Press Release
October 23, 2013

Enrile pushes bill to give 10 billion aid for Central Visayas

Citing the urgent need for rehabilitation and assistance in the earthquake-stricken areas in the Visayas, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile has filed a bill to give immediate aid in rebuilding and helping people recover from the impact of the calamity.

"In these dire moments, the people of Visayas are counting on the government not only for the reconstruction of the infrastructure destroyed by the earthquake but more importantly in restoring their living conditions and their faith in themselves so they can stand up again and move forward," Enrile stresses.

Senate Bill No. 1872, otherwise known as the "Central Visayas Assistance, Resettlement and Development Fund", seeks to allocate 10 billion pesos to help the victims of the recent earthquake in Bohol and Cebu through the facilitation and implementation of a Central Visayas Assistance, Resettlement and Development Commission.

Patterned after the Mt. Pinatubo Commission, Enrile said that the body will be tasked to formulate policies and plans, to prioritize and coordinate the project implementation among concerned national and local officials and departments, as well as to monitor the progress of said projects.

Enrile added that the Commission will also be obliged to submit before both Houses of Congress an itemized list of projects to be funded within thirty days from the approval of the said bill.

Once passed, the Commission, which will have a six-year term, shall be composed of the Secretaries of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Administrator of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Director of the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVolcs) the Commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, two members from the private sector, among others.

Among its members, the Chief Executive will then designate the Chairman of the Commission and shall also appoint a professional manager as its Executive Director.

"I am hopeful that this measure will be given priority by the body to hasten the projects for rehabilitation and livelihood development so that our people can slowly rise up and recover from this catastrophe," Enrile said.

The earthquake of a 7.2 magnitude, with its epicenter in Bohol, ravaged the provinces of Visayas in the morning of October 15 (Tuesday). As of press time, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has recorded 190 deaths and 605 injuries while almost a billion pesos worth of damaged infrastructures were estimated, including the celebrated historical churches and landmarks in the provinces of Bohol and Cebu.

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