Bohol lawmakers file bill allocating P15B for quake relief, rehab-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
MANILA -- District congressmen from Bohol sought P15 billion in government funds for the rehabilitation of their province and assistance to the victims of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck last October 15.
Bohol Representatives Arthur Yap, Erico Aumentado, and Rene Relampagos filed House Bill 3229 or the Bakod Central Visayas Act of 2013 which translates to Rise Up Central Visayas.
"After more than a week and with more than 2,000 aftershocks registered, the toll of the earthquake, the deadliest in the country in 23 years, continues to rise. Yet more significantly, the statistics would not really reflect the sufferings of the residents of Central Visayas, including their grave difficulty to rise from this tumultuous tragedy," the bill's explanatory note said.
In estimating the amount, the lawmakers cited Republic Act 7637 or the Mt. Pinatubo Assistance, Resettlement and Development Fund which was created for the rehabilitation, livelihood services, and infrastructure projects for the victims of the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.
"The amount requested, at P15 billion, is not even a third of the total appropriation made under the Mt. Pinatubo Commission. This was although the devastation wrought by the earthquake approximates the damage of Mt. Pinatubo," the lawmakers said.
Once approved, the funds shall be used for the emergency rescue and relief humanitarian efforts, including grant of immediate medical assistance, food sustenance and emergency shelter.
A subsidy of P25,000 shall also be granted per family upon the approval of the Bohol Earthquake Aid and Rehabilitation Commission, which shall be under the Office of the President.
The said commission shall likewise be tasked to determine permanent danger zones as well as inspect the damage of the earthquake on heritage structures, cultural treasures, national historical landmarks and tourism sites.
For infrastructure projects, the priority shall be the construction of resettlement centers, and such other projects as roads, bridges, hospitals, school buildings, communication and power lines, and irrigation and water systems.
The commission is required to submit to the president and to Congress a detailed quarterly report on the utilization of the P15-billion fund. (Sunnex)