The REAL cost of Ondoy (according to an economist)

*This was another email I received today, through one of my e-groups. I cannot vouch for the veracity of these statements, but according to the person who sent this to us, the person who wrote this is an economist and knows what he’s talking about. Still, I get the feeling that he’s right–if not in terms of numbers, then at least in terms of what he’s really trying to convey. ~ NTZ*

Hi guys,

Philippine government is underestimating the impact of typhoon Ketsana (locally known as typhoon Ondoy).  The government estimated the cost of damage at P8.3 billion as of 4 October 11pm.

A.  So what’s the story?

Economic cost should include not only the nominal, direct effects but also indirect losses, system losses (e.g. linkages), foregone revenues and opportunity costs.  Not to mention the social impact.

I did a bit of calculations using official reports from NDCC, DepED, DA and statistical reports from various govt agencies and here’s my initial assessment.  (Of course, the figures will go higher as official data unravels).

Total economic cost: no less than P14.9 billion (this does not include the losses incurred by the business sector. I am still waiting for the Phil Chamber of Commerce report).  The breakdown:
1. Agri and Fisheries: P8.6 billion
2. Transportation: P3.1 billion (this includes the foregone revenues of civil aviation (passengers) at P358 million
3. Housing: P2.5 billion
4. Government sector (including educ infra and assistance): P284 million
5. Access Cost of Students (who were effectively displaced from their schools. these schools were converted into evacuation centers): P88 million.  This could go up to P140 million.
6. Foregone revenues of the dead, present value: P290 million

In addition, no less than P1.06 billion YEARLY forgone revenues in agriculture for agri lands that are considered ‘no chance of recovery’.

These estimates are conservative and does not include other things: (i) destruction of durables and non-durable household items, foregone revenues of business establishments, actual damage in assets of business establishments, unaccounted donations, sea transport, actual medical expenses of the injured and future health/medical expenses to curb water-borne diseases, among others.

B. How about the response?

On average, there are 628 persons in one evacuation center.  These individuals are those actually served/housed in evacuation centers.  Some of these evacuation centers are public schools.  But, if we take all of the individuals affected by Ondoy, the ratio is 7,571 persons in one evacuation center.  That would be a multiple of 12 evacuation centers given the current average population of an evacuation center in the field.  The figures, of course, varies by region.  Central Luzon has 14,070 persons in one evacuation center while only 661 persons are actually housed in the center.

C. What about government assistance?

The total amount of government assistance (including those given by NGOs) is valued at P80.02 million (of which, P64.6 million constitutes as direct government assistance and P15.38 million is the assessed value of sacks of rice).  Total number of affected individuals, to date: 3,899, 307.  This translates to P20.52 per person.  What can this buy?  Well, one (1) kilo of NHA rice is P18.25 and maybe two (2) ice water at one peso each.  But with looming uncertainties faced by those affected on how to go on with their daily lives, P20.52 is absolutely not sustaining.

But not all 3,899,307 people are actually served by the government. The government has actually served only 982,408, again, to date.  This means: each served individual has received P81.45 pesos.  That’s the value of social protection programme per person, for this type of catastrophic risk.  And, that value, I am sure, will increase each day hence as support pours in.  If we compare that, however, with properties and lives destroyed, well…..

D. So where do the rest of the affected get help from?

From kins, friends and social networks.  They are proofs that support can come from what economists and sociologists call ‘informal arrangements’ (as opposed to ‘formal arrangements’ by the government and from international support).  At times, catastrophic events like that havocked by Ondoy can wipe out a whole host of insurable material assets and the only asset left is friends, relatives and social networks.  They act as social insurance which allows individuals to even out consumption during hard times.  They are extremely valuable.

That’s all for now.



October 15 is Blog Action Day about CLIMATE CHANGE. GET INVOLVED NOW.

It’s 10 days to Blog Action Day, an “annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance.”

Last year’s Blog Action Day was about poverty; this year’s is about CLIMATE CHANGE.

Are you listening, Philippines? Are you listening, world? Yes, the issue hits home. So much more now.

