Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY-Local government units that received funding for the repair of public structures damaged during the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda has until December to finish the repair works.

Otherwise, the unutilized funds would be withdrawn from them, said Pedro Noval, regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In the region, 61 towns and cities were the recipients of the financial assistance of the government under its RAY (Recovery Assistance on Yolanda) of the DILG.

For the region, the national government through the DILG has received of P938.4 million. The funds were released to the affected areas last April of this year. Of the P938.4 million allocated for this purpose, Tacloban received the highest amount at P230 million.

Tacloban, considered the ground zero of Yolanda, has already conducted the bidding for the repair of its city hall, public market and astrodome, which served as evacuation center during the deadly typhoon on November 8, 2013. Among the public structures that should be repair under this financial assistance from the national government include public market; municipal or city hall and civic centers like astrodome.

“They have to complete the repair by December 31.Otherwise, we will withdraw the (unutilized) money,” Noval said. “That is the target date; that all of them should finish the repair work,” the DILG regional director added. According to Noval, while all the local government units that received the assistance, only few were able to finish the repair. Records from the DILG-8 office, only nine LGUs were able to complete the repair of their public structures- two in Biliran province(Cabucgayan and Caibiran) and seven towns and one city in Leyte( Barugo,Calubian,Carigara,Dulag, Mahaplag, Villaba and Baybay City). Noval said that aside from withdrawing the remaining amount released to the LGUS which fail to finish the repair works on target date, the DILG would not release the amount intended for the barangays to fund the repair of barangay-owned infrastructures.

“The implication is that if they could not complete the rehabilitation, the funds intended for the barangays will not be release to them,” Noval said. It was learned from Noval that for the region, about P1 billion has been earmarked to repair structures damaged during the supertyphoon nine months ago. He said that 1,224 barangays in the region were identified to receive the financial assistance from the national government to repair their damaged structures. (Vicky C. Arnaiz)

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