P146.1B released for Yolanda rehab as of Dec 2017 — Palace

Published November 7, 2018, 6:25 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government has released P146.1 billion for the massive rehabilitation program of Yolanda-hit communities and vowed to speed up the rebuilding efforts.

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the onslaught of the typhoon, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government recognized the need to respond to the people’s plight with “more compassion and urgency.”

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

“As of December 31, 2017, a total of P146.156 Billion was released to implementing national government agencies, government-owned-and-controlled corporations and local government units,” he said.

“Half of the funds released were allotted for housing programs and ancillary basic utilities,” he said.

Of the 205,128 permanent housing targets for Yolanda, Panelo said 100,709 have been completed, 46,412 were occupied while 54, 297 were ready for occupancy.

Panelo assured the public that government aims to “speed up resettlement” by addressing issues that cause the delay. Among these concerns are the limited availability of titled lands for resettlement, slow processing and issuance of permits and licenses for construction projects and absence of sustainable livelihood opportunities.

Panelo said the administration remains committed to hasten the rehabilitation efforts as it joined the entire country in commemorating the fifth anniversary of the super typhoon.

“Yolanda has taught us a hard lesson in public service, particularly on the need to respond to our people’s plight with more compassion and urgency,” he said.

“This is why the Duterte administration has worked harder to fast track the recovery efforts for Yolanda survivors,” he added.

Panelo also paid tribute to the sacrifices and support of those who were on the front lines of responding to the calamity, as well as all the nations, agencies, and organizations that helped the nation overcome the ordeal. He also commended the exemplary resilience of Filipinos who remained steadfast in the face of adversity.

Panelo, meantime, said the Department of Finance and the Department of Social Welfare and Development were drafting a joint order to create a one-stop shop facility for relief consignment.

He also pushed for better disaster resilience measures following the onslaught of Yolanda.

He noted that the Palace has transmitted to Congress a bill creating the Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR), a priority bill of the President.

“We thank the pro-active leadership of the House of Representatives for approving on third and final reading House Bill 8165, otherwise known as the Department of Disaster Resilience Act, and we hope the leadership of the Senate would do the same,” he said.

“Let us continue to join hands to reduce the risks of climate change in the country and attain a more adaptive and disaster-resilient Philippines,” he added.