related. Aporto replied that said dataset is part of the agency mapping workbook that was circulated among partners.  Hence, the needed data could be extracted from the maps

 

  • On the suggestion of inviting government representatives in future meetings, to ensure there is no misunderstanding that partners meetings represent an attempt to establish a parallel coordination mechanism,  it was clarified that partner meetings are meant to be an opportunity to internally share information and concerns in order to facilitate the interface with national recovery mechanisms, and not to substitute for the latter; it is a temporary mechanism for 6- 8 months at most and government is appreciative of the effort.
  • The group unanimously agreed to convene this partners’ meeting on a monthly basis, to flesh out collective concerns and serve as a forum to facilitate complementation and synergies among partners. On suggestions on whether to reactivate different working groups that could meet and report discussions and resolutions at monthly partner meetings (so as to keep meetings more efficient (within one hour) and yet still be effective), it was suggested that the mechanism be kept simple and at this time there seems to be demand for just one working group (DRR).

Action Point:

This partners’ coordination meeting would be regularly conducted on a monthly basis, with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.

  1. Summary of Action Points
Summary of Action Points Status by Next Meeting (as of 27 March 2015)
1)      A call would again be sent out by the 3rd week of March 2015 to update the maps, targeting a circulation thereof by 1st week of April 2015. Maps (Update 3 for Yolanda and Update 2 for Ruby) circulated
2)      Liaison Team to explore whether or how partner submissions to eMPATHY can be used, and how best to further reduce duplications in information requests from government agencies in the interim.  RCO to circulate matrices/maps again to government clusters and partners for their appreciation.  Liaison team to provide soft copies of the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) and provincial/city plans to partners. ·         OPARR says eMPATHY is fully operational·         UNRCO discussed with DTI/ Chamber about limiting requests for data to one (in the interim use the UNRCO mapping exercise).

·         Soft copies sent to partners through dropbox

3)      RCO to incorporate information on other meetings and disseminate. The team was requested to touch base with Leyte PLGU and Tacloban LGU, to secure information as to their respective recovery plans and priorities. ·         Information available for dissemination·         UNRCO met with Leyte Provincial Governor and future meetings with department are set
4)      CRS, Oxfam and Save the Children consortium to share its market study with UNDP, once finalized and cleared by DTI and DA. ·         For follow up
5)      UNDP as lead, re-convene a DRR working committee to establish a commonality of understanding on DRR/CCA concepts; further deliberating on DRR/CCA activities undertaken by partners.  Coordination with the SURGE initiative will be undertaken to maximize synergies. Participation in the Region 8 case study will be facilitated. ·         DRR meeting conducted on 20 March 2015
6)      This partners’ coordination meeting would be regularly conducted on a monthly basis, with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.

 

  1. Adjournment

With no further matters to discuss, the meeting concluded at 12:45PM.  The next meeting was tentatively set on 07 April 2015, at 11AM-12NN.

2.      RDC Development Administration Committee (DAC) Meeting

9 March 2015, 10:00 AM – 4:45 PM
Camp Kangleon, Palo, Leyte

Chaired by DBM RD Imelda C. Laceras; co-chaired by PSR Edmundo Gariando

  1. Highlights of the Meeting
    • After the preliminaries, the DAC discussed and approved the meeting agenda. Items included:
  • Presentation of FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM
  • Presentation of FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP) by DAC Secretariat
  • Updates on Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) by DILG
  • Presentation of PAMANA Programs and Projects by OPAPP
  • Presentation of the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF) by RDC Secretariat
  • Proposed DAC 2015 Work and Financial Plan by DAC Secretariat
  • Directory of DAC Officials and Members
    • The DAC reviewed the highlights of the previous meeting and thereafter took up “Matters Arising from the Highlights of the Previous Meeting.” A summary is presented below:
Issue/Concern Updates
·         Presentation of the VSDF ·       Comments/suggestions of the body were considered in the revision of the document.·       The draft VSDF was subjected to an Inter-Agency on 4 February 2015 to solicit more inputs from stakeholders.

·       The enhanced document to be presented in the meeting.

·         Presentation of the Yolanda CRRP and updates. (a) OPARR to provide to the DAC detailed data concerning priority projects per municipality in the region. OPARR already provided to the Secretariat CD copy of the approved YCRRP dated 1 August 2014 including its annexes and brochures.
·         Presentation of the PIA YRRP Communications Plan.
(a)  PARR cluster members should have radio/tv guesting at the “Express It At the Park” of the PIA Some PARR cluster members have already guested while others are still lined up.
(b) Public Information Officers (PIOs) of DAC member agencies should be provided with the right templates and advices from the PIA as a form of capacity-building program. PIA will consider this in the finalization of the YRRP Communications Plan.
(c) RDC Secretariat should solicit/accept articles for “Lantaw” publication from the Sectoral Committees. RDC Secretariat has already requested articles from the Sectoral Committees.
(d) Status of the PIA YRRP Communications Plan Ongoing technical revisions based on the generated comments/suggestions from the Sectoral committees.
·         Presentation of the Draft RDC Manual of Operations
(a)    Consider as one of the Sec-Com Co-Chairs’ functions to review presentation materials in terms of technical merits, but not necessarily on the revision of the reports’ content Comments/suggestions of the body were considered in the revision of the document.
(b)    Presentation materials should be rated using a scorecard. For implementation in the 2nd quarter DAC meeting with the guidance of DAC Co-chair Dr. E. Gariando
(c) Status of RDC Manual of Operation Now under final technical review by the task force.
·         Preparation of the DAC 2015 Work Plan
·         Prepare Directory of DAC officials and members

 

  1. Presentation of FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM

DBM explained that the budget process for 2016 is different from that of previous years. Introduced for 2016 are (1) 2 Tier Budgeting Approach, and (2) Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in the resource allocation. The 2 Tier Approach comprises—for Tier 1—hard ceiling for forward estimates (Fes) of on-going/existing programs/projects and—for Tier 2—new spending proposals and the expansion of on-going/existing programs/projects chargeable against the Fiscal Space.

The 2 Tier Approach innovates from previous practice where Fes were formulated/updated by DBM with little participation of departments/agencies; ceilings were just indicative and where agencies bid above their respective ceilings; and budget proposals were a mix of ongoing/existing and proposed new spending measures.

DBM also explained that for 2016, new spending proposals of agencies, including expansion of existing programs and projects shall be supported with Project Profile, using BP Form 202, to be complemented with a credible M & E Plan and robust or clear baseline information or statistics.

  1. Presentation of FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP) by DAC Secretariat

The TRIP has been prepared with the aim of generating regional inputs for RDC officials’ reference in the RDC-ACO dialogue on 30-31 March 2015 in Manila. It is a compilation of infra projects formulated from Updated 2014-2016 RDIP, 200902013 Comprehensive Integrated Infrastructure Program, CRRP, other programs and projects recently endorsed by RDC VIII.

The estimated total cost of TRIP is Php 278.812 billion.

The presenter (Engr Ernesto Octaviano, DAC Secretary) explained that the TRIP went through a process where agencies, LGUs and PSRs, among others, participated in validating the list, providing forward estimates, and proposing priority or additional projects, etc. He requested the DAC to endorse the TRIP to RDC in time for the latter’s full council meeting on 17 March 2015.

The DAC approved the motion to endorse the TRIP to the RDC.

  1. Updates on Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) by DILG

DILG presented the statuses of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 BuB implementation. For 2013, there was a total of 428 projects in Samar and Leyte provinces.  Forty-nine of those projects have been completed, 78 are ongoing, 149 are pipelined, 54 are proposed, and 98 were discontinued. Delivery rate by agency shows that except for DAR, DILG, DSWD, NEA, and PHILHEALTH, government agencies involved in BuB have delivery rates of 50 percent or less.

For 2014, delivery rates slowed down even more for all agencies except for DOH (81 percent) and DTI (67 percent).

All 2015 BuB projects are approved and already in the GAA. LGUs that don’t pass the Good Governance filter will not be eligible, and funds allocated for them will be withdraws by concerned NGAs. However these LGUs can still catch up and eventually qualify (except those who have adverse findings from COA), provided they are able to comply with the requirements by 31 March 2015.

For 2016, all but 3 of the 143 LGUs in the region were able to submit complete documentation to support their respective project proposals.  The regional agencies are now in the process of validating the proposals.

  1. Presentation of PAMANA Programs and Projects by OPAPP

The DAC Secretariat and OPAPP presented the programs and projects of PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn (PAMANA). Aiming to bring peace and development in isolated hard-to-reach and conflict-affected areas, PAMANA provides the framework for the government’s peacebuilding activities.

Projects at an estimated cost of Php4.6 billion have been proposed for the three provinces of Samar Island.

Promoting peace and security is one of the strategies adopted by the RDC in its updated 2014-2016 Regional Development Plan. OPAPP also requested the DAC to endorse to RDC its recommendation for policy support, as follows:

  • For RDC to adopt the areas covered by PAMANA as priority areas for convergence of efforts of the member agencies relative to implementation of their programs, projects and activities, supporting the conduct of multi-agency caravans or peace caravans in PAMANA communities and promoting the accomplishments of the PAMANA program to a broader public, among others;
  • For RDC to consider the unfunded projects in PAMANA areas in 2016 regular budget programming of member agencies; and
  • For RDC to adopt conflict-affectation/conflict vulnerability as one of the parameters for program prioritization of agencies.

The DAC agreed to endorse to RDC OPAPP’s recommendations.

  1. Presentation of the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF) by RDC Secretariat

As the VSDF covered the 3 Visayas regions, the presentation was limited to the area covering Region 8.

The VSDF is a development plan for the 3 visayas regions, focusing on their physical endowments (specifically resources bases in land, water as well as developed areas) as bases for development. It analyzes opportunities and constraints, among other things, as means of formulating sound development strategies and proposing appropriate investment areas, programs and projects.

It proposes three key strategies, namely:

  1. Concentration Strategy: Areas to Accommodate New and Expanded Economic Activities
  2. Connectivity Strategy: Build Infrastructure that Connect People, Move Goods, and Provide Services
  3. Vulnerability Reduction: Resilient Visayan Communities: Protecting Lives, Property and the Natural Environment

The VSDF has undergone revisions with inputs from member agencies. The DAC approved its endorsement to the RDC.

  1. Proposed DAC 2015 Work and Financial Plan by DAC Secretariat

For 2015, the DAC proposes completion of key activities in policy review/formulation services, review/evaluation services, fiscal management, monitoring and advocacy, capability building and resource networking. To budget required is Php 226,900.

The DAC agreed to endorse its 2015 Work and Financial Plan to RDC VII for approval.

  1. Directory of DAC Officials and Members

DAC Secretariat presented the updated director of DAC officials and members.

3.      Social Development Committee (SDC) Meeting

09 March 2015, 9:30AM

Mess Hall, DepEd Region 8 Office, Palo, Leyte

Attendees : NEDA, DOST, DepEd, CHED,DOH, DOJ, DSWD, TESDA, DBM, LGU Catbalogan City, Visayas State University, Samar State University, ADB and UN RCO
Chaired  by : RD Edgardo M. Esperancilla, DOST

 

  1. Meeting Agenda as Approved:
    • Review of the Highlights of the Previous Meeting
    • Matters Arising from the Highlights of the Previous Meeting
    • New Business
      • Orientation on the FY 2016 Budget Call
      • Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Plan (TRIP)
      • Visayas Spatial Development Framework
      • Typhoon Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas
      • Rebuilding of the Visayas State University (VSU)
      • Status of the Samar State University (SSU) Maceda Gymnasium
      • Philippine Qualifications Framework
    • Other Matters

 

  1. Discussion
    • Preliminaries

Ms. Maria Victoria Cuayzon (i.e. SDC Secretary) checked the attendance sheet and confirmed a quorum to the Chairperson.

