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Aquino accepts Lacson resignation as rehab czar

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Secretary Panfilo Lacson. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday sat down with Secretary Panfilo Lacson and accepted “in principle” his typhoon rehabilitation czar’s resignation to allow another government agency to do the job permanently.

In the meeting, Lacson told Mr. Aquino it was “not practical to create ad hoc bodies” like the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) like what happened following the onslaught of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in November 2013.

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“We agreed in principle that I wind down my duties as (rehabilitation czar) until February 10, 2015 as stated in my letter of irrevocable resignation to him last Friday when I shall have completed the transition to NDRRMC where the four-phase cycle of addressing disasters rightfully belongs,” he told the Inquirer in a text message.

Lacson wants to “strengthen” the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and have it handle rehabilitation jointly with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

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Describing the meeting as “good,” he said he explained “the wisdom and timeliness of strengthening NDRRMC especially in the area of rehabilitation and recovery which by government’s own admission is the biggest gap among the four thematic areas.”

The Department of Science and Technology covers prevention and mitigation, the Department of the Interior and Government preparedness, the Department of Social Welfare and Development response and relief, and NEDA rehabilitation and recovery.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, National Economic Development Authority, NDRRMC, NEDA, Office of the Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery, Panfilo Lacson, PARR, rehabilitation czar
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