A compromise agreement on the 40-kilometers-from-coastline no-build-zone policy in areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda is in the works so as not to deprive the victims of their livelihood.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte made the announcement following the statement of Yolanda rehab czar Panfilo Lacson that the controversial policy could not be implemented in all Yolanda-affected areas, being unresponsive to the needs and inimical to the people’s source of livelihood.
“The no-build-zone policy is important because we are also mindful that we can face stronger typhoons in the future. But we don’t want it to deprive the survivors of their livelihood. We are working on a system wherein the fishermen can still fish there and have their boats stationed near the shore, but they can’t live nearby,” Valte told Radyo ng Bayan.
Supertyphoon Yolanda, which hit scores of Visayas provinces last year, is the strongest typhoon recorded worldwide in 2013.
Lacson, a former senator, expressed concern that the policy would harm the fishing industries and tourism-oriented businesses, which he says would still need to build structures within 40 meters from the coastline.
“They are trying to find ways to find a good compromise. It would be best for this to be threshed out with the other Cabinet secretaries that may also have inputs on the 40-kilometer no-build zone,” Valte added.
It was the People Surge, a group of victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda, which led the push for the scrapping of the policy and called for the grant of P40,000 per family of six of victims.
The Palace has thumbed down the proposed P40,000 per family immediate assistance, but assured that every penny that was alloted for the victims will go to them.
“All the donations for Yolanda victims are on the government website, so it would be clear to all where the donation is coming from and which government agency will receive such donation for implementation,” Valte said.
“This is part of the continuing instructions of the President to make sure that donations that go to government, whether in cash or in kind, especially the ones that are donated in cash, will be properly accounted for and will undergo proper auditing procedure,” Valte added.