TACLOBAN CITY – A United Nations official asked national and local government to address bottlenecks that impedes recovery of areas hit by supertyphoon Yolanda.
Specifically, Luiza Carvalho , UN Philippines humanitarian coordinator official, asked authorities to work on full restoration of businesses, electricity and public transportation system.
“We really need to see the secondary needs and analyze the bottlenecks that are impeding us to achieve full fledge development,” she told reporters after meeting national and local government officials in Tacloban over the weekend.
Carvalho noted that there’s too much focus on issues on shelter, which cannot be resolved immediately due to concerns like land acquisition and site development.
“There are immediate things that we can address and it will be a new universe of good results. This is something that we should find out collectively through coordination,” she said.
Among this is the full restoration of electric supply that will encourage businesses to reopen, thus allowing displaced employees to return to work.
“Let’s have a clear perspective of what we want. We need the electricity set up so all the commerce can go back again,” Carvalho added.
As of third week of January, less than 200 businesses have renewed their licenses of the 15,000 registered businesses in Tacloban. Only 6,600 houses and businesses have electric connections, accounting 19% of the total pre-Yolanda operating establishments.
Carvalho also cited the deficiency in the existing public transportation system. “We need more buses and other public transportation to take commuters back home at night after work,” she noted.
The super typhoon and storm surge have destroyed jeepneys that transports thousands of commuters to Tacloban from coastal towns of Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, Dulag and Mayorga.
“Overall, the improvement in the city is very positive. The local people and the government are doing their part. It’s good to see the city moving and to see the lights at night although it’s not enough,” Carvalho said.