Sources: PNoy taps Lacson as ‘rehab czar’

By Caroline Howard, ANC

Posted at Dec 01 2013 12:57 AM | Updated as of Dec 02 2013 04:14 AM

Former senator weighing Palace's offer

MANILA (UPDATE) - In the Cabinet meeting on Friday, President Aquino supposedly voiced his decision to tap former Senator Panfilo Lacson to lead government's rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas.

Three ABS-CBN sources confirmed Lacson's name came up during the meeting, but they noted there has been no formal order from the President to make him rehabilitation czar.

Sources said Lacson met with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa for 2 hours after the Cabinet meeting where he supposedly relayed Lacson's responsibilities.

Lacson has reportedly asked for 2 days two weigh the Palace's offer.

Asked to comment on the prospect of having a rehabilitation czar, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson said, given the scale of the calamity, having a point person would definitely help with recovery efforts in typhoon-hit areas.

"We're looking at over a P100-billion reconstruction. It would be difficult to have someone do a double job. It might be more efficient to have someone also straighten the whole thing," said Singson.

Malacanang is expected to announce developments on the matter on Monday.

Meantime, the DPWH has initiated steps to fast-track the construction of resettlement sites in typhoon-hit areas.

Singson said they are distributing construction materials to affected communities in Tacloban this week, beginning with affected families evacuated from no-build zones.

They are also identifying safer zones for habitation and constructing bunk houses for 4,000 priority families by year end.