Limited Gov’t support from Pres. Aquino was given for Yolanda rehab- Lacson

Limited Gov’t support from Pres. Aquino was given for Yolanda rehab- Lacson

Super typhoon Yolanda or more popularly known as Haiyan internationally was by far the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines, it left thousands of people dead or missing, billions of worth of damaged properties across central Philippines.

Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson who was then appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III as appointed as rehabilitation czar and will head the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR), five years after its destruction he recalls and reiterates that the government ( Aquino administration) appropriated “very little budget support” to help the victims which are spread out in 171 cities.

Yolanda rehab czar Panfilo "Ping" Lacson (photo credit to owner)

Lacson recalls that his office crafted an eight-volume, 8,000-page Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan (CRRP) with P167-billion budgetary requirement.

“Unfortunately, while the CRRP was approved by then president (Benigno) Aquino (III), very little budget support was appropriated to help the typhoon victims in the affected areas,” Lacson said.

“Most of the projects like hospitals, housing units, school buildings… came from donations from the private and business sectors,” the former Philippine National Police Chief pointed out.

From December 2013 to December 2014, Ping Lacson was the rehabilitation czar he recalls that his office received a lot of help from non-government organizations (NGO’s) as well as the private and business sectors, international organizations like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United National Development Program (UNDP), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), European Union (EU) Commission, the McKenzie & Co. consulting firm.

“Ironically, very little, if not negligible, support from the national government, we put together and crafted the CRRP,” Senator Lacson said.

The CRRP document was prepared with a detailed and elaborate description of rehabilitation plan to accomplish a build-back-better vision for 171 affected cities and municipalities devastated by the super typhoon.

 “In sum, Haiyan is one chapter in my public service career I will never forget –extremely difficult, many times frustrating, yet satisfying only because I worked with very competent staff and consultants who didn’t mind the limitations imposed by our own government in all aspects,” Lacson said.

“If not for the technical support and assistance provided particularly by the USAID, UNDP, JICA and World Bank, I do not know how we could have accomplished our task,” he added.

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Report from Philstar

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