Government to release P1B rehab fund for Pablo-hit areas

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has given his go signal to release P1.06 billion for the rehabilitation and recovery of infrastructure in areas damaged by Typhoon Pablo nationwide, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Thursday.

The amount, which will be released to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), will be used for the reconstruction and repair of several bridges in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental under the Task Force Pablo Rehabilitation Plan.

“Even as the administration works with local officials and aid groups in securing aid for Yolanda-stricken communities, President Aquino is determined to continue rehabilitation efforts in several other areas that Typhoon Pablo swept through," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.

"Aside from ongoing disaster relief efforts, the government remains committed to rebuilding crucial infrastructure, so we can restore normalcy in calamity-damaged areas and ensure the full economic recovery of all affected communities," he added.

Of the total amount—which will be charged against the 2013 DPWH Budget—P517.4 million will be allotted for the reconstruction and repair of Caraga, Cateel, Taytayan, and Odiongan bridges in the roads spanning Surigao del Sur-Davao Oriental and Cateel-Compostela.

Some P543.0 million will be earmarked for rehabilitation of Mayo, Manurigao, Dapnan, Casauman, Quinonoan, and Baguan bridges, connecting the Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental Coastal Road.

“Because Davao Oriental is the leading coconut-producing province in the region, rebuilding their infrastructure will create a significant and positive impact on the province's ability to recover from Pablo's devastation," Abad said.

Together with the Contingency and Calamity Fund -- with remaining balances of P824 million and P176 million, respectively -- the P1.1-billion release will buoy the rehabilitation efforts for all affected communities in Davao Oriental, he said.

Aquino approved in September P10.53 billion for the Task Force Pablo Rehabilitation Plan.

To date, the DBM has already released P8.49 billion to the National Housing Authority and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) ravaged Eastern Mindanao on December 4, 2012, with Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley as the worst-hit areas. Pablo killed more than 1,000 individuals. (SDR/Sunnex)

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