The meeting was called to order at 10AM by RD Esperancilla.

The Chair called the attention of the participants to the provisional agenda that were both flashed on the screen and the tablets that were loaned various delegates.  Hearing no objection, the agenda was approved.

The SDC Secretary read through the minutes of the previous quarter’s SDC meeting.  With no objections from the floor, the minutes were approved.

In addition, the Secretary read through the documentation of the matters arising from the highlights of the previous meeting.  Hearing neither clarification nor comments from the body, the Chair prompted to proceed to New Business concerns.

  • New Business
  • Jovi of the DBM gave the first presentation—an orientation on the FY 2016 Budget Call.

The proposed P/A/Ps of the NGAs for the next fiscal year would have to align with the PDP[1] and corresponding regional development investment plan.  Furthermore, the consolidated agency budget proposal would be the aggregate of its Tier 1 and Tier 2 proposals.  Details in the preparation thereof are found in the budget call guidelines issued by the Department.

In view of the issue on the utilization of the PDAF[2], the Supreme Court questioned the Executive Branch on its procedures on the realignment and utilization of savings.  Thus, DBM is coming up with a corresponding guideline for the purpose.

The Unified Account Code System (UACS) now allows the DBM to extract drill down data up to the provincial level.  More so, it has a climate change expense tagging feature built into the system to enable national government to specifically monitor climate flows within the public financial system.

The NDRRM[3] Fund is retained as part of the Special Purpose Fund of the national government.

FY 2016 new program/project proposals would require an accompanying robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan.  The Department would subsequently issue guidelines for the preparation of said M&E plan.

  • VSU sought clarification as to which agency endorsement are they to secure when making their agricultural research proposals. Accordingly, if their research partner is PCAARRD[4] then VSU has to seek endorsement from DOST and the SDC.  On the other hand, if the partner is BAR[5], then endorsement has to be sought from DA and the SDC.
  • For IT related initiatives, proposals could still be made under the MITHI[6].
  • DOH sought ball park figures/guidance in the preparation of their agency’s forward estimates. Per DBM delegate, MOOE[7] is allowed a 3% increase, taking into account the cost of inflation. For PS[8] expenses however, the estimates have to be based in the plantilla as of 20 February.

DOH expressed its concern as to the extent of LGU proposals that it could accommodate within its proposed agency budget (i.e. particularly for DOH-EOHO)[9], in consideration of the outputs generated from the LGUs’ Bottom Up Budgeting (BUB) initiative.  Apparently, the aggregate amount went beyond their hard ceiling.  The DBM presenter replied that that their agency’s hard ceiling remains and that a cabinet level prioritization would take place on 28 March 2015 to sort out the concern.

  • FY 2016 would allow capital outlay proposals for SUC[10]. As such, VSU and SSU were encouraged to make ready respective proposals, with detailed designs and specifications, to that end.
  • RD Esperancilla requested DBM delegate to lobby with CO their plea that Region 8 be given the priority vis-a-vis the allocation of Grants in Aid (GIA).
  • Esposo of NEDA then provided her presentation on the TRIP.

The TRIP promotes optimum utilization of resources consistent with the PDP.  It is being updated annually.  Accordingly, project proposals for inclusion in the TRIP are advised to be aligned to the proponent agency’s major final outputs (MFOs) as agreed with the DBM.

Social infrastructure programs included in the TRIP amount to a total investment requirement of PhP 27.505 billion (Bn).  For the Post Disaster Reconstruction Program is an investment amount of PhP 9.658 Bn.

NEDA sought the SDC’s endorsement of the TRIP.  However, as several agencies would still like to provide additional items, the plan was conditionally endorsed, pending the additional inputs of participating agencies submitted to NEDA not later than 10 March 2015.

  • Meylene Rosales (of NEDA) followed in delivering her presentation of the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF).

Accordingly, the VSDF will: (i) define a desirable spatial pattern that will guide developments including the location of major programs and projects; (ii) identify the physical constraints that must limit the magnitude and scope of socio-economic activities to ensure public safety and environmental sustainability; and (iii) facilitate the interaction and linkage of related socio-economic activities through appropriate networks of transportation and communication services.

Its 3 main strategies are (a) concentration, (b) connectivity and (c) vulnerability reduction.

As reported, the regions comparative advantages include its: (a) central and strategic location, (b) attractive location for IT-BPM[11], (c) rich marine and fishery resources, (d) geothermal and other renewable energy resources, (e) mineral resources and fossil fuel reserves, (f) natural, historic and cultural amenities for tourism, (g) urban amenities in a resort setting, and (h) network of airports, ports and seaports.

The rationale of the VSDF is economic complementation and integration.

A participant sought clarification if the Framework was attuned to the needs of the Yolanda survivors.  To which NEDA replied in the affirmative.

The delegate of Catbalogan City urged the body to reconsider the Framework and sought for the inclusion of “food security for the rural poor” as an additional consideration.

The VSDF was conditionally endorsed pending (i) the revision of the statement that “informal settlers were plaguing urban centers; and (ii) inclusion of Catbalogan City, Maasin and Baybay in the proposed provincial centers.

  • Jam (of NEDA) then made her presentation regarding the Typhoon Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas.

The framework’s regionally-contextualized overall goal is to “escalate the growth of the GRDP[12] to higher levels, and to generate more employment and increase family income to levels above the poverty threshold”.

The long-term performance indicators include: (i) per capita GRDP in the affected areas restored to pre-typhoon level; and (ii) GRDP growth rates achieve national PDP targets.

The proposed performance indicators at the outcome and output levels subscribe to the following categories: (a) resettlement, (b) livelihood and local economic development, (c) social services and (d) physical infrastructure.

DOST made a comment that there was no sub-indicator under “labor productivity increased”, which takes into account entrants to the IT-BPM labor force.  As such, DOST was requested to provide the needed values based on the presented matrix.

The Catbalogan LGU representative suggested the inclusion of a parameter that measures climate-change induced poverty.  NEDA replied that although it is a good parameter, however, it presents a technical impediment on quantifying such a measurement.  More so as no benchmark indicators have been established yet in this regard.

Furthermore, said representative suggested as well that the monitoring of this performance matrix be included/coordinated with the DILG’s CBMS system.

Acknowledging the body’s concern to further look at the details of the matrix as well as provide administrative data on various parameters that have no baseline data plugged in (yet), NEDA declared its willingness to accept further comments and inputs thereto on or before 13 March 2015.

In view of the above, the Results Framework was endorsed with the additional inputs and comments that would reach NEDA by the above stated deadline.

  • Rebuilding of the Visayas State University (VSU)

There was a suggestion from the body for SUCs to specialize on certain courses and not simply offer the same courses provide by private learning institutions.  CHED’s comment was solicited, but replied that she would defer to the statement of CHED-CO on the matter.

VSU’s proposal as presented to the body was then endorsed by the Social Development Committee.

  • Status of the Samar State University (SSU) Maceda Gymnasium

The Chair took note of the cultural museum component of their proposal and asked the university to highlight this in their document.  A suggestion was also raised to source out possible funding from the NDRRMC through the assistance they are offering on TS Ruby.

The proposal was then approved by the SDC for endorsement to NDRRMC and the DBM.

  • Cleta made her presentation on the Philippine Qualifications Framework.

It described the “ladderized program” of TESDA, with descriptions on its academic equivalency credit system for those vocational graduates who intend to pursue a baccalaureate degree.

Most of the courses offered by TESDA are job demand driven and competency-based.

  1. Other Matters
    • NEDA made a call to the participants to encourage their respective agency heads to participate in the full RDC meeting on 17 March 2015.
    • TESDA announced its offer of a free competency assessment to the line agency’s workers (e.g. drivers). Accordingly, the service is typically provided for a fee.
    • DSWD announced that it is offering a 2-month employment opportunity to interested individuals. They will accordingly serve as enumerators for their current survey activities.

4.      RDC Economic Development Committee (EDC) Meeting

10 March 2015, 9:45 AM – 3:30 PM

Chaired by DTI RD Cynthia Nierras; co-chaired by PSR Atty. Bernard Fiel

 

  1. Highlights of the Meeting
    • After the preliminaries, the EDC discussed and approved the meeting agenda. Items included:
      • Presentation of FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM
      • Presentation of FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP) by EDC Secretariat
      • Presentation of the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF) by RDC Secretariat
      • Presentation of Region 8 Yolanda Reconstruction Results Framework by NEDA
    • The EDC reviewed the highlights of the previous meeting and thereafter took up “Matters Arising from the Highlights of the Previous Meeting.” A summary is presented below:
Issue/Concern Updates
Presentation of the VSDF ·       Comments/suggestions of the body were considered in the revision of the document.·       VSDF already presented for discussion in the 4th Quarter IUDC VIII meeting on December 12, 2014 and the RDC VIII Full Council Meeting on December 18, 2014

·       The draft VSDF was subjected to an Inter-Agency on 4 February 2015 to solicit more inputs from stakeholders.

·       The enhanced document to be presented in the meeting.

CY 2016 Budget Review Guidelines RDC VIII adopted the EDC VIII Resolution No. 14, s. 2014, “Endorsing to the RDC III the approval of the Guidelines for the RDC VIII Budget Consultation/Review of the FY 2016 Budget Proposals,” thru RDC VIII Resolution No. 49, s. 2014.Orientation on the above-cited subject for presentation in this meeting.
Proposed Policy to Support CRRP Implementation RDC VIII adopted the EDC VIII Resolution No. 15, s. 2014, “Endorsing to the RDC VIII the OPARR Livelihood Cluster Issues and Policy Recommendations for Appropriate Action,” thru RDC VIII Resolution No. 50, s. 2014 and RDC VIII Resolution No. 57, s. 2014.Resolution shall be forwarded to concerned agencies.

 

On the last item (Proposed Policy to Support CRRP Implementation), Ms. Nierras asked the Secretariat if the RDC Resolutions have been forwarded to the concerned agencies. On being informed that the Resolutions are still up for signing by some members, she said that there is need to speed them up, noting that it had been two months since the last RDC meeting.

  1. Presentation of FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM

The same presentation conducted at the DAC meeting.

  1. Presentation of FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP) by EDC Secretariat

Also, the same presentation made at the DAC meeting.

Ms. Nierras asked why the list of projects presented did not include road projects linking interior towns of Northern and Eastern Samar to the main arteries as earlier approved by the EDC. The EDC Secretariat agreed to include the missing proposed projects.

The EDC agreed to endorse the TRIP to the RDC, with amendments.

  1. Presentation of the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF) by RDC Secretariat

The same presentation made at the DAC Meeting.

Engr. Danilo Bonifacio, PPDC of Biliran, commented that the maps need to be improved to make them appear more like spatial studies and less like sectoral studies. The NEDA agreed to improve the maps.

The Secretariat explained that the VSDF has undergone revisions with inputs from member agencies. On motion by the Secretariat, the EDC approved the VSDF’s endorsement to the RDC.

  1. Presentation of Region 8 Yolanda Reconstruction Results Framework by NEDA

NEDA explained that the Framework for Region 8 was basically lifted from the National Framework, except for indicators where applicable Region 8 data were used.

