• ‘Post-Bohol earthquake rehab almost complete’

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    MORE than three years after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Central Visayas, the rehabilitation of damaged key government infrastructures under the Bohol Earthquake Assistance (BEA) project of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is almost complete.

    The BEA Project covers the reconstruction, repair and rehabilitation of various barangay (village) facilities (barangay hall, day care center, barangay health station), bridges, civic centers, markets, municipal buildings, and water supply systems in the provinces of Bohol and Cebu, two of the provinces severely affected by the destructive October 15, 2013 earthquake.

    Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said that of the 1,076 projects under the BEA program, 908 or 84.39 percent have been completed; 132 (12.27 percent) are on-going; 31 (2.88 percent) are in the procurement stage; 2 (0.19 percent) have approved initial documents, and the remaining 3 (0.28 percent) are under preparation of initial document.

    “I am happy to note that the lives of our kababayans mostly in Bohol and some in Cebu are now back to normal with the rehabilitated key government facilities in their respective localities,” Sueno said.

    He added that the DILG prioritized the rehabilitation of damaged key local government facilities so as not to disrupt the delivery of fast and efficient services to the public.

    The BEA-DILG Project has an initial funding of P2.413 billion for the repair/rehabilitation/reconstruction of partially and totally-damaged key government facilities with due consideration to Build Back Better (BBB) designs for disaster resilient public infrastructure. It covers 52 municipalities and cities in Bohol and Cebu as well as the entire province of Bohol.

    Sueno said that provincial governments had their hands full carrying out several BEA projects almost all at the same time, considering that they had to handle an average of 24 to 75 projects such as the case of Buenavista in Bohol.

    He added that big-ticket projects costing P5 million and above took longer to complete because of the magnitude of work necessary to restore the building to its previous form or even better. The preparation of initial documents took around two to six months to complete depending on the scope of the project, while the procurement process took about two to three months to finish and the actual project implementation ranged from six months to three years.

    It is expected that all BEA projects will be completed by 2017.

    JING VILLAMENTE

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