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Donors urged to work with Capitol

/ 06:57 AM November 23, 2013

Cebu’s private sector and various foreign groups who plan to pitch in for the reconstruction of houses in the typhoon-stricken municipalities in northern Cebu were encouraged to coordinate with the provincial government.

This will enable the centralization of help to the affected areas especially with the operations’ shift from relief to the rehabilitation phase, said Evelyn Senajon, head of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).

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Through the PSWDO, the Cebu provincial government can provide potential benefactors with relevant information as to where help is needed the most.

“Our office is playing the role as facilitators here to make the process more efficient. It was more difficult during the distribution of relief goods because a lot of help was coming in, but we were not aware of it. We were not informed,” Senajon told reporters yesterday.

FEATURED STORIES

She said a number of foreign and local groups and organizations have already expressed their interest to help in the huge reconstruction work in north Cebu where 700,000 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged by the supertyphoon.

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Capitol officials will meet with these groups and organizations on Monday to discuss what each group can offer and how the Capitol can step in to make the operations more organized especially since the potential donors have different expertise to offer for the rehabilitation

“Some offered to bring in galvanized iron sheets, others housing tents and temporary shelter kits. Different items but still very useful to the operations,” she said.

On Monday’s meeting, Capitol officials will also provide during the meeting its damage assessment reports specifically on the number of houses in each town that were either partially or totally damaged.

“We don’t want to ask them how much they can contribute for this. We’ll present the data, look at the level of their commitment, and then we’ll see where the provincial government can come in,” she said.

The Capitol also promised to provide vehicles needed to transport the housing materials and to provide security for them.

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Yesterday, Capitol stopped the distribution of relief goods to the calamity-hit northern towns to give way to the “food-for-work” scheme, where residents will be employed to clean up storm debris in the communities in exchange for food.

The Capitol, however, will start distributing nails, galvanized iron roofing sheets, and wood in the following days, Senajon said.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III yesterday said the funds for the purchase of the housing materials will be taken from the remaining calamity funds worth P47 million.

Davide said they were still canvassing the prices of housing materials.

Food for Work

The Cebu provincial government will continue the delivery of relief goods but this will be used to pay residents enrolled under their local government unit’s “food for work” program.

“Just to clarify, we will still send food packs to augment the supply of the LGUs who are employing the food for work scheme but no distribution of relief goods anymore. Now, they must work for it,” she said.

Based on the latest PSWDO report last Nov. 21, the PSWDO have distributed about 20,000 relief packs to residents of 13 towns and one city.

Each food pack contains three kilos of rice, five tins of canned food, two packs of noodles and two 500ml bottles of water. A pack is estimated to feed a family of five for two days.

COMPLAINTS

Meanwhile, Medellin town officials are appealing to Capitol not to put any politic color in giving assistance to the calamity-hit towns in the north.

“In these times of calamity, there should be no political color involved. We’re not asking for special treatment from the Capitol but at the least give us fair treatment devoid of any political bias,” said Alfonso Lim, Medellin vice mayor, during a press conference yesterday.

Lim complained of fewer food packs reaching the town or only 5,500 of the 30,000 sent by Capitol.

He also said that the Capitol’s promised generator set never reached the town.

Lim said instead of delivering the equipment to the municipal hall, the Capitol turned it over to Conrado Mangubat, a town councilor affiliated with the Liberal Party-Cebu Chapter (LP-Cebu).

Lim also complained that the governor had not visited their town since the typhoon hit.

Lim and Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez belong to One Cebu party.

Davide, however, denied the Medellin officials’ allegations.

He said that the relief aid were equally sent to the affected towns based on the number of displaced families.

He also said he passed by Medellin the day after the storm, but he was not able to drop by the municipal hall.

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