The Palace on Saturday admitted that it will take time to finish the rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda and appealed to the survivors to have patience.
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said rehabilitation work is slow because the needs on the ground are vast.
Some groups have denounced the delayed completion of projects in typhoon-hit areas, particularly the building of permanent shelters for the survivors and called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to resign.
“The damage is indeed vast and deep, and it has affected a lot of people. Forty-four out of 81 provinces were hit, and that equates to 1.47 million families. We did not say that everything is finished,” Coloma said in an interview aired over Radyo ng Bayan.
“Maybe we could try to understand that we need time to complete all the work that we need to accomplish. For those who see what we lack, we welcome if they will give suggestions. The government will be ready to work with them,” he added.
Coloma said reconstruction work may pick up speed since the government has already identified the areas where permanent houses for the victims can be safely built.
“The local governments will eventually pass resolutions and ordinances for these houses. The government does not intend to take anybody for granted. We’ll look for ways to address their displacement and other temporary inconvenience,” he said.
“That is what’s important here. That we are helping each other,” Coloma added.
Liberal Party Secretary General Mel Senen Sarmiento of Western Samar said it will take more than a year to rebuild the disaster areas.
“Rehabilitating areas ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda is easier said than done. People who are claiming that President Aquino should have done this and that have no idea what they are talking about. I doubt it if they can even run a rehabilitation program for a small barangay,” Sarmiento said.
“Those who are claiming that Pnoy could have done better are like boxing spectators who think that they could have done better than the boxer inside the ring but in reality, they don’t even know how to do a jab,” he added.
Creating better and stronger cities and towns, Sarmiento argued, is not an easy task.
“This is an engineered rehabilitation and we want to create communities that are disaster resilient. We cannot just build relocation communities without a careful study of the budget and logistics required, as well as the geological safety of the relocation sites,” he said.