The EDC agreed to endorse the document to RDC VIII.

  1. Other Matters
  2. DOT presented its Accomplishment Report and its 2011-2016 Road Map
  3. DTI presented its Bahandi Trade Fair 2015 Project which aims to inform the public that Region 8 SMEs are back in business, and (ii) expand their access to market, reconnecting to their old buyers and meeting new ones. The EDC endorsed DTI’s request for RDC to adopt the project as its own activity.

5.      Infrastructure & Utilities Development Committee (IUDC) Meeting

11 March 2015, 9:30AM

Leyte Park Hotel, Magsaysay Boulevard, Tacloban, Leyte

 

Attendees : NEDA, DPWH, DBM, CAAP, Private Sector Representatives, LTO, PPDCs, DTI, DOE, NIA, DILG, ADB and UNRCO
Chaired  by : RD Rolando M. Asis, DPWH

 

  1. Meeting Agenda as Approved:
    • Preliminaries
  • Declaration of Quorum
  • Call to Order
  • Approval of the Agenda
  • Review of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
  • Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
    • New Business
      • Visayas Spatial Development Framework
      • FY 2016 National Budget Call
      • 2015-17 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Plan (TRIP)
      • Region 8 Yolanda Reconstruction Results Framework
      • Status of Implementation of the CRRP Infrastructure Cluster Rehabilitation Plan
      • 2015 IUDC Work and Financial Program
    • Other Matters
  1. Discussion
    • Preliminaries

Engr. Erlito Vitor (i.e. Acting IUDC Secretary) checked the attendance sheet and confirmed a quorum to the Chairperson.

The meeting was called to order at 10AM by RD Asis.

The Chair called the attention of the participants to the provisional agenda that were both flashed on the screen and the tablets that were loaned various delegates.  The sequence was rearranged placing the presentation of the VSDF as the 1st agenda item.

The IUDC Secretary read through the minutes of the previous quarter’s IUDC meeting.  With no objections from the floor, the minutes were approved.

In addition, the IUDC Secretary read through the documentation of the matters arising from the highlights of the previous meeting.

An inquiry was raised as to the current status/updates on the Committee resolutions that were enumerated in the report.  The Chairperson responded stating that the PPA-DOTC resolution (i.e. regarding the seaport repair) had been acted upon.

It was shared to the body that the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has issued a cease and desist order (CDO) to DPWH, in so far as touching ancestral houses that would be affected by its road widening plans.  An arbitration hearing to this effect is scheduled in Manila by next week.

In view of the above, a delegate from the private sector implored the Committee to include cultural/heritage considerations in their succeeding infrastructure plans/projects.  This was noted by the Chair.

  • New Business
  • Rosales (of NEDA) gave the first presentation on the Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF).

The presentation sought the endorsement of the IUDC on the provisions of the Framework.  Accordingly, upon approval and finalization of the full RDC, the Framework will then be contextualized/transformed for the purposes of Region 8 (only).

A suggestion was raised to revisit the commodities being prioritized in the Framework.  Accordingly, this could be done by partnering with the DA and VSU.

NEDA already took note of earlier requests to include Calbayog and Catbalogan as sub-regional centers for Region 8; and Calbiga as a provincial center, in lieu of Catbalogan being delisted in this roster.

Another suggestion was made to map out the manufacturing zones, IT parks, and other industries illustrated in the spatial framework.

Delegate from the private sector made a recommendation for the inclusion of the Naval port-Lucena City link, in the DPWH’s plans for developing RORO facilities.  The Department responded that its agency has plans to develop the Biliran-Bago-Masbate-Bicol route.  Accordingly, its distance is shorter than the proposed Naval port-Lucena City link.

The Chairperson shared to the body that DPWH Region 6 has plans to connect Cebu City to the Panay Island.  In addition, Leyte PLGU has plans to build a road network from Ormoc City to Jaro.  The Chairperson suggested that these items could be included in the VSDF.

In view of the above, the VSDF was endorsed by the IUDC, subject to the comments and inputs made by the participants during the discussion.

  • Jovi of the DBM followed with an orientation on the FY 2016 Budget Call.

She delivered the same presentation as the SDC meeting last Monday.  Herein, she added and emphasized that hopefully with this 2TBA[13] , there would be less requests for realignment from the agencies.

It was emphasized in the presentation that consideration of “new” project proposals would depend on agency submissions of its (i) requisite M&E plan as well as (ii) corresponding feasibility studies.

RD Uy (of NEDA) shared to the body that its agency has a pooled funding window just for the conduct of feasibility studies (F/S).  He suggested that the Committee categorize its proposed plans into those (i) “with feasibility study” and those (ii) “without feasibility study”.  Consequently, the IUDC could prioritize those projects “without feasibility study” and endorse said roster, through the RDC, to avail of the F/S funding assistance of NEDA.  The Chairperson took note of the recommendation and would raise the matter during the full RDC meeting next week.

  • Domingo (of NEDA) then provided his presentation on the TRIP.

The 2 big ticket programs included in the TRIP were intended for (i) transport development and (ii) energy development programs; 70% and 15.2% of investment costs, respectively.

Agencies were advised to provide the corresponding 3-year forward estimates for both their ongoing and new projects (included in the TRIP), as they prepare their respective agency budget proposals.

A correction was raised among the list of irrigation development projects included in the TRIP.  Accordingly, the agency implementers thereof ought to be the NIA[14] and not DA.

Requests for inclusion in the TRIP include the: Baybay City Reclamation Project; PLGU Southern Leyte’s list of proposed projects (i.e. per letter from the Governor); Catbalogan City’s request of declaring a provincial center on DRRM (i.e. similar to the CCA center in Legazpi); an extension of the runway in the Ormoc airport; among others.

PSR Morales (representing the cooperatives sector) requested for the inclusion of a project that would provide for permanent evacuation centers (EC) in the province.  Accordingly, this would allay the negative impact to students as public schools serve as default evacuation centers during calamities.  He emphasized the suggestion and sought DILG’s support thereto.  The Chairperson sited that there are EC-related projects ongoing for the provinces of Eastern and Northern Samar.

The TRIP, as amended (i.e. in view of the considerations cited above), was then endorsed by the IUDC.

  • Colas (of NEDA) proceeded with her presentation regarding the Yolanda Rehabilitation Results Framework.

After the presentation, she announced that the agency would welcome further comments from the body, submitted to them either by fax or email not later than 13 March 2015.

The Results Framework was endorsed by the IUDC, subject to the modifications and inputs that would be transmitted by concerned agencies on or before 13 March.

  • DPWH then made her presentation on the Implementation Status of CRRP Infrastructure Cluster Rehabilitation Plan, as of 28 February 2015, for the body’s appreciation.
  • Status of OPARR funded projects

Table 7. Status Summary of Funded Projects (Infra)

Classification TOTAL STATUS % Accomp-lishment
No. of Project Funded Amount Complete Ongoing Procurement
No. of Project Funded Amount No. of Project Funded Amount No. of Project Funded Amount
National Roads 10 195,929,455 4 68,251,000 5 109,386,085 1 18,292,370 68
National Bridges 14 279,521,107 7 66,505,517 7 213,015,590 68
Flood Control Projects 34 824,710,588 11 145,151,378 19 581,458,150 4 98,101,060 50
DPWH Building 6 262,358,532 2 15,520,000 3 228,419,600 1 18,418,932 87
Local/Access Roads 3 50,903,151 3 50,903,151 100
Other Structures 2 2,480,000 2 2,480,000 100
Total 69 1,615,902,833 29 348,811,046 34 1,132,279,425 6 134,812,362 63

Source: DPWH, as of 28 February 2015

 

Table 8. Status of Additionally funded OPARR Projects

Classification TOTAL STATUS % Accomp-lishment
No. of Project Funded Amount Complete Ongoing Procurement
No. of Project Funded Amount No. of Project Funded Amount No. of Project Funded Amount
Flood Control 1 5,672,000 0 0 1 5,672,000 0 0 25
DPWH Building 1 3,138,079 0 0 1 3,138,079 0 0 10
Other Structures 1 886,908 1 886,908 0 0 0 0 9
Total 3 9,696,987 1 886,908 2 8,810,079 0 0 43

Source: DPWH, as of 28 February 2015

 

Table 9. Additional funding request made with NDRRMC

Classification No. of Projects Requested Amount (Php)
National Roads 11 90,336,000
Flood Control Projects 24 348,283,800
DPWH Building 6 19,392,583
Local / Access Roads (Road connecting National Roads) 2 6,251,900
Total 43 464,264,283

Source: DPWH, as of 28 February 2015

 

The presenter relayed to the body the DPWH Secretary’s commitment to the President, whereby the agency will complete its CRRP projects by June 2015.

  • Lastly, Engr. Vitor presented to the body the 2015 IUDC Work and Financial Program.

Having no comments and/or objections to the work and financial program, as presented, the Committee has approved its endorsement.

6.      Meeting on Complementation of Resources for the Mangrove & Beach Forest Rehabilitation

11 March 2015, 09:00AM

DENR Regional Office 8 Conference Hall, Tacloban City

 

The UNRCO, along with Plan International, IOM, FAO, UNDP, OXFAM, CARE and ERDS participated in a meeting organized by the Department of Natural Resources Region 8 (DENR R8) on complementation of resources for the mangrove and beach forest rehabilitation on 11 March 2015 at the DENR Regional Office.

  1. Welcome/Opening Messages

The meeting formally started at 9:30AM, with Director Carlito M. Tuballa, Officer in Charge, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, DENR Region 8 gave his welcome message to the attendees. ARD Tuballa recognized the INGO representatives as the agency’s future partners in mangrove rehabilitation, with the aim of complementing the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) which targets more than 8,000 hectares of upland and mangrove planting within this year. He further mentioned that the agency’s research division is currently doing area assessment on species matching in different areas of the Region, with emphasis on availability of ample seed/propagule and planting materials that can be sourced-out adjacent to the target planting site. With this coordination meeting, he stressed, sharing and complementation of whatever resources and technical knowledge between the DENR and INGOs on mangrove & beach forest rehabilitation in Region 8 will help in attaining the government targets in NGP.

Mr. Peter Agnew, the FAO Program Coordinator, followed the ARDs welcome remarks, with an opening message on the side of INGOs. He cited that this meeting came to be realized during one of the government Livelihood Cluster Meetings, to which several INGOs have been found doing some programs/interventions related to mangrove planting. The idea of bringing together the INGOs together with the DENR on this matter have been agreed upon during the initial coordination meeting with the DENR representative on 20 February 2015 in FAO Office. According to Mr. Agnew, the FAO has had a long working relationship with the DENR on some government projects and he said that this coordination meeting will help the DENR to picture-out other INGOs interventions related to mangrove & beach forest planting as part of rehabilitation efforts in the Yolanda affected coastal areas.

