LGUs in places battered by ‘Yolanda’ get P97 B for rehab
MANILA, Philippines—The national government has released P97 billion to six provinces and one city that were ravaged by Supertyphoon Yolanda last year, as local government units are now deemed more capable to continue rehabilitation and recovery efforts.
Undersecretary Danilo A. Antonio of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) told the Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday that Tacloban City and the provinces of Antique, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Leyte and Western Samar had already received their share of the budget to roll out projects aimed at providing infrastructure, livelihood, resettlement, social services and support to “Yolanda” victims.
“What we have submitted for the President’s approval was a total recovery budget of P170 billion. What the President has approved was the first phase worth P97 billion, the budget needed by the initial batch of LGUs,” he said.
Antonio said that the LGUs secured funding as they promptly submitted between April and July their proposed budgets supported by documentation. “The particular requirements were vetted by the concerned government agencies, so these LGUs’ budgets were already approved.”
“This portion of the budget is moving to the various LGUs,” he added.
As for the balance of the P170-billion budget, the disbursement would be “as soon as possible,” Antonio said.
According to Antonio, downloading the funds to the level of LGUs was necessary months after the onslaught of the supertyphoon as local governments are more in tune with the needs of their respective localities. “LGUs tend to be more capable in handling money,” he added.
He commended the private sector, whose active participation not only in early relief and response but also up until recovery and rehabilitation has slashed the cost to be shouldered by the government.
To date, the business sector has completed projects costing a total of P11.776 billion, Antonio said. “This can still double or triple as we get more organized to know what we still need,” he added.
Supertyphoon Yolanda flattened central Philippines in November last year amid record strong winds of over 300 kilometers per hour. Storm surges of over four meters also caused severe flooding.
The typhoon (international name: Haiyan) struck 171 cities and municipalities, affecting 12 million people. Over 900,000 families were displaced and more than a million houses damaged, leaving at least 6,200 dead, 1,000 missing and 28,000 injured.
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