“We cannot make miracles immediately”, said Baltz Tribulano, Task Force Paglig-on coordinator on the frustrations of some local chief executives on the lack of national aid after super typhoon Yolanda.
In a consultative meeting at the Capitol, mayors in northern Cebu met with the representatives of Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) and expressed their frustrations on the lack of national funding for the rehabilitation efforts in the towns of Northern Cebu.
Medellin Mayor Ricky Ramirez said that his town did not receive anything from the national government, “There’s a lot of frustration as far as my town is concerned,” he said.
Atty. Karen Jimeno, PARR Communications Director, explained the organization and system of PARR to the mayors and other stakeholders. She said PARR does not hold any funding, it only serves as the overall coordinator and manager for the rehabilitation of all the areas hit by super typhoon Yolanda. Jimeno further explained that even if PARR does not have control over disbursement of funds to LGUs, they exercise recommendatory powers to the national government and to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for LGUs who request for assistance.
Jimeno said that she understands the frustrations of some mayors yet emphasized that PARR has also limitations since it is only tasked to perform coordination works on the recovery and rehabilitation efforts.
Joseph Ranola, Public Sector Head and Chairman of the Center for National Budget, said that the National Governemtn has at least P20 billion for rehabilitation and recovery program and P139 billion in unprogrammed Special Purpose Funds from the National Budget. Ranola assured that the national government will provide funds to LGUs to aid in Yolanda rehabilitation activities. He also explained to the mayors how to access funding from national and regional line agencies.
Baltz Tribulano of the Provincial Government’s Task Force Paglig-on, said that the meeting was a good avenue for the mayors to vent their grievances on the perceived lack of presence of the national government. He said that the “frustration of some mayors is normal. We cannot make miracles immediately, kinahanglan og pasensya”.
Tribulano said that rehabilitation efforts of the province under Task Force Paglig-on will proceed and they will continue to coordinate closely with the LGUs and with PARR.
Vice Governor Agnes Magpale said she also understands the frustrations of some mayors but added that mayors “need to understand that DBM will not release funds without proper documentation”.
Magpale also said that the meeting with PARR representatives allowed the local chief executives to realize that they have to work for the funding.
Magpale thanked the numerous NGOs who helped in the reconstruction and recovery efforts and said that the Provincial Government is not resting on its task to rehabilitate northern Cebu. Diane Higida