Palace: Recovery of typhoon-hit areas to take 4 years

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

MANILA -- Malacanang is expecting the post-Yolanda rehabilitation and reconstruction program to be completed in four years.

Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said in a news briefing that based on the "pathway to recovery," the medium-term actions would take until 2017 to finish.

"The critical immediate actions that have been set in motion will be completed within the next six months; meantime, these actions provide the foundations for the short-term actions that will take up to 12 months, and the medium-term actions that will take up to four years to complete," he said.

But given that, he said that President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the members of his Cabinet during a meeting on Tuesday to speed up the restoration of the economic and social conditions of the calamities-affected areas.

Coloma said that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has released 238.6 million pesos to the National Housing Authority (NHA) for the construction of permanent housing units for affected families.

"The President directed the Cabinet yesterday to fast-track the restoration of the economic and social conditions of the affected areas, following the ‘build back better’ principle, with emphasis on attaining a higher degree of disaster resilience," he said.

Coloma said the President emphasized the need to speed up the process of enabling the people in the affected areas to rebuild their homes and resume productive livelihood and employment activities in communities that are fortified and protected from the harsh impact of natural disasters.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad reported on Tuesday the release of P238.6 million to the NHA for the construction of permanent housing units for low and marginal-income families and informal settlers affected by typhoon Yolanda, Coloma said.

"The Cabinet focused anew on the critical immediate actions that are now being implemented to usher in the recovery phase while the relief phase is tapering off. The full plan will be presented next week in a forum with the country’s development partners," he said.

Coloma said that newly appointed Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson during the meeting informed the President and the Cabinet that there is a very high degree of private sector interest in investing in the redevelopment of the typhoon-affected areas and that he will request for concrete project proposals from the private sector. (SDR/Sunnex)

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