SENATOR Francis “Tol” Tolentino has filed a resolution calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to establish a Siargao Tourism Rehabilitation Commission that will spearhead the rehabilitation of Siargao Island from the devastation inflicted by typhoon Odette.
In his Senate Resolution 966, Tolentino said the Commission will act as overall and central coordinating body of all government agencies, non-government organizations, and affected communities when it comes to the implementation and monitoring of rehabilitation and recovery programs in Siargao Island.
According to local officials in Surigao del Norte, the damages incurred in Siargao has been estimated to reach around P20 billion, but the full impact of the super typhoon has yet to be determined due to the lack of mobile phone and internet signal, power outages, and limited access to many parts of the province.
“In addition to the immediate critical needs of the affected residents such as food, water, shelter, and health care, the long-term rehabilitation and rebuilding of the affected homes, businesses, and other infrastructures in Siargao Island must also be addressed.” Tolentino said.
Tolentino underscored the urgent need to create the Siargao Tourism Rehabilitation Commission that will streamline and oversee relief, recovery, and rehabilitation operations within the island.
Under Tolentino’s resolution, the Commission shall be composed of the following: the Secretary of Tourism; the Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA); the Chairperson of the Regional Development Council for Caraga Region; an urban planner from the private sector; and a representative from the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, Inc. as Members; the Governor of Surigao del Norte shall also serve as a Member in an ex officio capacity; provided, that the Chairperson of the Commission shall be appointed by the President; and provided further, that the Commission shall serve for a term of two years.