If you’re one of the millions of bloggers out there who wants to be involved, do sign up. This is an online activity TRULY worth getting into. And, yes, spread the word online!

Click on this image to view the website and register for Blog Action Day Click on this image to view the website and register for Blog Action Day

Click on this image to view the website and register for Blog Action Day

Tips for “Ondoy” Survivors & Counseling Services

*Here are some VERY USEFUL tips from the Ateneo Psychology Department, which I just received via email this morning. ~ NTZ*


• Follow a normal routine as much as possible.
• Be careful not to skip meals.
• Stay active and busy
• Distractions may help – reach out to other people in your community as a volunteer.
• Accept help from family, friends, co-workers, or clergy.
• Don’t dwell on TV, radio, or newspaper reports on the tragedy
• Know that your unusual reactions are normal given what happened to you. They should taper off in time.
• Talk about your feelings with people
• Feel free to see us if you wish for someone to talk to!

Ateneo Psychology Department Psycho-Social Support Services:
Online Counseling via Yahoo Messenger (9 am to 12 midnight)

Phone Counseling 5057251 from 9 am to 5 pm

Individual counseling by appointment
Group counseling – Oct 5-9, 230 – 430 pm at the Psych Lab Soc Sci bldg or by appointment

For all inquiries and/or to avail of these services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Psychosocial Support Services Secretariat at the Department of Psychology.

Mobile : (0918) 810-6551; (0915) 944-7419; (0923) 707-2314
Landline: 426-6001, extension 5268

LS Guidance Counseling Services for Students:
Group Counseling (Oct 5-9)
10-1130 am, 1- 230, 3- 430 pm Guidance Office

Individual Counseling by appointment: 426-6001 loc 5031

A text message about how donations are distributed at ABS-CBN Foundation

I got this text from an unknown number : ABS FOLKS, PLEASE CONFIRM & RESPOND:

“Some university student leaders who have been assisting at the ABS-CBN relief center have expressed dismay at the slow release and distribution of goods. They tried to ask the ABS Foundation if they could direct the goods for badly neeed gov’t evacuation sites and were shocked by the response: “ABS-CBN dos not release to the gov’t or any gov’t-operated evacuation site.” Lots of goods are donated to ABS-CBN and not being distributed because they are waiting for the availability of their stars and they are using donated goods as leverage for their network. Please pass to let the Filipinos know.”

Let us ask our friends at ABS-CBN for their reactions.

How to donate to Ondoy relief fund from anywhere in the world

*This was an email I received from Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ, through one of my e-groups. ~ NTZ*

Dear Kababayans and Friends,

Last Saturday, Typhoon Ondoy unleashed the heaviest rainfall in the Philippines in the past forty years (34.1 cm., one-month’s worth of rain, in Metro Manila in just six hours), submerging 80% of MM under water and  placing 27 provinces under a state of calamity.  The NDCC reports damage to infrastructure at P108M; Agri. Sec. Yap estimates damage to crops at half a billion pesos.  Two hundred forty have perished, many remain missing, and almost half a million people have been displaced.

The Tanging Yaman Foundation, in consortium with the Philippine Jesuit Province, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan and Ateneo de Manila University, is appealing for aid for the thousands dispossessed and displaced.  For those who wish to help the victims of Ondoy, you may send financial aid through the following:


1. Check (Tax-deductible):
Philippine Jesuit Foundation
236 West 27th Street
Ninth Floor New York
New York 10001

2. Courier (P10.00 service fee):
Any of the 64 LBC branches in the U.S.A.

Address check to LBC (Ondoy-TYF)

3. Bank Transfer (regular bank charges)
Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc.
Metrobank SA (USD): 448-2-44800265-3

4. On-line Credit Card (5% service fee & credit card charge)
Ayala Foundation
Click ‘donate now’, click on credit card icon
Select Ateneo de Manila in the drop down menu
For beneficiary, write: Ateneo Task Force Ondoy


