BAGUIO CITY October 12 – The state of development in the Yolanda-stricken areas in the Visayas has been snailpaced because of the government’s inability to infuse the sufficient resources to bring back the island’s robust economy compared to the fast-paced development of Baguio and the earthquake-stricken areas during the July 16, 1990 7.9 killer earthquake the struck most parts of Northern Luzon, Leyte 1st district Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said here Saturday.
Romualdez was the guest of honor and speaker during the 24th anniversary of the Local Government Code and the Barangay Day celebration spearheaded by the city government and the Liga ng mga Barangay held at the Ibaloi Park located within the 34-hectare Burnham Park here.
“The pace of development in the Yolanda-stricken areas in the Visayas has been in a very bad state because of the inability of the government to infuse sufficient funds in order to bring back the state of Tacloban City and other Leyte areas prior to the onslaught of Super Typhoon Ylanda.,” Romualdez stressed.
The Leyte lawmaker underscored that the government only spent around P15 billion for the relief, recovery and rehabilitation of Tacloban City and other heavily devastated areas compared to the programmed budget of P180 billion in order to achieve the full development of the Yolanda-stricken areas.
He cited even the multi-billion pledges of foreign governments through international non-government organizations have not yet been actually been felt by the people of the Visayas that is why most of the calamity-stricken areas still remain undeveloped and the people are now clamoring for more government attention that should be infused to the province.
Aside from the practice of the Filipino virtue of ‘bayanihan’ among citizens from the different parts of the country who continued extending assistance to them for over a year now, Romualdez emphasized the need for government to provide sufficient resources for what has been planed by the defunct Office of the Presidential Adviser on Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR).
According to him, the government has always been reactive to the onslaught of man-made and natural calamities that is why no significant gains have been realized for over a year of planning on the type of development that would be undertaken in order to bring back the robust economy of Tacloban and other urban centers in the Visayas.
Romualdez claimed the people of Tacloban and the Visayas were able to show their unity and teamwork to achieve a limited pace of development but what has been lacking for over a year now is the absence of government resources that would bankroll major development projects geared towards bringing back the increased economic activities of the people and uplifting the living condition that was ravaged by the supertyphoon.
He said the people of Leyte are fed up on what always turned out to be false promises of the government that is why there is a need for the institution of appropriate reforms in the policies of government agencies in order to address the inequalities being given to calamity-stricken areas like Taclonban City among others.