The Economic Development Committee of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (Cordillera RDC Econ Secom) convened on September 24 to discuss how various government agencies with the mandate to ensure economic development in the region can converge to provide long-term support to the victims of Typhoon Ompong in the region.

The meeting, conducted at the DTI Regional Office in Baguio City, was presided by Econ Secom Chairperson and DTI Director Myrna Pablo.  Also present were representatives from DILG, DA, DOLE, TESDA,  NFA, DOST, DSWD, OWWA, DENR, DAR, COA, DOT, MGB, NCIP, PNP, PIA, and NEDA as the Secom technical secretariat.

Director Pablo explained that the meeting was in response to President’s Duterte’s instruction to help the typhoon victims in CAR, focusing particularly on the victims of the tragedy that befell the small-scale miners in Itogon, Benguet.  PROCOR reports that 37 families or 143 individuals are in evacuation centers in Itogon, 99 are dead, and 39 are missing as of September 24.

One of the agreed-upon activities is the conduct of a Livelihood Forum and Food Caravan to be conducted on October 24 in which prepared project proposals shall be presented to government and private organizations, NGOs, and CSOs for funding and implementation.  The proposed projects are expected to address the long-term economic needs of the typhoon victims of Itogon.During the meeting, the agencies presented their respective programs, projects and activities (PPAs) to help the typhoon victims.  To facilitate the convergence initiative, sub-committees were organized, as follows:  Scholarship, Training, Job Generation, Marketing, Organizational Development, Family Profiling, Safety and Security, and Information and Advocacy. These sub-committees shall meet to firm up and integrate their proposed programs, projects, and activities (PPAs).

As of September 25, the OCD-CAR reports that in the Cordillera Region,  62,141 families or 251,579 individuals have been affected by Typhoon Ompong and a total of 15,847 families or 58,831 persons were displaced. There are 32 evacuation centers across the region serving 296 families or 1,124 persons.  Injured were 82 individuals, 33 are missing, and 107 are dead. Totally damaged are 1,343 houses, while 27,107 are partially damaged.  Damages to agriculture was estimated at Php 4.1 billion, to irrigation facilities Php 215,000, and to fisheries Php 52.93 million.  Damage to infrastructure is about Php 2.64 billion.