Lacson sees politics in Tacloban rehabilitation

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STAKEHOLDERS FORUM Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson discusses reconstruction work in Yolanda-stricken areas during a stakeholders forum attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay and UN Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu. PHOTO BY EDWIN MULI

STAKEHOLDERS FORUM Rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson discusses reconstruction work in Yolanda-stricken areas during a stakeholders forum attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay and UN Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu. PHOTO BY EDWIN MULI

PRESIDENTIAL adviser on relief and rehabilitation Panfilo Lacson on Monday chided Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez for causing delays in the city’s rehabilitation efforts, saying the local executive had politics in mind instead of the quick recovery of the city from Super Typhoon Yolanda.

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“You should forget personal and political agenda and think about your constituents,” Lacson said during a stakeholders forum in reference to the local chief executive whose performance he described as “below par.”

Lacson said Romualdez lacked political will, unlike the local executives from other areas that were similarly ravaged by the typhoon. He also accused Romualdez of hosting anti-government protests following the discovery of placards bearing anti-government slogans at the back of city hall.

“We are calling on all local government chiefs to put the interest of your constituents before any personal or political agenda you may have,” he added. It was estimated that more than P6 billion have been poured to various projects in the city but Lacson bewailed Tacloban was slow “over-all.”

The rehabilitation chief’s statements negated that of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, who claimed that there was no problem with government efforts in Tacloban City, the bailiwick of the opposition Romualdez clan.

Roxas, in an interview last week, said the DILG released P200 million for Tacloban. He was defending the decision of President Benigno Aquino 3rd to skip Tacloban and visit Guiuan town in Eastern Samar to commemorate the first year of Yolanda.

Lacson said the DILG contributed P230.4 million for Tacloban as requested by Romualdez himself for the rehabilitation of the city hall, public market and the city center.

The mayor, he added, even asked to “realign” some funds.

“We will continue to extend a hand of cooperation to Tacloban. We will not give up on Tacloban. Nobody will be left out,” Lacson vowed.

Earlier, Romualdez criticized the government for the “very slow” response and expressed hopes that the projects will pick up in January.

He lamented that because of red tape, shortage of manpower and lack of resources, the recovery of the city was only about 50 percent.

Malacañang also on Monday vowed that the government will ensure the proper implementation of the Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan in Yolanda areas.

“The President and the Cabinet remain focused on ensuring that the CRRP programs, projects and activities are implemented properly, and that the ‘build back better’ principles are being followed,” Secretary Hermino Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was also present in the forum, said President Benigno Aquino 3rd issued Administrative Order 44 to expedite the construction of houses for families rendered homeless by Typhoon Yolanda.

AO 44 streamlines the process of issuance of permits, certifications, clearances and licenses for housing and resettlement projects in Yolanda affected areas. It directs all government agencies concerned to observe these protocols or faced sanctions for non-compliance.

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3 Comments

  1. And who is delaying what? Remember that the master plan for rehabilitation that he authored was finished way back in August 2014. It took more that 3 months for the masters in malacanang to dilly-dally on his master plan. He even threatened to resign just to get things moving. People needed help last year and yet Lacson seems irritated at hearing complaints and why is he zeroing in on the mayor. To use his own words: that mayor is the microcosm of the people of Tacloban. I think Lacson should be thankful that these people are still alive to complain.

  2. Pinky Lacson is proud to brag so and so figures which were released funds for the Yolanda victims. However he did not mention if these funds reached the victims already, or being kept for corruption purposes. This gimmick is normal in this administration, just like the PDAF/DAP/Napoles scam.

  3. What else is new about these politicians. Romualdez wants the government to hand him the hundreds of millions of pesos to him so he can pocket them. Poor Leytenos. You are always at the mercy of the corrupt politicians. Its about time for you Leytenos to wake up and see for yourselves who are really helping you. Why are the LEFTISTS being provided by the Romuladezes trucks to transport them to make a rally? Asa Lacson said that it is Mayor Romualdez who is sabotaging the rehabilitation of Tacloban.