GOVT ON TOP OF 'YOLANDA' REHAB EFFORT, PALACE SAYS

Responding to reports of over a thousand bodies still unburied nearly two months after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit Tacloban City, Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public the government’s disaster-response structure remained “in place.” “[The] structure is in place,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, referring to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Coloma said local government units (LGUs) were “accountable to [the] national organization],” when he was asked about the delivery of aid and rehabilitation to areas ravaged by Yolanda on Nov. 8. “Mayors and local officials are still subject to DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] discipline,” he said in a text message to reporters.

ALSO: Aquino admin unfazed by Arroyo-Erap-FVR alliance

The Aquino administration is not concerned with the rumored political alliance between former presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo for the 2016 national elections. In an interview over state-run dzRB on Sunday, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the Aquino administration would rather focus on the Philippine Development Plan and the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in areas hit by disasters last year. "[H]indi po iyan ang prayoridad na pinag-uukulan ng pansin sapagka’t marami pong mahahalagang usapin sa ating bansa, tulad po nang agarang rehabilitasyon at rekonstruksiyon para sa mga nasalanta ng kalamidad, ng Yolanda at sa Zamboanga pati po doon sa Bohol earthquake at iyong Santi," Coloma said. Citing sources, the STAR had reported that Ramos' and Estrada's separate visits to Arroyo at the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City triggered moves from the three camps to forge a possible alliance.


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT

Gov’t on top of ‘Yolanda’ rehab effort, says Palace

MANILA, JANUARY 6, 2013 (INIQUIRER)  By Christian V. Esguerra - Responding to reports of over a thousand bodies still unburied nearly two months after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit Tacloban City, Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public the government’s disaster-response structure remained “in place.”

“[The] structure is in place,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma (photo), referring to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Coloma said local government units (LGUs) were “accountable to [the] national organization],” when he was asked about the delivery of aid and rehabilitation to areas ravaged by Yolanda on Nov. 8.

“Mayors and local officials are still subject to DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] discipline,” he said in a text message to reporters.

One concern was the delay in the identification and burial of more than a thousand bodies purportedly left rotting in one barangay (village) just outside Tacloban City.

Coloma said the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health were “primarily responsible for identifying and burying bodies in coordination with the LGUs.”

The Cabinet official earlier promised to look into the matter when told about it during his weekly media briefing which was aired over Radyo ng Bayan on Sunday.

“Perhaps we need to verify the situation that we’re seeing and know the bigger explanation because there are agencies responsible for these matters,” he said in Filipino.

“We will find out what the agencies concerned have to say,” he added. “What I can say is there is already a program for these things and based on the reports that we got, the authorities were not neglecting [the cadavers].”

The man in charge of the government’s overall rehabilitation effort is former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was given Cabinet rank early in December.

Under Memorandum Order 62, President Aquino instructed all government offices and “instrumentalities” to “render full assistance and cooperation to the presidential assistant [Lacson] as may be required to carry out his functions.”

Lacson will act as “overall manager and coordinator of rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction efforts of government departments, agencies and instrumentalities in the affected areas, to the extent allowed by law.”

“Secretary Lacson’s main task is reconstruction,” Coloma said, noting that the Department of Social Welfare and Development “ensures that those still in evacuation centers will get food packs.”

The Department of Public Works and Highways is in charge of constructing bunkhouses as temporary shelters for typhoon victims.—With an AFP report

FROM PHILSTAR

Aquino admin unfazed by Arroyo-Erap-FVR alliance (philstar.com) | Updated January 6, 2014 - 9:03am 11 38 googleplus0 0


Former Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo chat at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City last December
.

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is not concerned with the rumored political alliance between former presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo for the 2016 national elections.

In an interview over state-run dzRB on Sunday, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the Aquino administration would rather focus on the Philippine Development Plan and the rehabilitation and recovery efforts in areas hit by disasters last year.

"[H]indi po iyan ang prayoridad na pinag-uukulan ng pansin sapagka’t marami pong mahahalagang usapin sa ating bansa, tulad po nang agarang rehabilitasyon at rekonstruksiyon para sa mga nasalanta ng kalamidad, ng Yolanda at sa Zamboanga pati po doon sa Bohol earthquake at iyong Santi," Coloma said.

Citing sources, the STAR had reported that Ramos' and Estrada's separate visits to Arroyo at the Veterans’ Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City triggered moves from the three camps to forge a possible alliance.

The alliance would supposedly back up a common candidate in 2016 because the three camps are "alarmed with what’s happening to our country,” the STAR report said.

But Estrada said the rumored alliance “will never happen" while Ferdinand Topacio, a legal counsel of Arroyo, said there was nothing definite in the talks between the three camps.

Read: No alliance with GMA, FVR – Erap

Estrada and Ramos were just some of the prominent figures who recently visited Arroyo, who remains in hospital detention in connection to her plunder charges.

Other visitors were former vice president Noli de Castro and Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, a known Arroyo critic.

But like the rumored alliance between the three former presidents, Coloma said visiting Arroyo is also not a concern for President Aquino.

"Sabihin na lang po natin na hindi po iyan prayoridad sa kasalukuyan," Coloma said.

The Palace official added that while the Aquino administration is trying to make Arroyo accountable for allegations of corruption, it has no ill will towards the former president.

"Kinakailangan pong magkaroon ng pananagutan o accountability process. Wala naman po siyang masamang hangarin o masamang saloobin laban kay Ginang Arroyo," Coloma said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2013 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE