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Aquino wants ‘specific details’ on Yolanda rehab plan

The President also wants the Cabinet to propose immediate actions that the government can take while the rehabilitation plan is being refined

MEETING OVER YOLANDA. President Benigno Aquino III holds a Cabinet meeting on the government's recovery and rehabilitation plan after Super Typhoon Yolanda. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has approved in principle how the Cabinet proposes to help survivors and rehabilitate areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), but wants to know more specific details” of the plan.

This was what he stressed to members of his Cabinet on Wednesday, November 27, in a meeting where Socio-economic and Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan presented the Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan.

Earlier, Aquino created a Cabinet task force to outline an action plan on how the government would address the basic social needs of the survivors until the end of 2014. The members then submitted their respective plans to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Leading the task force is Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, a former governor of Leyte, one of the hardest-hit provinces.

The meeting comes nearly 3 weeks since the monster typhoon hit central Philippines and left about 5,500 dead, and amid widespread criticism of the national government on its alleged lack of preparation and subpar rehabilitation efforts.

The killer typhoon also damaged at least P12.65 billion in crops and infrastructure, and affected over 10 million people.

According to a press release from the Palace, the plan has 3 phases:

Phase 1: Immediate assistance to affected areas
Phase 2: Expansion of initiatives and programs (medium term)
Phase 3: Full recovery and rehabilitation (long term)

On Friday, Balisacan announced in a press briefing that the plan will:

  • show how government can provide survivors’ basic needs until end of 2014
  • identify the communities that need to be prioritized
  • describe priority sectors and areas that should be put in place
  • show how livelihood and businesses can be restored in the affected areas

During the Cabinet meeting, Aquino inquired about immediate actions the government can take while the rehabilitation plan is being refined.

He was quoted by the statement as saying, “Dapat gawin, kayang gawin, ngayon na (Whatever needs to be done and we can do, do them now).”

The Cabinet is scheduled to meet on the same issue again on Friday, November 29. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the President also wants to know by that date a clear plan on how the rehabilitation plan will be funded. –

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