Siargao Island

Typhoon Odette devastation to take toll on economy – NEDA executive

Froilan Gallardo
Typhoon Odette devastation to take toll on economy – NEDA executive

Still shots from a DESTRUCTION. Philippine Coast Guard aerial survey of Siargao Island, where Typhoon Odette first hit land on December 16

Courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard

It will take huge investments and time for these areas to recover, says Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, NEDA director for Northern Mindanao

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The numbers are not in yet but authorities said the damage caused by Typhoon Odette (Rai) would have a serious impact on the country’s economy that is already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, director of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for Northern Mindanao, said the country’s economic managers have deployed teams to the areas badly hit by the December 16 onslaught of Odette to assess the extent of the damage.

Cariño said many areas impacted by the typhoon are major tourism earners like Cebu, Bohol, and Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

“Judging from the initial reports, it will take huge investments and time for these areas to recover,” she said.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said Cebu and Bohol were the top tourist destinations in the country while Siargao Island was famous among young travelers.

A 2020 DOT report said the country earned US$9.31 billion in 2019 but crashed by 82.1% in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNNGo, a travel site for CNN International, had recently named Siargao’s Cloud 9 as no. 8 among the world’s best spots for surfing.

Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas estimated the damage to Siargao Island at P20 billion.

Matugas said Siargao’s famous boardwalk was swept away by Odette’s bursts of powerful winds and big waves. –Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship