Slowly, it’s back to business in Yolanda-hit areas

i love tacloban cropdTacloban City and other towns of Leyte are showing signs of economic recovery a month after Supertyphoon Yolanda wreaked havoc on lives, farms, property and businesses, according to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Notably, the public market and commercial center have reopened.  So have some restaurants, banks, gasoline stations, grocery stores, and remittance centers.

PDI also reported that water, public transportation and telecommunication services have returned.

Signs of normalcy are most apparent in downtown areas in Tacloban, where toys, rechargeable lamps, mobile phones, slippers, vegetables and fruits can be bought from stalls. 

However, shopping malls still have to open. 

Leyte Governor Leopoldo Petilla expressed confidence in his constituents’ ability to rise up from the debris of the Yolanda disaster, even as he admitted it would take years before full recovery is achieved.  He added that the province has asked for assistance to rehabilitate its farm sector.

Tacloban City Administrator Tecson John Lim acknowledged the help of the provincial government, international humanitarian groups and local government units, like Mandaluyong City, which have “adopted” Tacloban. 

Meanwhile, “tens of thousands still live amid the ruins of their former lives, underneath shelters made from scavenged materials and handouts,” according to the report.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), in a recent assessment, said that a long-term reconstruction plan is needed to rebuild Tacloban and other Yolanda-ravaged areas.

In a statement, ADB vice president Stephen Groff said that reconstruction would be a massive challenge.  “As with many such disasters, some of the most difficult challenges will be carrying out the principle of ‘building back better’ – including rezoning and its enforcements – as people and business get back on track. “

ADB announced it will likely increase its aid to the Philippines in view of these challenges. 

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