Long wait

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Friday, July 18, 2014


PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino has yet to approve the release of funds for the P12.2-billion rehabilitation and recovery plan of super typhoon Yolanda-hit areas in northern Cebu which the Cebu Provincial Government submitted to the Cabinet cluster two months ago.

Yolanda, the strongest typhoon in recorded history, battered northern Cebu, Tacloban and other areas in the Visayas last Nov. 8.

Let’s hope Budget Secretary Butch Abad and PNoy could find ways to accelerate the release of rehab funds.

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The long wait could even be longer after the Supreme Court ruled PNoy’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional.

Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Baltazar Tribunalo Jr. said there are ongoing rehabilitation projects in northern Cebu, but these were initiated by the private sector and regional offices of national government agencies.

Let’s hope Yolanda victims were not “Waiting for Godot.”

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There is a threat of more typhoons hitting the country. Perhaps it’s prudent not to rebuild now because of the possibility they’d be damaged or destroyed again by these typhoons.

Can you imagine the scenario of a newly repaired roof being blown away by strong winds or a newly built house flattened again by a typhoon?

Why hurry and not wait and build only when typhoons finally stop visiting this country?

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Tribunalo said 35 percent of the total number of affected households in northern Cebu received shelter assistance. Yolanda reportedly affected 103,318 households in 15 towns and one city in northern Cebu.

Cebuanos, known for their resilience, may have reconstructed their homes when the rehab funds are finally released.

But there are worries it would be difficult by then to move them out of danger zones.

Once more, they’d be vulnerable to disasters.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 19, 2014.

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