Vice President Jejomar C. Binay on Friday urged Malacañang to speed up the rehabilitation programs in areas affected by the 2013 Bohol earthquake and Supertyphoon Yolanda, criticizing the government’s delay in delivering aid intended for the victims.
Binay issued the statement after the Commission on Audit (COA) scored the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) over the slow implementation of recovery projects in the disaster-torn province.
The vice president cited a recent COA report that showed only 12 out of the 1,079 rehabilitation projects under the DILG’s Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) program have been completed as of 2014.
The same report also revealed that despite the full release of P1.778 billion for Rehabilitation Assistance for Yolanda Victims (RAY) Batch 1, only 138 out 323 had been completed as of December 31, 2014.
“Nakakalungkot na kahit may pondo para tulungang muling makabangon ang mga naapektuhan ng lindol at bagyong Yolanda, hindi ito nagamit ng wasto at hindi nakarating sa mga dapat na makatanggap ng tulong, (It’s sad that in spite of the available funding to help the victims of the earthquake and typhoon Yolanda, that aid has not been utilized for the right purpose and did not reach the beneficiaries),” Binay said.
He said under his administration, if elected to the presidency this year, he would support programs that would enable local governments to address such needs with urgency.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), meanwhile, announced that 551 projects for the rehabilitation of the earthquake-damaged government facilities in Bohol and Cebu were completed in 2015.
Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento said 34 engineers were hired to assist in the preparation of initial documents by the local government units (LGUs) for many subprojects.
On October 15, 2013, an earthquake of tectonic origin with a magnitude of 7.2 hit Tagbilaran City, Bohol and Cebu City, leaving 222 people dead and more than 797 injured.
The Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA)-DILG Project had an initial funding of P2.413 billion for the repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of partially and totally damaged key government facilities.
The BEA Project covers 1,079 subprojects in 53 municipalities and cities in Bohol and Cebu.
Senen added that aside from the 551, out of the 1,079 completed projects, 297 are in the process of implementation, while 139 are in the procurement process. There are 65 remaining subprojects with approved documents and only 27 are in the preparation and review stage.
WITH REPORT FROM IZA IGLESIA