MANILA -- Post-Yolanda rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday recalled telling Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez that he is politically color-blind during one of their meetings for the reconstruction efforts in the typhoon-ravaged city.
"Oo, ilang beses na. Sinabi ko sa kanila color-blind ako," Lacson told radio dzMM when asked if he had already met with the Tacloban mayor.
Romualdez got embroiled in a dispute with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas over allegations of politicizing relief operations in Tacloban, which was among the worst hit areas.
According to Lacson, he considers it a big challenge to ensure coordination among the national government, the local government units (LGUs) of areas devastated by the massive typhoon, as well as other private groups and organizations.
But so far, all parties involved have been supporting and coordinating with each other well, he said.
"Pinag-aralan ko yung mandate, yung ground situation. Talagang ang biggest challenge sa amin dito ay yung coordination. Kasi ang i-cocoordinate ko dito national government, local government units, private sector, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), civil society organizations, foreign groups. Lahat ito kailangang mai-coordinate ng maayos," he said.
"So far napakaganda ng coordination na nangyayari," he said.
Lacson also said he has assured all local officials that he is color-blind to politics, noting that he does not care whether a leader is an ally of the Aquino administration or not.
"Sabi ko sa kanila 'Basta wag kayong mag-alala, color-blind ako dito. I will refuse to know kung administrasyon ba kayo, oposisyon ba kayo.' Dapat hindi ko na alam yan para di ako nadidistract," he said.
The rehabilitation chief, however, warned officials who will be caught taking advantage of the current situation in typhoon-hit areas.
"Dapat walang kumikita dito ng iligal," said Lacson, pertaining to the temporary shelters being constructed for the typhoon survivors.