BAGUIO CITY – On April 21, the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), chaired by the Office of Civil Defense Cordillera, oriented regional agencies on tools to assess the economic losses and human recovery needs of the Cordillera region arising from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This assessment will serve as input to the regional recovery and resiliency plan formulation led by NEDA-CAR as the RDRRMC Vice-Chair for Recovery and Rehabilitation.

NEDA-CAR presented a draft framework, outline, and timeline of the plan formulation. During the orientation, NEDA-CAR facilitated the discussion on available baseline data of agencies to be used in the assessment of losses and needs of across all sectors of region.  NEDA-CAR created a technical working group for the formulation of the plan. Members include regional agencies, Local Government Units, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and private sector representatives. RDRRMC targets a needs assessment report and a Recovery and Resiliency plan by May and publication and information dissemination by June.

The conduct of the “Economic Losses and Human Recovery Needs Assessment” is a modified version of the “Post-Disaster Needs Assessment” tool used by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) to detail and validate the damages, losses and human recovery needs incurred during times of disaster.

Given the exceptional and uncommon nature of the global Covid-19 pandemic, this modified needs-assessment tool will focus on the lost economic opportunities of the region such as the forgone or disrupted income of businesses and workers and the added operational and equipment costs of the quarantine implementation to government, health facilities, business establishments, and other unexpected expenses.

The modified needs assessment will also look at macroeconomic impacts of the crisis such as changes in prices and regional production. The report will likewise detail how communities have been affected and how they have responded. The agencies will use these data to formulate short, medium, and long-term recovery programs, projects, and activities as well as policy recommendations that would address the needs that emerged during this crisis.

RDRRMC Chair and OCD-CAR Regional Director Albert Mogol commended the regional agencies for showcasing the Cordilleran’s innate resiliency consistent with the spirit of Bayanihan in the coordinated responses to the pandemic and the implementation of the ECQ. “’Wag kayo magsawa magtulungan”, he added. Mogol said that since there has yet to be a vaccine, “we have to anticipate the new normal in this recovery and resiliency plan”. He highlighted the importance of having strong leaders, inter-agency collaboration, and the continuous operations of MSMEs in helping the Cordillera face these challenges to help build forward a better region and nation.