P558.1M eyed for livelihood in Cebu

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

CEBU CITY -- About P558.15 million will be spent on emergency jobs and livelihood in Cebu, if the Provincial Government’s post-Yolanda rehabilitation plan is adopted as is by the National Government.

The biggest share of the P26.8 billion the Province is seeking will be for shelter and resettlement, amounting to P23.6 billion.

The second biggest amount -- at P1.27 billion, it is bigger than the livelihood budget -- will be for the “plan implementation and coordination mechanism.”

Asked what that will pay for, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said the “mechanism” will cover the cost of logistics, meals, transportation, workshops for members of Task Force Paglig-on and cluster meetings on the implementation of the rehabilitation plan.

The P558.15 million proposed for livelihood and emergency employment already covers the key sectors of agriculture, fisheries and tourism, all key areas of the economy in northern Cebu.

When Yolanda swept across several Visayas regions last November 8, it wiped out at least P36.6-billion worth of crops and infrastructure, according to a national government report. It also killed 6,100 persons and hurt more than 27,000 others.

As its response, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) wants to extend P27 million in financial assistance to Cebu Province, specifically for its seaweed and aqua farms.

Based on a report of the Provincial Agriculturist Office, the fisheries sector in Cebu alone suffered up to P46.72 million in damages.

Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena said that estimate included the damage to fish cages, fish pens, corals, artificial reefs, motorized and non-motorized boats, and seaweed farms.

The BFAR is willing to enter a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Capitol. A copy of the MOA was sent to the office of the governor on Friday, already signed by BFAR Director Asis Perez and witnessed by BFAR-Central Visayas Director Andres Bojos.

“The BFAR is willing to extend both technical and financial assistance to the Province to rehabilitate the aquaculture industry and enhance the livelihood projects in Cebu,” a part of the MOA states.

Saragena said the P27 million will be a great help to the fishermen, especially in the islands of Bantayan and Camotes where seaweed farms abound.

Based on the MOA, BFAR will provide a list of the materials and specifications, including the required quantity, volume and weight and possible sources to implement the program.

The Capitol will have to liquidate how it spent the amount.

Aside from that, the Province shall “provide a 20 percent counterpart to cover administrative operations and other incidental expenses, in cash or in kind.”

The Capitol is also required to create a Project Implementation Committee, chaired by the governor.

A monthly report will then be submitted by the Capitol to the BFAR on the status of the project’s implementation.

Earlier, the Regional Development Council in Central Visayas approved the rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for the region, which is recovering not only from the typhoon last November 8, but also the magnitude 7.2 earthquake last October 15.

“That’s only a budget,” Governor Davide said.

“We are not sure yet kung pila gyuy mahatag sa (how much the) National Government (can give) because all of these need to be submitted to Senator (Panfilo) Lacson. That’s still subject to approval,” Davide said.

Lacson has been designated to take charge of the post-Yolanda rehabilitation effort.

The approved rehabilitation plan will be submitted to National Government for inclusion in the national rehabilitation budget. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 21, 2013.

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