LOCAL billionaires and big names in business are figuring in prominently in the rehabilitation efforts for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda, the completion of which is expected to be in 2017 or a year after President benign Aquino 3rd had stepped down from office.
According to Presidential Adviser of Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson, the involvement of the private and sectoral sectors in these efforts is a tactic they adopted to ensure that the program would be continued even after the end of Aquino’s term.
He said that as of Monday, he and the president have only 819 days left to complete their mission.
“We have a countdown. We are counting backwards. Twenty thousand hours is our count,” Lacson said.
He said the private sector participants, including businessmen and groups, will surely “outlive” the Aquino government. He explained that even his position is “co-terminus” with the president.
‘There are many of those who help. It’s only a matter of, you know, consolidating, collating, and coordinating with all of them. We must see to it that there will be no overlaps and gaps to maximize all the resources that come in,” Lacson explained.
He said that among the tasks of the private sector will be to administer the huge funds from local and international donors to ensure the safety of the funds.
“We have written to top executives or top corporations. Pumayag naman sila, hindi sila nag-refuse, so in due time the Board of Trustees will meet. We are talking of ABS-CBN, GMA-7, PLDT-Smart, Globe, and the fifth person is Washington Sycip,” he further said.
The Board of Trustees, he also explained, is also private sector.
“This is a multi-donor fund na sila ‘yung magma-manage, kami coordinative din ‘yung role namin doon, to see to it na ‘yung pag-re-allocate nila ng mga pondo, ‘yung mga donations, ‘yung cash donations mabibigyan namin sila ng direction kung saan ‘yung may mga pagkukulang,” he stressed.
OPARR Undersecretary Danilo Antonio, who accompanied Lacson to a press briefing in the Palace, said that the “development sponsors” will be their co-shepherds in the 24 regions or areas of development that they have identified.
“We now have 18 development sponsors. Tacloban was cut into two because of the level of devastation and we have — a half would be with the PLDT-SMART Metro Pacific Group; the other half would be with the ICTSI Group of Mr. Ricky Razon. Palo, Leyte is with Metrobank Group of Mr. George Ty. The rest of the first district of Leyte would be with the INJAP Group of Companies headed by Injap Sia. The second district Leyte would be with the EDC of the Lopez Group headed by Mr. [Gabby] Lopez. Ormoc, Kananga has two sponsors half of which would be EDC handling both Ormoc and Kananga; and Aboitiz Group also handling part of Ormoc. The rest of the fourth district Leyte would be with the EEI or Engineering Equipment Inc. of the Yuchengco Group,” Antonio said.
For Guiuan and Salcedo in eastern samar, the official said the sponsors would be the Nickel Asia Corporation of Mr. Manny Zamora. Second district Samar particularly the towns of Basey, Marabut and Sta. Rita would be with the ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya Foundation headed by Ms. Gina Lopez, of course, including also one town in Leyte, Dulag. Third and fifth district Cebu would be with the Vicsal Group of the
Metro Gaisano Group headed by Edward Gaisano. Fourth district Cebu would be with the Aboitiz Foundation headed by Mr. Enrique Aboitiz.
“Negros Occidental was cut into one district and this would be with the Ayala Corporation. Aklan was only cut into one district and this would be with Globe Telecom of the Ayala Group. Capiz, both districts — district one and two — would be with the PLDT-SMART Metro Pacific Group of Mr. Manny Pangilinan. Fourth district Iloilo would be with the JG Summit Holdings and Robinsons Group headed by Mr. Lance Gokongwei and Robina Pe. In Iloilo fith district would be with the Ayala Land Corporation and co-sponsor would be the Phinma Group. And Palawan would be handled by a French Group, a French NGO, Secours Populaire Français,” Antonio further said.
He OPARR officials noted that the entire development area covering 171 municipalities and cities and that their “common role” was to basically identify the projects that would be needed to rehabilitate the devastated region particularly on the four areas of education, housing, livelihood and health.
“So that’s the major concentration where we ask our development partners to concentrate on and we are meeting them very consistently in the past few weeks just to find out how they are going and to compare notes and to find out when the start of their various projects would be,” Antonio claimed.
For sectoral sponsors, they said “we have SM Foundation with us; we have the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce; we have Tzu Chi Foundation with us; we have PLDT-SMART and Metro Pacific Group also there in education. We also have STI and the ATI Group involved and the LT group of Mr. Lucio Tan. These are all education sector sponsors.”
For health nutrition, the OPARR has Jollibee Foundation and also PLDT-SMART Metro Pacific Group while for the housing sector, they are partners with San Miguel Corporation who committed 5,000 housing units across the region; SM Foundation; EDC of the Lopez Group; Phinma; Tzu Chi Foundation and the Alumni Association of Assumption; Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanities.