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RDC 7 approves rehab plan of CV provinces

| by: Stanley Cin

DSC_0037The Regional Development Council 7 (RDC) approved the P26.8 billion reconstruction and recovery program for areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda in northern Cebu.

Cebu Capitol Provincial Administrator Atty. Mark Tolentino said the amount does not include the rehabilitation costs of the power plants in Bantayan and Camotes islands.

Tolentino, who presented the rehabilitation plan in the RDC full council meeting last Thursday, December 19, explained that they do not have the damage assessment report on the two power sources yet.

The reconstruction plan, which was anchored on “Build Back Better” principle, was approved together with the rehabilitation costs of the other typhoon-stricken provinces in the region.

The RDC 7 also approved the P12.3 billion rehabilitation plan of the province of Bohol, which was badly hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last October.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 7 Officer-in-Charge EfrenCarreon said the rehabilitation proposals will be included in the national rehabilitation plan for the calamity-stricken areas.

However, not all the budget proposals will get its share.

“The point is we are telling the national government that we have identified the priority areas for the rehabilitation,” said Carreon.

He further said that international communities also indicated their interest to fund some of the rehabilitation proposals apart from the appropriation made by the government.

Likewise, the provincial government has its calamity funds, which will serve as its counterpart for the rehabilitation programs.

Governor Hilario P. Davide III in earlier interviews said the government cannot do the rehabilitation on its own, due to the massive damage caused by the calamities. It needs external donors.

NEDA assured the appropriations and implementations of the programs will be extensively monitored by the council’s project monitoring committee.

The shelter and resettlement program of the Capitol ate much of the budget, in the amount of P23.6 billion. The plan implementation and coordination mechanism is allotted with P1.3 billion.

The rest of the amounts covered the infrastructure, utilities, social infrastructure (including school and health facilities), livelihood and emergency employment, and social development.

It was Carreon who presided the council’s last two quarterly meetings this year following the body’s reorganization.

They submitted to the president eight nominees, who were considered for the council’s chairmanship.

They are governors Edgar Chato of Bohol and Davide of Cebu; mayors John Geesnell Yap of Tagbilaran City, Manuel Sagarbarria of Dumaguete City, Ramon Durano III of Danao City, and Jhonnydelos Reyes of Talisay City.

Carreon hopes they will have a new chairman by the first quarter of 2014. Xerxes Alkuino