MANILA - Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Ping Lacson has turned over to President Aquino the comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan for areas affected by supertyphoon Yolanda.
The plan came in eight volumes and 8,000 pages, covering projects worth P170.9 billion.
Lacson said the plan mainly addresses needs in the livelihood sector, resettlement, social services, and infrastructure.
It also covers gender equality, disaster preparedness, climate change adaptation, and other environmental concerns.
Lacson said the Department of Budget and Management has P137 billion in funds available that can be “frontloaded” in 2014 and 2015.
“Dahil available naman yung 137 [billion] ayon sa DBM, mga 36 billion na lang ang residual amount na kailangan i-release ng DBM o isama sa budget sa 2015 or 2016 para mabuo na yung kaukulang halaga sa pag-build back better sa Yolanda corridor,” Lacson said.
The supplemental budget previously passed by Congress and pork barrel forgone by legislators form part of the available P137 billion, Lacson said.
Lacson is expecting that 80 to 85 percent of the projects would be completed by the time Aquino steps down in 2016.
He will recommend that capable LGUs be allowed to be given the funds and undertake the projects themselves to speed up rehabilitation.
“Ire-recommend ko sa kanya (President Aquino) na kung pwedeng ‘yung mga may kapasidad na LGUs na magsagawa, mag-implement, i-download na lang ang resources, kanya-kanya na silang pagpapagawa, maghanap sila ng suitable sites sa housing, kasama ang eskwelahan para magkasabay-sabay at magkatulung-tulungan,” Lacson said.
No funds under the DAP were used for the recovery projects, according to Lacson.
“Wala akong alam na may DAP na pondo roon dahil ito nanggaling sa Kongreso: supplemental budget, joint resolution, tapos ‘yung mga finorgo nila. Matatandaan ninyo may mga senador na hindi na nila kinuha noong isang pa man ang share nila ng PDAF. Merong mga ganoon, nag-forgo so dyan nila isinama,” he said.
The plan came almost nine months after “Yolanda” hit. Lacson said it was not easy consolidating the plan.
“Papaano magi-implement ang national government kung wala pa namang nare-release na pondo dahil wala pa ang plano at that time? E hindi naman ganoon kadali gumawa ng plano. Nakita nyo naman 8,000 pages ito, 8 volumes ito. So ito pinagpaguran ng lahat ng miyembro ng gabinete… at pati ‘yung local government units nag-contribute din sila lahat dito sa pamamagitan ng mga LGU rehabilitation plans, pinagtugma-tugma ‘yun. So ito, pangkalahatan, lahat nagsama-sama sa pagtutulong dito,” he said.
The turnover of the plan happened at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque after the mass held to commemorate the fifth death anniversary of President Corazon Aquino.
Lacson had promised to present the plan by August 1. Aquino’s staff told him to turn over the plan at the cemetery.