Aquino approves Yolanda rehab plan

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Nearly a year after Super Typhoon Yolanda ravaged Eastern Visayas, President Benigno Aquino 3rd finally approved a P170.7-billion plan to rebuild areas affected by one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded in recent history.

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Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo Lacson told The Manila Times that Aquino approved the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) for Yolanda-hit areas on Wednesday afternoon.

Lacson said P51.9 billion had been released by the national government for the implementation of the 18,400 projects listed in the comprehensive plan.

“This is outside the private sector intervention in the amount of P12.3 billion and is still counting plus the participation of the multilateral and bilateral agencies from foreign countries in the amount of P17.4 billion,” he added.

“We have a long list of accomplishments per cluster and agency against the targets listed in the master plan,” Lacson said.

Aquino’s approval comes nearly three months after the country’s rehabilitation czar submitted the comprehensive plan to Malacañang.

Back then, Lacson said the bulk of the plan was already virtually approved by Aquino, and needed his approval only for a “residual amount” of P36 billion.

The President approved on July 25 the local rehabilitation plans for the “six bigger areas” hit by Yolanda—Tacloban City, the rest of Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Iloilo and Eastern Samar.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the 8,000-page plan will focus on four areas of rehabilitation: livelihood, resettlement, social services and infrastructure.

Some resettlement, he added, will require P75.6 billion, the biggest funding requirement among these four areas.

Coloma said P35.1 billion will go to infrastructure projects in Yolanda-hit areas, P30.6 billion for livelihood projects, and P26.4 billion for social services.

He added that the master plan will “bring forth the recovery” of the 171 affected cities and municipalities in 14 provinces and six regions, collectively known as the “Yolanda corridor.”

“Based on the principle of ‘build-back-better’, [the government will be]focusing on long-term, sustainable efforts to reduce vulnerabilities and strengthen capacities of communities to cope with future hazard events,” Coloma said.

Meanwhile, Lacson said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will release an additional P8 billion to the National Housing Authority for the construction of houses in typhoon-hit areas.

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