Monday, June 23, 2014
Speech of Mr. Motoo Konishi
World Bank Philippines
Honorable Secretary Dinky Soliman,
Honorable Governors and Mayors,
Civil Society Representatives, Development partners, Friends from the media,
Ladies and Gentleman,
MA-U-PAY NGA AGA (Good morning) to all of you.
To the people of Ormoc City, Happy Fiesta!
I am very pleased to be with you on the launch of the KALAHI-CIDSS National Community Driven Development Project or NCCDP. It is also my privilege to be here with you for the first time in Ormoc City. I know that this city has been seriously affected by typhoon Yolanda so before anything else, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep sympathies to the people of Ormoc City for the loss of your dearly beloved, homes, and properties. I also know that there arelocal government leaders from other devastated areas from the Visayas and Mindanao here, so I would also like to acknowledge their presence and express my sympathies.
The message of Typhoon Yolanda is sad: The people who are most affected by natural disasters are the poor. And with the Philippines being one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, the poor and those who are just above the level of poverty can easily slide down to being extremely poor, when such disasters hit the country. According to the UN, poverty incidence has increased by around 30% in the Yolanda-affected areas.
But I would like to thank you, the people of Ormoc and Leyte, as well as the people from the Visayas and Mindanao, for the resilience you have exhibited especially during the difficult period after Yolanda. Your courage and determination is truly an inspiration and a lesson not only to the Philippines but to other countries around the world.
We are all converging here to launch the expansion of the KALAHI-CIDSS into the National Community Driven Development Program.
A few months ago, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved a 479 million dollars loan or 20 Billion pesos to scale up the KALAHI-CIDSS to a nationwide coverage and to prioritize communities affected by the disaster. At about the same time, the World Bank also made available 2 Million dollars or 80 Million pesos from the KALAHI-CIDSS for immediate restructuring, making it possible to give community grants for 59 sub-projects which were damaged by Typhoon Yolanda.
We are proud to say that as far back as 2012, the World Bank and the DSWD already developed a mechanism to respond quickly to disaster. This mechanism was incorporated in the new design of the NCDDP. With this new design, the menu of community sub-projects have been expanded to include initiatives that allow the financial management and procurement to be more flexible and faster, enabling communities to recover faster.
Through the leadership of Secretary Dinky Soliman and the collaboration with partners like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Australian Government, Millenium Challenge Corporation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, (AECID), the NCCDP will help 847 municipalities of the poorest municipalities in the country. The World Bank financing is expected to benefit more than 8 million Filipinos in poor rural areas, including the Yolanda-affected communities.
We all know that when a disaster occurs, the poor look up to local communities and local governments as their first line of defense. We have seen this in a lot of areas wherein communities have already started to re-build basic infrastructure often using KALAHI-CIDSS grants, sometimes their own resources.
We are pleased to hear from Secretary Dinky that only 2 out of 1,531 community sub-projects which were constructed under KALAHI-CIDSS suffered major damages and less than 25% had partial damages, as a result of Typhoon Yolanda.
Indeed, this proves that the KALAHI-CIDSS approach builds resilient communities. As what you will see from the videos earlier shown, many municipalities were able to apply the lessons they learned in KALAHI-CIDSS to mobilize community volunteers for early recovery which is very much the spirit of Filipino bayanihan.
So KALAHI CIDSS has a track record of building back better. The mayors and community leaders from these areas have a lot to share with their counterparts who are just starting to use the KALAHI-CIDSS approach in rebuilding communities. The expansion of the KALAHI-CIDSS into the National Community Driven Development Program will help speed up recovery in disaster affected areas. This project was designed to provide communities with block grants to help them meet their most pressing priorities. My observation is that the use of community development approaches in post-disaster situations has been effective in accelerating community-led reconstruction. So money has also been well spent as they support the priority needs of the communities.
The World Bank is privileged to walk with you in your journey of building back better. Last week, the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors endorsed a new Country Partnership Strategy for the Philippines. The overall goal of the new strategy is to help the Philippines to eliminate extreme poverty and help ensure that economic growth works for all Filipinos, especially the poor. At the core of this strategy is empowering poor communities to organize themselves, identify the problems and priorities, and implement the solutions that they themselves have identified.
In closing, I would like to reiterate our support to the Philippines in the coming years and help the Philippines to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
Finally, I would like to commend the leadership of Secretary Soliman and the work of the staff of DSWD. If you will recall, just before Yolanda, there were other major disasters that hit the country. But Secretary Soliman and her staff were the first ones to respond to the crisis here, providing relief and helping with the recovery, under the worst circumstances, never, ever experienced by any country. And now, through two big programs, the KALAHI-CIDSS and NCCDP, DSWD is also helping, together with other local and national agencies, build back better.
DAMO NGA SALAMAT. (Thank you very much.)