News / Asia

Philippines Expected to Remain Resilient Despite Super Typhoon

A child survivor of super Typhoon Haiyan is given assistance as he disembarks from a Philippine Navy ship upon arrival at the north harbor in Manila, Nov. 29, 2013.
A child survivor of super Typhoon Haiyan is given assistance as he disembarks from a Philippine Navy ship upon arrival at the north harbor in Manila, Nov. 29, 2013.
In the Philippines, there are early signs that the overall economic impact of Typhoon Haiyan will likely be less than other storms in recent years. But officials say there remains a dire need to immediately focus on reviving farming areas and providing jobs to communities directly in the storm's path.

Three weeks after the super typhoon battered the central Philippines, government figures show damages cost $635 million. The losses are about $300 million less than those of Typhoon Bopha, which struck the southeastern Philippines late last year.

This week, the National Economic Development Authority said the economy grew by 7 percent in the third quarter. The agency says in this part of the world the Philippines had the second best economy after China. But the typhoon-affected regions, which contribute 12 percent to the gross domestic product, are expected to knock the year’s growth back by half a percent.

Philippine Central Bank Governor Armando Tetangco says there will be a negative impact for the next three months.

He said, “But the counterforce to that would be the increased government spending for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Looking at the national income accounts, one would see that government spending, particularly infra spending, give a significant boost.”

Tetangco says the Philippines has shown resilience during crises because it has sustained a steady growth rate, kept inflation down, has a surplus in domestic savings and maintains significant international reserves, allowing it to keep up with debt payments.

The Central Bank projects a five percent annual increase in overseas remittances (which were $21 billion last year). But Tetangco says there could be additional money coming in as relatives send extra to support storm survivors.

  • People line up to be evacuated outside Tacloban airport, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • A survivor wipes his face under a Philippines national flag in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • Members of a Philippines rescue team carry corpses in body bags as they search for the dead in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • A rescue team wades into flood waters to retrieve a body in Tacloban, central Phillipines, Nov. 13, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors hang signs from their necks as they line up to try to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors jostle to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • A Philippine air force officer hands out orange slices to typhoon survivors as they line up to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Tacloban residents wait for military flights inside the terminal of Tacloban airport, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Typhoon survivors rush to get a chance to board a C-130 military transport plane in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Survivors walk in typhoon ravaged Tacloban city, Nov. 12, 2013.
  • An aerial view of the ruins of houses after the devastation of super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city in central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • Survivors carry bags of rice from a warehouse they stormed to get food after the typhoon, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.

While the losses from the typhoon will have less of an impact on the overall economy, people on the ground are looking for work. Rice and coconut farming as well as fishing are main sources of income in the hardest hit areas. The United Nations says the typhoon affected more than 13 million people and left five million people without an income.

Government agencies this week submitted a proposal for immediate rehabilitation needs in the typhoon-stricken area to the president. Officials say it includes plans for providing shelter, restoring livelihoods and rebuilding public structures such as schools and hospitals.

The U.N. has a companion plan, for which it consulted residents to find their immediate needs. Orla Fagan is spokeswoman for the U.N.’s humanitarian affairs office in Manila. She calls Filipinos resilient and says the residents will play a major role in their own recovery one step at a time.

“Mid- towards end-December is when we need to get the seeds into the ground," she said. "If we can get the seeds in the ground, people will have a harvest in March and April. So that won’t be as urgent. If we can get nails and hammers and chainsaws to them they can start building their own homes.”

The U.N.’s International Labor Office is sponsoring temporary emergency employment through a cash-for-work scheme. But it only employs people for 15 days.

Labor Office Disaster Response and Livelihoods Officer Simon Hills says the office assesses the temporary workers.

“From there we look to identify skills and groups and for some of those we will try and get further skills training or employment opportunities,” he said.

The government agencies are expected to refine the immediate needs plan and resubmit it to the president next week.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ekpenyong Ase from: Nigeria
November 30, 2013 4:59 PM
The lord shall help them

by: Ben from: Calif
November 29, 2013 11:08 PM
Amazing people to suffer such loss
And still jump up and carry on
Very commendable , shows the human spirit to carry on

by: typhoon survivor from: ormoc
November 29, 2013 6:33 PM
please support the OFFICIAL White House petition by asking all your American relatives and friends to support it:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/grant-temporary-protected-status-tps-filipinos-us-sustain-flow-yolandahaiyan-relief-support/yMLwqL9s

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs