President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Wednesday issued an “overarching” directive to his Cabinet to immediately work to rebuild areas struck by Super typhoon Yolanda based an an action plan being crafted by Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
In a statement, Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Balisacan had presented the Yolanda Recovery and Action Plan during their meeting but would need another round of discussions on Friday to finalize it.
“The President’s overarching instructions to the Cabinet was: ‘Dapat gawin, kayang gawin, ngayon na [What should be done, can be done, must be done now]’,” he said.
Lacierda said the Balisacan task group presented a three-phased plan: to provide immediate assistance to affected areas, expand initiatives and programs in the medium term, and reach full recovery and rehabilitation in the long term.
The President approved in principle many of the items cited, but asked Secretary
The Friday meeting would tackle “further refinements to the plan, especially to the immediate actions to be taken.
On Tuesday, Malacanang said the government has shifted its focus from relief to recovery and reconstruction in the affected areas, beginning with the construction of bunkhouses that will serve as temporary shelters for typhoon victims.
“The transfer of affected families from tents and evacuation centers to temporary bunkhouses signals the transition from relief to early recovery and reconstruction. As directed by the President, the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] began construction of bunkhouses in identified sites in Tacloban, Palo, and Ormoc in Leyte, and Basey and Marabut in Samar over the weekend. Starting yesterday, construction of bunkhouses began in Guiuan, Hernani and Borongan,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
At least 2,400 families will be resettled in the first phase. In coordination with the local governments, DPWH has begun site preparation in identified resettlement areas to facilitate transfer to the bunkhouses.
The DPWH is stockpiling construction materials such as coco lumber, wooden frames, and GI sheet roofing ahead of the reconstruction efforts, Coloma said.
JOEL M. SY EGCO