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PIA Press Release

Salceda welcomes PGMA creation of Special National Reconstruction Commission

by MS Arguelles

Legazpi City (14 October) -- Albay Gov. Joey S. Salceda yesterday welcomed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's creation on Monday the Special National Public-Private Reconstruction Commission to study the causes of the weather abnormalities, what actions to take to prepare the country, and the cost such actions will entail.

The commission will also handle fresh aid given by external sources to fund reconstruction efforts destroyed by typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, and Frank in Metro Manila and neighboring regions in Luzon.

The President made the announcement during the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) cum Cabinet meeting held Tuesday in Dagupan City.

The chief executive has signed the executive order the other day, but she said it has not yet been authorized for release by Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita which explains why the E.O. still has no number.

The President said she issued the executive order because of the magnitude of the impact of the recent calamities that hit the country in the midst of the global financial crunch that also affected fiscal capacity.

The Commission was tasked to undertake a study on the causes, costs and actions to be taken in the wake of the three typhoons that caused enormous damage to the country.

It will also undertake the rehabilitation plan for wrecked infrastructure and other priorities; prioritize programs as well as oversee implementation of these programs.

The special commission that will be headed by a business leader will also raise funds, especially grants, to fund reconstruction.

It will also serve as a clearing house for international assistance implemented by donors themselves using the cluster approach.

The Chief executive designated Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and a church leader as co-chairs with all department heads and business groups, representatives of Philippine and international non-government organizations as members.

Furthermore, the Commission was also tasked to request the United Nations and the World Bank to coordinate an international pledging session.

Salceda said under his proposal the country needs to seek $1 billion fresh aid from international communities, to overcome the impact of global crisis and the magnitude of the calamity that recently wrought havoc to the country.

Salceda, a senior economic adviser of President Arroyo, said the $1-billion financial aid would finance reconstruction of various social and infrastructure programs destroyed by Tropical Storm Ondoy and Pepeng.

The fresh aid would be used to finance relocation of thousands of families displaced by the calamities at P20-billion; infrastructure rehabilitation at P21-billion; and livelihood and agriculture at P5-billion.

This totals P46-billion of which P27-billion funding to rehabilitate projects destroyed by Ondoy, P12-billion for Pepeng and P7-billion for Frank.

"The commission will operate like the original CCPAP (Coordinating Council for the Philippine Assistance Plan) headed by businessman Roberto Villanueva of AGPI. The CCPAP has since evolved into the CCPSP which operates the BOT Center under DTI, Salceda said.

The Office of Civil Defence (OCD) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to form the secretariat, key tasks are to raise funds especially grants, prioritize programs and oversee implementation. (PNA/PIA) [top]

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