Disaster rehab bills gathering dust –– Romualdez

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Published : Sunday, June 15, 2014 00:00

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THE House Independent Minority, led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, has expressed disappointment over the failure of the House of Representatives to deliberate on the bills concerning rehabilitation of Yolanda-struck areas.

Romualdez underscored the need to approve such measures considering most of them are focused on the plight and condition of the survivors of typhoon Yolanda.

“It’s only disappointing though that most of our bills have not been even scheduled for deliberations in the committee level,” Romualdez said.

The independent group is proposing a P25 billion additional rehabilitation fund for areas devastated by Yolanda to be given to the Local Government Units (LGUs).

Likewise, proposed the creation of a Yolanda Commission that will oversee the rehabilitation program especially in Tacloban, Leyte.

But despite the slow action of Congress, Romualdez vowed to continue push the Yolanda-related proposals.

“We would like to reiterate our vow to our people that we in the bloc will always be ready to defend and protect our rights, privileges, welfare and the future of our loved ones whenever and wherever necessary,” he added.

Relief anomalies

Meanwhile, a member of the bloc, ABAKADA Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz is seeking an inquiry into the alleged loss, defective storage, non-distribution and misuse of donations especially food and other goods for super typhoon Yolanda victims which were coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Through House Resolution 1155 Dela Cruz called on the House committees on social services and on food security to investigate the mishandling of the donations from public and private donors, local and overseas, which were coursed through the DSWD.Ryan Ponce Pacpaco

Dela Cruz said reports have indicated that some donations are still in storage, some have already expired and are no longer fit for human consumption and others are finding their way into private hands and even public markets.

“These series of reports have reached a global audience which has put the country in a bad light before the international donor community,” Dela Cruz said.

He said “reports of mishandling and misdeeds are not only unconscionable but indicates a serious breakdown in the manner by which the government has responded to calamities, natural and man-made.”

“Millions, maybe even billions, of dollars worth of food and in-kind donations for victims of recent calamities have reportedly been delivered by various donors, local and overseas, through the DSWD,” he added.


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