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Freeman Region

Romualdez: ‘Fast track Bohol’s recovery’

The Freeman

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines  — Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (1st district, Leyte), in his Wednesday visit to this city, called on the national government to fast track the reconstruction of Bohol, which was devastated by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2013.

After meeting with Governor Edgar Chatto, the congressman said: “More than two years after that devastating earthquake, the pace of rehabilitation and reconstruction in the province has been excruciatingly slow.”

Romualdez, who is running for senator in the 2016 elections, cited a report of the Commission on Audit stating that only 12 of the 1,079 rehabilitation projects under the P2.413-billion Bohol Earthquake Assistance Fund have been completed, as of December 31, 2014.

He, however, extolled the Boholanos for their resilience in rising from the tragic earthquake and even the impact of super typhoon Yolanda on the province.

He further commended the Chatto administration for the promotion of tourism, information technology and agro-industry, as among the pillars of economic development of Bohol.

The Leyte congressman, coming from a calamity-stricken province himself, said he filed House Bill 3486 creating the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management.

Romualdez said the bill, if enacted, would be advantageous to Bohol as it would sustain the province’s top spot in the tourism roadmap.

"We need to protect the progress made by Bohol as a popular international tourist destination by becoming disaster-resilient," he said.

The creation of the DDPEM, replacing the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, would help local government units in preparing for and responding to calamities and disasters. Romualdez said, while noting that the present setup has been vulnerable to consequences of the bureaucratic red tape.

Romualdez said the present system “caused delays in the delivery of immediate assistance to the victims,” and the new department will “significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, the bureaucratic red tape.” — Angeline Valencia (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

ANGELINE VALENCIA

BOHOL

BOHOL EARTHQUAKE ASSISTANCE FUND

DEPARTMENT OF DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

GOVERNOR EDGAR CHATTO

HOUSE BILL

LEYTE

NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL

REPRESENTATIVE FERDINAND MARTIN ROMUALDEZ

ROMUALDEZ

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