Order issued outlining Lacson's functions

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MALACAÑANG on Tuesday announced the formal appointment of former Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr. as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery with the task to unify the efforts of government and other agencies in the rehabilitation and recovery efforts.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during the regular press briefing that President Benigno Aquino III signed the appointment letter of Lacson with Cabinet rank last December 6.

Lacson's appointment came following the widespread destruction, substantial damage and death in several areas including Samar, Leyte, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo and Palawan wrought by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

The President also issued a Memorandum Order (MO) No. 62 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on December 6, outlining the specific functions of Lacson.

Coloma said that Lacson joined in the Cabinet meeting that Aquino presided over on Tuesday. This was the first time that he attended such meeting as a member of the Cabinet, he said.

To help Lacson on his task, Aquino also named business executive and professor Danilo Antonio as undersecretary in the Office of the President.

The Chief Executive signed the appointment letter of Antonio last December 6.

Prior to the appointment of Antonio to work together with former Senator Lacson, the business executive served as Chief Operating Officer of Eton Property Phil. Inc. He was also a director of the Ace Center for Entrepreneurship and Management Education Inc.

According to MO, Lacson will act as over-all manager and coordinator of the rehabilitation, recovery, and reconstruction efforts of government departments, agencies and instrumentalities in the affected areas, to the extent allowed by law.

He will coordinate with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and its member agencies and consult with the concerned local government units (LGUs) in the formulation of plans and programs for the rehabilitation, recovery and development of the affected areas, including an over-all strategic vision and integrated short-term, medium-term and long-term programs, which shall be submitted to the President for approval.

The Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery will propose funding support for the implementation of the plans and programs. He will likewise exercise oversight over the relevant government agencies with respect to the implementation of the plans and programs.

He is tasked to call upon any department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or-controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs) and LGUs and request non-government organizations, the private sector, and other entities for assistance as the circumstances and exigencies may require in carrying out his mandate.

Lacson will engage the assistance of consultants, experts and professional advisors whenever necessary, subject to applicable government rules and regulations.

He will submit to the President the status reports on the implementation of the plans and programs as often as the President may require and perform such other functions and activities as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of the memorandum order, or as the President may direct.

The President likewise directed all departments, bureaus, offices, agencies or instrumentalities of the government, including GOCCs and GFIs to render full assistance and cooperation to Lacson.

The LGUs, NGOs and the private sector are also encouraged to give assistance to the Presidential Assistant as the circumstances may require.

The MO shall take effect immediately. (SDR/Sunnex)

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