CEBU CITY, May 23 (PIA)--Cabinet Secretary (CabSec) Karno Nograles has asked concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) to assist in fast tracking the completion and awarding of houses to Yolanda-affected families, while making sure that utilities are in place by then.
Already long overdue, the issue on undistributed housing facilities surfaced during the Cabinet Assistance System (CAS) headed by CabSec Nograles which gathered prior to the next Cabinet meeting set at the Waterfront Hotel, Lapulapu City, Cebu, May 16.
On this, CabSec Nograles told LGUS that the remaining housing units should be equipped with water and power connection that the local water authorities and the National Electrification Administration are tasked to coordinate to address the concern.
The CAS is a mechanism that allows a coordinated effort to discuss the issues and concerns of the different departments and agencies in the regional levelto be included in the agenda for the next Cabinet meeting.
CAS allows the Cabinet to identify issues that need their immediate action while it allows LGUS and agencies to keep track of issues that they can immediately tackle and need none of the Cabinet intervention.
At the CAS, the foremost issue rearing up in Cebu is the housing project in Yolanda-affected local government units (LGUs) which has yet to be resolved.
According to CabSec. Nograles, out of the 22,423 housing units supposedly provided for Yolanda victims, 5,232 have been completed and only 731 were occupied.
Some Yolanda victims are hesitant to move into their new houses because the location is far from their workplace and there are still water and power connection issues.
Another primary issue tackled at the CAS is the implementation of the school building programs, a collaboration between the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), especially in the areas with peace and order issues.
He said that the General Appropriations Act of 2019 has a provision that if a department finds it hard to implement a program, in this case DepEd and DPWH, they may tap the LGUs to spearhead the implementation instead or the Engineering Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"We will be taking an inventory of these problematic areas and find out which is the best course of action to take to avoid delays in implementation," CabSec. Nograles added.
The RDC has also presented several issues and concerns such as the integration of the terminal fees in boat tickets, the online company registration, the issuance of the certificate of product registration and license to operate, the absence of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) regional office, the aging farming population, the incoming school year, the influx of foreign workers, and the incoming State of the Nation Address (SONA). CabSec. Nograles has instructed the respective departments and agencies to look into these matters.
He announced that there will be pre-SONA activities where different clusters of the executive branch will report their accomplishments.
The Human Development and Poverty Reduction cluster led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Participatory Governance cluster led by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are scheduled to report on July 10 here in Cebu.
Two other clusters each will report on July 3 and 17 in Manila and Davao City, respectively.
Last March, the CAS meeting was held in Tacloban. (Bridgette May Bayhon/PIA 7)