  1. Introduction of Attendees & Rationale of the Meeting

Being the meeting’s host, a member of the DENR Region 8 secretariat acknowledged the presence of each and every attendee in the meeting. After which, Mr. Carlito Buante, OIC Chief of DENR Ecosystems Research & Development Division, explained the rationale of the meeting, highlighted as follows:

  • The meeting being a sequel from the initial meeting on 20 February 2015
  • Information sharing with regards to mangrove & beach forest development in the Region as well as potential areas for mangrove forest management
  • DENR field offices identified a vast track of beach areas on the east coast as a potential planting site for beach forest planting as shelter belt
  • Complementation of resources and other technical aspect between
  1. Presentation of DENR Mangrove & Beach Forest Rehabilitation Project

Mr. Elmer Labaclado, the DENR Region 8 Technical Staff for NGP, resumed with the presentation of the Regional updates on rehabilitation of mangrove & beach forest, featured figures on target planted areas assigned on different DENR field offices. Figures presented revealed that a total of 6,880 hectares are targeted for mangrove rehabilitation while 1,167 hectares for beach forest. As of the meeting, a combined total of 8,047 hectares have been identified to be planted this year, which is short of the 8,800 hectares target region-wide. Breakdown of the target areas are as follows:

Field Office[15] Mangrove Area (Hectares) Beach Forest Area (Hectares)
CENRO Biliran 423 0
CENRO Palo 131 35
CENRO Albuera 550 270
CENRO Baybay 0 7
CENRO San Juan 1.5 153
CENRO Maasin 21 180
CENRO Catbalogan 260 0
CENRO Santa Rita 1,154 0
CENRO Dolores 346 440
CENRO Borongan 1,156 0
CENRO Pambujan 2,380 70
CENRO Catarman 457 12
Total 6,879.5 1,167

Source: DENR 8

  1. INGOs and DENR Highlights of Discussions and Information Sharing

FAO:      shared map handouts on their areas for convergence. Informed everybody of their funds from Japan, in mangrove rehabilitation, on aspect of training, provision of propagules and other materials. Target date will be before end of June, seeking partners working in the Municipalities of Santa Rita, Babatngon and Guiuan on this project. It was suggested that the DENR assists in propagule tracking or sourcing within the Region for the INGOs to have an idea for propagule source.

Mr. Dexter Cabahug, a consultant from the FAO, shared some good practices on mangrove intervention projects in Region 6 that DENR Region 8, together with INGO partners, can emulate. Mentioned practices like site identification, community involvement, earth balling of wildlings and species and site matching were some of the activities they want to transfer in projects in Eastern Visayas.

UNDP: on-going mangrove-related projects in Western Leyte & Biliran Province, in support to DENR Field Office. Priority areas are Naval, Caibiran, Cabucgayan, Biliran and Ormoc City. Started planting together with DENR and DSWD via cash for work program. There’s also a plan for coastal infrastructure in Ormoc City.

DENR: ARD Tuballa commented on identification of areas to be planted by the INGOs, stated that this should always be complimented with the already identified target areas of the DENR. He further elaborated that the DENR, thru its’ field offices, will assist anybody in this concern so as not to separate from the government targets. The INGOs were also urged to share notes on their programs, projects, assessments and other plans so they can converge and complement on whatever aspect the DENR can assist.

OXFAM: targeting new areas for planting, will include hazards and other risks during its assessment. Targets beach and mangrove forest planting, initially will build seedling nursery in San Jose, Tacloban for their planting stocks. They also want to be involved in maintenance of planted areas along the Leyte Gulf specifically on livelihood. In Eastern Samar, they will also look into LGUs with mangrove programs.

UNDP: involved in nine LGUs in Eastern Samar, site selection using disaster risk reduction (DRR)-based criteria and in line with the recovery plan of the LGUs.

IOM: focusing on community mobilization in transitional sites for mangrove planting activities, working with the assistance of CENR Office in Palo. Same concept will be introduced in LGUs of Carigara and Barugo. They also requested the DENR for a coordination/focal person flow chart for them to quickly direct their coordination.

Plan International: project sites not covered in proposed areas by the DENR. Also involved in cash for work, doing mangrove rehabilitation along the Leyte Gulf areas until May 2015. Asked for assistance in sourcing of propagules for their project in Hernani, Balangkayan and Salcedo.

CARE: Pilot area for mangrove rehabilitation in on pipeline in Albuera, Leyte. It was announced that any agency can access funds from CARE, template (which will be presented on the next meeting) for project proposals can be shared on request. Community-based livelihood interventions are also welcome for funding and are open to fisherfolks and farmers.

  1. Next steps summary
    • FAO will work closely with DENR especially on adoption of good practices and lessons learned in other Regions.
    • Succeeding coordination meetings will go on and continue on a call/notice by the DENR Regional Office 8.
    • DENR coordination mechanism chart will be shared to INGOs.
    • DENR & INGOs will share notes on mangrove & beach forest-related interventions for complementation.
    • The DENR will circulate the presentation of updated figures on target areas as per NGP.

Having no matters to discuss further, ARD Tuballa and Mr. Herminigildo Jocson, the DENR-NGP Regional Coordinator, delivered their closing messages to attendees before final adjournment at 11:30AM.

A message invitation will be circulated by the DENR on the next meeting.

7.      Coordination Meeting with IOM

16 March 2015, 11:15 AM

IOM Office, Tacloban City

Attendees : Manuel Pereira, Deputy Shelter Program ManagerConnie Tangara, Evacuation Support Program Operations Coordinator

 

  1. Meeting Agenda:
    • Status of IOM recovery programs directed at the 3,800 displaced families that still require permanent shelter; and
    • Coordination concerns that the UN RCO could be of assistance to the agency.
  2. Discussion
    • Status of IOM Recovery Programs
      • Slow development in the resettlement of current IDPs for Tacloban City

According to Mr. Pereira, IDPs[16] on average take about 3 years to be fully resettled into their permanents homes.  Such has been his experience in Timor Leste.  Hence, the case of Tacloban’s IDPs, being at 1.5 years to date, is still within that range.

IOM is member to the LIAC[17] sub-committee on Social Preparation and Beneficiary Selection.  Accordingly, the pace of development in providing durable shelter solutions to the city’s IDPs has been quite slow.  Furthermore, if there would have been a reduction (i.e. as to the 3,800 families reported as of January 2015), it would only amount to as much as 10%.

To date, the Tacloban LGU in cooperation with IOM, targets the resettlement of 127 families from the IPI bunkhouses to permanent shelters by end of March 2015.  However, as the houses are yet to be completed, the LGU is considering the option of either (i) asking an indefinite extension from the private owner of the concerned property, or (ii) relocating said families to another transitional shelter site within the year.

  • As for IOM’s CCCM[18] operations, the pressing concerns of their beneficiary communities remain to be (i) livelihood and (ii) shelter. A current accomplishment is the completion of a skills training that was conducted with a community association (which IOM has helped set up), that produces quality concrete hollow blocks.  A significant portion of the beneficiaries of this livelihood are women.

Ms. Tangara expressed her concerns on the vulnerability to storm surges of the communities in San Jose.  She hopes that the LGU would prioritize addressing the identified vulnerable families there.

  • Unresolved Issues at Tacloban LGU

The LGU has experienced stoppage in some of its current (resettlement) construction efforts.  Accordingly, some of its hired contractors fell short of their obligations vis-à-vis the structural durability of their housing units.  The focal person for Tacloban’s City Housing office is Ms. Maria Lagman.

Tacloban City has a target of 14,433 resettlement houses to complete for its constituents.

  1. Coordination Concerns
    • Aligning with OPARR’s Recovery Plans

IOM would very much like to know of OPARR’s Recovery Plans in order for maximize use of their limited resources and deliver greater impact, especially to the local communities that they serve.  In particular the agency would like to know: What are OPARR’s information dissemination strategies? How could CSOs/INGOs/UN collaborate and align better with their programs? How could IOM and other development partners interface better with OPARR?

Currently, the agency does not have any issues given their interface with the LGUs that they work with.

  • Other Related Concerns

IOM has experienced various LGU program requests that it could not accommodate, either as a function of its case load or area of concern.  As such, Ms. Tangara expressed if the RCO-supported coordination mechanism could serve as a referral platform by which above mentioned requests could be re-directed to other able and willing development partner.

Mr. Pereira wished that more of IOM’s initiatives be included in the coordination maps generated by the RCO.

8.      RDC 8 Full Council Meeting

17 March 2015, 13:00 AM – 4:45 PM
Municipal Hall, Palo, Leyte

Chair: Governor Leopoldo Dominic Petilla
Vice Chair: NEDA 8 Regional Director Bonifacio Uy

  1. Highlights of the Meeting
    • Message by Governor Petilla

RDC Chair and Leyte Governor Petilla reported to the Council the conference he attended in Korea on climate change. He said as in development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management needs convergence.  He also thanked the national and international agencies that helped Region 8 in response and recovery efforts.

  1. The RDC discussed and approved the meeting agenda. Items included:
  • EDC Resolution No. 6, s. 2015, “Recommending to the RDC VIII the Adoption of 17th Eastern Visayas Bahandi Trade Fair as an RDC VIII Activity and Enjoining the Heads of Regional Line Agencies and Local Chief Executives to Attend the Trade Fair”
  • Orientation on the FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM
  • Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP)
  • Proposed Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF)
  • Typhoon Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas
  • Confirmation of PSR for the Environment Sector and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as Special Non-Voting Members
  • Proposed RDC VIII and Sectoral Committees Work and Financial Plans
  • Specific RDC Committee (EDC, SDC, DAC, RPMC) Concerns
  • Other Information: 2014 RDC Financial Report; 4th Quarter 2014 Quarterly Regional Economic Situationer; Tourism Sector Accomplishment Report; Senior High School Implementation
  1. EDC Resolution No. 6, s. 2015

DTI Regional Director Cynthia Nierras presented the Economic Development Committee (EDC) Resolution No. 6, s. 2015, “Recommending to the RDC VIII the Adoption of 17th Eastern Visayas Bahandi Trade Fair as an RDC VIII Activity and Enjoining the Heads of Regional Line Agencies and Local Chief Executives to Attend the Trade Fair.”

The Bahandi Trade Fair 2015 Project, to be held on 2-6 September 2015 in Megamall, Mandaluyong City, aims to “(i) inform the public that Region 8 SMEs are back in business, and (ii) expand their access to market, reconnecting to their old buyers and meeting new ones.” The EDC earlier approved the resolution in its meeting on 11 March 2015.

The RDC approved the EDC Resolution as recommended.

  1. FY 2016 National Budget Call by DBM

In her presentation (the same materials used in the Committee meetings), DBM Regional Director Imelda Laceras said that the budget process for 2016 is different from that of previous years. Introduced for 2016 are (1) 2 Tier Budgeting Approach, and (2) Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in the resource allocation. The 2 Tier Approach comprises—for Tier 1—hard ceiling for forward estimates (Fes) of on-going/existing programs/projects and—for Tier 2—new spending proposals and the expansion of on-going/existing programs/projects chargeable against the Fiscal Space.

The 2 Tier Approach innovates from previous practice where Fes were formulated/updated by DBM with little participation of departments/agencies; ceilings were just indicative and where agencies bid above their respective ceilings; and budget proposals were a mix of ongoing/existing and proposed new spending measures.

Director Laceras also explained that for 2016, new spending proposals of agencies, including expansion of existing programs and projects shall be supported with Project Profile, using BP Form 202, to be complemented with a credible M & E Plan and robust or clear baseline information or statistics.

  1. The FY 2015-2017 Three-Year Rolling Infrastructure Program (TRIP)

Also presented in the previous Committee meetings, the TRIP has been prepared with the aim of generating regional inputs for RDC officials’ reference in the RDC-ACO dialogue on 30-31 March 2015 in Manila. It is a compilation of infra projects formulated from Updated 2014-2016 RDIP, 2009-2013 Comprehensive Integrated Infrastructure Program, CRRP, other programs and projects recently endorsed by RDC VIII.

The estimated total cost of TRIP is Php 278.812 billion.

