Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson assured that the government will not give up on Tacloban amid issues that the province did not receive the needed support from the government.
“We will continue to extend our hand of cooperation to the mayor of Tacloban. We will not give up on Tacloban. Nobody will be left out in this rehabilitation effort but the local executives must do their share,” Lacson said Monday at the ‘Yolanda Report: A Story of Hope and Change’ held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC)
Lacson said the “numbers speak for themselves” as the local government of Tacloban was able to receive projects, programs and activities worth Php 6.109 billion.
Apart from the said amount, Lacson added that Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez also received Php 230.4 million from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the repair of their government infrastructures.
“He received from the DILG the amount of Php 230.4 million, 80 percent was already downloaded to the city government to implement repair of city hall, public market and city centers,” he said.
However, Lacson said that Romualdez requested for the realignment of the said funds.
“After he received the funds, he requested the funds to be realigned. The agreement between DILG and DPWH is that for repairs, DILG will take care of it. And DILG, through our recommendation from the President, agreed to download the funds to the LGU to fast track the repair of the government center.”
Lacson said that Tacloban LGU should have coordinated with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) if they wanted to transfer the public market and city hall to another site as the Department is in charge of constructing totally damaged government centers.
The OPARR Secretary also shared that in other areas they visited, there was not a single protest rally conducted except in Tacloban whose case is described by Lacson as “sui generis” or “a class of its own.”
“It is unfair for us observers, even foreign observers, to base their judgment on what’s happening on the ground, within the corridor on what’s happening in Tacloban,” Lacson said.
He added that the government is trying to extend whatever support they have done in the past to the said province, and further ensured their continued coordination with the LGU of Tacloban. PNA