PNoy: Speed up Yolanda rehab

By Aurea Calica, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 14 2015 08:34 AM | Updated as of Apr 14 2015 04:34 PM

MANILA - President Aquino directed officials in a special Cabinet meeting yesterday to accelerate the implementation of rehabilitation projects in all Yolanda-affected areas.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the meeting focused on updates from the infrastructure, housing, livelihood and social services clusters.

“Priority was placed on resettlement and building of permanent housing for those living in high-risk areas (205,128 families) and onsite shelter assistance for 449,127 families with totally damaged houses and 517,214 families with partially damaged houses,” Coloma said.

Coloma disclosed that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) was directed to ensure timely release of needed funds to meet targeted completion.

He added that National Housing Authority (NHA) general manager Chito Cruz reported that construction of all units would be achieved well within 2016.

The DBM earlier released P8 billion to the NHA as part of the national government’s continuing rehabilitation and recovery of areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. The fund will be charged against the 2014 Supplemental Appropriations for the construction of permanent housing for Yolanda survivors.

The amount is part of the P19-billion fund recommended by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for resettlement projects in affected areas.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the 2014 supplemental budget enabled them to fast-track the implementation of the Yolanda rehabilitation plan instead of having to wait for the next fiscal year.

“What’s more, with the help of Congress, we had the budgetary space to address high-priority needs that couldn’t wait for the turnover to the next national budget,” Abad said.

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