The presenter (Engr Ernesto Octaviano, RDC Secretary) explained that the TRIP went through a process where agencies, LGUs and PSRs, among others, participated in validating the list, providing forward estimates, and proposing priority or additional projects, etc. He requested the RDC to approve the TRIP; the RDC approved it.

On UNRCO’s query if it was possible for NEDA to correct the erroneous items and conflicting figures between TRIP and infra-related CRRP projects, NEDA 8, through Regional Director Uy, said the RDC approval of the TRIP was conditional—it still needed to be updated and finalized, and the corrections will be made in the updating process.

  1. The Visayas Spatial Development Framework (VSDF)

Ms. Meylene Rosales of NEDA 8 presented the VSDF. Unlike in her earlier presentations at the Committee meetings, she did not go into details, although the presentation materials she used were the same.

She made the point that the four committees, namely DAC, SDC, EDC and IUDC, earlier endorsed to the RDC Full Council the draft VSDF for its approval.

The RDC approved the motion for its approval.

  1. Typhoon Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas

The Yolanda Results Framework for Recovery and Rehabilitation for Eastern Visayas has been endorsed by the Committees for approval by the RDC. Although approved by the RDC Full Council, the framework still needs revisiting as some of the targets and indicators are incomplete.

The committees also recommended the following:

  • Inclusion of indicators on (i) Information and Communications Technology (ICT); (ii) Restoration of tourism and/or heritage sites; (iii) Number of gender-based violence; (iv) Total number of beneficiaries assisted; (v) Household income before and after Yolanda; and (vi) Number of MSMEs that have recovered, new, and have been assisted, with the number disaggregated into micro, small, medium and large.
  • Inclusion of the total amount of all infrastructure projects on Yolanda recovery and rehabilitation.
  • Drop the indicator on the number of patients treated in health facilities, subject to DOH’s proposal on another comparable indicator on the promotion of health (i.e. number of health workers deployed).
  • Inclusion of the commodity abaca under the indicator on “Yield of major commodities increased.”

A major constraint of the framework is the logic of projects that aim to deliver results. Instead of informing the CRRP, the CRRP became its basis. Hence, its “outcomes and output indicators are arranged according to the clusters identified by the CRRP – livelihood, resettlement, social services and physical infrastructure.”

Accountability for its implementation also needs to be clarified. Under the current set-up, two basic structures and a maze of committees are identified:

  • For monitoring and validation

Responsible for monitoring and evaluation is the RPMC Sub-Committee on Yolanda Rehabilitation and Recovery Monitoring and Validation, which is chaired by NEDA 8, and is under RDC 8. NEDA 8 is the Vice Chair and Secretariat of RDC 8.

  • For implementation and coordination

Responsible for implementation and coordination are (i) NEDA 8 as Chair of the Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee under the RDRRMC; and (ii) RDC Committees, namely: IUD Committee for Infrastructure Cluster, SD Committee for Social and Resettlement Cluster, ED Committee for Livelihood Cluster, and DA Committee for Support Cluster. Where RDC Clusters combine social and resettlment, the CRRP clusters do not. Again, NEDA is the Vice Chair and Secretariat of RDC.

NEDA as Chair of Rehabilitation and Recovery Committee under RDRRMC is further supported by four committees, namely: Infrastructure Committee, Social Services Committee, Resettlement Committee, and Livelihood Committee.

To simplify, NEDA 8 as RDC Secretariat is responsible for monitoring and evaluation; and both (i) NEDA 8 as RDRRMC Vice Chair for, and Chair of, Rehabilitation and Recovery and (ii) NEDA 8 as RDC Secretariat are responsible for implementation and coordination.

  1. Other Resolutions Approved by the RDC

The RDC also approved the following resolutions:

  • Confirmation of PSR for the Environment Sector and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) as Special Non-Voting Members
  • Proposed RDC VIII and Sectoral Committees Work and Financial Plans
  • Specific RDC Committee (EDC, SDC, DAC, RPMC) Concerns

9.      Coordination Meeting with OPARR

18 March 2015, 9:00 AM

OPARR Office, Sen. Enage Street, Tacloban City

Attendees : Gen. Edwin Corvera, OPARR Acting Regional CoordinatorFlorinda Jill G. Sydiongco et al, OPARR Regional Staff

 

  1. Meeting Agenda:
    • Status of recovery programs directed at the 3,800 displaced families that still require permanent shelter;
    • Information/coordination concerns that the RCO could be of assistance to OPARR; and
    • Possible referral to the Office of the Mayor of Tacloban City.
  2. Discussion
    • Status of 3,800 internally displaced families

The whole continuum of addressing these IDPs is handled by 2 clusters: social services, led by DSWD; and permanent housing, led by HUDCC/NHA.

At the onset of disaster response, DSWD provides emergency housing units (i.e. tents), thereafter, transitional shelters like bunkhouses.  The final stage is the provision of permanent housing, which is currently led by HUDCC and NHA.

To date, there are already 0 IDPs living in emergency shelter tents.  Thus, the pertained 3,800 families are housed in bunkhouses as of January 2015.  For Tacloban City alone, shelter cluster details include:

  • 14,000+ targeted resettlement houses
  • 12,000 housing units have been bided out to contractors and under various stages of construction
  • 15 permanent housing sites
  • 300 housing units completed to date (i.e. out of the 14,000+ target)
  • Only 17 families have moved in vis-à-vis the 300 housing units completed (i.e. per NHA figures).
    • Minimal to no takers of housing projects in Eastern Samar

Each housing unit costs approximately PhP 292,000 (i.e. is both lot and the structure).  NHA was unable to adjust the budget ceiling despite the failed bids experienced lately.

Participating contractors are usually based either in Metro Manila or Cebu.  Hence, they are unwilling to participate in the resettlement projects in Eastern Samar owing to increased logistic costs, low volume of houses to be constructed and scattered location of project sites.

In response to the low uptake of contractor interest, OPARR moved forward to the implementation of Community-Driven Shelter and Livelihood (CDSL).  This initiative required greater community involvement and shared equity from the beneficiaries, towards erecting their new permanent homes.  Such a program is similar to that of Gawad Kalinga (GK) communities.  The concept for the above mentioned measure was presented by Sen. Lacson to HUDCC and approved by Vice President Binay for adoption.  Hopefully 1 pilot site would be established per each of the provinces in the Yolanda corridor.

  • Coordination Concerns

The agency is currently preoccupied in monitoring the implementation of 3,000+ projects in the Yolanda corridor.  For Region 8 alone they are limited to a 24 staff complement, where 1 coordinator covers 5 LGUs at the least.

Assistance is thus sought from development partners through the RCO if the UN/INGOs could help in terms of project validation in situ.

  1. Referral to the Office of the Tacloban City Mayor

Upon airing said concern to Gen. Corvera, we were asked to draft a letter, which OPARR would gladly sign, endorsing the RCO to the Office of Mayor Romualdez and Atty. Malibay.

  1. Other Matters
    • Corvera wanted to follow up on OPARR’s request to former RC Luiza, given the following office equipment supposed to be provided by UNDP:
  • 1 unit 2 HP aircon intended for their conference hall;
  • 1 book shelf;
  • 1 LCD projector; and
  • Additional tables for the conference room (too).
    • In view of NEDA’s Three-year Rolling Investment Program (TRIP) for FY2015-17, CRRP’s infrastructure projects were observed to be subsumed therein. However, funding request was not necessary for CRRP approved projects, as corresponding financial resources have already been coursed to respective line agency budgets.  Per Gen. Corvera, CRRP projects were merely subsumed to the TRIP for integration purposes, especially as the timeline is 1 year beyond CRRP’s funding availability.
    • Accordingly, insofar as the transition of OPARR to NEDA is concerned, Sen. Lacson forced the issue of the latter’s absorption of the former, during his resignation last February 2015. Per the NDRRM Law, NEDA is in charge of handling “recovery and rehabilitation” efforts (i.e. from planning to program/project monitoring) during post disaster situations. However, as NEDA was unable to fulfill these tasks, it would be to its advantage that absorbed OPARR personnel would undertake said role(s).
    • Corvera inquired if OPARR’s project monitoring data could be included in the information products (i.e. maps) generated by the RCO. Accordingly, they would like to have a constant supply of project monitoring maps that could be illustrated in the various field offices of OPARR Region 8, as well as provide these to partner LGUs when so requested.
    • Corvera hinted the possibility of OPARR being invited to participate as observer in the partners’ meetings, as this would provide opportunity for his office to know firsthand information from international agencies on their recovery activities in Region 8. He narrated what usually happens when they get to report to the President, and

Consequently, he requested assistance on the matter from the RCO’s IM Analyst.

10.   Market Linkage Sub-Cluster Meeting

19 March 2015, 9:30 AM
Eastern Visayas Business Recovery Center (BRC), SMED Center, Tacloban City

Attendees: Representatives from JICA, Philippine Red Cross, DAR, BFAR, LWR-KAMMPIL, USAID Rebuild, DTI Samar, DTI R8.

Chaired by Mr. Oliver Cam

  1. Discussion with Mr. Oliver Cam, Point Person for Trade, Industry and ICT of the Eastern Visayas and Leyte Chambers of Commerce & Industry (EVCCI/LCCI), as well as Private Sector Representative (ICT Sector) of RDC 8

Before the meeting started, the UNRCO, represented by Ingming Aberia and Lawrence Aporto, had a private discussion with Mr. Cam. UNRCO brought up the matter of facilitating data collection requests addressed to recovery partners (UN Agencies and INGOs) using prescribed forms or matrices. As a backgrounder, the UNRCO as part of its role has been requesting partners on a monthly basis (since January 2015) for updates on their recovery activities using a prescribed format. The Leyte EVCCI/LCCI, in support of DTI’s monitoring and coordination mechanism, also recently requested recovery partners’ livelihood-related data using a matrix that in many ways are similar to that of UNRCO.

UNRCO pointed out to Mr. Cam that recovery partners may consider responding to both requests as an unnecessary duplication of effort on their part. This led to an agreement that, in view of UNRCO’s ongoing information sharing and liaising work with recovery partners, the EVCCI/LCCI as well as the DTI, can forego with a separate request and instead access livelihood-related information from UNCRCO. Also discussed was Mr. Cam’s concern for additional details of information his organization needed, such as data on production volume, production cycle (timeframe or schedule), and pricing. He explained that these pieces of information are key to making their efforts of linking farmers (or groups of farmers) to contract or bulk buyers (of agriculture or SME products) work. To address this issue, an agreed option was for UNRCO to follow up with partners that are into the livelihood sector with request for the needed market linkage-related information.

However, a separate issue (not discussed with Mr. Cam) can emerge where the UNRCO liaison mechanism could, although not intended, evolve as a substitute to, and in fact be interpreted as undermining, government coordinative mechanisms. To address this, there are two options:

  • UNRCO can provide NEDA 8 and OPARR training on mapping as a strategic entry point for facilitating the transition from OPARR-coordinated recovery to NEDA8-managed and coordinated recovery activities in Region 8; and
  • This can also offer an opportunity for UNRCO to be involved in the mainstreaming process (such as helping organize a mainstreaming workshop) where this information-sharing function and probably other related OPARR functions are institutionalized at the NEDA as DRRMC Vice Chair for Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery. This workshop (or series of workshops) can be another entry point for the planned the
  1. Discussions during the meeting

Mr. Cam reminded the meeting participants that DTI is vigorously promoting its Bahandi Trade Fair Project on 2-6 September 2015 at MegaMall, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. He encouraged them as well as anyone they know who might be interested to take advantage of the opportunity it offers to expand or create new markets.

