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Finance department readies CAT bonds for eruption-hit areas

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Balete, Batangas residents evacuate a carabao away from the Taal Volcano danger zone. (Yummie Dingding)

The government is committed to help areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption and immediately address the needs of the people and the economy, the Department of Finance assured.

DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said officials of various government agencies are monitoring as well the developments on the ground to properly respond to the affected families.  Food packs are being distributed to various evacuation centers while farmers and fisherfolks have been offered by the Department of Agriculture (DA) zero and low-interest emergency loans.

Ashfall from Taal Volcano, surrounded by Batangas and Cavite provinces, has reached as far as Bulacan in Central Luzon, National Capital Region and other parts of Southern Tagalog like Cavite and Laguna.

Dominguez said Region IV-A (Calabarzon) accounted for about 17 percent of the country’s domestic output in 2018, NCR 36 percent and Central Luzon 9 percent.

“The government will do what is necessary to get areas affected by this natural disaster up and running as fast as possible,” Dominguez said.  “Based on our estimates, our country loses 1 to 2 percent of our gross domestic product due to natural disasters, especially from typhoons every year.”

The Finance chief further said the government has put in place catastrophe (CAT) bonds, which aid disaster victims while assuring high yields for investors.

“We are likewise working on a natural catastrophe cover for our strategically important assets like schools, roads, and bridges, which would protect against natural catastrophes such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, earthquakes, and storm surges,” Dominguez added. (PNA)

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