Giant firms pledge to lead Haiyan rehab

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

'No strings attached,' says rehabilitation czar Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson

DAUNTING TASK. In Guiuan, Eastern Samar alone, nearly all structures fell because of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), according to rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson Jr. Photo from AFP Central Command Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – In a rehabilitation program that largely depends on the private sector, two giant companies have volunteered to rehabilitate areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), rehabilitation czar Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Sunday, December 15.

More of these companies will help the government rebuild the lives of over 16 million people, Lacson told dzBB’s Nimfa Ravelo in a radio interview.

Lacson, the newly appointed presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery, declined to name these firms, but described these as some of the top 30 to 50 companies in the Philippines. (READ: EO out: Lacson powerful rehab czar)

These companies will do this for free, Lacson said, as part of their corporate social responsibility. The sole incentive? The “business potential” in rehabilitated communities, said the Philippines’ former police chief.

“No strings attached,” he said.

These companies will meet in a “commitment session” in the first week of January, to be joined by leaders like Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. There, these groups will finalize what he calls a “bridal registry” for rehabilitation projects. 

Malinaw ang direksyon na gusto kong tahakin dito, na talagang i-maximize ‘yung partisipasyon ng private sector, kasi talagang hindi kakayanin ng gobyerno lamang ito. At napaka-enthusiastic ng kanilang pag-respond dito,” Lacson explained.

(The direction I want to pursue is clear – to maximize the participation of the private sector, because the government really can’t do this alone. And their response has been so enthusiastic.)

No ‘commingling’ of funds

Lacson said this is his rule of thumb: No “commingling” or mixing together of government and private funds. He said private sector projects should be properly “delineated.”

Otherwise, he said, it will be difficult to manage all these projects.

Kasi saan magsisimula at magtatapos ‘yung pag-audit ng government funds kung hahaluan natin ng private funds? Hindi naman pupuwede ‘yon,” Lacson said. (Where will the auditing of government funds start and end if we’ll commingle it with private funds. That cannot be.)

'REHAB CZAR.' President Benigno Aquino III swears in Panfilo Lacson as 'presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery.' Photo courtesy of the Malacañang Photo Bureau

Under this set-up, he said the government will set the guidelines, such as amending the Building Code, while the private sector will work on implementation.

Ang mainam kasi sa private, may sarili na silang kapabilidad, kapasidad, may pondo sila, at may management system silang sinusunod, may auditing rules silang sarili, na hindi na natin kailangang panghimasukan maliban na lamang doon sa mga standard na ise-set natin,” the former senator said.

(The good thing about the private sector is, they have their own capability, capacity, funds, management systems in place, and their own auditing rules, that we don’t have to interfere in except in relation to the standards we will set.)

To avoid red tape

Lacson said this will prevent “bureaucratic red tape.”

Kasi minsan, ang pagkakamali rin natin, ‘pagka meron tayong mga endeavors natin na ganyan, ‘yung analysis paralysis eh. Nasosobrahan ‘yung analysis, tapos eh wala na, hanggang sa nagkalimutan na,” Lacson said. (Because sometimes, our mistake, whenever we have such endeavors, is analysis paralysis. We do too much analysis until we end up forgetting it all.)

Lacson pledged to complete 80% of the job by June 2016, when President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office. (READ: Lacson: Yolanda rehab until June 2016.)

Like Aquino, Lacson said devastated areas should be “better and safer” by then. (READ: Aquino on Yolanda rehab: ‘Build back better.’)

We cannot afford na kapag nagkaroon ng reconstruction, eh kasinghina pa rin ng mga structures, o ‘yung structural design, hindi na rin mababago, at ire-restore lang natin ‘yung nakaraan. Eh ‘di ganoon din. Pagdating ng susunod na Yolanda, mas mahina man o kasinglakas, eh gigiba rin lahat ‘yon. Eh bagsak na naman tayo; apektado ang ekonomiya,” Lacson said.

(We cannot afford to have a reconstruction that leads to structures as weak as before, or whose structural designs remain unchanged and modeled after previous ones. Then there’s no improvement. When the next Yolanda comes, whether weaker or as strong, it will all be destroyed. Then we suffer again; the economy gets affected.)

Yolanda damaged at least P35.54 billion in crops and infrastructure, the latest government estimates show. The super typhoon killed at least 6,057 people. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email