Mr. Cam acknowledged the UNRCO’s efforts to generate information through the mapping exercise that can greatly benefit the market-linkage sub-sector in facilitating avenues for farmers to prospective markets.

  • The participants brainstormed and discussed the following issues and concerns.
  • Perceived oversupply of vegetables

Mr. Cam conveyed feedback from farmers that there is supposedly an oversupply of vegetables in the market and the situation has dampened their interest to produce more.

Mr. Lauro Ilagan of USAID Rebuild said the perception may not be accurate because producers from Mindanao continue to send their vegetable products to Leyte. He explained that if there indeed was such a glut, these exporters would experience a rapid drop in prices and therefore would not consider it in their interest to continue sending goods.

  • Selling price

Related to the above discussion, Mr. Roy Ribo of LWR-KAMMPIL reported the concerns raised by some farmers relating to drop in prices of agriculture products in major markets like Tacloban. Mr. Cam said that what is happening is that many farmers had enjoyed artificially high price in the few months following Yolanda. Citing the example of Pechay, he said farmers at one time could sell them for Php 40 per kilo. When prices dropped to Php 20 per kilo, they thought they were already losing, when in reality they were not.

Mr. Ilagan said the example of Pechay is instructive. He said that for as long as prices of this product remain at least in the range of Php15-15, the producers from Mindanao will continue to ship their products—because they know they will still make money. What was needed, in his view, was for those helping farmers to ensure that farmers are aware of, and know how to factor in, their production costs when they sell their products.

  • Typhoons

Discussions also turned to typhoons (a given in Region 8, participants agreed), specifically relating to Ruby and Seniang. In December last year, or one year after Yolanda, many farmers were back in production, only to be frustrated by Ruby. And then just as some of them were done with replanting by early January, Seniang struck.

At this point Mr. Cam brought up the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation’s new and innovative programs. He said at Php30 per year, a farmer could now obtain a Php 2,000 for his crops. A Php500 per year premium could already provide a Php 50,000 cover.  Even more impressive about the programs is that SMEs, aside from farmers, can also apply for insurance for their products, and even for their equipment.

Mr. Cam further shared the information that PCIC was planning stage a big micro-insurance forum/roadshow in the coming months and encouraged everyone to be on a lookout for that.

  • Sustainability

Participants also discussed the challenges faced by farmers when provision of support for their farm inputs begins to dwindle or disappear. The ability of Mindanao producers to profit from their agri exports even at rock bottom prices was something that they thought Region 8 farmers could not match now or in the near future. They acknowledged that some kind of production subsidy from donors and government had allowed them to compete and survive in the market.

  • Addressing these concerns, participants discussed several options:
  • The need to link with government agencies that provide training or capacity building for farmers or farm groups especially in the area of production programming.
  • Farmers need to diversify to other high-value crops or value-adding activities.

Mr. Cam narrated the story of a big contract buyer in Tacloban who bought lettuce from Baguio at Php 150 per kilo and sold them to retailers in Tacloban at Php 400-600 per kilo. One thing led to another and eventually the contract buyer got around to discuss with some Leyte farmers who agreed to produce lettuce at a quantity and within timeframes required by the contract buyer. The contract buyer bought lettuce from local farmers at Php 200-250 per kilo and sold them to retailers at Php 400-500 a kilo.

  1. New Opportunities

Mr. Cam also shared the information about ABS-CBN Foundation’s recent discussions with LCCI pertaining to coconut nectar production. He said the Foundation is interested in supporting the establishment of at least one Shared Service Facility in each of the provinces of Southern Leyte, Leyte, and Samar. The one in Southern Leyte has in fact started operating.

Coconut nectar production was discussed as another frontier for coconut farmers as production does not require the coconut to be actually bearing fruit—as in the case of copra or tuba production, for example—but only for the tree itself to be alive. Price of coco nectar is several times higher than that of tuba or suka and its market is reported to be growing.

11.   Meeting on DP/DRR (Draft)

20 March 2015, 10:00 AM
World Vision, Inc. Office, Marasbaras, Tacloban City

Participants: Eden Garde, UNDP, Allen Molen, World Vision, Inc., Representatives (WVI, Habitat for Humanity, Nazarene Disaster Response, IOM, GOAL, AMG Philippines, IMC, GIZ, NCCP-ACT Alliance, CRS, FAO, ACTED, Save the Children, Oxfam, World Renew, CFSI, ACTED International, CARE Philippines, Plan International) Dr. John Distefano, UCCP,    Arvi Miguel, UN RCO

Chairperson       :               Eden Garde

  1. Meeting Agenda:
    • Revisiting the TOR of DP/DRR Working Group
    • Agency updates on DP/DRR-related projects/priorities, activities, areas of coverage, and implementation time frame
    • DP/DRR Working Group ways forward
    • Any other business
  2. Discussion
    • Revisiting the Working Group’s ToR

Ms. Garde opened the meeting by delivering a brief background of this TWG as it started with the coordination mechanism with OCHA when the TS Haiyan Strategic Response Plan (SRP) was still in effect.  Up until December 2014, the activity was discontinued as development partners each went its way in addressing the humanitarian requirements for TS Ruby and while OPARR was transitioning its activities/functions to NEDA.

The terms of reference of the TWG were presented to the group for their appreciation.  Accordingly, the objectives of this Committee were still relevant.  Hence, within the context of recovery and rehabilitation, this committee was reactivated.

As a platform for sharing information across members, documentation of lessons learned was encouraged.  However, such (documentation) should not only focus/highlight the developed best practices but also identify impediments to success — providing thus a more holistic contextualization of any given case.

As a platform for greater coordination among member agencies, the TWG would be the primary point of interface with government institutions relevant to DRRM.  In turn, it would serve as springboard to member UN and INGO partners on government directions/thrusts/guidelines pertinent to DRRM, thus enhancing our collective alignment thereto.

For purposes of sustainability, WVI recommended that development partners look into established government systems, such as the various training and practices being imparted by the interventions we are providing our beneficiaries.  If such interventions are aligned with that of government, we could be ensured that our interventions would later be taken on by the LGUs in their respective development plans as well as (budgeted) annual operations plans.

Mr. Molen raised an inquiry as to the operationalization of (i) coordination and (i) information management mechanism(s) of the TWG.

With regard to information sharing, either a portal or a group email could serve the purpose of keeping everybody in the loop vis-à-vis results of coordination with government agencies, especially if relevant issues/concerns arise therefrom; activity updates on the field, which may lead to identification of possible areas for collaboration; among others.

To document and compile agency field updates, the Committee would have to devise a simple matrix that would be filled up by member agencies, which would then be subsequently consolidated and posted either in a web portal or group e-mail.  The agency updates would include (i) details on project areas per activity, (ii) timelines and (iii) level of resources allocated for each activity.

In terms of coordination especially with government, the Committee would have to identify which agencies in particular it has to actively interact with, especially with regard to rehabilitation and recovery matters vis-à-vis DRRM.  This might call for a revision of the roster of government line agencies enumerated in the TOR.  Accordingly, UNDP would explore addressing the issue above in its various interactions with government agencies.

In addition, a corollary suggestion was made to help identify the various levels of government (i.e. national, regional, and local) where the TWG’s concerns could best and expediently interface (e.g. say at the NEDA national level, via the RCO; at the NEDA regional level or the RDRMMC, this TWG; etc.).

There was a motion for the Committee to initiate a meeting with NEDA and the RDRMMC, to which UNDP offered assistance in convening said meeting.

  • Agency Updates on DP/DRR
World Vision International Capacity building is being delivered in 4 thematic areasMost of its DRRM budget is allocated for prevention and mitigation activities

Project sites include, Ormoc City, Merida, Dulag, Dagami, Matag O; no project areas located in Eastern Samar

Activities in E. Samar are in response to TS Ruby (i.e. non rehabilitation and recovery related)

Interventions are directed at the municipal level

Habitat for Humanity Project sites include Tacloban City, Palo, Tolosa, Tanauan, Dulag, Caraya, OrmocProject interventions are shelter-related as well as capacity building to its target beneficiaries
Nazarene Disaster Response Provides valued education for children and adultsTraining modules utilized in their activities incorporate WASH and disaster preparedness components therein

Project sites include, Tacloban City, Dulag, Ormoc and Balangkayan

IOM Its DRR related assistance has already been completedIt has distributed shelter kits to its target beneficiaries coupled by corresponding trainings on DRR

Its program towards building family preparedness on DRR is in collaboration with the 4Ps program of DSWD

GOAL It has delivered emergency shelter kits to target communities, coupled by cash for work programsPermanent housing assistance were provided in selected areas in E. Samar, Leyte and Jaro

Skills training were provided to carpenters especially on techniques that align with the principle of building back better

Provided capacity building assistance to LGUs and communities

AMG Philippines Project sites include Giporlos in E. SamarIt provided assistance towards the rebuilding of schools in 4 barangays whereby public schools were mainly used as evacuation centers

Also providing livelihood training to beneficiary communities

UCCP It is operating at an interim structure in the Haiyan Task ForceProject sites include Canangga, Catanoy, San Isidro, Rawis and Tabago

It provided assistance on WASH, psychosocial support, church rebuilding, shelter, livelihood and community health

Its intervention runs from March 2015 – April 2016

GIZ Has helped establish early warning systems in close collaboration with DOST’s Project NOAHCurrent interventions also complement DILG’s LISTO program

Conducted school-based DRRM for 18 schools

Has a working collaboration with Project SHINE (i.e. on early warning systems) for schools, also in partnership with DepEd

Its interventions complement the DSWD program on family-based disaster preparedness

TA was provided to 24 municipalities in enhancing their existing hazard maps and corresponding comprehensive land use plans (CLUPs)

Assistance on livelihood is also provided to LGUs

NCCP-ACT Alliance Interventions range from shelter assistance, livelihood, community-based DRRM and psychosocial supportLivelihood assistance is provided to organized groups such as cooperatives or trade associations

Its DRR trainings were provided in collaboration with UCCP

CRS It provided shelter assistance in 2 relocation sites, covering 17 barangays in Tacloban CityIt conducted DRR trainings for community officials (e.g. barangay captains), including corresponding family disaster preparedness trainings to target barangays

Provided TA to Tacloban on contingency planning, which included a master list of vulnerable households and their designated evacuation centers (i.e. in the event of a calamity).  This color-coded scheme will accordingly facilitate a more orderly evacuation of households in the event of anticipated disasters.

FAO Project areas include E. Samar, Leyte and SamarVarious agri-based livelihood assistance are being given, which includes an alternative coconut-based farming system, replacement of some damaged farming equipment, climate-smart farming practices (i.e. in collaboration with BFAR, DAR, PCA and ATI), etc.

