Yolanda-affected North Cebu receives funds for rehab

Typhoon Yolanda-affected municipalities and city in North Cebu received financial rehabilitation assistance from the national government last May 2. The funds were coursed through the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) project of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

According to DILG 7 Director Ananias Villacorta, a total of P67 M has been distributed today for the reconstruction of partially damaged municipal infrastructures in North Cebu.

Of the 16 areas affected, 13 received the first batch of assistance. “The others were not given because there was no reported damage on their municipal facilities,” Villacorta revealed.

DILG guidelines stipulated that 80% of the total amount will be released on the first batch for infrastructures requiring funds of more than P3 M. The remaining 20% will be released after the submission of sub-project accomplishment report, liquidation and other required documents, Villacorta explained.

However, 100% financial assistance will be immediately released for those requiring funds of less than P3 M, he added.

Municipalities of Bantayan, Borbon, Madridejos, Medellin, San Remegio, Sta. Fe, Sogod, Tabuelan and Bogo City received 80% of their requested funds while municipalities of Borbon, Pilar, Tabogon and Tuburan received 100% of the budget stated in their program of works.

Villacorta also explained that local government units will implement the rehab and repair of partially-damaged municipal facilities such as municipal hall, public market and civic centers. However, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will handle the reconstruction of totally-damaged infrastructures.

With this, Madridejos and Tudela’s totally-damaged civic centers will be taken care of by DPWH.

DILG Usec, Francisco Fernandez, relayed the sense of urgency felt by the national government thus the distribution of the financial aid. “We have already experienced delay for months, we can’t afford any more delays,” he said.

He pointed out that this distribution is just the first installment; recovery of other community facilities is already being processed.

San Remegio Mayor Mariano Martinez thanked DILG and assured, in behalf of the mayors, that they will “abide and implement the projects based on the guidelines”.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III also expressed his gratitude for the assistance extended to the affected towns and city and for the coming of the mayors to personally accept the checks.

In his welcome message, Davide reported the outcome of his meeting with Sen. Panfilo Lacson of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) for the presentation of Cebu rehab plan.

He said that Lacson commended Cebu for being the first LGU to submit a “very comprehensive” plan and that OPARR will use Cebu’s plan as template for other provinces.

He also reported that Lacson will present the plan to the Cabinet Clusters and Pres. Benigno Aquino III with the “recommendation to release funds for Cebu without having to wait for the submission of other provinces.”

“All of this is subject to review by the President. He (Lacson) will recommend the approval of the plan then submit it to the President for his review and approval. And hopefully, the President will approve,” said Davide.

Fernandez lauded Cebu province for its actions done for North Cebu rehabilitation under the leadership of Davide. “He (Davide) gives us a sense of pride. That in Cebu, we are not only honest but also efficient,” expressed Fernandez.