Capitol’s Task Force Paglig-on Head Baltazar Tribunalo said the meeting would be held on Friday (February 7). Tribunalo said even as they have good coordination with local government units (LGUs) in the north, he admitted that they still have to know the participation of the national government.
So far, 980 houses are under construction for the typhoon-affected families, who need to be relocated. External donors funded these. But the Capitol’s rehabilitation partners are now asking for the national government’s part.
Tribunalo said right now they are relying on the provincial government’s fund as well as donations or grants from external sources including international non-government organizations.
In an interview, Provincial Information Office Head Ethel Natera, however, said the national government is still conducting its own Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) in the north.
She said its purpose is to validate the damage assessment report of the LGUsas stated in the Capitols P26 billion recovery plan. The Regional Development Council 7 also endorsed the same to the National Economic Development Authority last December.
Mae Ybañez, executive director of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said it is “frustrating” that until now the national government is yet to present its program.
They recognized that some government agencies have their own recovery programs for the affected areas. The challenge, however, is to resolve the issues why these were not yet implemented.
In addition, Ybañez also spoke of the need to put a synergy of all the assistance to be given to the affected families. “Even before we go down to the level of communities to discuss with them their options, we should already have one. We must present the same option.”
For the people residing in hazard prone areas, Ybañez said they remained in the dark since if they would not be allowed to rebuild, they would not know where. The government likewise, has not presented its shelter program either.
Ybañez represented the CCCI in the livelihood and commerce cluster during the general coordination meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, February 4.
The validation team has been in Cebu since mid-January. They were sent by the country’s rehabilitation czar former Senator Panfilo Lacson. Xerxes Alkuino