TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is seeking P1.62 billion additional funds to rehabilitate government infrastructure destroyed by supertyphoon Yolanda.
Speaking in the recent transparency forum organized by the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College and Asia Foundation, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson said they have pending request at the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for additional funding in reconstruction activities this year.
Of the P1.62 billion budget request, P583 million will be for repair of seawalls, drainage system, and flood control; P321 million reconstruction of damaged roads and bridges; and P221 million for rehabilitation of DPWH buildings.
“There is ongoing cost review for the remaining P491 million proposed budget,” Singson said.
The fresh budget request is expected to augment the P732 million released earlier by the DBM for clearing and emergency repair of roads and bridges.
The DPWH also utilized the initial release for the construction of 250 bunkhouses worth P200 million, procurement of 120,000 pieces of galvanized iron (GI) sheets, which were distributed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development for 7,500 families.
About 97,000 GI sheets are now in DPWH warehouses to be distributed to families with partially damaged houses in the next few months. Some 113,000 GI sheets were earlier purchased for destroyed classrooms in Yolanda-hit areas.
Singson said initial damage is pegged at P4.2 billion for the 5,540 government structures assessed. “These include roads and bridges, local government buildings, schools, and rural health units.”
In the case of classrooms, Singson said their office and the Department of Education agreed to come with a new design in rehabilitating the classrooms.
“Each school building will cost nearly P1 million. It can withstand 260 kilometer per hour wind force. Our agreement is that DepEd will implement the reconstruction, not the DPWH,” he added.
Singson said that P7.7 billion is required to reconstruct all damaged classrooms.
For state universities and colleges, the DPWH chief said the Commission on Higher Education is seeking P1.73 billion to repair the damaged buildings.
For damaged city halls, town halls and public markets, the Department of Interior and Local Government and DPWH will come up with standard design and costing.
“We will introduce standard design for LGU buildings, but if the LGU has capacity to expand, it can be extended. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)