EUROPE: Spain & Italy

ASIA: HK, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Australia, Taiwan

1. Courier:
Any of the 56 LBC branches in Asia

Address check to LBC (Ondoy-TYF)

2. Bank Transfer
Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc.
MetroBank SA (USD): 448-2-44800265-3

In Our Lord’s Mercy

Fr. Manoling V. Francisco, SJ

Executive Director
Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc.
Loyola School of Theology,
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, QC, MM

Noted by:
Fr. Primitivo Viray, SJ
Loyola House of Studies

Donate Ondoy relief funds through Xoom

I received this email from Xoom. If you’re familiar with how this works, this might be another easy way to donate to ONDOY relief efforts. ~ NTZ

Send a Fee-Free Money Transfer to Help the Typhoon Ondoy Relief Efforts

Dear Nina,

Xoom is concerned about the situation in the Philippines and our hearts go out to everyone impacted by Typhoon Ondoy. To help the Typhoon Ondoy relief efforts, we are offering fee-free money transfers to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

You can donate to the relief efforts by visiting and entering the coupon code “HELPONDOY” to make a fee-free money transfer donation to the Philippine National Red Cross. This special coupon code is valid until Friday October 9, 2009.

How to Use Xoom to Help the Typhoon Ondoy Relief Efforts

Use the following steps to make a donation to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC):

Step 1 – Sign up for a account, or sign in to your existing account.
Step 2 – Select Bank Deposit as a disbursement option.
Step 3 – Enter the following Recipient Name and Bank Account details:

Recipient Name – Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC)

Bank Account Details – The following Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) bank account details will be needed at the time of the transaction. You can enter any one of the following bank accounts to make their donation:

PNRC Peso Accounts:
•    Banco de Oro – Peso Account: 453-0018647
•    Bank of the Philippine Islands – Peso Account: 4991-0010-99
•    Metrobank – Peso Account: 151-3-04163122-8
•    Philippine National Bank – Peso Account: 3623-3680-0011

PNRC Dollar Accounts:
•    Banco de Oro – Dollar Account:  453-0039482
•    Bank of the Philippine Islands – Dollar Account:  8114-0030-94
•    Metrobank – Dollar Account: 151-2-151002182
•    Philippine National Bank – Dollar Account: 375-283500026

Enter Recipient Address and Phone Number:

Philippines National Red Cross
National Headquarters
Bonifacio Drive, Port Area
Manila 2803, Philippines
Phone Number: 632 527 0000

Step 4 – Enter the coupon code “HELPONDOY” at the bottom of the Payments page.

Please forward this email to your friends and family who would like to donate to the relief efforts.

List of Evacuation Centers in Marikina & Number of Families Housed

Thanks to friends Marielle Nadal and Lex Reyes, and one of our favorite public servants, Ms. Nadeia Sarte of Marikina City (a super remarkable woman!), we have these data from Marikina City:

1) Malanday Elementary School – 1,800 families
2) Nangka Elementary School – 2,500 families
3) Nangka HS Camacho Village – 500 families
4) H. Bautista Elementary School (Brgy. Tumana) – 800 families
5) Concepcion Integrated School – 800 families
6) Brgy. Hall, Parang – 900 families
7) Tanong (enye-Tanyong) – 204 families
8 ) Calumpang – 300 families
9) Brgy. Sto. Nino – 4,000 individuals
10) Maranata Church – 609 individuals
11) Provident Village – no info
12) Industrial Valley – 3,000 families
13) San Roque – 400 families
Marielle, Lex, and I are working on a project to database the people in these evacuation centers so that people can check if their friends and loved ones are on the list. We’ll be using a Google Spreadsheet as well, just like the other great efforts before us. Marielle and Lex will do some initial data-gathering tomorrow morning, and then we hope to get some people involved for the encoding effort.
If you’d like to know more about this and volunteer some of your time, please let us know. You may reach me at (Gmail/Facebook) and @ninaterol on Twitter.
Thank you so much, Pilipinas. This is a shared experience that I hope we can all learn from. In times of trouble, tayo-tayo lang ang nagtutulungan.