Latin America

Duterte assigns housing chief Del Rosario as Marawi rehab ‘COO’

Mick Basa

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Duterte assigns housing chief Del Rosario as Marawi rehab ‘COO’
The President explains that all Secretaries are to report to HUDCC chief Eduardo Del Rosario in matters concerning Marawi, including financing concerns, but the Defense Department remains the 'overall' entity for rehab

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Learning from how appalingly slow government aid crept after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit Eastern Visayas in 2013, President Rodrigo Duterte said rehabilitation work in the war-torn city of Marawi will be led by a single “chief operating officer” (COO).

And that COO, according to Duterte, would be retired army general Eduardo del Rosario.

The President bared this late Tuesday, October 31, in a press conference shortly after his arrival from Tokyo at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

Duterte in July appointed Del Rosario as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairporson, replacing Vice President Leni Robredo, who resigned.

Dutrete explained that the Department of National Defense (DND) will remain the “overall” entity of Marawi’s rehabilitation plan.

“So from the table of the Defense Secretary [Delfin Lorenzana], it goes to one person, the COO, and that is General Ed del Rosario,” he said.

The President explained that all Secretaries are to report to Del Rosario in matters concerning Marawi, including financing concerns.

So that ‘pagka pumalpak, si Del Rosario ‘yan,” he said. (So if things fail, it’s Del Rosario who should be at fault)

Duterte, who a day earlier was in Tokyo to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said this “one-man” scheme will save government from “another disaster.”

He was referring to how money intended for victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 did not go to its intended beneficiaries. (READ: COA: Yolanda fund, donations did not reach victims)

“Another disaster that happened in Leyte and that was the loss of about everything, pati pera (even money). Pati tao cynic na (People have become cynical),” he said. 

In Tokyo, Duterte said Japan reaffirmed its commitment to the Philippines by pleding to be “our partner again in rebuilding Marawi as the center of moderation and tolerance.”

Japan commmitted to provide one trillion yen ($8.66 billion) in support, spread out over 5 years. Part of the amount will go to support for Marawi and the Bangsamoro peace process.

The President in July created an inter-agency task force to take charge of the recovery and rehailitation of Marawi. The task force is chaired by Defense Secretary Lorenzana. –

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