Capacity building is provided to LGUs especially updating of its hazard assessment and vulnerability mapping

ACTED Provided assistance on shelter construction such as its permanent shelter housing activity in GuiuanConducted DRRM training workshops

Provided skills training on carpentry, in collaboration with TESDA

It has several activities on WASH

Save the Children Provided TA to 13 municipalities towards mainstreaming WASH and child protection in the DRRM plansProvided capacity building for their target areas’ BDRRMC

Strongly advocated (to LGUs) the integration of DRRM in their respective development plans

It is also working on the integration of DRRM in the basic education curriculum of students, so that children are empowered to become active facilitators in DRRM

Oxfam Provided shelter kits to target communitiesConducted trainings on DRRM, which incorporates livelihood component therein

Current activities are concluding by end of March 2015; updates on subsequent activities would be based shared by the new set of staff coming in by April

World Renew It provides assistance on shelter and livelihood; particularly to shelter is the building of permanent housing to beneficiariesIt also provides assistance on retrofitting partially damaged houses.
CFSI It provides livelihood support, integrating DRRM and child rights protection thereinProject site includes Guiuan

Current engagement would be until Q1 of 2017

IMC Current activities include WASH, mental health programs, distribution of first aid kitsDRRM-related activities are still at an “embryonic” stage
ACTED International Project sites include the provinces of Leyte, E. Samar and SamarIts interventions range from shelter, livelihood, women’s rights and DRRM

Particularly to TS Ruby, its interventions were focused on the construction of shelters

DRR capacity building at the barangay level included the formation of women-led committees, provision of sea transport as well as communication devices

CARE Philippines Project sites included the Panay Island, Tacloban and OrmocTS Ruby assistance included the provision of shelter kits as well as some livelihood programs
Plan International Project sites included 21 municipalities within the provinces of Leyte and SamarCapacity building was directed at the barangay level

TA ranged from contingency planning, multi-hazard mapping, livelihood and WASH

UNDP Portfolio of assistance has both hardware and software componentsAssistance of building the early warning system of the LGUs included the provision of equipment such as boats and radios

Further capacity building initiatives for LGUs went all the way down to the barangay level (i.e. through community-based DRRM) towards building overall resilience at the communities.

It also collaborated in the introduction of climate-smart agricultural practices

It will provide assistance in the development of 2 sanitary landfills (i.e. for Basey and Guiuan)

It also provides assistance to selected LGUs in mangrove reforestation

It is also involved in the construction of 2 permanent evacuation centers in Leyte and E. Samar

  1. Ways Forward
    • There was a call for the harmonization of the Committee’s tools as well as operational definition(s) on DRRM. Thus, the next committee meeting would tackle a (i) common definition of term(s), and move for (ii) the harmonization of the training modules, interventions and approaches of member agencies insofar as DRRM is concerned.

The proposed harmonization would also include usage of CRS and Oxfam’s market study, which could provide valuable insights as well as opportunities to synergize vis-à-vis the various livelihood initiatives of member agencies.

  • WVI reiterated concerns on sustainability as it relates to government’s subsequent adoption of our initiatives/programs. Particular considerations were as follows:
  • Issues regarding evacuation centers as it relates to a current DepEd issuance dissuading the use of public schools as default EC facilities.
  • Structuring of psychosocial interventions that should align with DOH protocols.
  • Integration of DRRM in school curriculum, vis-à-vis guidelines from DepED.
  • Structuring of family preparedness training modules vis-à-vis an upcoming revised guideline to be issued by DSWD.
    • UNDP would facilitate the creation of a group mail for the TWG, through its IT staff.
    • UNDP would explore convening a meeting with NEDA and RDRMMC as mentioned in Item II.1.c above.
    • A core group was formed, which shall deliberate the action points/concerns raised during the meeting, prior to the plenary monthly meeting agreed to take place during the last Friday of each month. Members to the core group include UNDP, WVI, FAO, Action Aid International and GIZ.
      • The core group would also devise a simple matrix that shall contain the project updates of member agencies as discussed in Item II.1.c above. Said worksheet would be presented in the next (big) group meeting.
    • The next (whole) TWG meeting was tentatively set on 24 April 2015, 10-11:30AM at the WVI Conference Room. The core group would convene earlier, which was tentatively set on 14 April 2015, 10-11:30AM at FAO’s office (i.e. 3/F, Insular Life Building).

12.   Meeting with Leyte Governor Dominic Petilla

20 March 2015, 1:00 PM
Office of the Governor, Leyte Provincial Capitol, Tacloban City

  1. The UNRCO Liaison Team-Tacloban paid a courtesy visit to the Office of Leyte Provincial Governor Leopoldo Dominic Petilla on 20 March 2014.
  2. Governor Petilla himself received the Team, composed of Ingming Aberia, Lawrence Aporto and Arvi Miguel.
  3. After introducing themselves to the Governor, the Team briefed the Governor on UNRCO’s role in supporting agencies involved in recovery efforts and on recent activities it has undertaken.
  4. Ingming told the Governor that the UNRCO is tasked among other things “to establish effective communication and support mechanisms between provincial government authorities and partners, and to help build their institutional capacity for their inter-sectoral rehabilitation and recovery coordination.”
  5. Lawrence added that UNRCO shares or provides information products like maps and project/agency data/reports to interested organizations. UNRCO can also provide trainings on mapping when required or requested.
  6. On a backdrop that bodes well for building strategic partnerships and strengthened working relations with the Provincial Government of Leyte, Gov. Petilla acknowledged the support given by UN Agencies and INGOs to the provincial government and its constituency especially during the emergency response period. He specifically cited FAO, which he said was one of the first agencies to effectively respond to the need of Leyte rice farmers for farm inputs. FAO’s timely assistance (consisting of 63,000 bags of certified rice seeds) enabled the rice farmers to regain their livelihood and for the rest of Leyte and nearby provinces to be assured of a steady supply of rice. He said that 4 months after Yolanda, the Department of Agriculture announced a bumper harvest of rice in Leyte.
  7. Petilla also stressed that his administration is now focusing less on dole outs associated with relief and rehabilitation/recovery and more on sustainable development. He said economic development is the basis for resilience among communities and for the advancement of education, health and general well-being of constituents. Conversely, he recognized that it is by addressing specific issues of health and nutrition, education, infrastructure, and by promoting proper values among the people that sustainable development is achieved.
  8. He said there is need for convergence, and for which the national government (despite having spent billions of pesos) has little to show, if the cross-cutting issues he cited are to be effectively addressed and that maximum impact from use of resources is to be realized. He cited a model applied by the Leyte Provincial Government as example. In this model, the provincial government selected a pilot upland barangay with a relatively inferior socio-economic profile (birth growth rates 3-5 times higher than the national average, poverty incidence 2 times higher than the provincial average, etc) into which the provincial government pooled its resources to address development issues. He said that after a year the farmers’ association in the barangay was able to maintain a bank account with more than Php 1 million in it. Individual farmers have earned an average of Php 7,000 to 10,000 per month (from an average of Php 500-1,000 the previous years). Birth growth rates went down to 1.5 percent. The next step was to promote reverse migration, starting with 3 families selected from informal settlers in a nearby town.
  9. Petilla envisions that in 6 more years he would be able to expand the convergence laboratory to at least 200 more barangays and show to the national government how sustainable development is done.
  10. The UNRCO expressed hope that it would be able to interact with provincial government offices to exchange more information about the successes of the provincial government on the one hand as well as provide updates on recovery from UN Agencies and INGOs on the other.
  11. Future meetings with various departments of the Provincial Government of Leyte are planned.

13.   Resettlement Cluster Meeting

26 March 2015, 9:30 AM

OPARR Office, Gen. Enage Street, Tacloban City

 

Attendees : NHA, HLURB, OPARR, DENR, Tacloban City Housing Office, Tacloban Building Official’s office, DSWD, DepEd, Pag-Ibig Fund, UN RCO, UN Habitat and Oxfam, DENR
 
Chairperson : Engr. Rizalde Mediavillo (NHA)
  1. Meeting Agenda
    • Preliminaries including:
    • Reading and approval of the minutes of the previous meeting
    • Matters arising from the minutes
    • Updates from NHA
    • Other Matters
  2. Discussion
    • Preliminaries

The minutes of the previous meeting (26 February 2015) was approved after DENR and Tacloban City representatives suggested some revisions in the minutes.

  • Matters arising from the minutes

Per the DENR, the supposed separate meeting with the Tacloban LGU officials, regarding land issues, that was to ensue as of last month’s cluster meeting did not take place.  No further instruction was received from the cluster lead on the matter.

DENR made a clarification on the issue of financing through Pag-ibig.  Accordingly, real estate property titles that have no standing issues with the Department could be used as collateral in securing loans.  To facilitate the resolution of the related concern, it requested Pag-ibig Fund to furnish their Office the list of resettlement beneficiaries who are affected so that it could attend to them accordingly.

Oxfam also raised that it has some concerns on the resettlement rights of its project beneficiaries.  It would thus make further bilateral coordination with the DENR on the matter.

DENR would accordingly furnish the cluster members an update and a list of the developers to which it has already provided clearances, insofar as the approval process of their subdivision plans are concerned.

As for affected sections of several resettlement sites (i.e. Ridgeview Phase 1, Greendale Phase 1 and North Hill Arbour Phase 1), given National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) easement requirements for transmission lines—the civil works for the rectification would be undertaken by  NGCP, but the costs thereof shall be borne by the developer.

The Livelihood TWG within the Resettlement Cluster shared updates on the Expanded Livelihood Cluster meeting that it participated last February.  Accordingly, said meeting had a good attendance from UN/INGOs, government agencies and the business sector, whereby more inclusive collaborative solutions were arrived at in addressing the concerns of the (Expanded Livelihood) Cluster.

Some of the solutions that were validated included the identification of various sources of micro-financing (i.e. both from the government and private sector) as well as strengthened market linkages between organized community producers and market buyers.

Per DSWD, a missing component in this cluster’s initiative is the provision of sustainable livelihood, especially for those families that are ready to be relocated.  As such, a motion was made that livelihood options be prioritized and given/provided to families that are scheduled to move in to their respective permanent shelters.

In response thereto a good matching of relevant livelihoods would depend on the profile of the target beneficiaries.  NHA responded that it now has 1,052 household profiles at its custody, courtesy of DSWD.  Nonetheless, DSWD promised to share said community profiles to the DTI and the rest of the members of this cluster.

In view thereof, Gen. Corvera raised a recommendation to convene OPARR, NHA, DTI, LGUs and other concerned agencies to sit down with TESDA and DSWD in order to craft a comprehensive livelihood plan for targeted resettlement areas.  The tentative schedule thereto would be 6 April 2015 starting 1:30 PM.

Relatedly, UN RCO offered to share (as well) its consolidated data on resettlement, which it has gathered from partners in the international community.  These would include product updates in the form of matrices and maps.  The offer was gladly accepted by the Chairperson and the cluster members.

  • NHA Project updates

The World Bank has funded the reclamation of Tacloban City’s existing dumpsite vis-à-vis one of the identified relocation sites being developed by NHA.

NHA’s operational activities are divided into 2 major categories: (i) land development and (ii) construction of housing units.

A concern was raised given the storm water drainage implications of these adjacent residential sites vis-à-vis the carrying capacity of existing natural waterways (i.e. creeks/ rivulets).  Accordingly, this may affect the areas’ vulnerability to flooding.  As such, a proposal was raised to have a consultative meeting on the matter with DPWH, discussing possible mitigation measures that could be adopted.  Tentative schedule thereof would be the week after Holy Week (i.e. any date between 6-10 April 2015).

A corollary issue was raised, whereby ultimately all effluents, both from the residential areas as well as the storm water drainage system, end up at the San Juanico Strait.  As such, there might be a need to institute environmentally sound yet affordable solutions to the communities’ collective sewage/septage concerns.

NHA assured the body that current civil works are compliant to the 2-chamber septage design per the Building Code.  Nonetheless, it is open to considering alternatives such as the (i) communal anaerobic batch reactor (ABR) and (ii) artificial reed bed systems (which is utilized in Gawad Kalinga villages), provided these are affordable.

