Clock ticking for Lacson

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THE clock is ticking for Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR) Secretary Panfilo “Ping” Lacson who has 20,000 working hours to deliver the “minimum must” for areas severely hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

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Speaking before a forum in Makati City, Lacson said that the first phase of the rehabilitation plan will be finished on December 30, 2015.

He said the plan will be immediately implemented when the Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) are released next year.

Included in the “minimum must” are hospitals, evacuation centers, school facilities, public facilities, improved livelihood/employment and agri-based projects for the typhoon-stricken areas.

Infrastructures to be built will be more resilient and safer.

He, Lacson said that the implementation of the Yolanda rehabilitation plan needs the private sector’s participation because the latter will manage and administer the funding.

“It’s purely private participation. We should delineate because we cannot co-mingle government funds with private funds. So we are trying to put up a fund that is managed and administered by the private sector,” he told reporters after the forum.

He added that the government’s role in the rehabilitation efforts will be limited to coordinating with the different stakeholders to see to it that projects are implemented effectively.

“Experience will tell us that if the government is the one handling the project, there is a little inefficiency and delay because of the red tape,” Lacson said.

He added that the long-term rehabilitation plan will go beyond 2016.

PARR Undersecretary Danilo Antonio said local and international funding groups and institutions have expressed their desire to help and contribute in the rehabilitation program.

He said a “donor registry” will be held on January 7, 2014 where big corporations were invited to pledge the kind and amount of support they will be giving to the rehabilitation project.

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