By Ferdinand G. Patino
MANILA, March 18 (PNA) — Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Secretary Panfilo Lacson said the master plan for the rehabilitation in the areas hit by super typhoon “Yolanda” last year will be presented to President Benigno Aquino III soon.
“We are now crafting the master plan for rehabilitation it will be presented to the President in a week’s time,” said Lacson during panel discussion on Tuesday at the Philippine Economic Forum in Pasay City.
He noted that they are also waiting for the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) to be finished for them to complete the rehabilitation plan.
“We got the raw data from the municipalities. The overall plan will focus on four sectors — livelihood, housing, education and health,” said Lacson in an interview with the Philippines News Agency.
The rehabilitation czar added that they are looking to start the rehabilitation works middle of April or May.
On the other hand, the PARR chief appealed to the survivors of the super typhoon to bear with the government as the latter is doing all it can to help them.
“Please be patient and bear with us, because that’s how government works, because you know we have to follow some protocols of the UN and its in the law that we cannot just start rehabilitation without the PDNA being approved and the master plan being approved by the President,” he said.
He also belied reports that the government has failed to visit or check on the situation of the victims in some areas.
“It is not true at all that the government has no presence to Eastern Samar, I’ve been to Guiuan, I’ve been to Mercedes, I’ve been to several areas in Eastern Samar… All I can say is that the national government is also doing its best to address all the problems…” Lacson said.
Meanwhile, he assured that the rehabilitation efforts will be transparent.
“We will do this properly with utmost transparency and accountability until it reaches its logical conclusion. We will also present our website, it would be map-based and donors, contributors and all stakeholders will be able to see the flow of the money that will flow into the ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation effort. We will present this in the next few weeks maybe. But I think and I believe that it is the key — transparency — in the rehabilitation efforts,” Lacson added. (PNA)