As an additional consideration, (per NHA) the body ought to be mindful that the ceiling cost for each housing unit has been pegged at PhP 292,000, as a directive from the President.  Thus, it could not overemphasize the “affordability” factor of the proposal(s), should it consider installing a wastewater treatment plant/facility (WWTP) that would address the issue raised on the water quality of the final outfall to San Juanico Strait.

Accordingly, for Tacloban City alone, only 540 units were considered to be “substantially completed” while the remainder are at various stages of completion.  NHA’s collective target is the completion of approximately 3,000+ units by end of August 2015; and another 2,000+ units by end of CY 2015 (i.e. with a possible spillover until the 1st quarter of 2016).

The Tacloban City Housing Office expressed concern on this working timeframe as it affects the scheduled move in of identified beneficiaries vis-à-vis their designated resettlement areas and housing units.  Ensuing discussions have identified (i) permitting issues as one of the major bottlenecks that lead to project slippage of developers/contractors, along with the (ii) insufficiency of local supply of construction materials within the City and its peripheries.  Accordingly, materials sourcing and sufficiency have significant cost implications to the developer.  Therefore, addressing these bottlenecks would significantly help in achieving the Cluster’s target per the CRRP and the President’s directive.

Subsequent back and forth discussions were made on the protocols of securing development permits from the local government and attendant prerequisites from regional line agencies.  Thus, NHA recommended that a separate meeting on “permitting issues” be convened after the Holy Week.  In relation thereto, NHA will provide both the (a) Tacloban LGU and (b) DENR the list of its endorsed developers in order to facilitate monitoring of pending permit applications being processed by the 2 (agencies).

OPARR raised a concern on the low uptake of contractors given the resettlement projects outside Tacloban City.  To which, Gen. Corvera raised as an alternative solution its Community Driven Shelter and Livelihood (CDSL) program.  Tacloban LGU is also aware of a similar initiative, which is the Community Based Shelter and Livelihood (CBSL) program that significantly and actively engages beneficiaries in setting up their socialized housing units as well as other support systems for the community (e.g. livelihood).  It is in this light that the LGU is requesting NHA to utilize the above mentioned alternative (program) to at least 1,000 housing units that have yet to undergo bidding.  To which, NHA replied that it will check with Head Office the status of units that have been bid out and awarded to developers,  then respond accordingly as to whether Tacloban’s request could be accommodated.

In line thereto, OPARR requested for NHA’s support to enable the scale up of the CDSL/CBSL in all of the provinces within the Yolanda corridor, to at least 3 pilot areas per province.  NHA will accordingly consult with Head Office then revert to the body.

OPARR has endorsed to NHA the recent resettlement requirements aired by 4 LGUs in the province of Leyte, which were not included in the approved CRRP.

NHA reiterated its concern given the fund releases of DBM for its resettlement (project) engagements.  Accordingly, it requires the master list of the 14,433 socialized housing beneficiaries of Tacloban City.  The LGU has assured submission of said list of the first 8,000 beneficiaries at mid-May 2015.  The remainder would follow suit.

Tacloban’s City Housing Office sought rectification of a HUDCC report from the Vice President’s, whereby despite the completion of 4,000 housing units, various impediments identified accordingly rested at the LGU level.

OPARR shared with the body that it has recently conducted a multi-stakeholder monitoring/validation activity, which included an in situ inspection of various ongoing resettlement projects within Tacloban City.  At its exit conference, where both NHA and DENR delegates were unable to attend, it consolidated its findings and reported the matter to HUDCC (i.e. as the national lead agency to this cluster).  This could be the reference to the inaccurate report of the VP, which eventually leaked to the press.  However, Gen. Corvera assured the body that it has delimited sharing their “inspection report” to the attendees of their exit conference and OPARR HO.

Consequent to the preceding item, NHA expressed support to the conduct of a joint validation exercise to monitor the progress of its various resettlement projects, to ensure that observed violations are immediately rectified by concerned developers.  Per OPARR, it suggested that the conduct thereof be on a quarterly basis.  Apart from the involvement of OPARR, NEDA, NHA and DENR, the Chairperson recommended the participation of community representatives from the beneficiaries.  This accordingly would complement the lack of monitoring personnel from each of the line agencies above mentioned.  More so, it would instill a greater sense of ownership from said beneficiaries to watch out for their eventual properties, and curb possible irregularities that may be engaged by concerned developers/contractors.

  1. Other Matters

The next cluster meeting is scheduled on 29 April 2015.

The Chairperson suggested a rolling sponsorship mechanism for the venue and corresponding meetings costs for the coming months.  First up would be Oxfam (i.e. for the month of April 2015).  Its delegate would accordingly seek confirmation from her principals within 2 week’s time, then provide an update to NHA.

The schedule of sponsors for the remaining months of the year will be preliminarily assigned by NHA, seeking respective confirmations from the agencies within next month.  UNICEF/UN RCO was slated to serve as sponsor for June 2015.

14.   Cluster Heads Meeting (Draft)

27 March 2015, 9:30 AM

OPARR Office, Gen. Enage Street, Tacloban City

  1. In attendance during the meeting were DTI8 RD Cynthia Nierras, DPWH8 RD Rolando Asis, NEDA8 RD Bonifacio Uy, DSWD Division Chief Pauline Nadera, NHA8 Manager Rizalde Mediavillo and their respective staff members. Also in attendance were representatives of DBM and UNRCO. OPARR Region 8 Coordinator Edwin Corvera chaired the meeting.
  2. Discussed during the meeting were: (i) Review of previous minutes (November 13, 2014), (ii) Summary of OPARR Region 8 validated PPAs, (iii) Uploaded projects to eMPATHY, (iv) Updates on implemented projects from Clusters, and (v) other matters.
  3. After the review and approval of previous minutes, OPARR brought up a concern raised by some LGUs about their need for resettlement housing that are not included in the CRRP. This prompted a discussion on why the number of permanent housing needs is bigger in Region 6 than in Region 8.

Records show that Region 6 has a need for a total of more than 117,203 units of permanent housing, almost three times larger than that of Region 8 at a total of 56,143 units. While many agreed that the larger population of Region 6 had something to do with the big difference (even if the proportion of number of households adversely affected was lower than that of Region 8), OPARR (Regional Coordinator Edwin Corvera) explained that Region 8 may have under-reported its assessment of the damage and the number of people in need of permanent housing assistance. He mentioned that there were also LGUs that have come forward with requests for additional units of resettlement housing, some have even complained that their lists were excluded in the final listing of CRRP.

NHA (Engr. Mediavillo) explained that its basis for targeting the number of housing units to be constructed has been the list endorsed by OPARR, as contained in the CRRP, saying the identification process started with the municipal LGUs, then the provincial LGUs, before being finalized by OPARR. Furthermore, prior to its approval by the President, the CRRP was presented before Provincial Governors and Cluster heads. But in the case of one LGU (Leyte, Leyte), for example, he said later reports reached him that the LGU has submitted a list, but the LGU appeared to have been delisted at the provincial level.

NEDA8 RD Uy said regional line agencies in Region 8 could be called to answer for why the need for permanent housing in Region 8 is lower than that in Region 6. To address the issue, NEDA 8 RD Bonifacio Uy suggested that an official request be addressed to NHA, being the cluster head, together with DILG and DSWD to conduct re-assessment of actual damage and further recommend, if warranted, a revised number of permanent housing units needed in Region 8. The cluster heads unanimously approved the suggestion.

OPARR added that it can prepare an initial revised listing, and endorse it to NHA, DILG and DSWD.

  1. On questions regarding the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), DSWD (Pauline Nadera) reported that guidelines have been issued defining, among other things, who are the eligible beneficiaries. She also explained that those who have already received assistance from private organization.

Ms. Nadera also reported that a total amount of Php 2.085 billion has been released to LGUs (Leyte, Western Samar and Eastern Samar) for ESA; another amount totaling Php 419 million has been obligated (for release to same LGUs).

  1. OPARR presented an online demo of eMPATHY and when asked if the system was fully operational and functional, OPARR said yes. What was lacking was that some agencies (mostly government) were not done in uploading their data yet.
  2. Updates on implemented projects from clusters
    • Livelihood

DTI8 RD Cynthia Nierras said that the latest accomplishment report of the Livelihood Cluster is being finalized and will be ready for presentation in the next meeting. For the time being, she raised the point that while resettlement sites are not yet ready for livelihood, it was important for concerned agencies to share with DTI their beneficiary profiles as the DTI is not in a position to conduct beneficiary surveys. This information is essential for DTI to plan livelihood programs for resettlement sites.

She explained that DTI’s preference would be to implement livelihood projects that the beneficiaries themselves have been doing before Yolanda. She also said that it is more efficient to target individuals rather than groups.

She also reported that one strategic thrust of the DTI is to do convergence with LGUs and other agencies such as CSOs, and a forum for this is set on April 6-7, 2015 in Cebu. The idea is to promote a per product convergence using the value chain approach, and for which assistance from the INGOs would be welcome.

  • Resettlement

Before sharing its updates, NHA reminded participants about an agreement reached at the Resettlement Cluster meeting (26 March 2015) where each member agency would take turns in hosting monthly meetings. Hosts would shoulder the cost for venue and meals. At this point the UNRCO, while aware of some of the agencies’ constraints in hosting the meetings but at the same time mindful of how international partners can maximize the opportunity of discussing common issues with the government, suggested not only to disseminate processed information—such as matrices and maps—to government agencies, but also to invite some of the INGOs to the next Resettlement and Livelihood cluster meetings. NHA and DTI were receptive to suggestion.

NHA reported that it has targeted a total number of 29,365 housing units. Of this number, 18,474 have been awarded to contractors, which 10,891 have been bidded out but award to contractors is pending due to non-release of funds. Table 13 below shows the status of accomplishments for contracted projects.

Table 13. Status Summary of Physical Accomplishments for Resettlement Cluster

No. of Housing Units Status
As of January 2015 As of March 2015
Completed On-going Not Started Completed Ongoing Not Started
18,474 645 2,300 15,529 689 3,893 14,581

Source: NHA R8

Implementation issues include land issues, shortage of construction materials and beneficiary listing.

  • Infrastructure

For the infrastructure cluster, DPWH reported the same status report presented during the IUDC meeting (see NTF 5, above).

  • Social Services

See report on ESA, above.

 

  1. Other Matters
    • DBM reported that a total of Php 59.8 billion has been released since December 31, 2014.
    • NEDA8 reported that a Validation Workshop for the CRRP Results Framework is set for April 2015.
    • NHA also reported that a forum for Mayors on organizing LIACs is also set for April 2015.
    • OPARR mentioned that so far only the Livelihood and Resettlement Clusters have been active. Social Services and Infra Cluster heads replied that their respective meetings are planned this coming month (April).

[1] Medium Term Philippine Development Plan.

[2] Priority Development Assistance Fund.

[3] National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.

[4] Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.

[5] Bureau of Agricultural Research.

[6] Medium-Term Information & Communications Technology Harmonization Initiative.

[7] Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses.

[8] Personnel Services (e.g. salary).

[9] Department of Health, Environment and Occupational Health Office.

[10] State Universities and Colleges.

[11] Information Technology – Business Process Management

[12] Gross Regional Domestic Product.

[13] 2 Tier Budgeting Approach.

[14] National Irrigation Administration.

[15] CENRO is Community Environment & Natural Resource Office

[16] Internally Displaced Persons.

[17] Local Inter Agency Committee.

[18] Camp Coordination and Camp Management.

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