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Lack of master plan means Yolanda-hit areas to be rebuilt piece-meal - Lacson

Children at a Tacloban tent community five months after Yolanda
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said the rehabilitation of areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last year will have to proceed piece-meal for lack of a master plan, which he blamed on the Office of Civil Defense.

Interviewed on Radyo ng Bayan, Lacson explained that the OCD has still not submitted its post-disaster needs assessment, which he said it “required under the law before we submit a master plan to the Office of the President.”

In contrast, Lacson said the Cebu provincial government submitted its rehabilitation plan Friday night, that of Leyte Saturday morning.

“Requirement sa batas na bago kami magsumite sa Presidente ng master plan, kailangan isumite muna ang PDNA. Pero dahil sa natagalan ang pagsusumite noon, gawin na lang namin tingi-tingi ang rehabilitation (It is required by the law that before we submit a master plan to the President there should first be a PDNA. But because it is taking so long to submit it, we will just go piece-meal with rehabilitation),” Lacson said even as he observed that the Cebu and Leyte governments were more pro-active than the national government.

Pati rehabilitation plan, isinumite na nila at kung sino ang mauna, sila ang maunang mag-i-implement ng kanilang rehabilitation, subject to the approval of the President (They have submitted even their rehabilitation plan and whoever submits first, they will be the first to implement their rehabilitation, subject to the approval of the President,” Lacson stressed.

In January, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council vowed to submit its PDNA on Yolanda-affected areas in March.

The agency said at the time that it had deployed seven teams to evaluated areas struck by the typhoon, with Liza Mazo, OCD regional director for Caraga, who was designated Tacloban team leader, saying they expected to complete their work by March.

The PDNA for Yolanda is the third post-disaster survey conducted by the government. It undertook a similar exercise for typhoon “Sendong” in 2011 and typhoon “Pablo” in 2012.

The United Nations and the World Bank held the first assessment of its kind in the country for areas ravaged by typhoons “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”

Nearly a hundred government officials divided into seven teams led by the NDRRMC have been deployed to typhoon-devastated areas in Tacloban City, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, Capiz, Northern Palawan and Northern Cebu.

In the last update it posted on Yolanda on April 17, the NDRRMC placed the death toll at 6,300 with 1,061 others missing.

The agency said Yolanda damaged almost P90 billion in damage, including that to more than a million houses.

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