Editorial: Approved rehab plan

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Monday, July 28, 2014


THE provincial government and local government units (LGUs) in Yolanda-hit northern Cebu got what they wanted from President Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) yesterday. The President mentioned his approval of the rehabilitation plans for Cebu, Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Tacloban City and Iloilo.

Actually, the approval of the rehab plans was made a few days before the Sona; a radio report said Gov. Hilario Davide III knew about it last Friday yet. Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo Lacson announced the decision a few hours before the Sona, a sign that these officials did not want to preempt the President’s formal announcement of this development.

Lacson, in a television interview after the Sona, said that the amount involved is P96 billion and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it has the amount. Meaning that, he added, line agencies can already start their rehab projects in the concerned LGUs.

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The Province had asked for P12.2 billion to fund the rehabilitation of 15 towns and one city in northern Cebu. It should be a given that the total amount was approved, and there should no longer be any reason that implementation of the Province’s rehab plan won’t go full speed.

Lacson himself was clear on what is needed after this, which is to monitor the plan’s implementation. That is an important part especially because the funds would flow not only through national line agencies but also through local government units (LGUs). Corruption and politicking need to be checked.

We do hope that we won’t be hearing complaints about funds being pocketed by some government officials in the implementation of projects or about favoritism in the process of releasing the money. These have always been the bane in this country’s governance.

And while the sought for national government funding has already been approved, the fact remains that P12.2 billion is small when divided among 16 LGUs and considering actual needs. That is where the determination and creativity of concerned local government officials to develop other funding sources is required.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 29, 2014.

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