No funding yet for Guimaras rehab

February 21, 2007

Francis Allan L. Angelo
The Daily Guardian

REHABILITATION of areas affected by the August 11, 2006 oil spill in Guimaras remains on the drawing boards with the delay in the release of the supplemental budget of the national government.

Guimaras Governor JC Rahman Nava said the total budget for the island’s rehabilitation is P800 million.

The fund will be channeled to key government agencies that prepared their respective rehabilitation plans for the island.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources will get P130 million for the final cleanup and rehabilitation of the mangrove areas while the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will get P100 million for the livelihood of Guimarasnons.

Some P250 million will be set aside for the Department of Social Welfare and Development while the provincial government will get P210 million.

Another P22 million is for health surveillance to be conducted by the Department of Health.

Other agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology and the University of Philippines-Visayas will also have their own funding.

Nava said they will finalize today the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the use of the rehabilitation fund “but everything now is up to the Department of Budget and Management when to release the money.”

The fund will be released to the concerned agencies on a staggered basis.

“Fifty percent of the allocation will be released while the rest will be given out as the plans progress,” Nava said.

Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Lito Coscolluela said the individual plans and the IRR will be approved within the week during the National Disaster Coordinating Council meeting in Manila today.

“Governor Nava is frustrated with the slow processing of the supplemental budget but we will have to wait,” Coscolluela said.


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