Presidential Assistance for Rehabilitation and Recovery

Presidential Assistance for Rehabilitation and Recovery

Posted by soya on Aug 1, 2017 5:05 am

CEBU CITY, Philippines—More than 100 days after the Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated the towns in northern Cebu, two town mayors are asking why the national government has yet to provide financial assistance for the rehabilitation of their towns.

During the open forum at a meeting with the officials of the Presidential Assistance for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR), two mayors expressed their frustration over what they said was a lack of financial support from the national government.
Sta. Fe town Mayor Jose Esgana told PARR officials that the town has started with their rehabilitation of shelters but they could only do so much.
Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez said his town did not receive anything from the national government. “Where are the foreign donations?” Ramirez asked.
Ramirez dared the PARR officials to just release the rehabilitation fund to the LGUs.
Still waiting for promise
“It’s like a contest as to who will be the first to recover from Yolanda,” he said, adding that his people were still waiting for the promised P5,000 housing assistance from the National Housing Authority (NHA).
“The local government is trying to do as much as we could,” Ramirez said.
But while the national government has committed to provide funds for the rehabilitation of the towns in northern Cebu, the municipal governments should submit their detailed rehabilitation programs first before any amount could be released, explained PARR public sector head Joseph Rañola.
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During the meeting held at the Cebu provincial capitol, Rañola and lawyer Karen Jimeno, PARR communications director, explained to the mayors of the affected towns and the regional directors of the different national agencies how the PARR works.
Ranola said the national government would provide the funds for the rehabilitation of the 15 towns and one city hit by supertyphoon Yolanda in northern Cebu.

Rañola explained that at least P20 billion has been allocated in the national budget for the rehabilitation and reconstruction program of the areas hit by Yolanda.
Ranola said that the local government units should coordinate with them. He also asked them to submit an evaluation and final damage assessment to them so that PARR could work on the funding requirements.
According to Ranola, funds would be given to the local government units upon submission of the requirements to PARR office.
Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of the fourth district of Cebu Province, who also attended the meeting, said that after more than three months, it was about time the government worked on the financial assistance.
‘Proper documentation needed’
“I can understand the frustration of some people but it was explained very clearly by Atty. Jimeno that it’s not easy to just ask for the release of the funds. (The) DBM (Department of Budget and Management) will not release without proper documentation,” Salimbangon said.
He said he would try to request the national government to release funds for the rehabilitation projects to the provincial government and to the mayors as in the case of Bohol after the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit it last Oct. 15.
On the other hand, the Task Force Paglig-on, which was created by the Cebu provincial government to oversee the rehabilitation efforts, has reported that the towns and one city affected by the supertyphoon would have to secure P7.233 billion for the shelter of affected families.
Baltz Tribunalo of the task force said in his report that this amount did not include the P1 billion required for the acquisition of lots for the relocation sites.
According to Tribunalo, there are 103,831 houses affected by the supertyphoon. Out of this, 12,920 houses have to be relocated; 33,861 were destroyed; and 57,050 are partially damaged houses.

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