Press Release
July 1, 2008

Task Force Panay Czar

In the NDCC-Cabinet Level meeting this afternoon held at the Iloilo airport, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo approved Senator Richard J. Gordon's proposal to appoint a disaster czar to oversee and supervise the post-disaster rehabilitation efforts in Panay Island.

Senator Gordon made this proposal three days ago. He recognized the need for a leader to ensure that post-disaster rehabilitation efforts in Panay were efficient, well-coordinated and well-organized.

"We need someone to head the post-disaster efforts in Panay. There must be a point-person who would be able to give us up to the minute reports as to status of rehabilitation operations in Panay," Gordon said.

"We need a czar in order to fast track the rehabilitation and infrastructure rebuilding operations in Panay Island. This will ensure better and more efficient coordination among National and Local Government units and all private companies and individuals who are helping the people of Panay in coping with the tragedy," he added.

Undersecretary Raul Banias, Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas was tasked to meet the challenge. He was appointed to head Task Force Panay.

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