Name pointman for Taal rehab, gov’t urged | Inquirer News

Name pointman for Taal rehab, gov’t urged

/ 04:35 AM January 28, 2020

FISSURE A rack is shown on the national road in Lemery town, Batangas province, following tremors caused by a restive Taal Volcano.

With the lockdown on many Batangas towns now lifted, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto urged the administration to come up with a clear plan for the rehabilitation of the province and to designate a point person to oversee the efforts.

Recto called for a VFA, or a Volcano Financing Assistance, that displaced Batangas residents could tap to rebuild their lives.


According to Recto, rehabilitation is always harder than relief work. Packing grocery bags is easy, but packaging livelihood programs for those left without sources of income is not, he added.


“The latter is a sprint, bringing aid to displaced people fast. The latter is a marathon that takes a longer time to complete,” he said.

This is why there has to be a cabinet coordinator, or a person in charge of rehabilitation efforts, to ensure its success.

Post-eruption period

“What now are the national government’s plans for the post-eruption period? In a Cabinet supposedly staffed by the best and the brightest, who is the designated go-to guy for Taal rehabilitation?” he asked.

Having a central authority will make sure that actions are organized and finger-pointing would be kept at bay, he said.

“A symphony cannot have multiple conductors. Better to centralize accountability to one person. The problem with a committee of equals: not only is it prone to finger-pointing, but it is a good hiding place for the incompetent. In terms of reconstruction management, the more bosses there are, the murkier the results. The result: Turo-turo festival,” he said.

Recto, who hails from Batangas, earlier filed a bill for the creation of a Taal Commission which would be provided with a P50-billion fund to oversee the province’s rehabilitation.


Cabinet coordinator

He acknowledged that the measure could not be approved without Malacañang’s support.

While waiting for the commission, he said a cabinet coordinator for Taal should be appointed to oversee the efforts of the different agencies.

“To the credit of many Cabinet members, many are now preparing for the long, hard work ahead. But there are gray areas which they deem outside their mandate or turf. We cannot allow people and places to fall into the cracks of these bureaucratic divisions,” he said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has downgraded the alert for Taal Volcano to level 3 which means that the possibility of a hazardous explosive eruption has decreased.

This prompted officials to lift the lockdown on many Batangas towns nearest the volcano, save for Agoncillo and Laurel.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

This means hundreds of thousands of displaced residents can return to their homes, but their future remains uncertain as many towns were buried in ash, damaging houses and killing farm animals. INQ

TAGS: Batangas, Ralph Recto, Taal Volcano

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.