• Palafox warns of corruption in ‘Yolanda’-stricken areas

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    RENOWNED urban planner Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox on Friday warned of corruption that might hit government officials tasked with reconstructing the areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

    Speaking at the weekly Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt forum, Palafox, a civilian volunteer to the reconstruction and rehabilitation body for Central Visayas said “corruption and climate change should be considered first as people tasked to help the region might be tempted to “pocket the money instead.”

    “Government should, if it has so much funds from local and foreign donors, ensure that there will be no corruption in rehabilitating [the devastated areas],” he said.

    He added that while the infrastructure part is government’s, “85 percent of it, is participated or carried out by the private sector which gives more sound and reliable infrastructure projects.”

    In Makati and Muntinlupa, Palafox said if the government handed the infra projects to private sector, “they are in good hands with better results.”

    He hinted that while corruption in the country had a P10 billion yearly take, “rehabilitation in Yolanda-hit areas will only take months to fill the pockets of corrupt officials.”

    “Relocation alone will give more problems since it takes 32 signatures to start a project and another 12 signatures before a building permit could be issued,” Palafox said.

    Jimbo Reverente, deputy executive director of the public-private partnership program of the government said “in their initial stage of trying to have a more transparent transaction with government projects suffered growth pains.”

    “But we were able to implement alternative procurement to traditional one for lack of transparency,” hinting that they can be tapped by Rehabilitation Czar former Senator Ping Lacson to protect the rehabilitation projects in Central Visayas from corruption.

    Palafox added that the “no build zone” must be strictly enforced to prevent similar (Yolanda-type) destruction and that the relocation homes for residents must have concrete roofs.

    “We should apply incremental approach. Houses must not be less than 21 square meters so there will be rooms for the children, unlike the usual Filipino house of six to nine square meters,” he said.

    Geologist Ric Javesola, formerly an official of the Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR), said the areas ravaged in Tacloban and Leyte were covered in their 1982 study of wet lands.

    “There is no way to reconstruct the areas in its present form,” Javesola said.

    The San Jose Airport, he said, is “an active spit bane and natural receptor for big waves.”

    “We should revisit Tacloban and Leyte in 1950s. They were really swamplands. It’s time to relocate,” he added.

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    4 Comments

    1. The Abnoy administration has absolutely no integrity. Foreign donors are demanding rigourous check and balances to ensure that funds are not lost to corruption. Yes, this is how the world thinks of our President of the so called daang matuwid. The int’l community knows that corruption in the Phl starts and ends in Malacanang. They had no such qualms of Ramos or PGMA. That’s how low the picture of the Phl has sunk in the eyes of the world. Stop talking about GDP which is the product of PGMA’s BP program and OFW remittances economy. Nothing has bben done by Abnoy but corrupt congress in order to hold absolute power.

    2. Here we go again. 32 signatures to start a project & 12 signatures for building permits. What is the valid explanation for the ‘red tape’ & these many signatures? Why? Ping Lacson will have a handful in dealing with these many govt officials. It’s very bizzard. It’s more funds in the Philippines.

    3. More than a months after Lacson is appointed rehab CZAR, and nothing…

      No plans, no projects, no announcements, no rehabilitation…

      Just press releases….the usual yellow way of governing…

      Mga walang kwenta…kahit yung 1.400 na patay, nakatanbak sa open field, hindi pa naililibing, after 60 days…

      Sumarosep! What kind of person do we have for a president…????

    4. Mr Palafox. Sir, since you are civilian volunteers in rehabilitation of Samar and Leyte; do not let mediocre and obsolete mind set prevail in the process; much more corruption. Armed with your “New Urbanism” concept and data from Mr. Javesola; please do not demotivated doing the right thing. Sir why don’t we ask donor (foreign) government to sponsor localities and areas to develop according to your blueprint. Of course with coordination with the “czar”. It is troubling learning 32 signatures needed for relocation. Does it really made sense, Sir. right there something “fishy” is going on and it stink that goes our reputation as a country “Filipinos can’t do by themselves”. Sir you know it is not true. But it is, when Filipinos is left by themselves in their own. The Filipinos psyche of “thinking small”, “bahala na” at kanya-kanya goes into effect.