P171-B master plan for 'Yolanda'-hit areas submitted to Aquino

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Friday, August 1, 2014

THE Office of Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) submitted on Friday to President Benigno Aquino III a voluminous P170.9-billion comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery plan (CRRP) for 171 municipalities ravaged by Typhoon "Yolanda" late last year.

Aquino received the eight-volume report from OPARR Secretary Panfilo Lacson after the memorial mass in honor of late President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque City.

OPARR Secretary Panfilo Lacson said that the P170.9-billion amount would cover rehabilitation and reconstruction projects spanning several sectors—infrastructure, resettlement of houses, social services and livelihood. The amount also addresses other concerns included by the OPARR in the CRRP, such as programs related to climate change adaptation, and gender sensitive needs and equality.

Lacson said the CRRP includes, among others, the relocation of some 200,000 families displaced by the surge or inhabiting unsafe zones in the Yolanda corridor to safe zones in newly built permanent houses; shelter assistance for some one million homeowners whose houses were either partially or totally damaged; livelihood and training assistance for affected farmers, livestock raisers and fishermen, and alternative livelihood programs; repair and reconstruction of health facilities; and construction of more resilient government facilities such as classrooms and evacuation centers.

"We are hoping to achieve at least 80 percent completion of these priority projects before the end of the President’s term," Lacson said, noting that the plan includes several long-term projects, which entail the support of succeeding administrations.

Pending approval of the CRRP, the massive implementation of rehabilitation in affected Local Government Units (LGUs) will already commence since OPARR, with the concurrence of the Cabinet, recommended the Phased Implementation of LGU Rehabilitation and Recovery Plans (LRRPs), Lacson said.

Last July 25, Aquino III approved the LRRPs of the provinces of Cebu, Western Samar, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, and the City of Tacloban, which translates to 104 out of the 171 Yolanda affected cities and municipalities.

The President announced his approval on the master plan during his 5th State of the Nation Address on July 28.

Aquino's approval of the LRRPs allows the downloading of funds, estimated at P96 billion, from the Department of Budget and Management for government-led rehabilitation efforts in the covered LGUs, Lacson said.

"With the President's approval of vetted LRRPs and the submission by OPARR of the Master Plan, we are confident that the rehabilitation efforts of the government will now shift to high gear," he said.

Lacson emphasized that government line agencies are all geared up for the implementation phase of the CRRP. “They’re locked and loaded,” he added.

He warned unscrupulous quarters against dipping their hands, or even sabotaging, the rehabilitation efforts.

He stressed that the massive implementation of government-led projects does not mean that the private sector would no longer be needed in the rehabilitation efforts. (SDR/Sunnex)

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