Albay governor asks mayors to correct ‘bloated’ typhoon damage reports

Rhadyz B. Barcia

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Albay governor asks mayors to correct ‘bloated’ typhoon damage reports
Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara says the provincial government is 'counterchecking' the Typhoon Tisoy damage reports of the local government units

ALBAY, Philippines – Governor Al Francis Bichara has asked Albay town and city mayors to “correct” their “bloated” typhoon damage reports submitted to the provincial government.

Bichara made the call after the local officials submitted their respective damage reports to the Albay Public Safety Emergency Management Office (Apsemo) on damage caused by Typhoon Tisoy in early December.

“We are counterchecking the damage report submitted by the local government units which we found bloated by 50% than the usual damage occurrence,” Bichara said in an interview at Peñaranda Park in Legazpi City on Tuesday, December 18.

Based on the damage report submitted by 15 towns and 3 cities to Apsemo as of Wednesday, December 18, the total typhoon damage inflicted by Tisoy supposedly stood at  P6.975,130,009.54.

Bichara said the bloated figures apparently started with village officials, and that the estimates were probably further bloated at the municipal or city level.

“If we rely on LGUs reporting, they are bloating it as they’re relying to barangay officials. We are counterchecking it that’s why we are calling the attention of the mayors,” the governor said.

He said, however, that this was understandable since the fund granted to LGUs for damage cost is usually much lower than the submitted amount.

“Though, I understand and don’t blame the LGUs as they are forced to lever up their estimates believing that only half of what they submitted may be approved and granted which eventually released in the form of rehabilitation funds from the national government,” Bichara said.

He said that the final reports submitted to the provincial government will still be subjected to further  validation and reassessment before the needed fund for post-disaster rehabilitation is finalized.

Bichara said the provincial government is reviewing and validating the reports of the 15 towns and 3 cities through the Cedric Daep of Apsemo  in coordination with appropriate agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture and, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. –

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