Aquino launches post-Ruby Early Recovery Program in Borongan

Natashya Gutierrez

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This includes a Cash for Work program and housing assistance

EARLY RECOVERY PROGRAM. President Benigno Aquino III launches program to jumpstart recovery from Typhoon Ruby in Eastern Samar. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – It was an early Christmas present from the President to victims of Typhoon Ruby.

On Monday, December 22, President Benigno Aquino III visited Borongan, Eastern Samar, to launch the Early Recovery Program, aimed at jumpstarting the recovery of those hit by the storm earlier this month.

Aquino vowed to continue helping typhoon victims as the government is moving from the relief stage to the recovery stage before rehabilitation. Aside from food packs, the President introduced a Cash for Work Program to provide victims some income.

“Under the Cash for Work program, the government has set aside P68 million ($1.5 million)* for 17,457 family beneficiaries here in Borongan,” he said. “About P46 million ($1.03 million) is for Dolores and for the benefit of 11,600 families. This is part of our Early Recovery Program for places affected by Typhoon Ruby.”

He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is also providing emergency shelter to those whose homes were destroyed by the typhoon. Families whose houses were completely broken were given P30,000 ($672) each while those whose houses were only partly damaged were given P10,000 ($224) each.

The President said the government is looking for a safe place to rebuild their homes, where they are far from danger. To date, the government said 332 families or 1,529 people are still in 44 evacuation centers all over Eastern Samar.

Aside from these initiatives, Aquino also vowed to use the coconut levy fund to develop livelihood opportunities in the province. He said they would work on developing the coconut industry to help coconut farmers earn not just from copra, but also from coco peat, coco water and other coco coir products.

He also said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) received generous funding to build mangroves that would help weaken storm surges and tsunamis.

“Next year we plan to finish the planting of these mangroves to allow it to grow and minimize the effect of storms,” he said. –

*$1 = P44.64

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Natashya Gutierrez

Natashya is President of Rappler. Among the pioneers of Rappler, she is an award-winning multimedia journalist and was also former editor-in-chief of Vice News Asia-Pacific. Gutierrez was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2023.