Rehab plans for Cebu, other Yolanda-hit areas approved

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Monday, July 28, 2014

CEBU CITY (Updated) -- President Benigno Aquino III has approved the rehabilitation plans submitted by at least six local government units (LGUs) hit by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November last year.

Aquino announced this during his fifth State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered at the Batasang Pambansa Monday, as he urged Congress to help fast-track the release of funds for the implementation of the rehabilitation plans.

"We have already approved the LGU rehabilitation plans for Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, and Tacloban City," said Aquino in Filipino.

The Province of Cebu has asked the government for P12.2 billion for the rehabilitation of 15 towns and one city in the north that suffered severe damage when Yolanda struck the Visayas last November 8.

The rehabilitation plans, including those of Samar and Leyte, were submitted to and signed by the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Cabinet cluster headed by rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson last May in Cebu City.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III was reportedly informed about the approval of the plans last Friday, radio dyLA reported.

Lacson, in an interview after Aquino's Sona, said a total of P96-billion budget has been asked for the rehabilitation of the areas mentioned above, adding that they will complete the comprehensive master rehabilitation plan by August 1.

Lacson said his task now is to monitor what will be done with the approval of the rehab plans. He added that the funding requirement for the rehabilitation of all areas struck by Yolanda has reached P106.7 billion.

Also on Monday, Aquino expressed his gratitude to other countries, non-government organizations and communities from all over the world that extended their help after Yolanda, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013.

"Given the Filipino people’s readiness to render assistance to the best of our abilities -- the world saw it fit to come to our aid," he said. "Thank you... Our point of solidarity will never be forgotten."

Citing the United Nations Aquino said the Philippines is now rehabilitating from the effects of Yolanda.

The typhoon had affected 1.7 million families, while 44 provinces were badly hit. In Cebu alone, at least 15 towns and one city were affected. (LMY/With Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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