TACLOBAN CITY– At least eight projects under the first batch of the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) for Eastern Visayas is not yet complete nearly two years after the national government downloaded the budget to recipient local government units (LGUs).

Concerned LGUs are given until the end of this year to finish the construction of state-owned buildings, according to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Pedro S. Noval, Jr. These projects are the town hall in Guiuan, Eastern Samar; public market in Tanauan, Leyte; civic center in Palo, Leyte; city hall extension and public market in Tacloban City and the city hall in Ormoc City.

“Based on our assessment, majority of these remaining sub-projects will be completed on or before the end of August 2016,” Noval said. “We’re extending technical assistance and regularly monitor the progress of implementation. Through this, the DILG can immediately provide technical assistance to address concerns,” he added.
The delay is attributed to the local government unit’s decision to strictly follow the Government Procurement Reform Act, which requires lengthy bidding and procurement processes.

“Very few opted to negotiate contract which is allowed in view of the fact that the President declared the state of national calamity,” Noval told PNA. Under RAY batch 1, the national government has poured P937 million funds for repair of 54 buildings owned by 61 town and city governments along supertyphoon Yolanda’s path in Eastern Visayas region. The second batch focuses on rebuilding of village facilities. RAY is the government’s strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives, and livelihoods in the affected areas. The objective of the plan is to restore the economic and social conditions of these areas at the very least to their pre-typhoon levels and to a higher level of disaster resilience. (SQM)