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Financial Reckoning

Yesterday, the CE unveiled the financial impact of Typhoon Hato. Revealing that the MSAR has been hit with a US$1.42 bln bill. Direct losses totalled MOP8.31bln. The gov’t also confirmed that the construction of a tidal gate had been approved by the central gov’t. And that a new department for civil protection had been created.

MSAR Chief Executive (CE) Fernando Chui Sai On says the preliminary estimate of the direct and indirect losses caused by Typhoon Hato totals MOP11.47 billion (US$1.42 billion).
Two weeks after the destruction of Typhoon Hato, yesterday the CE, together with his five Secretaries, met the press at Government Headquarters to give an account of the works that were being undertaken following the catastrophe plus plans and strategies for improvement.
Lionel Leong Vai Tac, Secretary for Economy and Finance, replied to a reporter’s enquiries that the amount was estimated by the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).
According to preliminary data, the city suffered a direct loss of MOP8.31 billion and indirect losses of MOP3.16 billion from Typhoon Hato on August 23.
DSEC had collected data information from various public departments such as the data of subsidies for SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) organised by Macao Economic Services (DSE).
In addition, members of DSEC inspected and evaluated the level of damage of buildings and structures.
DSEC also referenced two statistics systems for natural disasters composed by the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Insurance claims hit MOP2.42 billion
Secretary Leong reported yesterday that 1,284 insurance cases had been filed, with an estimated claims of around MOP2.42 billion as of September 4.
There were 950 cases of loss of property, amounting to MOP2.4 billion in claims, while 56 were related to injuries during work, with total claims reaching MOP1.03 million.
Secretary Leong also reported that two claims of fatalities were concluded by the insurance companies, with claims totalling MOP11.26 million.
Despite the notable impact made by Typhoon Hato, Secretary Leong remarked that the city’s economy would continue to grow after considering the macro-economic environment. As such, the Secretary expects the city to grow by one digit for the whole of 2017.
When asked by the press whether the government would consider issuing regulations for gaming personnel working in typhoon signal 8 conditions or above, Secretary Leong agreed that a mechanism for the gaming industry to follow when typhoon 8 or above occurs is necessary, noting that the mechanism should not only relate to harsh weather but other possible calamities such as the outbreak of a [contagious] virus.
“We definitely wish to set out levels [for the mechanism],” added the CE. “But [the mechanism] needs legal support.”

Investigation committee set up
The CE announced that the committee to investigate the typhoon case had already been set up.
The committee will inspect legal obligations of members of public departments, in particular those involved in works in the prevention of and recovery from the natural disaster.
The committee will be chaired by Assistant Prosecutor Mai Man Ieng, with Iu Vai Pan, Professor at the University of Macau, and auditor Louisa Ho Mei Va.
The CE claimed that the committee’s investigation would not affect the ongoing investigation by CCAC, the anti-graft body.

Nod from central government
The CE revealed that the plan to build a tidal gate in the Inner Harbour had already received approval from the Chinese State Council.
He replied to the press that he is to meet related Guangdong departments to discuss the construction of tidal gates on September 11.
Regarding the supply of water, the authorities reported that the volume of reservoirs would be increased in order to ensure a water supply for at least 12 hours. In addition, the Ilha Verde reservoir would have its ability further improved to prevent flooding.
In terms of power supply, with the gradual usage of natural gas power generators, the old and less environmentally friendly heavy oil generator would be reserved for backup.
CEM – Companhia de Electricidade de Macau – also pledged to heighten the transformer station and to prioritise handling stations located in areas prone to flooding.
When the press ask about actions that could be undertaken in the short term should another serious typhoon hit the city, the CE said the government would evacuate residents, adding that the transmission of information had already improved.

New department to deal
with serious crises
Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak announced yesterday during the press conference that the government will set up an independent bureau – the Civil Protection and Emergency Co-ordination Bureau – to deal with prevention, response and aftermath of calamities.
The new bureau will also directly manage the current Civil Protection Action Centre located next to Taipa Ferry Terminal.

Alexis Tam: Clean up in time for Grand Prix
During yesterday’s press conference at Government Headquarters, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng expressed the hope that related facilities and equipment for the Grand Prix will be repaired and readied by October.
The Macau Grand Prix will be held from November 16 to 19.
He reported that the Sports Bureau and related departments had commenced repair of the facilities after checking and evaluations had been made.